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Steering with partners

Building better solutions through partnerships


We seek to pioneer a new kind of business relationship. One that co-creates and even co-owns solutions with non for profit organizations, the public sector, local stakeholders, other companies and academics.

We believe this approach will bring the greatest benefit to both Danone and our partners. Co-creation, open source practice and mutual benefit business models are already transforming our business practices, broadening our vision and enriching the different ways we operate. Every day, this unique way of doing business not only brings us a unique competitive advantage it also delivers new inclusive business models with greatly improved social, environmental and economic impacts.

So far, we have established several kinds of co-creation mechanisms including partnerships, alliances and mixed boards. We will continue to experiment with new models and enthusiastically participate in the invention of new business practices.

"NOT ALONE, BUT WITH PARTNERS AND FRIENDS" “We will stand firmly by our belief that it is better to walk together than apart, by engaging always with more consumers and more communities, in our common quest to find better health through better food, for the greatest number." Danone Manifesto
Partnerships Alliances Collaboration in the UK Governance Pragmatism and continuous improvement

Building strong partnerships with non-profits and academics

Danone has built many long-standing partnerships with local experts, national and international non- profit organizations and academic partners. This collaborative journey started to accelerate in 2008 with the signature of the first partnership agreement between NGOs and business for the protection of wetlands. This partnership between Danone, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was targeted to support disadvantaged rural communities in developing countries to restore their natural ecosystems.

These partnerships are essential if our programs are to succeed as they marry global expertise with the needs of local communities. All our social innovation projects are co-created with local NGOs, partners and communities as we believe this is the key to success on the ground. To ensure we deliver results these projects undergo monitoring, qualitative and quantitative impact studies conducted with academic partners (HEC, MIT D lab, ESSEC...). We are also building partnerships with universities, schools (such as Sc Po Paris) and banks so we can do more. Our recent partnership with IDB on inclusive recycling in South America is a good example of this inclusive approach.

Joining forces to create more responsible businesses through partnerships and alliances with other companies

We believe that working in partnership with other companies will help us create a more responsible business. These partnerships take place in inter-professional organizations such as Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI) which is a global food chain initiative for sustainable agriculture. 

To support the efforts of poor rural communities in developing countries who are restoring their natural ecosystems, the Livelihoods Fund gathered nine partner companies, including Danone: Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole, Michelin, Hermès, SAP, CDC Climat, La Poste, Firmenich and Voyageurs du Monde. In 2015, this successful fund was extended to sustainably transform company supply chains while supporting smallholder farmers: Danone and Mars created Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming recently welcomed Firmenich and Veolia and is open to new partners able to extend the benefits further. 

Danone also builds innovative global alliances with strategic partners, such as Veolia, to focus on natural resource management in order to meet the challenge of climate change.


ANNE-CLAIRE, as Corporate Affairs Director, is passionate about fostering relationships with communities, government, NGOs and academics in order to help address common challenges and fulfill Danone's mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible. 


By working together we develop new skills and gain knowledge that are valued by Danone and by our partners.

As part of the Public Affairs team, HELEN works with political stakeholders to build understanding and awareness of Danone’s mission of health through food.


Danone is a collaborative partner, working with politicians and government officials and offering input and submission to public health policy and legislation.


shaping the political agenda

Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition is opening up discussions with policymakers to make nutrition in the early years a public health priority. We believe it should be a bigger part of the conversation surrounding children's health.


We work with leading experts and influencers to raise awareness of the importance of early life nutrition and to identify practical solutions that will enable parents, families and other caregivers to make informed choices about how to feed their babies and young children.


By improving the nutritional health of pregnant women and young children during the first 1000 days of life, we believe this will improve children’s long-term health outcomes and the health of future generations.


Find out more at

big conversation

In 2014, we brought together 60 parents, carers and healthcare professionals to share their thoughts and feelings about nutrition from pregnancy to pre-school.


We came away from the discussion with some valuable insights about how the barriers to good early life nutrition present themselves in everyday lives. With a number of different people caring, shopping for and feeding young children in today’s society, a single common vision and consistent, clear guidance regarding early life nutrition is more important than ever.


Find out more at  Big Conversation Report

ALLY builds relationships with scientific communities, healthcare experts and opinion leaders, encouraging dialogue and communicating to consumers the impact of nutrition on health.


sharing information and knowledge will improve and innovate healthcare.




As a founding member of the Malnutrition Task Force, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition has united with independent experts across health, social care and local government and the third sector to combat malnutrition amongst older people. 


The Task Force’s Malnutrition Prevention Programme operates in five UK centres to:

• raise awareness of malnutrition
• work together
• identify older people who are malnourished or at risk
• provide support, care and treatment, and monitor progress
• monitor and evaluate activities


By working with people on the front line, the Malnutrition Task Force aims to help improve quality of life for the estimated 1 million people over 65 affected by this issue and support the system to understand the potential cost benefits of tackling preventable malnutrition.


Find out more at


Danone Waters is a founding member of the Natural Hydration Council (NHC), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to researching the science and communicating the facts about healthy hydration. Guided by a scientific panel and technical group, the NHC raises awareness of the positive role water and hydration can have on the nation’s health.


Find out more at





All children deserve the best start in life. To get this, they need the best nutrition.


The Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) is an independent group of experts, supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition.


The goal of the ITF is to provide practical, impartial, factual information about everything from healthy eating to active lives, covering every step from pregnancy to preschool, and encompassing everyone from families to health workers.


Find out more at

KATE works with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to establish sustainable social initiatives that benefit the health of people across the UK.


Projects range from small community initiatives to nationwide health campaigns, but they all work towards one goal: ensuring everyone, at every age, has access to the right nutritional support.




There are 6.5 million people across the UK who support a family member or friend who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Looking after a loved one can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be very tough. Carers often don’t know how or where to get help.
Working with Carers UK, we found that 60% of carers worry about the nutrition of the person they care for. Through our partnership we raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition for carers and for those they are looking after. With the support of our in-house nutritionists we have delivered a series of social media days around nutrition and provide a range of free information leaflets and expert online advice.


With Carers UK, we helping to make life better for carers.


Find out more at

Bringing the outside through open advisory boards

To reach its healthier future ambitions, Danone established an advisory board for external experts to provide governance advice around the core decisions we take on specific topics linked to sustainability. To build our ‘Nature’ strategy and maintain it relevant to our stakeholders, we created a consultative committee called the Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) Board. 

This permanent committee, composed of ten external sustainability experts, forms part of our Nature 2020 strategy around agriculture, packaging, water and climate. We also have a separate Guidance Committee for the Danone Ecosystem Fund, including members of the Danone Executive Committee, as well as key figures from civil society politics and trade unions. This committee’s role is to determine the Ecosystem Fund’s overall strategy and investment directives.

Pragmatism and continuous improvement

Building a healthier future means continuously improving what Danone does, and in the process, sparking innovation and inspiring others on our journey. This hands-on pragmatism and small-scale experimental style are key to solving the complex social, economic and environmental challenges linked to our business.  In line with this, we will continuously adapt our plans to meet the needs of the planet, its places and the people we serve. We know that sustainability is an on-going journey and that there are other issues material to our business where we are only just starting to explore the challenges that face us and solutions we need to build, but we are ready to be playing our part.

Here are some of the topics we are currently exploring:

  • Women empowerment : the role of women in agriculture, enterprise and across the Danone value chain is a crucial issue. As Danone we cannot hope to build a healthier future without the unencumbered contribution and involvement of 50% of us: women. Nevertheless women, and especially smallholder female farmers, often face unfair and un-necessary challenges. We have begun a review and solutions finding approach to co-create answers to these challenges.

          > LEARN MORE

  • Animal welfare : healthy cows are essential to provide healthy milk and healthy products. Therefore, animal welfare is a pillar of Danone sustainable sourcing strategy. We are committed to working with suppliers to achieve the best conditions possible for dairy cows and calves. We have set an "Animal Welfare Policy" based on the internationally recognized Five Freedoms developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom to express normal behavior, freedom from fear and distress. To support this engagement, we set a process of audit, encourage research and published  an "animal welfare guide" in collaboration with Compassion in World Farming. 

          > TO LEARN MORE

  • Food waste: according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), approximately one third of global food production intended for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. Aware of our responsibility as a food company, Danone takes a comprehensive approach to addressing food waste reduction all along our value cycles. We endorsed the European collective initiative “Every Crumb Counts,”2 committing  to working toward an overall 50% reduction in food losses by 2020 and we’ve launched concrete initiatives to reduce food losses in areas it controls and influences—not only at its production plants, but also upstream in its supply chain and downstream with customers.