Danone announces all operations in Ireland B Corp accredited

  • Danone’s Wexford and Macroom sites are the first baby formula factories to be B Corp certified in Ireland and the UK.
  • Danone is the first top 10 branded food and healthcare manufacturer in Ireland & the UK to certify as a B Corp, following accreditation of its Specialised Nutrition category and manufacturing sites, which includes Nutricia products and services
  • All Danone operations in Ireland, and its sister business in the UK are now B Corp certified – demonstrating Danone’s ongoing commitment to operating as a purpose driven business.

Danone Ireland’s Specialised Nutrition business has announced its B Corp certification. The Specialised Nutrition business includes the Wexford and Macroom factories and brands such as Nutricia, Aptamil and Cow & Gate. This achievement marks the full certification of all Danone’s operations in the Ireland as well as the UK, building on the accreditation of its other businesses over the past five years. Danone Dairy Ireland (the yogurt business) first announced its B Corp accreditation in Ireland in 2019.

B Corp certified businesses are verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance and public transparency – with a proven commitment to balance profit and purpose. Danone has a long history of using business as a force for good and its local mission, ‘We Nourish Life’, summarises its commitment to better health through better nutrition for people of all ages.

The certification requires businesses to assess their practices across five impact areas: governance, workers, environment, community and customers. The assessment of Specialised Nutrition recognised Danone’s progressive environmental and social practices, resulting in a score of 90.2 across all operations, including manufacturing. In Ireland, Danone employs more than 700 people.

Actions that contributed to its certification include:

- Danone’s Wexford facility in Ireland is the first baby formula production site in the world to be certified carbon neutral by The Carbon Trust. Powered by 100% renewable energy and operating with zero waste to landfill, the Wexford site’s actions have resulted in a 70% reduction in its direct carbon footprint since 2010, even while doubling its production volumes. To follow suit, the Macroom site is leading an industry-collective calling for the establishment of a biogas industry as a renewable alternative to natural gas. Such supply of biogas would be instrumental in reducing the climate impact of and decarbonizing the factory in Macroom.

- Danone’s commitment to involving and educating employees in sustainability initiatives through its Nature Champion Programme. Nearly 30 Nature Champions were appointed in Wexford and Macroom to drive the sustainability agenda in work and at home.

- Danone is committed to ensuring 100% of its packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Danone Ireland is a signatory of Repak’s Plastic Pledge.

- Danone offers all employees shares in the business, and employees are given unlimited volunteering time to give back to the community. Together with UK colleagues, Danone Ireland spent 1400 hours volunteering in 2020, largely through a ‘remote volunteering’ offer launched during the pandemic. Danone has strong links to local charities and organisations, including as a longtime supporter of the Wexford Opera Festival.

- Across Danone UK & Ireland, employees have been helping to get critical support to people during the pandemic – including providing over €1.9m in financial and product donations and getting thousands of nutritious meals to families in need.

Killian Barry, Managing Director of Danone Ireland said:

“Our Specialised Nutrition business, which includes our Wexford and Macroom facilities, becoming B Corp certified is a significant achievement – and one we hope will inspire other companies and manufacturing sites to engage with the B Corp values and join the community of like-minded businesses.

Despite ongoing challenges throughout the pandemic, we have pushed ourselves to go further for our patients and our consumers. We’re incredibly proud to have this recognised through B Corp certification – the culmination of a lot of hard work by employees across all levels.”

James Mayer, President for Danone UK & Ireland said:

“It's fantastic to witness the accelerating growth of the B Corp Community, both in Ireland and the UK, and around the world. Danone has been inspiring healthy habits that nourish life for over a century, so the B Corp philosophy directly aligns with our own purpose and vision for sustainable growth.

There has never been a more critical time for greater action from responsible businesses. And more than ever, people want to buy from, work for, invest in and partner with businesses they trust to make a positive impact. Being part of the B Corp movement helps to accelerate collective progress to tackle the social and environmental issues we face. As one of the largest B Corps in the UK and Ireland, we will continue to do more to meet the needs of people and the planet.”

Danone’s Specialised Nutrition business, the latest to be certified, leads the market in the Ireland with products for specific nutritional needs at all stages of life – including babies, young children and for special medical purposes.

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