Social Innovation

Danone’s social innovation initiatives reflect our One Planet. One Health vision as we help people in local communities in the UK and worldwide live healthier lives.

Through programmes and partnerships such as Eat Like A Champ and Danone Nations Cup, we have been engaging with over five million people in the UK and Ireland, providing information and advice on healthy and sustainable living.

Contributing our expertise and individual skills we closely with local partners to make a difference. We know we achieve more together so we work with partners like Carers UK and Fareshare to reach vulnerable groups, industry experts like WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) to find pioneering sustainability solutions, and social platforms like Neighbourly to deliver support to those in need in our communities.

social innovation infographic

SOCIAL INNOVATION IN PRACTICE

Here are some examples of our local and global social innovation initiatives across four areas: supporting local communities; promoting healthy eating choices; co-building sustainability solutions and our social innovation funds.

SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

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VOLUNTEERING

We encourage everyone at Danone to contribute their working time and skills to support the community. Volunteering and engaging with our local communities has been embedded in Danone's DNA for many years. 

Danone employees have been given unlimited volunteering time to give back to the community, through a ‘remote volunteering’ offer launched during the Covid-19 crisis. We bring this to life in our volunteering programme with Neighbourly where we match colleagues to charities in need. We have volunteering ambassadors in our teams to create opportunities to work in our local communities, building on current contacts and developing lasting relationships to make a real difference.

In 2020, Danone employees spent 1400 hours volunteering, which is an equvivalent of 174 working days. 


REDUCING FOOD POVERTY

Today 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally yet there is also profound food poverty which sees millions of people struggle to access food when they need it. In 2019, 1.6 million people in the UK accessed food banks while 4.5 million tonnes of household food went to waste. We believe we have a role to play in tackling food poverty.

By redistributing food that would have gone to waste to food banks we are supporting those who need within our communities. During the pandemic in 2020, we donated over 250 tonnes of long date stock products to charities, through partnerships with Neighbourly, Fareshare and Company Shop in the UK


PROMOTING HEALTHIER EATING CHOICES

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EAT LIKE A CHAMP

The need for healthier, more sustainable lifestyles has never been greater due to increasing obesity rates and an emerging sense of urgency to tackle climate change in the UK. Eat Like A Champ offers resources for six curriculum-based lessons, aimed to inspire 9-10 year olds to live healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.

Since 2010, over half a million children have been part of the Eat Like a Champ programme.​ In 2020, we revitalised the programme’s resources, placing sustainability at the heart of the free, evidence-based healthy eating education programme. It has been developed in consultation with teachers and the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association and everyday sustainability experts, Hubbub. Topics include healthy eating, food waste, recycling, hydration, climate change and physical activity.  Find out more


DANONE NATIONS CUP

The Danone Nations Cup is the world’s biggest football tournament for children aged 10-12, with over 2 million children from 27 countries participating each year. 

The tournament brings our One Planet. One Health vision to life by inspiring children to "play football, change the game". The tournament aims to develop healthy, sustainable and inclusive behaviour and promote societal change, among the future generations, through football. In England, we work with the English Schools Football Association to run the Cup for 65,000 children, who compete for a chance to play against teams from around the world at the Danone Nations Cup World Final. Find out more


HEY!

The HEY! (Healthy Eating for Young Children) programme aims to improve the health and wellbeing of young children by improving health literacy among parents.  

The seven week course covers topics such as budgeting, food safety, cooking skills and portion sizes during the early years to help people make lasting changes to their lifestyles.

Danone has been seeking a new home for HEY! to build on the success of the programme and enable it to be delivered at scale. As a leading adult education charity, the WEA (Workers Educational Association) is well-placed to usher in a new chapter for the HEY! programme. The WEA is currently rolling out online HEY! learning to work in the current environment  to help reach more people in need. 


CO-BUILDING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

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FOOD WASTE

As a leading food and drink company, we believe we have a role to play in tackling food waste. Food loss and waste happens when edible food is lost throughout the food value chain: at farm level, during processing and production, and at the end of the chain from shops or in consumers' hands.

Reducing food waste in our operations

In the UK and Ireland, we have committed, in line with The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Target Measure Act Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, to reduce our food waste by 50% across our operations by 2030 (based on a 2019 baseline). We are raising employee awareness of the impact of food waste through internal food waste campaigns.

Reducing food waste in the home

To help reduce food waste in the home, we are moving from 'Use by' to 'Best before' dates on our fresh yogurts, as they are still safe to eat beyond this date. We are working with social impact company, Too Good to Go, to increase consumer knowledge and confidence about the difference between these consumption dates.


A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH TO INCREASE RECYCLING RATES

We aim to make our packaging 100% circular. This means eliminating the packaging we don’t need; innovating so all the packaging we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted; and ensuring the material we produce stays in the economy and never becomes waste or pollution.

Our Volvic and evian brands supported sustainability agency Hubbub’s innovative on-the-go recycling trial, #LeedsbyExample, which saw recycling rates more than double in Leeds. The brands also supported the next phase of the #intheloop recycling blueprint in Swansea and Edinburgh. Our on-the-go recycling trial in Edinburgh city centre resulted in 46% increase in collection rates of bottles and cans in recycling bins, 50% reduction of contamination (non-recyclable items) in recycling bings and in only 8% of recyclable materials found in general waste bins. 

Danone yogurt is partnering with TerraCycle® and Ella’s Kitchen to transform pouches into new products, generating funds for local charities and schools. The Danone brand also contributed to innovative reuse trial Loop producing yogurts in glass jars that can be delivered, emptied and returned to Danone for reuse. 


SOCIAL INNOVATION FUNDS

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GLOBAL SOCIAL INNOVATION FUNDS

Danone’s 'One Planet. One Health' frame of action reflects our vision that the health of people and the health of the planet are interconnected. We want to support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking habits. We want to do this in a way that is aligned with our long term commitment to economic success and social progress.

Globally, our social innovation funds do just that, as they pioneer ways to be more inclusive while creating value for Danone by:

  • Finding solutions to social, health and environmental challenges
  • Generating innovative social, sustainable and inclusive business models
  • Reinventing our relationship with key stakeholders through collaboration and co-creation

Danone Communities

This Venture Capital fund invests in Social Businesses to empower innovative social entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable social impact.​ It provides capital, technical and managerial expertise, as well as networking opportunities.​ Find out more.

Livelihoods Funds

Danone supports Livelihoods Funds as they invest in large-scale projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The investment funds are designed to support the efforts of farmers and rural communities to live in sustainable ecosystems which ensure their food security and provide livelihoods. Find out more.

Danone Ecosystem Fund

The Danone Ecosystem Fund co-creates inclusive business solutions through the professional empowerment of vulnerable stakeholders. Since 2009, the Ecosystem Fund has brought together over 55,000 people from all types of geographical and socio-economic backgrounds to try and build a more just and inclusive economy, from the ground up.  Find out more.

Early Years Nutrition Partnership (ENYP)

In the UK, the Danone Ecosystem Fund helped Nutricia UK and its local partner Pre‑school Learning Alliance (now Early Years Alliance) co-create the Early Years Nutrition Partnership programme. The EYNP aims to improve the future health outcomes of young children by setting a standard for nutrition practice in early years. An integral part of the programme is a commitment to support communities with high need. The goal is to provide every child aged under five in England with access to expert nutritional support. 

EYNP helps nutrition professionals (Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians) expand their competencies in early years nutrition. The programme includes the "EYN Partnership Quality Mark" accreditation and upskilling opportunities such as undertaking a Level 3 CACHE award in nutrition and hydration in the early years. Nutrition professionals who have participated can build networks in their own areas,  providing parents with ‘hands-on’ advice that is tailored to the specific needs of children aged under five.

The project was handed over in 2019 to the Early Years Learning Alliance and is now independent. Find out more.