Working together to keep materials in use and out of nature

Clare Godfrey, Head of B Corp and Purpose Integration, reflects on the important role recycling plays in moving us towards circular economy.


A big part of our role as a B Corp is to use our business as a force for good, benefiting both people and the planet. So, it’s really important that we incorporate this ethos into all aspects of Danone in order to be really impactful. And what better opportunity to make an impact than during Recycle Week?


Collaboration is a key contributor to impact – and another important part of being a B Corp. So in October, as part of our activities for Recycle Week 2023, we headed to Bristol to support non-profit organisation Sustainable Hive for their SeaCycler project. 15 Danone volunteers donned their rain gear and grabbed their litter pickers ready to board the ‘SeaCycler’, a fishing boat made from recycled, single use plastic. The boat is used to make trips round Bristol Harbour in order to pick up rubbish and help clean up the waterways. 


We actually helped fund the boat a few years ago now, so it was quite a full circle moment to see it in action on the Bristol Harbour as volunteers took to the water to collect litter. 


80% of the litter in our oceans gets there from land, through our rivers and waterways.1 The majority of this is single use plastics, like vapes, cotton buds and wet wipes. In their entirety these items are harmful to wildlife, but then they can also break down into pieces, continuing to harm sea life or even finding its way back to land. So it’s really important that we have initiatives like this to highlight the importance of recycling – and the impact that litter can have on our environment.

As part of the initiative, we also picked up litter around the city; our teams collected a staggering 75.9kg of rubbish. This included:

  • A huge number of cigarette butts – which can quite easily make their way down our drains and into our waterways 
  • 151 plastic drinks bottles 
  • 62 glass bottles
  • 41 vapes 
  • And a number of miscellaneous items like bike wheels, toys and bedding

Through the project we were able to ensure items were taken off the streets and out of the water and properly disposed of or recycled. It was great to get out as a group to do this, with volunteers commenting on how it was great opportunity to have a day out of the office and make a tangible difference within the local community. 


At Danone we’re on our own impact journey, which includes targets on recycling. We are committed to working towards a circular economy, so we can keep materials in use and out of nature. Our goal for 2025 is for every piece of packaging—from bottles to yogurt pots—to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. It’s definitely a journey, but one we take seriously so we can make a positive impact on our planet. 




1 Eunomia, 2016