Climate Change

Global climate change means permanent, long-term changes in temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, and seasons. Over the next decade, these shifts will not only affect natural ecosystems but also countries, economies, and people. 

Making carbon reduction an everyday priority

What impact do global climate change trends have on Danone?

Myriam Cohen-Welgryn: Danone is a €19 billion company that enjoys leading positions in four healthy food businesses – fresh dairy products, water, baby nutrition, and medical nutrition. Our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. Danone products depend to a large extent on natural ecosystems. It is thus in our best interest to make care for the environment an integral part of our business activities. In 2008, we decided to include carbon footprint as a global indicator because it reflects a wide range of environmental criteria, and consequently, we committed to reducing our carbon use by an ambitious 30% over the 2008–2012 period. 


How has Danone’s commitment to the environment changed your organization?

Myriam Cohen-Welgryn: This 30% reduction target was unreachable without a breakthrough approach. Danone had to challenge itself and its way of doing business. But before changing the organization, we had to change the company mindset. We not only established carbon reduction as a guiding principle, but we also put a CO2 reduction target alongside our business objectives. We then tied bonuses for 1,400 global managers to their performance around “Nature” objectives. I was appointed as Nature vice president and one of my first decisions was to recruit a Nature financial director.

What is the most challenging part of reducing Danone’s carbon footprint?

Myriam Cohen-Welgryn:
 We all know that “when you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” We started collecting and measuring all of our carbon footprint data using spreadsheets. At the beginning, getting the first results on reducing our CO2 footprint was not that difficult to achieve as it was also a driver for productivity. For instance, when you reduce the weight of packaging, you achieve both: CO2 reduction and savings. But as we progressed, CO2 reduction became more challenging and detailed measurement a key issue.


How did SAP contribute to meet this measurement challenge?  

Myriam Cohen-Welgryn:
 Calculating the carbon footprint for one single Danone product can be very complex – we have to cover multiple categories and full product lifecycles. Thus, managing large volumes of data took a lot of time and we could only do it on an annual basis. We were looking for a robust and powerful solution where collected data can be audited and fully traced. To meet this challenge, Danone and SAP brought together their expertise and know-how to build an innovative solution to measure our environmental footprint. SAP BusinessObjects solutions offer the perfect combination of tools to measure our carbon footprint. These solutions integrate tightly with our existing SAP ERP application. 

Has SAP made a difference in the way Danone approaches sustainability?

Myriam Cohen-Welgryn: Now our teams collect, measure, analyze, and reduce our carbon footprint across 35,000 Danone products on a monthly basis. This solution makes carbon reduction everyone’s business. Analyzing product lifecycles is a good way to rally all of our employees around our carbon footprint reduction target. By making this analysis part of our IT infrastructure, we gain valuable insights for decision-making; it becomes a catalyst for change in the company as a whole.

Customer Profile

Danone is one of the fastest-growing food com­panies in the world. Its mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. The group whose products are sold on five continents, has more than 180 production plants and around 100,000 employees. In 2011, Danone generated revenues of €19 billion, of which more than half were in emerging markets. 

SAP BusinessObjects solutions help Danone collect, measure, and analyze its carbon footprint, reducing it by 30% from 2008 to 2012.


Quick Facts

Industry: Consumer Products
Employees: 100,000
Headquarters: Paris, France
Web site:
Solution: SAP ERP application, 
SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management application, 
SAP BusinessObjects Financial Information Management application, 
SAP BusinessObjects Data Services software