On 10 November 2016 Ethical Consumer viewed the most recent "Behind the brand" scorecard (dated April 2016), produced by Oxfam part of its GROW campaign which evaluated the world's top 10 most powerful food and beverage companies. The campaign aimed to challenge the companies to begin a "race to the top" to improve their social and environmental performance.
Danone was ranked joint ninth out of ten companies in the scorecard. Overall the company received a score of 25 out of 70 and was described by Oxfam as having made ‘some progress’ with an overall score of 36%.
The company was rated in seven areas based on information publicly available and marked out of ten for each area. According to the report Danone scored:
2/10 for its land policies - Danone scored very poorly on land. The company had not committed to zero tolerance for land grabs and didn’t require suppliers to consider how land affects lives. One bright spot was that it now recognised the principle of FPIC in its palm oil policy.
2/10 for policies on women – Danone made some improvements in the recent update with a new women’s empowerment commitment. While this is a good sign of improvements it is now important to track what that translates into as actual progress for women farmers.
3/10 for policies on farmers - While Danone is showing increased understanding of its supply chains, it does too little to address the hardships these vulnerable suppliers encounter in producing the commodities that form the basis of Danone’s business.
3/10 for policies regarding workers - A disappointing lack of information means Danone, which has signed up to international labor conventions, doesn’t actually know how many people are in its supply chains. Its recent agreement with the main union for food and agriculture workers globally is a solid step in the right direction.
6/10 for policies on climate change - Danone has notable climate commitments in their palm oil supply chain and on achieving zero deforestation across commodities. But the company has a way to go in making their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions more ambitious and in providing support for farmers affected by climate impacts across their supply chains.
5/10 for transparency: Danone lists details about sourcing volumes and where it sources. It is the only company who discloses the soy volumes used for its dairy production. It also scores highest (together with Nestle) in disclosing its Audit procedures and results. But it has made no improvements since last year and continues to fail to provide names of suppliers.
4/10 on water: The owner of Evian and Volvic resumed reporting key information on water to the public. But big gaps in the company’s approach to water remain - including official recognition of the human right to water.
Due to the fact Danone had not received ‘good’ in any of the categories it lost half a mark in Ethical Consumer's Climate Change, Human Rights and Workers’ Rights categories.