Danone cuts carbon footprint by integrating measurements in IT systems

Danone reports it has reduced its carbon footprint by 22% since 2008 and is on target to achieve its four-year goal of a 30% reduction by 2012 by integrating measurements within its IT systems.

Danone has teamed up with SAP to build a solution to measure the company’s environmental footprint across its supply chain, including plants and factories, packaging and end-of-cycle disposal, transportation and storage.

“Existing solutions do not allow carbon footprint measurements to be integrated within IT operations systems across the whole product life cycle, for each and every product,” said Jean-Marc Lagoutte, CIO, IT Systems, Danone. 

“Danone has designed a unique carbon footprint measurement model and deployed a dedicated SAP platform globally. Since SAP is also strongly committed to sustainability and offers solutions that can serve as a basis for innovation in this area, working together quickly became the natural way to go.”

The solution created by Danone and SAP is integrated with Danone’s SAP infrastructure: 80% of the data pertaining to its whole product life cycle is automatically collected. 

The goal is to provide operations managers with actionable information so they can analyse strategic options and take the more environmentally sustainable action, whether it relates to product development, ingredient selection, sourcing and transportation options or even investments. The collected data can be audited and fully traced, and is updated monthly, providing real-time insight.

“This solution makes carbon footprint issues everyone’s business. Analysing product life cycles is a good way to rally all of our employees to our carbon footprint reduction target,” said Myriam Cohen-Welgryn, vice president, Danone Nature. 

“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. Just as in the past, we made success in achieving carbon reduction targets an integral part of the system used to calculate executive bonuses.”

The new SAP solution was first used by two Danone companies in Spain. It was then tested by two other dairy businesses in Belgium and by Stonyfield Farms in the US. By the end of the year, the new solution will be present in 40 of Danone’s business units, covering around 70% of its revenues and over 35,000 products. 

Danone aims to use the solution for all its businesses globally, encompassing its four areas of business: fresh dairy products, bottled water, baby nutrition and medical nutrition.

“This combined effort with Danone nicely demonstrates how SAP helps businesses run better, both from an environmental and a financial standpoint,” said Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer, SAP. “We are proud of our collaboration with Danone, who — like ourselves — has put forth a strong vision and commitment to sustainability.”