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A vision of Danone’s role

Antoine Riboud

In 1972, in a speech to the French employers federation the CNPF (now the MEDEF), Antoine Riboud made an historic declaration:

“A company’s responsibility does not end at the door to the factory or the office. The jobs it provides shape whole lives. It consumes energy and raw materials, and in doing so alters the face of our planet. The public will remind us of our responsibilities in this industrial society”.

Franck Riboud

Nearly 40 years later, on 5th December 2008, Franck Riboud followed in his late father’s footsteps, when he announced at the launch of the Danone – HEC Chair in Social Business and Poverty

“A company only exists and lasts because it creates value for the whole of society (…) a company’s raison d’être is its social usefulness. That means serving society – men and women – in their everyday lives, through products, services, work or the dividends it pays”.

To ensure this culture is shared by everyone working in the organization, Danone notably relies on a self-assessment approach ( “Danone Way” Fundamentals) which helps each subsidiary to incorporate economic performance and social and environmental responsibility, the inclusion of social targets in the final salaries of 1,500 key managers and directors at Danone, “Social innovation laboratories” to allow best practices to be shared…