Becoming the Biggest B Corp
In an interview on the Leadership Next podcast with Alan Murray of Fortune, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber reaffirmed the company’s ambitious goal of becoming one of the first multinational companies to certify as a benefit corporation (B Corp) by 2025. Danone already has 17 B Corp-certified entities – Danone North America currently being one of the largest B Corps – that represent over 30% of the company’s global sales.
What does that mean? Companies who are B Corp-certified pass an evaluation of minimum social and environmental performance that assesses impact on employees, customers, communities, and the environment. They also meet accountability and transparency requirements. Faber and Danone have set 30 key performance indicators that will be audited by a third party, reviewed by an independent committee, and communicated to the public on an annual basis.
Becoming B Corp-certified addresses criticisms of companies’ results that do not measure up to the lofty environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets in their corporate social responsibility and sustainability reports. The certification evaluates businesses’ impact across many ESG issues, provides feedback, and areas for improvement. With clear performance indicators and processes in place, Danone is able to measure progress each year in a consistent format.
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