Danone North America, White Plains, N.Y., announced it has achieved certification as the largest B Corp in the World, while also unveiling its new name. Formerly known as DanoneWave, the company combined businesses following its acquisition of WhiteWave Foods, Broomfield, Colo., last year. Since April, DanoneWave has been operating as Danone North America, with its headquarters remaining in White Plains.
By combining the two businesses, Danone created the largest Public Benefit Corporation in the World, the company says. Incorporating as a Public Benefit Corporation legally committed the new subsidiary to balance shareholders’ financial interests with social and environmental considerations, it says.
The company’s new name represents an intention to continue its purpose journey with a single identity that’s easily recognizable to the many consumers who enjoy the brands Danone North America makes, it adds.
B Corp Certification is for businesses what organic is to food products: a promise that a company is doing business in a way that meets rigorous standards of verified performance, transparency, and accountability, as certified by B Lab, a third-party nonprofit organization, the company states.
“We are incredibly proud to officially join the B Corp movement today as Danone North America. Our new name better positions us as a part of Danone, a forward-looking and unified global food and beverage company that demonstrates business success can be synonymous with building a healthier world through food,” said Mariano Lozano, chief executive officer for Danone North America, in a statement.
“This designation demonstrates to employees, consumers, partners, retailers, society and governments that we are committed to continuous improvement as we work to bring the company’s One Planet, One Health vision to life through our business and brands,” he continued.
To obtain the B Corp Certification, companies must complete a B Impact Assessment and earn an audited minimum score of 80 out of 200 possible points and recertify — with the aim to continuously improve — every two years. Danone North America achieved a score of 85.
“Today’s announcement shows how even complex multinational corporations can commit to balancing meaningful change with shareholder expectations,” said Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B Lab. “We could not be more excited that Danone North America undertook the significant effort to become the largest Certified B Corporation to date, and we are confident that this news will inspire other companies of similar or larger size and scope to join the movement.”
In addition to becoming a Certified B Corporation, Danone North America continues to make progress toward its mission of nourishing people, communities and the world by fighting climate change, driving more sustainable ingredient sourcing, advancing packaging recyclability, reducing waste, fighting hunger, supporting local communities and ensuring animal welfare, it states. BI