DanoneWave to be largest public benefit corp in US
The company’s sustainability director discusses merger and operational goals at FA&M 2017.
DanoneWave, the newly formed combined entity of WhiteWave Foods and Danone’s dairy business, has been incorporated as a public benefit corporation in the US.
The company will have more than $6 billion in revenue and 6,000 employees, making DanoneWave the largest public benefit corporation in the US. This specific type of corporation is designed to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner by balancing shareholders’ financial interests with environmental and people goals.
DanoneWave’s advisory committee, which will be chaired by Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, will provide guidance in furthering the company’s mission “to bring health through food to as many people as possible,” as well as “promote a model of sustainable growth.”
Deanna Bratter, director of corporate sustainability, recently spoke at Food Engineering’s Food Automation and Manufacturing Conference in Naples, Fla. She says the purpose that is coming to life for this new company is centered on maintaining a balance of doing what is right for the business, for people and for the planet.
“Consumers are voting for the world they want by choosing to buy certain food and beverages,” she says. “The more options we can give them to use their dollars in a way that has a positive impact, the more we have that connectivity.”
She also discussed strategies that food and beverage processors who want to be more sustainable can use.
“When it comes to sustainability, the most important stakeholder is our employees,” she says, “because the work gets done from within and by the people who believe it is important.”
For instance, processors should engage employees through storytelling as a way to convey how the company is driving positive change in the world.
“We stopped saying how much carbon emissions we were cutting because no one cared,” she says. “But people do care about saving energy.”
We will have more coverage of the speakers and sessions at FA&M 2017 in the June issue of Food Engineering.