CEO of Danone, Emmanuel Faber, speaks at the high-level opening plenary session from the first day of the Global Landscapes Forum 2015, in Paris, France alongside COP21.
The session explores the investments into sustainable landscapes that countries and private actors have already committed to – as well as the areas in which we need to scale up efforts.
Emmanuel Faber speaks about Danone’s commitment to zero net carbon emissions across the full cycle of its production systems.
Saturday, 5 December 2015
Global Landscapes Forum, Paris, France
We, I think, have all forgotten that food starts in soils. We have disconnected the food chain. And I think it’s high time that we resynchronize the whole food cycle.
In many ways, companies have started to work on this. And the interesting aspect of carbon is that it’s a very integrative measure of how de-synchronized we are. Looking at Danone: we have over the last seven years been able to maintain the level of carbon emissions, despite the fact that the demand for our products has grown, increasing by 50 percent.
So, I could pretend that we have done our job and that we have reached our own carbon peak. But now, in the spirit of the discussions of this COP21, we have decided to reframe our climate policy and make it match the two-degree scientific scenario. And this will mean very breakthrough commitments that I’m going to repeat in front of all of you here.
One is that, instead of looking at the part of the cycle that we control, we’re now going to be responsible for the carbon emissions of the full cycle of our processes: from the farms, the hundreds and thousands of farmers that we work with, to our billion consumers in the world.
This is a huge responsibility that we take, because we’re taking it beyond the strict control of what we do every day. And this is where there are three times more carbon emissions, in particular in agriculture, than in our own controlled perimeter. That’s the first breakthrough.
The second breakthrough is that we expect, we have committed, that on this total perimeter we would reach the peak of the carbon emissions in the next 10 years. So, within 10 years, the total emissions of this cycle will start declining. The ambition that we have ultimately consistent with the UN scenario is to reach a zero net carbon emissions for the whole of our cycle.
It means that, beyond the very strong reduction of the intensity of our production system, of our agriculture, of the recycling, we will have to engage even more than today in carbon-positive activities. And they exist in many areas. What Ariane has described with the Moringa Fund is a carbon-positive activity. What Ngozi has described in the public-private partnership is also encompassing positive carbon activities. We have developed our own with the Livelihoods Fund, the first fund, and the second fund that we’ve just launched for family farming, and many others.
And so, the only thing I would like to say is that we will not be able to do this alone. The other breakthrough in this climate policy is the fact that we will rely on many, many other people to achieve this reduction with us. This is starting a full process of co-creation. In many ways, we will need a lot of you in this room, actually.
And I would like just to finish by saying that I’m optimistic in our ability to be there because, already today, more than 100 projects around the world are run in this principle of direct or indirect carbon positive activities, leveraged quite often by some of your organizations in this room. And I’d like to finish by thanking you for walking the talk with us.