April 12, 2018 / 2:00 PM / 7 months ago

Danone's U.S. arm DanoneWave gets B-Corp environmental certification

PARIS (Reuters) - DanoneWave, formed from French food group Danone’s (DANO.PA) takeover of WhiteWave, said it had achieved formal, certification as a for-profit corporation committed to positive social and environmental goals (B-Corp).

DanoneWave is also changing its name to Danone North America, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Danone’s chief executive Emmanuel Faber has been pushing on with a dual financial and social agenda, which - like that of many blue-chip companies - aims to not only boost profits and returns for shareholders value but also meet other targets regarding environmental and social policies.

The Danone group has vowed to become the first multinational group to be certified as a B-Corp in the world as part of that broader strategy.

DanoneWave, with more than $6 billion in revenue and 6,000 employees, was born from the 2017 combination of Danone’s dairy business in north America with that of U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave.

As more consumers, notably the so-called “Millennial” generation, opt for healthier diets and a more socially responsible way of life, Danone and its rivals such as Nestle (NESN.S) have been seeking to adapt.

In February, Danone amended its 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) syndicated credit facility to introduce global environmental and social criteria, directly impacting the margin payable to its banks over the entire duration of the facility.

Danone also launched in March its inaugural 300 million euro seven-year social bond, reflecting growing appetite in financial markets in the area of ethical investing.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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