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The shareholders of the French group Danone voted almost unanimously on Friday June 27 to change their status to make it a “mission-oriented enterprise”. The agrifood giant thus undertakes to include in its statutes objectives that go beyond the search for profitability and becomes the first French group listed on the stock exchange to do so.
The coronavirus pandemic invites the business world more than ever to question its role in society. Now the Danone shareholders, who include both small holders and investment funds, approved 99.42% of the change of status of the company towards a ” corporate mission ».
« It’s a plebiscite, thank you, a huge thank you “, reacted Emmanuel Faber group CEO after remote voting. ” This decision will set a precedent “, He said
Socio-environmental objectives beyond profit
This status invented by the Growth Pact law, passed a year ago, broadens the definition of a company. It can now set social and environmental goals, not just profit. This means that it will also have to provide financial means and follow-up to reach them. At Danone, a mission committee made up of 10 members has been set up to ensure this.
These new objectives are general for the moment, in particular ” improve health “And eating habits or” preserve the planet and renew its resources “, And add to the” profitable and sustainable growth model Which already appeared in the company’s statutes. Environmental NGOs are waiting to see if the process is not only for reputation.
Unlisted groups like Yves Rocher have taken the step of ” corporate mission ” Others such as Carrefour, Véolia and Michelin have announced that they have set up committees in charge of social and environmental responsibility.