An introduction to Danone’s
Code of Business Conduct
Danone is built on a heritage of a dual project – that of achieving business success at the same time as ensuring social progress. We believe that our company’s responsibility does not stop at the factory gates, but extends to cover all of our stakeholders: employees, shareholders, suppliers, consumers, customers, collaboration partners and the communities in which we work, without whom our endeavors would be meaningless.
At Danone, everything we do must respect our ethical standards and the laws of all countries where we operate.
Our Code of Business Conduct sets out our commitment to our stakeholders and the standards of behavior to which all of us at
Danone must adhere. The Executive Committee and I are committed to ensuring that these standards are met throughout our operations.
This is vital not only for the effectiveness and the sustainability of our business, but also for the continued reinforcement of our dual economic and social commitment.
All employees of Danone, as well as its subsidiaries and controlled companies, are expected to follow the Code of Business Conduct. We expect companies of which Danone has a joint or minority ownership to adhere to principles equivalent to this Code of Business Conduct and we also encourage customers to adopt such principles. Business partners are expected to adhere to our Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
Employees are informed about the Code of Business Conduct upon joining and are periodically reminded of its principles. Non-compliance with the Code of Business Conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Compliance with the law
Every Danone entity and employee must comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate. Where there is a difference between a legal requirement and our Code of Business Conduct or compliance Policies we must always apply the higher standard.
At Danone we are committed to providing a safe working environment where there is respect and equal opportunity for all, including our recruitment, training and career development processes. We respect the human rights of our employees as set out in fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation, including the right to freedom of association. We are committed to providing fair remuneration and working hours, with a healthy work-life balance.
We will not tolerate violence, bullying, harassment, discrimination or any form of forced, bonded or child labor. We welcome diversity and encourage open communication and dialogue between employees and managers, a key part of our entrepreneurial spirit.
At Danone we base our success on the satisfaction of our consumers and the quality of our products. We abide by the highest quality and safety standards and follow international legislation and best practices in terms of honest and responsible marketing and accurate and clear labelling. We acknowledge and support the World Health Organization’s (“WHO”) International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant WHO resolutions. We support the WHO’s global public health recommendation calling for exclusive breast-feeding for the
first six months of life and continued breast-feeding up to two years and beyond, combined with the safe introduction of complementary foods.
At Danone we aim to establish fair and ethical relationships with our customers based on clear and respected terms of business. Where not already in place, we encourage our customers to adopt equivalent business principles to those set out in this Code of Business Conduct.
For Danone, business partners are our suppliers, service providers, agents, distributors and labor providers. We are committed to fair and ethical relationships with our business partners, based on clear and respected terms of business, adherence to the principles set out in our Code of Conduct for Business Partners and a fair selection process.
At Danone we follow best practice standards in terms of corporate governance and financial communication. We are committed to providing our shareholders with accurate, timely, regular and reliable information on the Company’s activities, performance, prospects and strategy. We rigorously adhere to accurate record keeping requirements and do not permit any activity which could be construed as or lead to insider trading.
At Danone our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. As part of this, respect for and dialogue with the communities we work in is key. We endeavor to participate responsibly in our communities and to have a positive impact, not only through our products but also through our business and social activities.
At Danone we believe in and promote the principle of unrestricted and fair competition. We will not engage in anti-competitive activities either with or against our customers, business partners or our competitors.
At Danone we are committed to respecting and protecting the environment through developing our business in a sustainable manner. We monitor and report on our environmental impacts and minimize these wherever possible, striving always to do more.
Governments and International Organizations
Danone does not make corporate political donations. We will participate in regulation or legislation development as a company or an industry member and where we do engage in advocacy activities, this will be conducted transparently and ethically, with the best interests of the consumer in mind and with the will to meet public health goals.
Bribery and corruption
At Danone we have a zero tolerance stance on bribery and corruption. It is not permitted for any Danone employee or representative to give, over or receive a bribe or other improper advantage for business or financial gain. Gifts, hospitality, sponsorships and donations must be provided in accordance with the requirements of the Integrity Policy.
Conflicts of interest
All employees must be free from actual or perceived conflicts of interest in accordance with the Integrity Policy. Conflicts of interest are situations which could conflict, or appear to conflict, with an employee’s responsibilities at Danone.
At Danone we take confidentiality seriously and all employees are required to protect
Danone’s confidential information and intellectual property. We must also protect our consumers’, customers’ and business partners’ confidential information and any of their intellectual property we may have access to as part of our business relationship.
Likewise, we are committed to complying with all relevant data privacy requirements of the jurisdictions in which we operate.
Money laundering and fraud
At Danone we reject any attempt to use our business to launder money and will only work with legitimate customers and business partners. We also have a zero tolerance stance against fraud (such as theft or misuse of Danone’s assets, non-compliance with travel and expenses policies or embezzlement).
International Trade Sanctions Policy
At Danone we are conscious that governments and international organizations may impose international trade sanctions on countries where we do business, and on individuals. We are committed to complying with all relevant international trade sanctions requirements.
Raising a Concern
At Danone we want to know immediately about any breach or potential breach of our Code of Business Conduct. We also want to hear about any unlawful behavior, financial malpractice and any activity which poses or could pose a danger to the environment or to anyone working for our company.
Employees and external stakeholders are always encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have directly with the relevant point of contact in Danone (such as a Line Manager, HR Manager, Finance Manager, Compliance Manager or Customer Relationship Manager).
However, should employees or our other stakeholders prefer to report a concern confidentially through another channel we also have a dedicated reporting tool available called DANONE ETHICS LINE, www.danoneethicsline.com. This tool can also be used anonymously if needed.
There will be no retaliation against anyone who reports a genuine concern. All cases will be appropriately investigated and, where breaches are found, appropriate actions will be taken.