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RESPECT Initiative

Added on 07-06-2010




CSR Europe



Business challenge

In addition to introducing the necessary organization within Danone, the need to involve suppliers in registering and communicating sometimes sensitive information is a major challenge, particularly for members of the procurement function who are in charge of the policy on a daily basis. Drawing on experience gained in recent years, the RESPECT Committee has therefore decided to focus training efforts on the procurement function, particularly to position responsible procurement issues more clearly within the function’s broader context.


The RESPECT program launched in 2005 extends the “dual economic and social project” to the group’s entire supply chain, except milk producers, following a specific process:

• including the Sustainable Development Principles (social, environmental and ethics) in supplier contracts and/or general terms of procurement;

• sharing information through supplier self-declarations concerning their Corporate Social Responsibility performance, using the SEDEX platform shared by all consumer goods industry players, in the AIM-progress association (see this link for more information:;

• external CSR audits using the SMETA benchmark for suppliers viewed as at-risk based on this information exchange, with a view to implementing an appropriate action plan (see diagram below and this link for more information on the framework

Based on the self-assessments and the result, some suppliers might need to undergo the SMETA audits administered by external auditors. These audits confirm or set aside the risks identified during the SEDEX pre-analysis, and lead to the introduction of action plans where required.


The RESPECT approach (since 2006) which aims to support suppliers in applying the fundamental social principles, so that human rights are taken into account in all investment and purchasing decisions (see page 59-61 of the 2013 Sust Report).

*EXTERNAL VERIFICATION: Labor practices and basic human rights issues are included in the Danone Way program that is now the mandatory CSR requirement for all business units whatever their location is .This process sis audited each year by external third party / auditor- Their Verification Report is published in 2013 Sust Report - See pages 160-161

Several charters signed by Danone related to basic human rights issues : International Diversity Charter in France, in Spain and in italy , the parentality Charter (signed by Danone France and Blédina),the Disability Charter signed in France (nov 2009)

Since 2009, RESPECT program scope was broadened to also include the Environmental component, with the Fundamental Environmental Principles, and the Ethical component with the Principles of Business Ethics.

Founded on these three pillars - Social, Environmental and Ethical, environmental items are included in

Danone terms and conditions of purchase. In addition to the RESPECT program, Danone devotes its efforts to harmonizing carbon footprint measurement methodologies with the group's main suppliers of strategic raw materials.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

Harmonisation of the RESPECT Procedure written and shared with all Procurement community across all divisions of the Group gathering in one place all the previous RESPECT documents, rules & processes. This harmonisation is supported by the Respect steering committee gathering the three WWBUs. It takes place three times a year to review the performances

The implementation of the programmes is an objective of the full Community. All the buyers are committed to the success of the Respect program. The monitoring is centralized by the Respect Champions of each divisions and in each country and each category, Respect Champions are working closely with the buyers in order to make sure that the actions plans are locally followed

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