Danone and Friedman’s statue

Danone had made news in June for getting onto the “business with purpose” bandwagon. Danone became an enterprise à mission, or purpose driven company which requires it to generate profit for its shareholders, and do so in a way that it says will benefit its customers’ health and the planet. Danone’s CEO Emmanuel Faber even spoke of toppling Friedman’s statue. The Financial Times has reported yesterday that Danone has taken a bigger hit from the pandemic than its competitors and is looking to prune its business. The news article went on to say that investors have been skeptical of the focus on ESG, and “frustrated by Danone’s inability to deliver on its financial targets”. It is the latter part of this statement that I want to highlight. Investors will likely not object to ESG so long as financial targets are being met. In other words, profits matter (especially in times of crisis) and Friedman’s statue is not so easily toppled.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s