GlobalX Climate Change – Eric Soubeiran, VP Nature & Water Cycle at Danone | Summary and Q&A

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March 18, 2021
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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GlobalX Climate Change – Eric Soubeiran, VP Nature & Water Cycle at Danone

TL;DR

Eric Souveron, VP of Nature and Water Cycle at Danone, discusses the importance of prioritizing impact and innovation to create a regenerative business model for the future.

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Key Insights

  • ✊ The current generation has the power to change the economic system and create a regenerative business model for a sustainable future.
  • 👨‍💼 Regenerative agriculture and reducing emissions in the dairy sector are priorities for Danone in their mission for a regenerative business model.
  • 😋 Technology plays a crucial role in addressing methane emissions, improving soil health, and developing new food forms.
  • 👨‍💼 Prioritization requires a combination of materiality analysis, deep knowledge of the business, gut instinct, and a focus on creating positive impact.
  • 🧔 The private sector bears responsibility in aligning their business models with a vision of sustainability and driving the transition to a regenerative system.

Transcript

before i hand over to eric i would like to say a few words um you all read his bio and therefore not going to repeat all of that instead i'd like to share how we got here today so it's a funny story because last november i attended a virtual food agriculture and water conference organized by harvard business school to be frank even though i had to ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Danone plan to address methane emissions in the dairy sector?

Danone is focusing on improving animal diets to reduce methane emissions and exploring alternative technologies, such as cell-based grown milk. They also aim to increase the lifespan of cows to minimize emissions.

Q: What role does technology play in addressing soil health and carbon sequestration?

Technology can help improve soil health by enabling precision agriculture, optimizing fertilizer use, and developing innovative solutions for carbon sequestration. For example, startups like Axioma are working on bio-fertilizers that enhance soil fertility.

Q: How does Danone prioritize its efforts and impact areas?

Danone emphasizes materiality, identifying where its business has the most significant impact. They conduct life carbon assessments and dive deep into their value chain to understand their positive and negative impacts. Gut instinct and experience also play a role in decision-making.

Q: What responsibility does the private sector have in driving sustainable change?

The private sector has a responsibility to align its business model with a vision for a sustainable future. Companies like Danone need to focus on creating value, synergizing social and environmental impact, and finding innovative solutions. Alignment with citizen values is critical.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Eric Souveron emphasizes the importance of the current generation in driving economic system change and creating a sustainable future.

  • He shares his personal journey in finance, mergers and acquisitions, and managing startups in India, leading up to his role at Danone.

  • Souveron highlights the need for a regenerative business model that values nature and addresses externalities, such as regenerative agriculture and reducing emissions in the dairy sector.

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