Clare's Story

Clare Godfrey - Nutricia portrait

Behind every one of our nutritional solutions there is a dedicated team of people whose mission it is to make the lives of patients and healthcare professionals, easier. #NutriciaLife

Clare Godfrey is the Head of B Corp and Purpose Integration at Danone and Nutricia, responsible for their B Corp recertification and making employees aware of the positive impact they’re having as a company. Here, she explains what it means to be a B-Corp and why she’s proud to be a Danoner.

When I started at Danone I was responsible for managing the sourcing and supply chain relationships on the Nutricia side of the business. Every single day, I could see and hear the impact we were having on our patients’ lives. Now that I’m Head of B Corp and Purpose Integration, my role has expanded and broadened to overseeing aspects of Danone’s B Corp certifications, I’ve developed a sense of the bigger picture: how - from both a consumer and patient perspective - we are supporting health in a sustainable way. What I’ve loved about all my roles at Danone and Nutricia is seeing first hand the impact we’re having; that’s something that feels really motivational. 

The role of the Head of B Corp and Purpose Integration is really about how we, as an organisation, bring to life everything that we’re doing as part of the Danone Impact Journey, and setting out our key pillars of health, nature, people and communities as the framework for how we’re going to live our purpose. The role I take in that space - alongside leading on the people and communities pillar- is thinking about how we use storytelling to explain to Danoners the positive impact we’re having as a company. We dedicated half a day around our Purpose at our company conference last May, where we were able to take Danoners through the Impact Journey and specifically looking in detail at our carbon reduction roadmap, one of the biggest challenges we face. I also launched our first Purpose Newsletter, which was a great opportunity to demonstrate the great progress that we’ve been making within each of our key pillars.

The concept behind B Corp certification is about businesses being a force for good, and showing commitment to social and environmental performance. The cornerstone of it is external validation; lots of organisations are doing great things, but people might not necessarily believe this is the case without external validation. As a result, the process of becoming a B Corp involves a very detailed, thorough process of submission that is not easy; in fact, most organisations that go through the certification score only 50 out of the required 80. It’s very robust, and a great way of being able to show - using one recognisable and reputable logo - what your business is all about. The reason we at Danone wanted to be a B Corp is that it isn’t just solely focused on one area; there are many types of certifications that you can apply for. Being a B Corp really brings people and the planet together, as well our internal operational activities.

One of the most critical pillars of B Corp certification is governance: how are we set up as an organisation? What insight does our board of directors have - not just into our environmental priorities, but into our people priorities? How are we, as a company, living and breathing those priorities? The guidance has to come from the top, and then to deliver on that we rely on our employees. Effectiveness as a B Corp is about embedding the right people priorities for our staff, which will then translate to looking after our staff in the right way, which will then translate to looking after our customers and patients in the right way. Customers are another pillar of the B Corp assessment; it's really quite critical - particularly in healthcare - to safeguard patient data from a GDPR point of view, and ensure patients and consumers have the ability to make a complaint or give feedback. These are all critical things that were assessed on. 

Danone also has a very robust process in terms of supplier selection, which is another important consideration when you are a B Corp. It's vital we work with the right Partners to deliver our products and services and that's why all suppliers must sign up to sustainability principles, outlining our social, ethical and environmental conduct expectations. 

Then there is our community work. We're really proud that we’ve embarked on a new three-year partnership with Foodcycle in the UK and FoodCloud in Ireland, partners who  were selected because they were really closely aligned to our purpose and our mission, to bring health through food to as many people as possible.  They provide healthy meals to those in need and form part of a big volunteering network, so not only do we support them with donations, but even more critically through volunteering and sharing our nutritional expertise. Danone has an unlimited volunteering policy, meaning employees can volunteer as much as they like. We also have a 30-year relationship with a local charity called Stepping Stones, which provides support to children with disabilities - and a lot of the children who go there are Nutricia Homeward patients. We’re always looking for opportunities to align ourselves with other organisations who share our purpose to nourish life. 

What makes me especially proud to work for Danone and Nutricia is the impact that we have at scale: the incredible healthcare offering we provide for 30,000 patients through the Nutricia Homeward Service, that we can advocate to raise awareness on critical health issues such as malnutrition and drive health eating for the nation through our health commitments. 

I quite often believe I've got the best job in the company. It’s amazing that I'm able to help the company prove that they are a force for good by unlocking all these great stories. One of the challenges of being in such a big organisation is how difficult it is to hear about all the wonderful things that people in other teams are achieving. It's only when you start to unlock it through this process that you get to hear about it, because there's so much good that people internally - let alone externally -  don't often hear about. Being part of getting that message out is exceptionally rewarding.