business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that "Danone, the French dairy giant, is being taken to court by three environmental groups who say it has failed to reduce its plastic footprint sufficiently, in a lawsuit challenging corporate social responsibility in the face of the climate crisis.

"The groups accuse Danone - one of the world’s top 10 plastic polluters, according to a recent study - of 'failing to live up to its duties' under a groundbreaking French law that requires large companies to address their environmental impact and has opened ways to sue them should they fail to do so … The lawsuit is likely to put the spotlight on the explosive growth of plastics pollution, which scientists say is affecting air and water quality, global warming, as well as human and animal life. The issue is so pressing that the United Nations last year agreed to begin writing a treaty designed to curb plastics production.

"But Monday’s announcement also spoke to a broader trend in environmental activism, with advocacy groups increasingly suing governments and companies in an effort to bridge the gap between their climate promises and their actual record."

According to the Times, "A spokeswoman for Danone said the company 'strongly' refutes the accusation, adding that it was taking action to 'reduce the use of plastic, develop reuse, reinforce collection and recycling channels, and develop alternative materials'."

KC's View:

We live in a world there transparency is imposed upon almost every situation, like it or not.  So Danone can say what it wants, but if the numbers don't ad up, then it can be held accountable.  And I like the idea of the French law that essentially makes it possible for citizens to hold companies accountable when their actions don't live up to their promises.