International food group Danone has brought in SAP to enable it to measure its envirionmental footprint using a bespoke reporting platform.

Danone's product brands include Activia, Volvic, Evian, Shape, Actimel and Badoit. In 2008, Danone set an ambitious goal of a 30 percent global carbon footprint reduction by 2012 across the entire supply chain, including plants and factories, packaging and end-of-cycle disposal, transportation and storage.

"Existing solutions do not allow carbon footprint measurements to be integrated within IT operations systems across the whole product life cycle, for each and every product," said Jean-Marc Lagoutte, CIO for IT Systems at Danone.

He said Danone had designed a "unique" carbon footprint measurement model, deploying the dedicated SAP platform globally. The system is fully integrated with Danone's existing SAP infrastructure, with 80 percent of the detailed data covering the firm's whole product life cycle being automatically collected.

The goal of the system is to provide operations managers with actionable information so they can analyse strategic options and take the more environmentally sustainable action, whether it relates to product development, ingredient selection, sourcing and transportation options or even investments.

The collected data can be audited and fully traced, and is updated monthly, providing real-time insight, said Danone. To encourage executives to fully adopt the system success in achieving carbon reduction targets is an integral part of the formula used to calculate executive bonuses.

By the end of the year, the new system will be present in 40 of Danone's business units, covering around 70 percent of its revenues and over 35,000 products. Danone aims to deploy the technology for all its businesses globally, encompassing its four areas of business: fresh dairy products, bottled water, baby nutrition and medical nutrition.

SAP intends to make the green measurement and reporting platform it has developed for Danone available to other firms.

Last year Danone said it was working with IBM to provide a secure trading network to support automated business transactions with customers, business partners and suppliers.