A mission-led company by French law, Ecotone successfully passes its first year audit!

Since its inception, Ecotone – together with our stakeholders – has been deeply passionate about creating positive and significant societal impact through our actions.

We were the first and largest European food company to obtain B Corp certification in Europe in 2019. And today, 100% of revenue is B Corp certified with a total of 91.7 points. This certification will be renewed at the end of 2022, marking three years of our journey with the B Corp global network.  

Beyond B Corp, on 30 October 2020, Ecotone also adopted the “mission-led company” status under French law.

“Société à mission” / “Mission-led company », what does it mean?

This new status of “société à mission” or “entreprise à mission” under French law is defined in the French Commercial Code by Article L. 210-10, itself introduced by the law of 22 May 2019 known as the “Pacte Law” (“action plan for growth and business transformation”).

To become a “mission-led company”, four requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Define a purpose, a mission in the Articles of Association;
  • Set commitments, social and environmental objectives;
  • Create a company Mission Committee to monitor the execution of the mission;
  • Appoint an independent third party to verify the proper execution of the mission.

Ecotone’s mission, within the meaning of Article 1835 of the French Civil Code, is as follows:

“Promoting food that is good for people and biodiversity “.

We express this through our Food for Biodiversity mission with a mantra to protect, grow and cherish biodiversity through the food we make.

As part of our mission, and in accordance with the French Commercial Code, we have challenged ourselves to meet the following four societal commitments:

  1. Improve health and help preserve the environment through our industry-leading portfolio of organic products
  2. Encourage food and agricultural biodiversity by sourcing alternative, nutritional ingredients for our recipes
  3. Contribute to the preservation of wild biodiversity and the restoration of ecosystems by developing new agricultural techniques which foster biodiversity
  4. Raise awareness and engage our employees in achieving our mission

Establishing our first Ecotone Mission Committee

In accordance with the French Commercial Code (paragraph 3 of Article L. 210-10), Ecotone has established its first Mission Committee responsible for monitoring the progress of our Food for Biodiversity mission.

The Ecotone Mission Committee, appointed for three years by the company’s Supervisory Board, is composed of five members (four external experts and an internal member, in accordance with the Pacte Law which stipulates that the Mission Committee must include at least one employee):

  • Didier Suberbielle – external expert
    Chairman of the Mission Committee, member of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of the Sustainability Committee of Ecotone. Didier is a manager and investor in the field of sustainable food. He has created his own investment fund called “DS Participations”, which invests in various companies in the field of organic food and has advised the PAI Partners fund on investment in the Ecotone group.
  • Thierry Sibieude – external expert
    As an academic and holder of the Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Chair at ESSEC, Thierry’s purpose is to support student understanding of societal issues as part of an entrepreneurial project, and to enable companies to take societal issues into account in their development.
  • Maria Pelletier – external expert
    Owner of two companies in the field of organic agriculture, Maria participates in a working group on this topic with the French Ministry of Ecology. She is also Chairwoman of “Générations Futures”, an environmental association.
  • Pierre-Marie Aubert – external expert
    Research Director at the Think Tank of the European Agricultural Initiative at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). Pierre-Marie works on sustainability issues in the food sector.
  • Céline Bouvier – internal member
    Sourcing Manager in finished products and an employee at Ecotone, Céline works to engage suppliers in Ecotone’s CSR roadmap.

Conclusion of the first report and audit

The Mission Committee highlighted the quality of our discussions and spirited desire to establish a constructive dialogue.

It also appreciated Ecotone’s transparency, willingness to disclose all information requested by the Committee, and responsiveness to Committee suggestions.

The Committee is confident that Ecotone will succeed in achieving its ambitious goals.

An audit acknowledging progresses and goals was conducted by an independent body, Deloitte, and can be found here (in French).

Now, what’s next?

Ecotone will continue to implement actions and initiatives which foster biodiversity, driven by our Food for Biodiversity mission.   

The next audit and report will be published in 2023, with an exhaustive sustainability report – integrating elements from the Mission Committee – published in June 2022.