I am Firmenich!
We lead our industry in research and innovation, capturing breakthrough ideas from around the world. Our flavor and fragrance creation is based on proprietary knowledge and developed by our teams of scientists, perfumers and flavorists. These teams connect via our innovation platform with our colleagues specialized in taking new ideas through to production via our global supply chain. Each year, Firmenich invests 10% of revenues in research and innovation, reflecting our continuous desire to understand, share and extract the best of nature’s offering.
The richness of nature, the boundless curiosity of our scientists and recent advances in chemistry, biology, and neuroscience are opening new avenues in the creation of fragrances and flavors of the future. Capitalizing on the most advanced analytical and biological methods, and the use of “green” process chemistry, we have become the leading supplier of unique materials to our customers and competitors.
We create fragrances and flavors that inspire our customers and consumers worldwide. Creative, talented, curious and expert best describe our flavorists and perfumers. Their valuable contribution is to develop creative tonalities and solutions that reflect consumer preferences and product constraints, thus combining passion, art and practical technical knowledge. Visionary creativity is our essence.
At Firmenich we believe it is important to encourage gifted scientists. Since our lifelong collaboration with Professor Leopold Ruzicka, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939 and Firmenich’s first Research Director, we have continued to foster research partnerships with outside institutions and leading universities around the world. The Firmenich Flavor and Fragrance Science Award was launched in 2000 in cooperation with the "Flavour and Fragrance Journal," John Wiley & Sons, and is granted annually.
Always a step ahead competition with breakthrough industrial innovations, Firmenich remains the recognized worldwide leader in its industry. This spirit of excellence can be seen in many fields such as Supply Chain services, HS&E or new molecules used for our flavors and fragrances innovation.
We have created many of the world’s favorite perfumes for over 100 years and produced a number of the most loved flavors. The challenge today is not finding good new products, it’s identifying exceptional ones. As a leading player in our industry, our expertise goes beyond smell and taste: it is the sum of our peoples' passions and knowledge that allows us to create the best solutions for our customers’ products.
We create a corporate mindset where every employee is trusted, valued, empowered and encouraged to grow. Firmenich employees flourish in this positive atmosphere, which fosters cross-discipline collaboration ensuring the collective success. With a responsible freedom to act, employees embrace and live our organization values, daily and always in whatever they do. This way of working attracts the finest talents and encourages a team spirit. Individuals are nurturing themselves through cross-departmental and functional projects allowing them to increase their competencies and knowledge for mutual success.
Firmenich believes in a work-life balance and therefore offers flexible work arrangements that are valued and enjoyed by our employees. These practices are implemented progressively to allow our employees to effectively manage multiple responsibilities at home, work and in the community. This is beneficial not only for our staff but for the business, as well, by attracting and retaining the right talent. We find that happy employees improve engagement and productivity.
Employees are excited to work in an ever changing and multi-generational environment which respects individual cultures and motivations.
We value the diversity of our people, believing that our talent base is a source of creativity and innovation. Diversity and inclusion are integral to our culture and to the success of our business. These principles foster an innovative and collaborative work environment, and help drive progress. To underscore this philosophy, Firmenich’s principles are outlined in a written policy to ensure that there is no discrimination in career advancement because of any employee’s culture, nationality, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or creed.
People are at the heart of Firmenich. Each employee has talent, and we want each individual to reach his or her full potential. An employee’s career evolves thanks to different and efficient process and tools like annual reviews, talent management programs, classroom and on-the-job training, competency-based assessment tools, leadership assessments, regular feedback, cross-functional transfers and career evolution building blocks. Coaching and mentoring programs are provided by senior management and external professionals to employees to support their integration and development. This is not only for technical skills required but also for leadership training and people management.
Our compensation philosophy is designed to enable us to attract, motivate and retain the finest talents. Our employees are rewarded for their contribution to business results. This is achieved through competitive Base Salary, Variable Compensation plans such as Profit Sharing (PRIME) and an enviable set of benefits. Compensation plans and rewards are transparent, simple to understand and published internally to all employees. We also provide tools for recognition that can either be used by the managers or by colleagues to recognize and value the outstanding performance of others.
Our people roll up their sleeves to better understand the consumer: from washing laundry in India, to understanding lavatory and hygiene issues in Africa, to market research for fine fragrance trends on the streets of Paris. Our in-depth research into consumers’ behaviors and preferences enables us to anticipate their desires and fulfill them with products we create for our customers. Understanding the consumer is central to what we do.
We literally work side-by-side with many of our customers to develop bespoke innovation and breakthrough products. From our perfumers and flavorists working closely with our customers’ technicians to designing product launches and marketing campaigns, we are determined to support our customers’ growth and success.
Throughout our long heritage, we have won a number of the most prestigious awards in the business, including from industry bodies, segment categories such as Fine Fragrance, our customers, regulatory and safety bodies, governance and ethics councils as well as corporate social responsibility institutes and sustainability councils. We value all of these awards because they demonstrate the contribution we deliver to our stakeholders and notably to our customers. Customer intimacy is our hallmark.
We believe in the power of collaboration and that includes with our customers. At times, we combine our efforts and talents with those of our customers to achieve more. The purpose is to do more than either can do alone. We pursue this in innovation, social responsibility and sustainability programs.
We fragrance some of the world’s most desirable brands in perfumes, body and home care. We create flavors for the world’s tastiest brands that are present in beverages, sweet goods and savory foods. Our ingredients, either extracted from nature or created by our scientists, bring taste and originality to every product. The success of our customers’ products in the market excites us.
As we love to improve our offer at every stage, aiming to constantly understand our customers’ needs and wishes, we run factual and independent surveys, demonstrating that we are very often our customers’ preferred partner.
Firmenich was founded in 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland, and has remained independent, building on that original entrepreneurial vigor and pioneering spirit. Today we are the world’s largest, private company in the fragrance and flavor industry. Our independence gives us the freedom to control our destiny and make the right choices.
Being a privately-owned company Firmenich has a history of taking risks, which can lead to innovation and breakthroughs. We have often been a frontrunner in the field of discovery because of this entrepreneurial attitude. We encourage this pursuit of innovation at every level of the company, as we know that it is essential to bring the best to our customers.
Firmenich’s consistent investment in R&D testifies to our desire to understand and reinvent the best of what nature has to offer in the realm of smell and taste. Our role is to provide solutions for our customers and respond rapidly and efficiently to the evolution of consumer needs in varied markets. This means giving recommendations throughout the development process - even after the product has been delivered.
Our ‘Fundamentals’, or core values, guide our every action, enabling us to remain true to ourselves and make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our independence gives us the freedom to control our destiny. We are a family-owned company, committed to our independence. We take a long-term view of our business and pursue a policy of financial strength, profitable growth and return on assets.
We operate in, and across, five continents and employ more than 6,500 individuals. All together, at last count our employees proudly represented 83 different nationalities, which makes Firmenich a diverse, multinational company with a global perspective.
While our Fundamentals have not changed, as these core values reflect our principles, their expression has been adapted over time to ensure each employee can continue to identify with them and to use them as a guide in their daily professional lives. Sustainability is one of the five pillars of our Fundamentals, which confirms our belief that our sense of individual and collective responsibility ensures our long-term success.
Sustainability has long been embedded in Firmenich’s business strategy, including the signing of The Business Charter for Sustainable Development (1991), The World Safety Declaration (2007), the UN Global Compact, UN CEO Water Mandate (2008) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2014).
Our company was the first in the flavor and fragrance industry to publish an Annual Sustainability report, back in 2006. Firmenich’s leadership in sustainability was recognized through different awards as the Sustainable Business Award 2011; Social Responsibility & Sustainability Award and Sustainability Leadership Award in the World Corporate Social Responsibility Congress in Mumbai, among others.
Find out more in our Sustainability Section
Firmenich is committed to provide to our customers with the highest standards of quality and product safety. In our plants, offices and labs, safety always come first. The protection of our employees is the top priority. In October 2012, Firmenich won the international Robert W. Campbell Award, the highest and most prestigious safety award any organization can achieve globally.
Find out more in our Sustainability Section
Firmenich is committed to behaving ethically and sustainably, to improving the quality of the life of our workforce and their families, as well as of the local community and society at large. Furthermore, we are dedicated to a development program that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Responsible business is anchored in long-term understanding.
Find out more in our Sustainability Section
During Global Community Day every Firmenich employee has the chance to dedicate his or her time to improve the quality of life in their local community across the globe. In 2013 the theme was “Sustainability - Empowering Women."
Almost 30% of our employees all over the world took part in more than 130 initiatives and projects in most of our affiliates. In 2014 we celebrated 10 years of this program and continued to support children, nature and women.
Find out more in our Sustainability Section
We fragrance and flavor our customers’ products for our mutual success.
People are the heart of our Company. They are recognized for their passion, talent and integrity.
Creativity is our essence.
Our sense of individual and collective responsibility ensures our longterm success.
Our independence gives us the freedom to control our destiny.
“Firmenich is a very well respected company, where I have the chance to work with some of the most talented people in the industry. The expertise here is very high. Firmenich has a track record for the best fragrances and the best natural materials.”
“There is nothing more interesting than having the opportunity to use new Firmenich captive ingredients to create innovative flavors. I try to put all my emotions into these small bottles. I have reached my goal when our consumers immediately get what I was trying to express.”
“One day our partner Professor MacMillan, Head of Chemistry at Princeton stepped out of his meeting and he said to me I can feel the energy. I feel very proud to be part of Firmenich’s science, energy, and the vibration that you feel here.”
"We are making the difference in the world we live in by increasing the quality of life of consumers everywhere. Our partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enabled us to successfully develop malodor counteracting technologies to help solve a major global sanitation crisis in the developing world."
“Being a Perfumer at Firmenich is the accomplishment of my life. I always wanted to work at Firmenich as it is considered the best place to work. I joined Firmenich for the ingredients, as it has the best palette in the industry, and I stayed for 25 years for the people.”
“The thing that makes Firmenich unique is its high level of creativity and its mind-blowing R&D expertise. The best part of my job is when I am in front of customers, and I see that sparkle in their eyes as they experience the magic that our fragrance delivery technologies can bring.”
“I have grown so much at Firmenich. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to expand my horizons by working in both Perfumery and Flavors, across our sites in Princeton, Shanghai and Beijing.”
“One of my proudest moments was when our CEO at the time, Mr. Firmenich called me personally to congratulate me on winning a signature award, for shaping Firmenich’s unique creative signature.”
“Working for Firmenich means belonging to a very big family who creates emotions with fragrances and flavors that touch everyone in the world. I work every day with very talented and passionate people. You really feel that passion.”
“Firmenich cares for both consumers and the environment. We focus on designing food and beverages that are healthier, looking to reduce sugar, salt and fat, so we can have a positive impact on consumers' lives.”
“I often say we are happiness managers. We manage happiness through the fragrances and flavors we develop. It’s about creating a difference in consumers’ lives, by making someone feel happy, or more inspired, or more confident.”
“What makes me most proud about working for Firmenich is the commitment and contribution to social causes from malodor control to empowerment of women, all the way to working with farmers. We put a lot of thought and effort into creating a better world.”
“At Firmenich you have this really interesting balance between heritage and science and innovation. This really is a company that is looking to break boundaries and take its legacy forward.”
“Flexibility, curiosity and humility are part of our culture and have enabled us to adapt ourselves and anticipate the future year after year.”
“When I develop a fragrance it is like nurturing a baby, and when a fragrance is doing well in the market the happiness I feel at that moment is the best part of my job.”
“Working for Firmenich means working for the Rolls Royce of the industry. In terms of creativity, innovation and legacy, it is head and shoulders the best company out there.”
“For a family owned company to grow so much over the centuries is really impressive. Once you find your team and your place in this company, it becomes like your own family. And you want to succeed, not just for yourself, but for your team, for your family and for Firmenich as a company.”
“R&D in Firmenich is about breaking down scientific barriers, by exploring brand new areas of science to accelerate and deepen our understanding of the olfactory code.”
“For me working at Firmenich is about bringing positivity into the lives of billions of consumers who use our products every day. It is much more than a job.”
“I am very blessed that I am able to come into a company every day that is dynamic, innovative and full of challenges and opportunities for me.”