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Ethics and Excellence Ethical Governance

Firmenich has demonstrated a deep sense of responsibility throughout its history. As a family-owned company, we know that shared values are essential to success and we have built processes, tools and guidelines that go beyond compliance to reach excellence daily.


As a family-owned company, we know that shared values are essential to success. To that end, we continue to build processes, tools, and guidelines to achieve excellence daily, reflecting our deep sense of responsibility.

In 2015, we restructured our Compliance function, regrouping under the supervision of the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary:

• Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs (PSRA)
• Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHS&E)
• Integrity and Legal Compliance (ILC)
• Legal

This new organization will allow us to strengthen our compliance culture, facilitate engagement and cross-functional collaboration, and ensure our leaders proactively address compliance risks.

In 2016 and 2017, we further developed our Business Integrity Program built on five pillars: leadership, risk assessment, standards and control, training and communications, and oversight. We further trained our General Managers on legal compliance and formalized the reporting process between our local operations and our Corporate Ethics Committee.


Firmenich has a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, designed to help employees and all Firmenich stakeholders make ethical decisions in their day-to-day work. It is based on our Fundamentals and covers both legal and ethical points, such as conflicts of interest, antitrust, harassment, confidentiality, governance, and political and community activities.
View the Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

The Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is also available in: Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish


As part of its ongoing commitment to ethical & sustainable business, Firmenich has developed the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard. The Firmenich standard requires compliance with national laws & ILO (International Labour Organization) Conventions and Recommendations and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in critical areas of employment and basic human rights including:
  • Child labor
  • Forced labor
  • Health & Safety
  • Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
  • Discipline
  • Discrimination
  • Working Hours
  • Wages

  • In addition to applying this standard in its own affiliates, Firmenich has also included a Supplier Social Accountability Program within its Standard. This requires all suppliers and subcontractors, to formally commit to adhere to similar social standards (although not necessarily on a formal basis), and to provide evidence that these standards are being met.
    View the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard
    View the Chinese version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
    View the Portuguese version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
    View the French version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
    View the Spanish version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.

    Firmenich also has developed a Gift Policy and an Anti-Corruption Policy.

    Discover our Fundamentals in the Firmenich Company section


    The Company created an Ethics Committee consisting of five senior executives to oversee our overall ethics program and to review potential ethical issues.

    The Committee serves to establish an appropriate “tone at the top” and promote a strong “culture of compliance” throughout the company. The Ethics Committee reviews all reported or detected violations of the company Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and determines the resultant sanctions.

    Two years ago, Firmenich created a Risk Committee which is comprised of eight senior managers. A primary responsibility of the Risk Committee is to ensure that Firmenich has a robust and thorough process in place to identify, evaluate, monitor and mitigate risks potentially impacting the company. The Committee ensures "tone at the top" with respect to appropriate risk awareness throughout Firmenich and promotes an integration of risk management into all our processes.


    Ethics and excellence are everyone’s responsibility at Firmenich. Last year. we trained all full-time Firmenich employees on the Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and on corruption and harassment prevention to reinforce our zero-tolerance policy. We engaged employees through our online training platform on corporate guidelines and policies, with these results:

    • Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct: 99% of employees trained
    • Global Anti-Bribery and Corruption: 87% of employees trained
    • Global Competition Law: 80% of employees trained
    • Workplace Behavior and Harassment Prevention: 96% of employees in North America trained

    Our intention is to achieve the goal of 100% of our employees being trained on these four programs.

    The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is a collaborative platform in which companies commit to align strategies and operations with 10 guiding principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and take action to advance societal goals.

    Firmenich signed the UNGC in 2008 and has sponsored the Foundation for the Global Compact since 2011. We report on our progress on the 10 UNGC principles in our annual sustainability report.

    Firmenich chaired the board of the Global Compact Network Switzerland from 2011 to 2016. In February 2017, our CEO, Gilbert Ghostine, joined like-minded Swiss CEOs in the first Swiss Global Compact Dialogue, called “Let’s Make the Global Goals Local Business”, to share how Firmenich applies the Global Goals across our business.
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