Select your language

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.


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.


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


    In FY14, 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.

    In FY15, 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. In FY16, 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 by December 2016.

    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 has chaired the board of the Global Compact Network Switzerland since 2011. In FY16, the Swiss chapter of the UNGC focused on business and human rights as a central theme for its activities. The group shared expertise and knowledge with members, ensured respect of human rights principles in each member’s value chain and interacted with outside businesses and organizations to improve human rights practices locally and worldwide.

    Firmenich took an active role in the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) in December 2015, in Paris. COP events review the framework for action to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Firmenich signed the Business Proposals for COP21 submitted during the World Climate Summit. During the COP21 meetings, political leaders signed the Paris Agreement to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” As a private company and a member of the UNGC, Firmenich fully supports this agenda.
    This website intends to use cookies to improve the site and your experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to accept our use of cookies. If you require further information and/or do not wish to have cookies placed when using the site, visit Cookies page. ×