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Environment and Resources Water

In 2008, Firmenich signed the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate that commits us to work with others to find solutions to the impending global crisis over the availability of clean water. Since then, our focus has been on how we manage total water use.

Our Strategy and Performance


The CEO Water Mandate is an initiative supported by committed companies as well as governments and specialized organizations and deals with the problems of water scarcity and sanitation issues. It is designed as a private-public initiative with an emphasis on developing strategies and solutions to contribute positively to the emerging global water crisis.

The signatories of the CEO Water Mandate seek to engage a critical mass of companies from around the world, willing to undertake serious efforts, in partnership with other stakeholders, to address this challenge. Recognizing the positive role that the international business community can play in addressing the water challenge faced by the world today, our Vice-Chairman and former CEO, Patrick Firmenich, was among the first 30 CEO’s worldwide to endorse this initiative.

In FY16, we participated in the CDP Supply Chain Water Program and were awarded a score of Management B, the highest score awarded to any company in 2015.

This score reflects our actions that contribute to corporate water stewardship and puts us in the top 2% of the Supply Chain Water reporting companies.

During this period, there was no change in our overall water consumption rate compared to FY15 (23 cubic meters per tonne of product).

We strive for excellence in water management across our business. To this end, we set an objective to decrease water use by 25% in water-stressed areas by 2020. Six of our manufacturing sites are in areas where water stress is higher (although they still rank as moderately stressed on a global scale) and an additional four sites are in less water-stressed areas (but of potential concern). We are currently collecting and analyzing water usage data and implementing our initial water reduction projects. Priority for action will be given to our more water-stressed sites. We anticipate the first water savings in FY17.

Case Studies


Reducing our water footprint in Shanghai is a challenge, as we are increasing our manufacturing capabilities in line with business growth. We are installing an additional water metering system and have enlisted a multidisciplinary team to develop a comprehensive water footprint model that can be applied to the new site. Opportunities to reduce water use will likely include reusing water from the reverse osmosis system and improving management at our wastewater treatment plant and cooling towers. We will update our progress in FY17.


Our manufacturing site in Cileungsi, Indonesia is located in a water-stressed area. Historically all of the water (for production, domestic and garden irrigation) came from a deep water well. To reduce abstraction, the site has implemented a project to reduce water use and recycle water from the wastewater treatment plant, to use for garden irrigation. The project, initiated in FY13, is ongoing and in FY16 water consumption (per tonne of product) was almost 50% lower than at the project’s inception.
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