Global Compact Swiss Network & Firmenich Host Climate Action Dialogue with Ambassador de Alba, Special Envoy for Climate Summit

Geneva, Switzerland, May 9th, 2019 Global Compact Network Switzerland in collaboration with Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company and member of the Network since 2008, hosted a critical dialogue on climate action with Ambassador de Alba, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit. Addressing the actions needed to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C, keynotes from Ambassador de Alba and Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich highlighted the urgency of building climate resilience by mobilizing all sectors, from private to public, to drive transformative change. The event was attended by business leaders cutting across critical sectors, from luxury and consumer goods, to banking and academia, as well as Government and leading international organisations.

“With global emissions still increasing and temperatures rising, we are not on the right track to limit climate change. The science tells us, however, we can still reverse course, if we start now,” said Luis Alfonso de Alba, the Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit. “This will require everyone’s participation, including partnerships with the private sector and civil society, and a huge mobilization of resources to invest in a truly green future. The private sector is crucial to deliver the transformative action necessary to bring our economies and societies in line with the Paris agreement. I salute Firmenich’s leadership and their willingness to act as a catalyst to reverse the disruption of climate change.”

The UN Secretary-General hosted Climate Action Summit, taking place on 23 September, will provide leaders from all sectors of society with an opportunity to demonstrate how they will tackle climate change, setting targets along the way on the road to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“At Firmenich climate change is everyone’s job as a critical pillar of our inclusive capitalism business strategy,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “We are making great inroads on our vision to be carbon neutral, as one of only two companies in the world with a CDP triple ‘A’ ranking, and will always keep on stretching ourselves. Given the scale of today’s challenge we are partnering for impact with many leading coalitions, including the Global Compact Network Switzerland, WBCSD, Livelihoods and the Toilet Board Coalition all present with us this evening. I invite all businesses to join us to win the race for climate!”

“Business has a vital role to play to deliver on Goal 13 on climate action,” said Antonio Hautle, Executive Director Global Compact Network Switzerland. “It is very encouraging to see so many companies in the room tonight representing the Swiss economy at large from luxury and watch making to banking and finance, all the way to consumer goods, united by the common vision to step up climate action. I look forward to seeing many more companies join us to make Swiss Business equal Sustainable Business.”

As the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact believes in business as a force for good. It aims to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies to responsibly align their strategies and operations with the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, while taking strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation. A catalyst for Swiss Business to equal Sustainable Business, Global Compact Network Switzerland gathers, promotes and educates its members to place Switzerland on the global stage as a fore-runner in sustainable business. For Global Compact Network Switzerland, it is critical to see its member companies, such as Firmenich, investing in scalable and impactful solutions to reach the 2030 objectives.

As signatories of the Paris Pledge for Action, Firmenich set ambitious environmental goals to tackle climate change. As an example, the Group aims to operate with 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and has already reached this objective across its operations in Europe, North America and Brazil, with an 80% global rate to date. Globally recognized for its environmental leadership, this year the Group ranked with CDP as triple “A” for climate, water and forestry, as well as on its Supplier Engagement Leaderboard, while achieving a Gold rating with EcoVadis, as the number two company worldwide, among the 45,000 participants.


About Global Compact Network Switzerland

Global Compact Network Switzerland, a local network of the UN Global Compact, is an association of Swiss companies striving to implement the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact within their sphere of influence and to strengthen acceptance of the Ten Principles in every respective facet of today’s business world. It supports companies in Responsible Business Conduct (RBC/CSR) and in the implementation of the Swiss National Action Plan on CSR, Green Economy and Business & Human Rights as well as the SDGs.


About Firmenich

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned company in the perfume and taste business, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895. Driven by its purpose to create positive emotions to enhance wellbeing, naturally, Firmenich has designed many of the world’s best-known perfumes and tastes, bringing delight to over four billion consumers every day. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, each year, Firmenich invests 10% of its turnover in R&D to understand and share the best that nature has to offer responsibly. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.7 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2018.

Global Compact Swiss Network & Firmenich Host Climate Action Dialogue with Ambassador de Alba, Special Envoy for Climate Summit