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Firmenich steps up leadership on climate action & biodiversity at Climate Week NYC

Geneva, Switzerland, 21 September 2020 – At Climate Week NYC, Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned perfume and taste company, is engaging with like-minded businesses and United Nations leaders to accelerate exponential action on the race to a zero-carbon future. Building on the Group’s ambitious, science-based targets, Firmenich committed to three new initiatives on climate change, biodiversity and an inclusive recovery, advancing the Group’s progress towards B Corp certification.

“The time to act is now! During Climate Week NYC Firmenich is partnering with like-minded businesses to scale up measurable climate action, restore biodiversity and achieve the exponential progress needed to ensure a green and sustainable recovery,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “Driven by our ambitious, science-based targets and commitment to a zero-carbon future, this year Firmenich became one of only a few companies in the world, and the first in our industry, to power all our operations with 100% renewable electricity.”

Berangère Magarinos Ruchat, Chief Sustainability Officer, Firmenich, said: “As we engage on our new sustainability strategy focused on people, nature and climate action, supported by ambitious 2030 targets, Firmenich is committed to continue to lead the industry in Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) performance. We are delighted to play a leading role in three key international initiatives during Climate Week NYC, as we advance on our rigorous and impact-driven Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) roadmap.”



Firmenich’s new Pathways to Positive approach revolves around three pillars, Caring about People, Respecting Nature, and Acting on Climate Change. They guide the Group’s engagement with suppliers to build more responsible supply chains, with customers to build sustainable solutions and with partners to make industry more responsible.

Caring for People
Making its inclusive capitalism business model work for people, as well as planet and society, leading action on climate and biodiversity is at the core of Firmenich’s 125-year legacy as a responsible business. One of only 36 United Nations Global Compact LEAD companies, Firmenich has been an active member of the business coalition for over a decade, placing the UN SDGs at the heart of its growth strategy. Marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, Firmenich CEO Gilbert Ghostine is joining forces with more than 1000 CEOs from more than 100 countries to call for renewed global cooperation. Their statement urges more inclusive and international action at a time of unprecedented disruption and global transformation.

In the starting year of the UN’s Decade of Action, in July Firmenich became the first in its industry to complete a key milestone for its B Corp Certification, the SDG Action Manager assessment, developed by B Lab and the UN Global Compact. The assessment confirmed the Group’s overall strength in areas such as Health, Human Rights and Climate Action. Further advancing its B Corp journey, Firmenich recently joined the Swiss Triple Impact, an engagement program reinforcing rigorous B Corp assessments overseen by the non-profit organization B Lab Switzerland.

Acting on Climate Change
Gilbert Ghostine signed the CEO letter with more than 170 other business leaders and investors, including Unilever, Danone and IKEA, calling on European Union states to scale up climate action with an emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 and an ambitious green recovery.

As one of the early signatories of the “Business Ambition for 1.5C” coalition committed to Science-Based Targets to combat climate change, Firmenich is also actively engaged with Race to Zero, the largest ever campaign driving for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Group is committed to a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

Respecting Nature
Firmenich also joined the Business for Nature coalition, calling on governments to act now to reverse nature loss within the next decade and joining forces to protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources.

This builds on Firmenich’s commitment to restoring biodiversity as one of the 19 founding members of OP2B, a global coalition of like-minded companies committed to restoring biodiversity, Led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of Danone, this coalition champions alternative agriculture practices to protect and restore biodiversity across their supply chains and product portfolios.

This year Firmenich received its second consecutive CDP triple “A” rating for climate change, water security, and forests, one of only six companies worldwide. Our commitment to the most ethical, traceable, and sustainable supply chain was further reinforced by a Platinum rating from EcoVadis for our environmental and social performance.


About Firmenich
Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895 and has been family-owned for 125 years. Firmenich is a leading business-to-business company operating primarily in the fragrance and taste market, specialized in the research, creation, manufacture and sale of perfumes, flavors and ingredients. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, Firmenich offers its customers superior innovation in formulation, a broad and high-quality palette of ingredients, and proprietary technologies including biotechnology, encapsulation, olfactory science and taste modulation. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.9 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2020.
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