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2018 was a year of strategic breakthroughs for Firmenich, driven by cutting-edge innovation, award-winning creation and reinforced leadership in sustainability.



In fiscal year 2018 (“FY18”), Firmenich reached CHF 3.7 billion revenues, recording dynamic growth across all our business units. We delivered solid market share gains in Perfumery and Flavors, while consolidating our Number 1 position in Fine Fragrance and Ingredients.

It was a year of strategic choices for us as our global environment faced many disruptions, driven by digitalization, changing consumer and customer expectations, industrial accidents among our suppliers, as well as environmental and geopolitical challenges. In this context, we strengthened our partnership with our customers with a sharp focus on innovation and value creation, while leading our business forward in a highly responsible way.


We positioned ourselves as a key player in North America’s fragrance middle market by acquiring Agilex Fragrances, a leading mid-sized perfumery company in the United States. To expand its footprint to the West Coast, we acquired Fragrance West in California, U.S., in July 2018.

To best support our strategic customers, as they accelerate their growth in sub-Saharan Africa, we bought Flavourome, an established flavors company in South Africa with manufacturing facilities.

Expanding our access to sustainable high-quality naturals, we acquired Natural Flavors, a pioneer in organic-certified flavors in the United States. We also took a strategic stake in Nelixia, a leading producer of natural ingredients in Central and South America.

Accelerating our speed-to-market, we opened seven new facilities worldwide, from a Global Perfumery Creative Center in Singapore to a Flavors innovation hub in California.


With innovation as our engine of growth, we delivered a number of breakthroughs this year, from developing traceable solutions to pioneering in white biotechnology.

For instance, we established innovation hubs in Shanghai and Geneva to advance our research in botanical extraction, food fermentation and clean food technology processes. We also launched our third white biotechnology perfumery ingredient, a refined and highly environmentally friendly version of our iconic Z11, a warm, woody amber note.

FY18 was another year in which our creators were celebrated by our industry. Our Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp was distinguished by the Fragrance Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while our Master Perfumer Tony Reichert was honored by the American Society of Perfumers’ Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s World Perfumery Congress. We also nominated two new Master Flavorists to join our global circle of leading creators. Bipin Khara is a pioneer in taste modulation with more than 20 years of Firmenich successes, particularly in Beverages; and Chun-yu Song is a savory specialist with an outstanding track record of over 16 years with Firmenich.


We are committed to providing end-to-end traceability in a way that consumers can understand and trust, from the source of our ingredients and country of origin, all the way to our production processes.

In Flavors, we launched our Natural and Clean Label platform to develop a portfolio of the most authentic taste profiles, building on our Smart Protein and Organic Flavors Centers of Excellence.

In Perfumery & Ingredients, we significantly expanded our naturals’ palette and created the industry’s first fragrance sustainability measurement tool, the Firmenich EcoScent Compass™.


Making progress against our ambitious environmental goals, we recorded top CDP rankings, with A in Climate and Water. With EcoVadis, we were among its top 1% of Gold-rated companies by achieving a score of 82/100. We also reached new milestones in renewable energy, with 78% of our global electricity coming from renewable sources today, and 100% in Europe and Switzerland.

We are proud that our perfumery palette is “REACH-ready,” as we successfully completed all REACH registration phases following a thorough ten-year process.

Fostering a workplace where all our colleagues can thrive around the world, we committed to becoming a 100% certified global gender equality employer by the end of calendar year 2018. To best identify and manage all human rights risks across our business and ecosystem, we launched our new Human Rights Policy Statement, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Recognized publicly as a responsible business, we received the 2017 DuPont Sustainability Award, making us the first company in our industry to count three DuPont Awards. Among Swiss non-listed companies, we were also the leader in Digital Transparency for Sustainability in the annual independent ranking by Lundquist featured in Bilanz magazine.

Proud signatories of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, we embed its ten principles and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals across our business. Reflecting our continued commitment to the Global Compact, we were showcased as a leading company by its Swiss Network and celebrated at a UN event in Geneva. We are committed to making these global goals our business around the world, every day!


We are very proud of how we lived up to our legacy in FY18, a year of many strategic achievements for Firmenich.

We owe our performance, first and foremost, to the trust of our customers, made possible by the passion and expertise of our people, creating positive value every day.

We thank you for your interest in our company and our sustainability journey and hope you will gain a real sense of the progress we are making through this report.

On behalf of the Board and Executive Committee, we sincerely thank all of Firmenich’s 7,000 colleagues for their efforts and successes, which you can read about in the report below.

Discover more about this year’s highlights in the Firmenich Performance and Sustainability Report FY18.
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