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CO2 and Energy

We are well on track with our 2020 goal to obtain 100% of electricity for Level 1 sites from renewable sources or renewable energy credits (RECs) and we reached and surpassed our 2020 goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 20%.

86% of our global electricity now comes from renewables or RECs, and 100% of Firmenich manufacturing sites in Switzerland, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Norway, the U.S., and Brazil rely solely on renewable electricity.

In FY19, we cut our Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 20,6% compared with FY18 and 30,2% compared to our FY15 baseline.


In FY19, we published our approved science-based targets to reduce our absolute Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 39% and Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services by 20% by 2030 vs. 2015 and vs. 2017, respectively. In order to reflect the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recommendations to limit global warming to 1.5°C, and the new methodology disclosed by the Science-Based Targets Initiative in April 2019, we are in the process of updating our absolute Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions reduction target to 55% by 2030 vs. 2017.

This new goal challenges us to work even harder to reduce our environmental footprint, while actively engaging with our suppliers and customers to reduce CO2 emissions through our supply chain.


100% of Firmenich manufacturing sites in Switzerland, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Norway, the U.S., and Brazil rely solely on renewable electricity. 86% of our global electricity now comes from renewables or RECs.

In India, where national CO2 emissions grew at a rate of 4.8%* in 2018, we set up an on-site 10 kW wind-turbine generator in FY18 and are developing an off-site 2MW project that will generate 45% of the the electric power used at our Dahej plant. At the same site, we recently completed a solar hot water project that will cut energy consumption by approximately 41,000 kWh/year and CO2 emissions by 41 tonnes/year. We switched from electrically heated water for cleaning processes to reliance on a solar water heater. Capitalizing on the location’s sunlight, we added 50 kW in roof solar panels across our two manufacturing locations. This should reduce our energy consumption by more than 78,000 kWh/year and save almost 80 tonnes of CO2 per year.


We have been ranked by CDP as a world leader in environmental management, one of only two companies this year to achieve CDP triple “A” status for climate change, water security and forests. This distinction is a testament to our commitment to conducting our business responsibly, with ambitious sustainability goals embedded in our strategy.

CDP assesses companies on the comprehensiveness of their disclosure, their awareness and management of environmental risks, and their demonstration of best practices associated with environmental leadership, such as setting ambitious and meaningful targets. Accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable global economy, we look forward to continuing our collaboration with CDP to share best practices on our journey towards zero impact.


In 2015, in alignment with our goal to reduce our emissions and ahead of the Montreal Protocol, we decided to eliminate the use of ozone-depleting refrigerant gases (R22) at our manufacturing sites by 2020, even though it represented a very small percentage of our emissions: when we set this goal, CO2e emissions associated with refrigerant leaks at Firmenich amounted to approximately 0.8% of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, under our materiality threshold of 1%.

We established this ambitious target to eliminate the use of ozone-depleting refrigerant gases at our manufacturing sites by 2020 to engage our teams and are still committed to meeting the Montreal Protocol ahead of time. However we are rephrasing our goal, to better convey this intent and better align with the regulatory timeline. Our updated goal is: “Zero ozone-depleting refrigerant at our manufacturing sites, at least five year ahead of Montreal Protocol.” We will continue reporting on this goal until completion. During FY19 we eliminated 101 ozone-depleting refrigerant units, and six additional manufacturing sites became free of ozone-depleting refrigerant.


Climate change and water in our supply chain
In FY19, we reached top ranking on the CDP Supplier Engagement Leaderboard. This global supply chain recognition highlights our excellence in working with our suppliers to reduce environmental impact and risks across our value chain.

For the second time, we engaged key suppliers through CDP and asked them to disclose their environmental impact in the Supply Chain programs. The response rates of 58%, 51% and 59% in the Climate Change, Water and Forests Programs respectively, are slightly higher than the average in our industry, but are lower in Climate Change and Water compared to last year, as we reached out to more suppliers.

We aim to continue increasing the number of suppliers and response rates, and are further engaging suppliers through face to face meetings, one on one calls, and webinars to reach this goal. In FY19, for all Firmenich suppliers who reported through CDP:

  • 86% integrate climate related issues into long term business objectives – a 14% increase vs. FY18
  • More than 80% report emission reduction activities - a 14% increase vs. FY18
  • 61% undertake a water-related risk assessment - a 21% increase vs. FY18
  • 60% had greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets - a 5% increase vs. FY18

  • Fighting deforestation
    Forests play a vital role in providing livelihoods for over one billion people. They also mitigate climate change by absorbing emitted carbon dioxide. Deforestation in tropical regions currently causes 8% of greenhouse gas emissions but could provide 23% of the climate mitigation needed by 2030. We are committed to fighting the urgent climate crisis, and preserving and restoring earth resources, including forests. We focus on driving transparency in our supply chain, and investing in reforestation initiatives:

  • In 2018, we quadrupled the number of suppliers asked to disclose their deforestation impact via CDP, and our response rate went up 15%. The three leading initiatives used by this select group of suppliers to fight deforestation are: encouraging transparency, increasing demand for certified product, and fostering collaboration with stakeholders.

  • We have invested in the Livelihoods Funds since 2011, supporting innovative investment models to address environmental degradation, climate change and rural poverty. In 2018, we invested in the Livelihoods Caruanas project in Brazil, launched in 2018 by the Livelihoods Funds for Family Farming. The objective of the project is to preserve the watershed while helping farmers access a growing urban market, thanks to organic farming practices.
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