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Amplifying Governance Commitment to Human Rights

People are at the heart of Firmenich’s success and at the core of our values. As a responsible company, we respect international human rights standards and are working to assess our impact through our own operations and our business relationships – as an employer, as a purchaser of raw materials and as a member of the communities where we operate.

The world has seen a surge in legislation around Human Rights – from California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK’s Modern Slavery Act to the recent French corporate duty of vigilance law. In Firmenich’s home country of Switzerland, the Responsible Business Initiative has called for Swiss-based multinational companies to undertake human rights and environmental due diligence. We welcome these developments and see them as opportunities to collaborate, formalize and structure our approach in line with global best practice.


OUR APPROACH TO HUMAN RIGHTS

Our Human Rights Policy Statement defines our approach to human rights and outlines our position and actions, both in our own operations and in our business relationships. In parallel, as part of our materiality assessment, we engaged with external and internal stakeholders to review issues and provide feedback. The Statement constitutes a robust foundation upon which we have shaped our human rights strategy, focusing our actions and developing new goals and targets beyond 2020.

For more information about our human rights-related activities in FY19 including advocacy and engagement, please consult our Performance and Sustainability Report 2019.
HUMAN RIGHTS IN OUR OWN BUSINESS AND BEYOND

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 and the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015 (the “Acts”) aim to increase the amount of information made available by manufacturers and retailers regarding their efforts to address the issue of slavery and human trafficking in their own business and their supply chains.

Although not all Firmenich affiliates are subject to the Acts, Firmenich has taken a group-wide approach through its Human Rights Policy Statement, and makes this statement on behalf of all Firmenich group companies.

Firmenich supports the objective of the Acts and strives to be a model company, evidencing strong support of human rights and labor practices across our business activities and throughout our operations.

The Firmenich Fundamentals (the “Fundamentals”) define the values that have been the basis of our company’s culture over our 124 year history. It has always been important for Firmenich that materials used in our products are obtained according to ethical and fair labor conditions. In all countries where we are present, our products are manufactured in facilities that comply with existing local laws. Also, our employees around the world are provided with fair wages, regular working hours, and a clean working environment.

The Fundamentals are embedded in the Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard. We therefore make our commitment to fair labor standards clear and reinforce that we expect our suppliers to strictly adhere to this commitment. All our vendors, agents, consultants, distributors, service providers and other Firmenich representatives are required to follow the Fundamentals.

We evidence our support of the Acts by the following (for more information, please consult our Modern Slavery Statement):

1. Responsible operations
In the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard (the “Standard”), Firmenich commits to foster and maintain responsible practices in our operations. The Standard establishes non-negotiable minimum requirements for Firmenich suppliers in the areas of Health and Safety, Labor Rights, and Business Integrity.

Firmenich is also a member of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange - www.sedexglobal.com ), a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Firmenich has been encouraging all its suppliers to register audit results with Sedex.

2. Due diligence and audits on our suppliers
Firmenich maintains a portal through which our suppliers are required to provide data on the measures they have taken to comply with our requirements. We also regularly audit suppliers using a risk based approach to anticipate issues where possible.

Firmenich reserves the right to verify our suppliers’ compliance with the Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard. In the event that Firmenich becomes aware of any actions or conditions not in compliance with our Code or Standard, Firmenich reserves the right to demand corrective measures and terminate an agreement with any supplier who does not comply with the Firmenich Code or Standard.

More information is available on the Sustainable Supply Chains page.

3. Human rights in our business activities
Firmenich fully supports the United Nations Global Compact’s principles on human rights and labor and international human rights standards such as the International Bill of Rights and the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The Firmenich Human Rights Policy Statement, aims to define our approach and actions in our own operations and business relationships.

Within Firmenich, we work closely with our suppliers to identify and address any actual or potential human rights abuses in our operations and have a dedicated team across the world to ensure that raw materials are sourced to the highest ethical standards.

4. Employee training
The Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and Social Accountability Standard are available to all Firmenich employees worldwide, who are periodically trained on these and other topics.
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