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Fast-tracking Green Leading in Environmental Management

Firmenich aims to reduce and positively impact our environmental footprint and maximize resource efficiency.


Firmenich’s deep commitment to lead our industry in sustainability is reflected in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and manage our global water use efficiently.

We have set ambitious goals on our Pathways to Positive for 2020:

• Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 20%
• Reduce the rate of water use in stressed areas by 25%
• Reduce waste generation rate by 15%
• Ensure 100% of our manufacturing sites can claim zero waste-to-landfill
• Eliminate R22 from our global manufacturing refrigerant inventory
• Obtain 100% of electricity for Level 1* sites from renewable sources or offset

* Note: A Level 1 site is any manufacturing site regardless of the number of employees or any other site (e.g. office, labs) with greater than 50 employees. Joint ventures and tolling operations are excluded.



Firmenich understands global issues, our impact on them and their impact on us, our suppliers, our customers, and their consumers. We have a responsibility to tackle these challenges, but simply minimizing our impact is not enough. We aim to make a positive contribution across our value chain and to society, economies and the environment. We are on the path to positive.

Firmenich worked in partnership with Forum for the Future to conduct a materiality assessment for our business. This exercise helped us identify the sustainability issues most material to Firmenich and our stakeholders, and serves to help inform our sustainability strategy. Firmenich conducted in-depth interviews with company personnel, global business partners, customers and external experts in critical areas such as chemistry, nutrition, global health and regulatory affairs. Forum for the Future analyzed the interviews and conducted additional research to identify relevant material factors. This materiality assessment is updated internally every year.

Firmenich is committed to the reducing and mitigating our impact on the environment by focusing on the following environmentally related material topics and setting ambitious 2020, and 2050 goals.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) Emissions, Energy Efficiency, Water Usage, Raw Materials Sourcing, Chemicals & Waste Reduction

Firmenich is firmly committed to leading the industry in sustainability by minimizing our environmental footprint and maximizing efficiency. We are addressing these critical environmental issues by committing to managing our water use and wastes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and setting ambitious science-based targets.


We have made a commitment to setting science-based targets (SBTs) to reduce GHG emissions. The consensus in the scientific community is that setting ambitious reduction targets to keep global warming well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures are necessary to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.

We are working with external specialists to model our emissions and set goals that will reduce our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 69% by 2050. We are actively exploring locations around the world where Firmenich can obtain electricity from renewable sources or offsets to meet this goal.

While the targets are ambitious, we are already on track to cut GHG emissions by 20% by 2020.

As a CDP Supply Chain Program member, Firmenich also engages with key suppliers to reduce their emissions. Our 2030 goal is to have our top raw materials suppliers (representing 80% of our spend) participate in CDP, positively affecting over two-thirds of our Scope 3 GHG emissions. In addition, Firmenich aim to have 90% of key raw material suppliers (53% of total raw materials purchased) set their own GHG emissions reduction


A priority at Firmenich is to continually reduce waste and embrace circular models. As we continue to improve on how our waste streams are managed, we have focused on reducing the waste sent to landfill. Reducing waste at the source, finding ways in which waste could be recycled as well as opportunities to generate energy from waste.

Firmenich intends to increase our waste efficiency by 15% and ensure all of our manufacturing sites can claim zero waste-to-landfill by 2020.


In 2008, Firmenich signed the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate that commits us to work with others to find solutions to the impending global crisis over the availability of clean water. Since then, our focus has been on how we manage our water use.

Firmenich intends to decrease rate of water use in water-stressed areas 25% by 2020.

Energy efficiency

Firmenich set goals of obtaining 100% of electricity for Level 1 sites from renewable sources or offsets by 2020. We are well on our way to reaching this goal as 65% of our electricity came from renewable sources at the end of fiscal year 2017, and 100% of our European manufacturing sites are powered by renewable electricity or offsets.


Firmenich has signed the Cancun Business and Biodiversity Pledge, alongside several clients at the COP13 Convention on Biological Diversity in Mexico. Through this pledge, Firmenich committed to nurturing biodiversity across their ecosystems and preserve it sustainably for the well-being of present and future generations.

Firmenich works with key organizations, such as Rainforest Alliance, as well as major NGOs to ensure the certification and transparency of its raw material sourcing practices. In 2014, Firmenich Grasse became a member of the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a non-profit association that promotes the “Sourcing with Respect” of natural ingredients and encourages sustainable business growth, local development and biodiversity conservation. Since joining, Firmenich Grasse has implemented their highest standards in biodiversity protection and their risk-based approach to strengthen sourcing practices in specific, prioritized value chains for the Firmenich naturals’ portfolio.

Sustainable Consumption, Customer Health & Safety, and Product Use

Firmenich products touch the lives of billions of people every day, in developed and emerging countries alike. In products like hand soaps or washing-up liquids, fragrance can make the act of washing enjoyable, increase frequency and, therefore, improve health. Without fragrance, research shows that usage (such as hand washing and latrine use) drops.

While consumers may be drawn to products and fragrances with increasing naturality, availability and price of many natural raw materials may limit the use of natural fragrance. Science can play a critical role in meeting consumer expectations while preserving natural resources. To this end, Firmenich is committed to using biodegradable ingredients, strenuous toxicology standards, and green chemistry.

Firmenich invests 10% of our annual turnover in R&D

At Firmenich, we pride ourselves on fostering a culture of innovation, which stems from our continued investment in research and development. We are recognized as a leader in the industry for our breakthrough science and innovation. As such, we plan to build on our innovation to reach the next level of scientific excellence and inspire and encourage the next generation of scientists. From creating safe, sustainable, and quality products to improving health and hygiene in developing countries, our scientists are essential to the success of our sustainability initiatives.

Green chemistry, White Biotechnology and Design for Degradation

Where our raw materials are derived from synthetic processes, the use of green chemistry principles is an essential part of our process-development activities. We continue to invest in areas such as catalytic chemistry, both organo- and metalo-, in order to devise cleaner processes. To better manage our overall environmental impacts, we are developing a new metrics system to help our synthetic chemists make further improvements. Firmenich is dedicated to developing processes based on the “Principles of Green Chemistry”.

White biotechnology uses enzymatic or fermentation processes to make ingredients, as an alternative to chemical synthesis. This process allows Firmenich to make ingredients from renewable natural materials, such as CO2, glucose or fat, rather than petroleum.

Firmenich’s work in biodegradation is changing the way we design new ingredients for the future. All new Firmenich fragrance ingredients are tested for biodegradation. Beyond regulatory requirements, we proactively subject all compounds with the potential to go to market to the same tests. We are committed to creating only biodegradable ingredients as part of our Green Gate strategy.

Committed to Safe Products

Firmenich is committed to producing high quality and safe products. Our Toxicology and Scientific Services group continuously collaborate with academia to improve our knowledge of product safety and strengthen our commitment to sustainability. We will continue our efforts in the field of “Green Toxicology” with our work on animal testing alternatives including the investigation of new, higher-tiered, non-animal techniques for assessing genotoxic potential. We are also working closely with the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and Creme Global to further the use of the CremeRIFM model within the Industry’s safety testing program and better understand the uncertainties of aggregate exposure to fragrance ingredients.

Firmenich plans to further improve our excellent product quality by 2020, to raise quality of life through nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation by 2020, and to develop sustainable and cost-effective flavor and fragrance ingredients and technologies by 2020.

Local & Accidental Pollution

We commit to the prevention of pollution through the continuous study of our performance, and the identification of new opportunities for improvement. We focus on operational control and source reduction, followed by recycling and proper waste management. Firmenich conducts its activities in a responsible manner and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.


Firmenich senior executives provide leadership and commitment in effective implementation of the environmental policy, and work to disseminate and integrate our Global Environmental Policy at all levels of the organization, in all of our facilities and our activities.

Additionally Firmenich is committed to using and maintaining an Environmental Management System, appropriate to our scale, nature, environmental impact, and products and services, and to ensure compliance with our commitments. We achieved a strategic goal to certify 25 of our manufacturing sites in full compliance with Environmental (ISO 14001) Management Systems Standards and will focus on continuous improvement.

Material Boundaries

The material boundaries of the Environmental Policy are based on the materiality analysis that was updated in FY17. The Environmental Policy cover the global operations of the Firmenich Group, including affiliates in 32 countries and both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing locations.

The environmental data we reported, unless otherwise indicated, covers all level 1 operations owned or controlled by the group -- including production sites, sales offices, laboratories, administrative office or combinations of such facilities. Firmenich’s QHS&E coordinates the policy and leads subsequent reviews and updates.

This policy statement is reviewed annually and focuses on environmentally related materiality for the date ranges of Firmenich FY15 to FY20.

The next review will take place in March of 2019.

This policy statement has been reviewed and approved by the following Firmenich representatives on March 16, 2018. Firmenich will report against policy commitments in an annual basis, every fourth quarter starting in June 2018.

Neil McFarlane
Senior Vice President
Global QHSS&E
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