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Transparent Reporting Sustainable Supply Chains

Much of the impact we have as a business lies beyond our own facilities, in complex supply chains that reach as far back as individual smallholder farmers and producers in remote locations of the world.


All of our 25 manufacturing sites are certified under ISO 14001 (environmental management) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety) standards. These third-party certifications confirm we have applied comprehensive management systems to comply with all relevant health, safety and environmental (HSE) legal requirements and our stringent corporate HSE principles and codes. We believe that we are the first company in our industry to achieve this high level of certification.

Overview of our certifications
Food Safety ISO 22000 specifies requirements for a food safety management system where an organization in the food chain wishes to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.

Food Safety HACCP/FPA/BRC/AIB encompass several global standards which are aimed at assuring product integrity in the realm of food safety, inclusive of regulatory related food safety standards (e.g. contaminants, residues, etc.), product security (e.g. addressing terror and tempering threats), and the entire sphere of conventional HACCP based and pre-requisite programs.

ISO 14001 is an environmental management standard. It defines a set of environmental management requirements for environmental management systems. The purpose of this standard is to help companies to protect the environment, to prevent pollution and to improve their overall environmental performance.

ISO 9001:2000 defines excellent standards for effective Quality Management Systems and is integral with management, documentation and manufacturing practices organization-wide. This standard specifies a process-based approach with value added, customer-focused activities on which personnel, planning, resources and metrics are built to assure product quality, continuous improvement and business strategy are optimized.

The terms “Kosher” and “Halal” refer to dietary rules followed by religiously observant Jews and Muslims. The aim of certification is to give Halal and Kosher consumers confidence that the products they consume comply with the complex rules governing what is permissible for them to eat. Independent agencies such as the Orthodox Union (OU) for Kosher and the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) for Halal provide certification.

OHSAS 18001 is an international occupational health and safety management system specification. This standard was created via the concerted effort from a number of the world’s leading national standards bodies, certification bodies and specialist consultancies.

SEDEX is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. SEDEX provides an electronic system for collecting and analyzing information on ethical and responsible business practices in the supply chain.


Firmenich has a comprehensive Value Relationship Management (VRM) Program and annual Supplier Summit involving top management from Firmenich as well as the management of our leading suppliers. We established the VRM Program in 2011 to work with suppliers to further drive sustainability and ethics throughout our supply chain and foster innovation and inclusive growth.


Firmenich has been a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) for eight years. Sedex is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Using the Sedex platform, we share audit results and self-assessment questionnaires from our 26 manufacturing sites with our customers. In FY15, we increased our Sedex membership level to include more suppliers and share supply chain information with customers. We now have data on more than 450 suppliers around the globe on the Sedex platform. Additionally, we use Sedex Risk Assessment Tools to drive continuous improvement at our manufacturing sites and proactively address potential issues with suppliers.


EcoVadis is a collaborative platform that enables companies with global supply chains to measure and report sustainability performance across 150 sectors and 99 countries. In FY17, EcoVadis assessed Firmenich’s sustainability initiatives on 21 corporate social responsibility (CSR) criteria, regrouped under four themes: environment, labor, fair business, and sustainable procurement practices. They analyzed our policies, initiatives and results following international CSR standards including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UNGC and ISO 26000.
For the third consecutive year, EcoVadis awarded Firmenich a “gold” rating, placing us among the top 1% of all suppliers assessed on sustainability performance. SUPPLIERS’ FORMAL COMMITMENTS TO OUR SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS AND CODE OF ETHICS AND BUSINESS CONDUCT

As part of our commitment to ethical and sustainable business, we developed the Firmenich Social Accountability Standards. They require compliance with national laws, International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and recommendations, and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in critical areas including:

  • Child labor
  • Forced labor
  • Health and safety
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Discipline
  • Discrimination
  • Working hours
  • Wages

  • In addition to applying these standards internally, Firmenich believes in maintaining this level of excellence across our entire value chain by requiring all suppliers and subcontractors to formally commit to a Supplier Social Accountability Program. If a supplier violates these principles, we will work jointly to have them meet our standards. In FY15, we reissued these guidelines to all of our suppliers globally to help ensure compliance. This initiative complements the regular audits we conduct at our suppliers’ facilities.

    Currently, suppliers representing 97% of our raw material spend have confirmed their compliance with these requirements. The initiative complements the regular audits we conduct at our suppliers’ facilities. If a supplier violates these principles, we work with them to meet our standards.


    Beyond asking our suppliers to formally commit to our Social Accountability Standards, we conduct regular audits at our suppliers’ facilities. If a supplier does not meet our standards, we will put in place action plans to help the supplier meet them.

    In FY17, we deployed our new, extended Global Supplier Audit Program, which now combines audits conducted by a Firmenich auditor (for higher-risk suppliers) and assessments led by a third party (for low-to-medium-risk suppliers).

    In FY17, we audited 164 global suppliers of raw materials and packaging, as well as toll manufacturers, to assess their compliance with our Global Supplier Excellence Program and our quality, health, safety, security, and environmental requirements.


    The Nagoya Protocol, in place since 2014 in most countries, mandates that public and private organizations using genetic resources for research and development (R&D) comply with a new international regulatory framework: the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS). These guidelines apply to all R&D activities that aim to identify new bioactive compounds and natural ingredients for food, fragrance, cosmetic and medical use.

    In practice, a company seeking to access genetic resources in a country has to go through an administrative process to obtain specific contracts to ensure compliance and follow national rules. Each country may apply ABS differently. Firmenich trained cross-functional teams in Research and Innovation, Legal, Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Perfumery, and Sustainability on the Nagoya Protocol. In 2014, we created a working group to ensure we abide by the Nagoya Protocol wherever we source natural raw materials for our flavors and fragrances. We are now building a company-wide strategy to confirm adherence to these new regulations.

    In December 2016, Firmenich signed the Cancun Business and Biodiversity Pledge at the COP13 Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Mexico. Through this pledge, the signatories agree to nurture biodiversity across their ecosystems and preserve it sustainably for the well-being of present and future generations.

    To further protect biodiversity, we created an internal Nagoya governance mechanism in FY16. In FY17, a crossdivisional biodiversity steering committee – composed of 10 senior executives and supported by a third-party independent expert – completed a comprehensive Nagoya diagnosis, trained Firmenich colleagues, conducted workshops with clients, and started developing a biodiversity management system.

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