Hear from Maud...

Firmenich is a recognized leader in white biotechnology and green chemistry – the development and production of ingredients with minimal impact on nature and people. Depending on the ingredient, it can mean using less energy, generating less waste or relying on more sustainable feedstocks.

Maud Reiter
"Nature sits at the core of our research programs, inspiring us on which molecules to make and how to make them."

Maud Reiter

Director of New Ingredients, R&D, Geneva, Firmenich

At Firmenich, we are committed to our purpose: ‘For Good, Naturally.’ 


Nature really sits at the core of our research programs. Nature inspires us on which molecules to make and how to make them. We will never match its chemical expertise, as it has had billions of years to evolve, but we can all learn and borrow from it.


All of our research is carried out in line with the 12 principles of Green Chemistry, established by Paul Anastas and John Warner twenty years ago. Their implementation allows us to develop molecules that have a minimal impact on both people and nature. Over the years, sustainability has become hardwired into our thinking. I do not see it as a limitation but rather as an opportunity to discover innovative molecules, which are also good for the planet. For example, since 2010 we committed to only introducing biodegradable new molecules into our perfumery creative palette.


Of course, we don’t discover molecules on our own; we are in continuous dialogue with our flavorists and perfumers: they come to us with requests and we come to them with insights and together, we create wonderful products made from sustainable ingredients.


This year, together with our colleagues from biotechnology, we launched our third bio-based ingredient Z-11. Our production process for Z-11 combines white biotechnology with green chemistry and uses renewable feedstock, thereby fulfilling one of the key green chemistry principles. What’s next for Firmenich? I think that there will be an explosion in the possibilities of novel biomass-derived renewable feedstock, opening new avenues towards the discovery of new, renewable ingredients and towards improving the environmental footprint of existing ingredients.

Maud Reiter

Maud Reiter

Discover other stories