Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, announces it has achieved living wage certification across all of its global operations. Firmenich is the second company in the world and the first in its industry to achieve this milestone, ensuring decent living standards for employees globally. Following a rigorous external assessment by Fair Wage Network, a widely recognized international NGO, the Group was awarded this pioneering certification three years ahead of its target completion date.
“I am very proud that Firmenich is one of only two companies worldwide to have succeeded in securing living wage certification,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “As a critical pillar of our inclusive capitalism model, our progressive approach aims at creating a positive impact for all our stakeholders, and our employees are key to making us thrive as a responsible business. Ensuring that people, wherever they are, earn a living wage is a critical step towards building a more equitable and inclusive workplace and society. Fair Wage Network recognizes our concrete achievements in embedding fair compensation across our Group and I am particularly pleased this is raising the standard in our industry. I hope this inspires other organizations to join our efforts.”
“Firmenich continues to set the standard for excellence in the world of work, and our holistic strategy aims at securing equity and inclusion across the entire organization. Building on achievements such as our EDGE certification, our no gender pay gap policy, equal representation on the Executive Committee, and a culture of diversity and inclusion, this certification will further strengthen Firmenich’s profile as a leading global employer,” said Mieke Van de Capelle, Chief Human Resources Officer at Firmenich. “Having reached this milestone already today, we will now further accelerate our efforts, partnering with suppliers to ensure that fair wage practices become the standard to do business together.”
The notion of a living wage is embedded within a wider set of responsible pay practices and principles already in place at Firmenich, such as fairness, equality and performance rewards. Living wage certification reinforces the Group’s equitable culture and helps to stimulate economic growth with benefits for its employees, and the wider community.
In 2021, Firmenich committed to providing a certified living wage to 100% of employees globally by 2025. Having achieved this goal already today, Firmenich is engaged in driving strong practices on living wage across the value chain in collaboration with its customers and suppliers. Training for 100 major suppliers on human rights will include 10 new initiatives at source, including focus on women’s empowerment, education, human rights practices and living wage.
Firmenich is an active member in living wage initiatives, including the UN Global Compact Decent Work in Supply Chain platform; IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative); Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI); and the Juice Covenant on the juice value chain. The Group has also been recognized by the United Nations Global Compact and will assume from June 2022 a global leadership position at the Labor and Decent Work Global Compact platform.
Ilaria Resta, Global President Perfumery at Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, has been chosen to receive a 2022 CEW Achiever Award by the professional organisation, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). CEW, which comprises 10,500 members from 3,500 companies in the beauty industry globally, gives the prestigious award each year to celebrate the most accomplished women in the sector.
Ilaria Resta is the first and only woman to serve as a Global President among the major fragrance houses, having been named to the role in March 2020. An active member of Firmenich’s Executive Team, she has driven an important transformation agenda in the Perfumery business. Her new vision, “Positive Perfumery”, is about turning fragrances into a positive force for consumers’ wellbeing and the health of the planet. She made diversity and women’s leadership one of her key priorities. Firmenich is the 7th company in the world, the first in the Fragrance industry, to be globally certified as a gender equal employer by EDGE, the world’s leading business certification standard for gender equality in the workplace.
Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich, said: “I am beyond thrilled that Ilaria has received such a prestigious award. She accomplishes dynamic results through her clear strategic vision, deep retailer understanding and inspirational organizational leadership. A true pioneer, she is an ardent defender of the coaching and promotion of women in business, a cause that is particularly close to her heart. Ilaria has been a driving force behind the great steps Firmenich has taken to ensure its workplace allows women to nurture and reach their full potential, and she personally makes diversity and belonging a priority.”
Ilaria has instigated several strategies to ensure women can access leadership roles:
Recently hired several new talented women in her leadership team, including Robin Mason, Vice President Fine Fragrance North America; Patricia Nogueira, Vice President Fine Fragrance Latin America; Levenza Toh, Vice President, Perfumery, Southeast Asia, Japan & Korea.
Created a formal mentoring program where she personally supports the young talents in the Group.
Sponsored a Wellbeing program for employees and personally shared her stories of coping with mental wellbeing.
A passionate business leader with expertise in brand building, sales, and P&L management, Ilaria had previously acquired more than 22 years of experience with Procter & Gamble. She built iconic brands such as Tide, Ariel, Fairy, Swiffer, Duracell, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences and Aussie, in global roles as well as leading regional business in Europe, and North America. She has a track record helping business transform crisis into strong success, renewing P&G’s European Hair Care business and, prior to that, restructuring the Duracell business ahead of a successful divestiture. As Senior Vice President, Hair Care, North America at P&G, Ilaria delivered outstanding business results, growing market share and profitability. Ilaria was recognized as 2019 Brand Builder of the Year in the U.S. by WWD, the leading fashion trade journal.
Ilaria Resta commented: “I am honored to receive this award in recognition of my career achievements and my impact on talent development. I have huge respect for CEW, an organization devoted to removing the barriers to women’s progression and ensuring equal opportunity. I am humbled to join so many inspiring, successful women who won this award before me and I want to congratulate the talented women awarded alongside me this year. I am proud to work at Firmenich with an accomplished team of creatives, scientists, business leaders around the world and I am excited about the journey ahead. We are transforming the future of Perfumery, creating a new product portfolio focused on health, well-being and sustainability, built on foundations of creativity, innovation, data and technology. I want to help create a new eco-system, which includes our strategic partners and suppliers, and together produce a bigger impact on equality and inclusivity.”
The award will be given at the 2022 Live Women’s Leadership Awards Luncheon, a ceremony held by CEW in New York City on June 2nd, 2022.
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, today announces it has signed a strategic partnership with ScentRealm, a leading digital scent technology pioneer based in Hangzhou, China. Bringing together the knowhow of a fragrance house and a sense experience explorer, this partnership is the first of its kind in China. It will enable Firmenich to enhance the fragrance and aroma experience for its customers and for consumers through jointly developed digital devices, and to explore the digital future of scent.
“I am delighted to announce our strategic partnership with ScentRealm. Together, we combine Firmenich’s expertise in fragrance and taste creation with ScentRealm’s innovative digital technology, allowing us to explore new scent and aroma experience applications for the Chinese market,” said Paul Andersson, President, Firmenich China. “This collaboration will strengthen our leading digital innovation in the fragrance and flavor industry and develop captivating new experiences for our customers and for consumers in China.”
“We are excited to partner with Firmenich, which has rich knowledge and scientific capability on both smell and taste. We also share the same values of innovation, always breaking through boundaries to offer a better and more exciting sensory experience to our users,” added Mr. Huang Jianwei, founder and CEO of ScentRealm.
China is a key strategic market that will drive future growth opportunities for Firmenich. We have been investing consistently for more than 30 years to expand our footprint and capabilities in China, including our largest flavor manufacturing plant, opened in Zhangjiagang in 2019, our first Fine Fragrance atelier in downtown Shanghai since 2019, and a unique customer experience center, Studio Guangzhou, inaugurated in 2021. Firmenich has a nationwide presence of commercial and manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming and Zhangjiagang, and a major research center in Shanghai.
Firmenich is leading digital transformation, having introduced the industry’s first AI-augmented laundry care fragrances and the first ever flavor created by Artificial Intelligence by combining AI technology with human creativity.
As the first Chinese enterprise engaging in digital scent technology and the digital scent solution provider, ScentRealm commits to explore breakthrough technologies to offer a better scent experience for the end user. It is the official partner of The Asian Games and opened “Scent Metaverse”, an offline experience center in Hangzhou in April 2022.