SWITZERLAND – Firmenich has achieved its five-year goals according to its Sustainability Report 2020, accelerating its industry-leading environmental and social performance.
The 2016-2020 strategy closed with the completion of the SDG Action Manager, a key milestone on its B Corp journey. In Financial Year 2020, Firmenich also refreshed its Code of Ethics, relaunched its Human Rights Policy and a new, enhanced Responsible Sourcing approach.
The Group further improved its industry-leading safety performance, recognized by a RosPA Gold Safety Award. Accelerating implementation of its pioneering and award-winning Diversity & Inclusion agenda, Firmenich notably reached gender parity on its Executive Team and expanded the recruitment of differently abled people as well as youth opportunities.
Firmenich launched Dreamwood™, its fourth white biotechnology ingredient, and the first with cosmetic benefits, providing a sustainable alternative to botanical sandalwood oil harnessing its leadership in sustainable ingredients from renewable sources.
“We are also laying the foundations for our new sustainability vision for 2030 that builds on three pillars – people, nature and climate action – supported by ambitious 2025 performance targets.”Berangère Magarinos Ruchat – Chief Sustainability Officer, Firmenich
The Group’s commitment to the most ethical, traceable, and sustainable supply chain was reinforced by a top Platinum rating from EcoVadis, with a score of 83/100.
Furthermore, as a company that depends on nature for its most precious ingredients, Firmenich became a founding member of the One Planet Business for Biodiversity Coalition to protect and restore biodiversity. Advancing its environmental objectives, the Group achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill.
Driven by ambitious, science-based targets, Firmenich became the first company in its industry to power all operations globally with 100% renewable electricity. The Group received its second consecutive CDP triple “A” rating for climate change, water security, and forests, one of a select group of companies worldwide.
Firmenich exceeded its GHG targets by reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 44.9% versus the FY2015 baseline. Firmenich is rallying more businesses to keep global warming below the 1.5°C threshold, as it advances towards a carbon neutral future.
With 10,000 colleagues around the world, Firmenich values cross-sectoral integration of ESG and encourages regional inputs from across the Group to build effective action on sustainability.
“This report tells the story of everybody at Firmenich: we achieved this level of sustainability performance because the amazing people we have across the world in our plants and facilities are doing the right thing,” said Berangère Magarinos Ruchat Chief Sustainability Officer, Firmenich.
During fiscal year 2020, it received accolades that reaffirmed its status and its engagement as an environmental leader: it reached 100% renewable electricity worldwide and is one of only six companies in the world to achieve CDP triple “A” status for Climate Change, Water & Forests.
“Firmenich is turning ambitious commitments into clear achievements in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and living up to its legacy as a responsible company and industry leader,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich.
“Vital global challenges such as climate change and the unprecedented Covid health crisis demonstrate that our inclusive capitalism approach is more essential than ever. We are stepping up our ambition with ever more targeted and transparent sustainability goals.”
Firminech’s sugar reduction activities grew by 23% over the year. its efforts to remove sugar from products that consumers love resulted in taking over one trillion calories out of their diets.
New possibilities have been created through its partnership with Layn Natural ingredients, focused on Monk Fruit (LoHan Guo), whose juice contains zero calories per serving and natural sweeteners between 150–200 times sweeter than sugar.
“Our audited GRI 2020 Sustainability Report shows how Firmenich has moved the needle across the board since the launch of our sustainability plan in FY2016, and we met our five-year goals with a measurable and recognized impact,” said Magarinos Ruchat.
“We are also laying the foundations for our new sustainability vision for 2030 that builds on three pillars – people, nature and climate action – supported by ambitious 2025 performance targets.”
In the independently verified report, Firmenich also outlines its sustainability vision for 2030, with clear and measurable actions on climate, nature and human rights, while progressing on B Corp certification.
Through a collaborative venture, it is developing new natural flavor ingredients that improve salt perception and enable reduction in sodium levels without the loss of taste.
These ingredients target a wide range of food categories with a key focus on plant proteins and meat analogs.
Strived for the highest environmental standards in developing new ingredients, it is dedicated to achieving minimal impact on the natural environment, including non-persistence. One of its future ingredients from the fruity olfactive family met the strictest environmental endpoints set out by the latest EU regulations.
Firmenich invested heavily in the development and testing of improved environmentally friendly solutions for encapsulated fragrances, in collaboration with leading partner institutes. It published research and shared best practices.
More than 15 years of active research on hygiene and antibacterial properties led to developments for customers on Consumer Fragrances and oral care products.
Firmenich is also working on new ways of understanding consumer feelings and behavior in response to ingredients, flavors, and fragrances, including their ability to revive positive memories and associations experienced in the past. For this purpose, its psychophysiology laboratory is testing innovative physiological and behavioral measurements.
Recently, Firmenich invested in a new biotechnology pilot plant as well as research facilities in Geneva in its plans of reinforcing its global capabilities.
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