Firmenich inaugurates new campus in Geneva

The state-of-the-art campus represents an investment of nearly CHF 200 million and confirms the long-term importance of Geneva in the company’s global operations
Firmenich inaugurates new campus in Geneva
Photo - Firmenich

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, officially inaugurated its new campus in Geneva, in the presence of local dignitaries and authorities. This new campus, at the cutting edge of the industry from both a technology and capacity perspective, represents Firmenich’s commitment to operational excellence. The total investment for this multi-year project amounts to nearly CHF 200 million and confirms the importance of Geneva for the long term.

"Our state-of-the-art campus will be a key component in accelerating innovation and driving global expansion with enhanced capabilities," said Gilbert Ghostine, chief executive officer, Firmenich. "Our new campus in Geneva is the most significant site for Firmenich and one of the most technologically advanced in the industry in terms of digitalization, innovation, science, and nature. Consistent with our pioneering spirit, we developed this site to deliver superior services and experiences to our customers, from the creation of their fragrance or taste ingredients, right through to seamless production, while optimizing our environmental footprint."

"This investment of nearly CHF 200 million is the most important one Firmenich has ever made on a single site," revealed Patrick Firmenich, chairman, Group. "This site significantly raises the bar of excellence within our industry and we are proud to be setting a new global benchmark in Geneva, the heart of the global fragrance and taste industry. This site integrates leading-edge technologies, nurtures innovation, and seeks to push the boundaries of scientific research. With this unique industrial project, we are strengthening our center of excellence in Geneva for our long-term growth."

At the official ceremony, Mauro Poggia, president - Geneva State Council and State Councilor in charge of the Department of Security, Population and Health (DSPS), said, “Firmenich is an industrial flagship, an excellent symbol of the values that are specific to the canton of Geneva. It brings together diverse cultures and identities and also combines a certain sense of attachment to one’s roots with an openness to the world.”

The ceremony was attended by senior members of the State of Geneva, mayors of local governments, academics, civil society representatives, and business leaders.

The new campus in Geneva is located across the two communes of Satigny and La Plaine. The combined surface area equals 225,000m² and houses 132,000m² of infrastructure in total, including 22,000m² of new highly sophisticated facilities. Firmenich Geneva includes three technologically advanced production plants with adjacent lab capabilities for Perfumery, Taste & Beyond, and Ingredients creation; a logistics hub and automated warehouse; an R&D biotech pilot plant; and a pavilion for work and social gatherings where people can also enjoy meals.

The campus is built upon the company’s vision of a future-proof operation, aimed at optimizing end-to-end workflows, using industry best practices, and integrating the latest robotics and artificial intelligence.

In addition to its operational excellence, the campus is designed to have a limited environmental impact through innovative construction and intelligent eco-management strategies. The new buildings benefit from minimized energy requirements for heating and cooling. A smart system of thermal envelopes significantly reduces heat loss, while renewable energy sources such as heat pumps and geothermal boreholes are integrated to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Extensive planting in and around the central pavilion, including a green roof, aligns with the design intention of creating a habitat for flora and fauna, improving biodiversity. The green roof also improves thermal insulation as well as rainwater retention.

The new campus’ award-winning design puts people’s well-being at the center by maximizing natural daylight in laboratories and offices. The multipurpose and open workplaces foster collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing.

The site promotes low-impact mobility and is equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles and a large dedicated space for bikes.

The Geneva campus was built in various phases, starting in December 2017 and the final fitting was done in February 2021. The campus is home to 1,450 people, including some of the world’s leading scientists, perfumery and taste creators, technicians, and operators.

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