Firmenich strengthens sustainability performance in FY2022

Audited ESG Report 2022 shows accelerated progress toward industry-leading targets for 2025
Firmenich strengthens sustainability performance in FY2022
Photo - Firmenich

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, releases its annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, tracking progress toward the group’s groundbreaking sustainability targets. Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 was marked by strong sustainability performance across the Group’s three key pillars, climate, nature, and people, backed by growing, best-in-class independent evaluation and reinforced ESG governance. 

“I am proud that we continued to accelerate our industry-leading ESG actions despite the challenging economic climate and kept making measurable progress toward our 2025 targets, even exceeding them for renewable ingredients and Living Wage,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “Our Firmenich Inclusive Capitalism business model is gaining more traction and proving more and more relevant in today’s world. Every year, new climate extremes are having a growing impact across the globe: Firmenich’s bold environmental ambition is a vital business investment today and for the future.” 

“Firmenich ESG strategy keeps progressing across our own operations and along our supply chain,” said Thomas Andro, Senior Director, Corporate Sustainability. “Furthermore, consumer demand for sustainable products is a structural growth trend in our industry and Firmenich’s outstanding ESG credentials, combined with our leadership and innovation in natural and renewable ingredients, are becoming even more relevant for our customers as they progress with their own sustainability roadmaps.” 

FY2022 ESG Performance Highlights

  • Acting on Climate Change: Firmenich was one of only two companies to receive a fourth consecutive CDP Triple A rating for climate, water, and forests. Three manufacturing sites, in Norway, Singapore and South Africa, were carbon neutral in FY22, all operating without the use of offsets. Firmenich maintained decoupling of growth in manufacturing output from its CO2 emissions: in FY22, Scope 1 and 2 emissions were reduced by 36.1% vs. 2017, and the new ingredients sites reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 12.2% vs. 2020. The Group maintained 100% Renewable Electricity in its operations including in new acquisitions1. Firmenich aims to reach carbon neutrality in its direct operations by 2025, absolute carbon emissions reduction by 2030 in line with limiting temperature rise to 1.5˚C, as well as net-zero emissions by 2039 across its direct operations and value chain (Scopes 1, 2, and 3). Its net-zero targets were validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in August 2022, making Firmenich the first company in its industry to receive SBTi approval.

  • Embracing Nature: Building on UEBT validation of the Group’s biodiversity strategy, work began on restoration at 15% of Firmenich sites with biodiversity risk, in line with Science-Based Targets for Nature. Implementation of 100% verified Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) was increased. Firmenich continued to expand the proportion of ultimately or partially biodegradable ingredients in its fragrances to 96.6% on average, having surpassed its 95% target a year earlier. Firmenich reinforced green proteins in product development, enabling customers to accelerate the plant-based food revolution and contribute to climate change mitigation. 

  • Caring about People: Building on gender pay equity and its work to strengthen inclusion, Firmenich achieved Living Wage certification by Fairwage Network in 2022 ahead of the Group’s 2025 target, a key step to ensure decent living standards for all employees and their families. The Group advanced its high global health and safety standards with an improved 0.26 Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate, and a third consecutive Gold Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Firmenich continued to maintain zero human rights non-compliance and scaled up its effort to drive concerted business action by becoming United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Impact Sponsor for Labor and Decent Work. 

Overall, Firmenich achieved an upgraded rating from Sustainalytics with a score of 7.5, in the global top 50 of approximately 15,000 companies, that highlights the Group’s low ESG risk profile. A second consecutive Platinum rating by Ecovadis with an industry-leading score of 88% placed Firmenich in the top 1% of all companies assessed worldwide. The Group was also rated for the first time as one of the “2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere®, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. 

Firmenich continued to work actively in alliances and partnerships, including the UN Global Compact, the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), and the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), to drive positive change at scale and foster effective action on climate, nature, and people in the business community.

More detailed information on Firmenich’s ESG journey is available online in the ESG Report 2022.

The attached visuals from pp 9-10 of the report provide a snapshot of ESG performance highlights and progress against targets in the climate, nature and people pillars.

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