Firmenich Honored for Ethical Heritage and Corporate Responsibility

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19 May 2017 --- Leaders in fragrance and flavors swiss-based Firmenich has been recognized for its ethical approach to business as well as being considered a top achiever that advances social and environmental best practice.

CEO Gilbert Ghostine says the company is proud to announce that it has been recognized by the Better Society Network with its 2017 Ethical Business Award. 

“I truly believe that business must play a leading role in addressing some of the world’s most critical challenges, from tackling climate change to enhancing nutrition or sanitation conditions for all,” he says.

“Firmenich has a 122-year heritage of leading its business responsibly. That’s why, being honored by the Ethical Business Award means a lot to us. It recognizes our commitment to having a lasting positive impact on the planet and society.”

Chris Millington, President of Flavors at Firmenich spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst:  “Health and nutrition is a key innovation focus for us. The World Health Organization estimates that in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight, while 41 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low-and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.”
 
“We believe we can play an important role in helping to improve the nutritional profiles of food and beverages in today’s world, that’s why we are focusing our innovation efforts in enabling healthy, nutritious diets,” Millington explains.
 
“This year alone our leading taste modulation technologies enabled us to remove 500 billion calories of sugar from our customers’ products, without comprising on taste.”
 
According to Millington green protein is another important issue for the food and beverage industry. “By 2020, consumption of livestock proteins is expected to double, and 70% more food will be needed by 2050 to feed the rapidly growing population.”

“At Firmenich, we are taking a leading role in green protein to serve the global health and nutrition market, actively working alongside global experts to catalyze a system shift to more sustainable protein production and consumption,” he continues. “For instance, we are the only flavor company that participates in the Forum for the Future’s Protein Challenge 2040, a coalition that brings the meat, plant and alternative protein industries together to shape future solutions.”

Millington adds: “Drawing on our deep consumer insights, industry-leading research and flavor design capabilities, we are advancing innovative green protein solutions that are both nutritious and tasty to delight consumers around the world. For example, this year we are holding our sixth annual culinary science event in partnership with Geneva University with a focus on vegan and green proteins.”

“Scaling up our impact in this area, we also signed, the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health program (FReSH) at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos this year. A brand new initiative led by the WBCSD and the EAT Foundation, FreSH aims to accelerate transformational change in global food systems,” he states. 

Firmenich says that sustainability is a core value which is why the company innovates with key partners to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges like access to sanitation, responsible nutrition and climate change.

One the nutrition side, the company works towards tackling the world’s obesity and diet-related issues against the backdrop of approximately 1.9 billion adults around the world being considered obese by the World health Organization. 

Firmenich says it is committed to advancing responsible nutrition solutions and has a portfolio of leading technologies to reduce sugar, salt and fat from a range of food and beverages, without compromising on taste. Last year Firmenich removed more than 500 billion calories from food based on sugar reduction.

Other aspects that led to the company being recognized for the award also include Firmenich’s committed to tackling today’s sanitation crisis by finding viable solutions for the 2.5 billion people lacking proper access to hygiene facilities. In this context, Firmenich joined forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to address the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, and developed breakthrough technologies that effectively counter mal-odor.

And on climate change, Firmenich set ambitious environmental goals to tackle this across its business. This includes operating all its 35 manufacturing sites with 100% renewable energy sources or offsets. 

A recent example of how Firmenich is bringing this vision to life is the launch of its new Perfumery plant in Geneva. With an automation rate of 90%, the Group increased its capacity by 30% while reducing its energy consumption by 20% and using 100% renewable hydropower. Ecovadis, Corporate Social Responsibility rating experts, recognized Firmenich in the top 1% of companies of its Gold list.

Firmenich consistently seeks to scale-up its positive impact by partnering with like-minded visionary organizations, such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Toilet Board Coalition, as well as customers and suppliers to drive collective responsibility and long-term success across its value chain.

by Gaynor Selby

Firmenich

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We are Firmenich. For more than 120 years, we have been delivering powerful, memorable taste experiences to people across the globe. We are an independent, family-owned company with the freedom and flexibility to invest in the long-term sustainability of our business, which ultimately benefits our clients and their consumers.  

The world’s leading brands trust us to create distinctive tastes that people prefer—but for us, taste is only part of the story. Since our founding, we have been driven by our passion to understand consumers, so we can give you insights into what they desire, both today and tomorrow. As your partner, we'll help you find innovative solutions to meet your food and beverage needs and satisfy your consumers. Whether you’re looking for refreshment, indulgence, bold tastes, or nutrition and wellness, we have relevant solutions to drive consumer preference.  

We are relentless and responsible in our pursuit of innovation and we invest 10 percent of our annual turnover into research and development each year. Whether you want to deliver taste experiences at home or abroad, you’ll benefit from our global presence and firsthand knowledge of local and regional tastes.

At Firmenich, we go beyond your expectation. It’s why we are Preferred Beyond Taste.

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