Firmenich’s net-zero targets approved by Science Based Targets initiative

The world's largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, Firmenich, has confirmed that its short and long-term targets to reach net-zero emissions have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).


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Firmenich’s net-zero targets approved by Science Based Targets initiative

Pictured: Firmenich's biotechnology and naturals pilot plant and laboratory in Geneva

Firmenich’s net-zero target has committed the company to reach net-zero emissions across the value chain by 2039, which has been validated by the SBTi as in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

The fragrance firm had committed to reducing absolute Scope 3 emissions by 90% from a 2021 baseline and will ensure that 80% of its suppliers by spend have their own science-based targets in place by 2026.

“I am proud that Firmenich is one the first companies to see their net-zero emissions target approved by SBTi. These ambitious goals aim at effectively reducing our environmental footprint, while actively engaging with our suppliers and customers to reduce CO2 emissions through our supply chain,” the company’s chief executive Gilbert Ghostine said.

“Setting science-based targets is crucial to future-proofing sustainable business growth while assuring the stability of our planet and climate system for generations to come.”

Last year, Firmenich unveiled its “ESG Ambitions 2030 guide”, headlined by a commitment to reach carbon-neutral operations by 2025 and achieve “carbon positivity” by 2030. Sometimes called carbon negativity by other companies, the term carbon-positive is used when an organization reduces, sequesters or offsets more carbon than it emits.

Firmenich is including all Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions from its direct operations in its accounting against these targets. Some 10,000 people are employed across the firm’s operational facilities, which range from offices to factories and R&D facilities.

Firmenich has already reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 45% since 2015, despite output having increased by more than one-fifth over the past five years. As it goes forward, it will prioritise further reductions over sequestering and offsetting emissions. Through the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, all its operations worldwide have been powered by renewables since 2020.

Since then, the SBTi has unveiled the world’s first standard for corporate net-zero emissions aligned to climate science.

To date, 1255 organisations have signalled their intent to develop targets aligned with the SBTi’s net-zero standard. Other firms with approved targets include Domino’sBurberry, Aecom, Capgemini, Dentsu, Jacobs, JLL, Orsted and Philip Morris International (PMI).

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