News Stories · Operations

Firmenich turns hand to sanitizer to support Geneva’s healthcare

The IMD-Pictet sustainability award winner becomes the latest industry player to down tools and turn to the coronavirus cause.
March 2020

In response to the COVID-19 virus, Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned perfume and taste company, is adapting the production of its Geneva manufacturing sites to donate 20 tons of disinfectant solution to Geneva University Hospital and medical and emergency services.

“As a responsible Swiss company, we must take action and lead by example, to help our local community during these exceptionally challenging times,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich.

The Geneva-based company was the inaugural winner of the 2019 IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award, which celebrates family-owned businesses that stand out in their work and commitment towards sustainability.

Apart from its thriving fragrance and taste business, the company has recently ramped up its research and engagement in pursuing universal sanitation. Firmenich engaged in a research partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that led to developing a range of breakthrough malodor control technologies to make clean toilets smell good in an affordable and sustainable way.

Today Firmenich solutions are reaching populations in need through toilet cleaning products in India, South Africa and Bangladesh. Firmenich is also a founding member of the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), a business-led public-private partnership, launched in 2014, which connects large and small companies to accelerate the sanitation economy and strives to achieve universal access to sanitation before 2030.

Alumni Stories Change Management
Sense and sustainability
IMD Executive MBA student Denise Weger is a sustainability champion who believes that corporate climate responsibility is a strategic business imperative in today's business landscape.
Sense and sustainability
News Stories
Why digital, sustainability, and talent transformations must work together
Senior leaders often think of digital transformation, sustainability, and talent as three separate transformations. However, they should always be integrated with each other, argue Phil Chronican, National Australia Bank Chair and IMD alum, and IMD professors Karl Schmedders and Misiek Piskorski.
Why digital, sustainability, and talent transformations must work together
News Stories Human Resources
Zhike Lei joins IMD faculty
An award-winning organizational scholar and expert in psychological safety and error management, Lei’s work focuses on how teams can adapt in complex, time-pressured, and consequence-laden environments.
Zhike Lei joins IMD faculty