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Engagement – Transforming a company

Mar 2, 2022

Givaudan attended the Annual Meeting of Responsible Shareholder Group and gave a presentation „Committed to Growth with Purpose”. We asked three questions to Pierre Benaich, Head Investor & Media Relations, Givaudan.

You developed what you called “purpose-linked targets”, can you tell us a bit more and what they entail?

Our company purpose of ‘creating for happier, healthier lives with love for nature, let’s imagine together’ drives our 2025 strategy and acts as a roadmap for delivering sustainable value creation for all stakeholders. Environment, Social and Governance issues are fully integrated into our 5-year strategy and therefore our business – we are committed to growth, with purpose.

These commitments allow us to pursue ambitious financial targets through the creation of inspiring products for happier, healthier lives, all while moving towards our longer-term purpose ambitions in terms of creations, nature, people and communities. They allow us to increase our positive impact on society and the planet in order to ensure sustainable long-term performance.

Our actions are guided by our purpose, which has been translated into four focus areas that set out specific, measurable ambitions in the areas of creations, nature, people and communities. By living our purpose through our purpose-linked targets, we will continue to be a successful, sustainable business well placed to both understand the risks and opportunities now facing our business and to manage our impact.

More generally, we look to create inspiring products for happier, healthier lives by focusing our creations on renewable, biodegradable and viable natural solutions, especially in the area of health and wellbeing. Innovation is central to our business growth and in guaranteeing sustainable solutions for our customers. There is also a rich source of innovation among our suppliers and with them we can achieve a level of innovation that goes beyond what we can do on our own. Supplier-enabled innovation will ultimately feed and fuel our innovation activities in different ways, each contributing to our purpose of ‘let’s imagine together a responsible, sustainable future’.

We show our love for nature by anticipating our customers’ sustainability needs and offering a sustainable product portfolio. We are strengthening our responsible sourcing and traceability programmes as well as driving supplier engagement on environmental actions. We are continuing to develop leading actions in climate, water and forest preservation, thereby reducing our environmental footprint. We are working to replace single-use plastics with eco-friendly alternatives.

In terms of our people, we want to provide a space where we all love to be and grow. We want everyone to feel welcome, valued and inspired and look to become a leading employer for diversity and inclusion. We aim to provide differentiated employment options and benefits as well as to ensure transparent rewards and recognition. We care for our peoples’ health and wellbeing through the promotion of employee programmes and the expansion of our safety culture. We will accelerate new leadership essentials, anticipate and innovate to attract the workforce of tomorrow as well as ensure the skills and competencies for now and for the future.

Looking beyond our own walls, we look to bring benefits to all communities that work with us by doing business with our suppliers in a responsible way. We are further embedding responsible sourcing by fostering high standards in health, safety, social, environmental and business integrity. We will source all materials and services in a way that protects people and the environment. We ask our employees to create connected communities and develop sustainable, scalable solutions together to contribute to happier, healthier lives.

This consideration is part of our motivation for pursuing B Corp certification – it will serve as independently verified proof that we live this purpose every day. This reinforces our ongoing commitment to be a force for good and to demonstrate our purpose in action every day.

How do you perceive the dialogue with the Shareholder Group and the engagement to address ESG topics and help develop ESG actions and policies?

Listening to our stakeholders is a core element of our sustainability management practice. Their feedback helps us understand expectations and it contributes to the development of our overall sustainability approach. We gather the views of our stakeholders by inviting them to discuss critical issues and strategic priorities. We create dialogue groups to understand how our business affects stakeholders and to determine the most material impacts to be managed.

Through stakeholder dialogue, we seek to identify opportunities to improve management and our relationships, as well as create projects for our mutual benefit. This allows us to focus our drive for greater sustainability in those areas that are most important to our key stakeholders. Givaudan has many channels for stakeholder dialogue spread across different departments and teams; this also includes the information and feedback we receive during the ordinary course of business.

Overall, how do you see the importance of innovative solutions to reach your ambitious targets?

Innovation is at the heart of our business. We take an end-to-end approach and continually seek new ways to address consumer desires and our customers’ challenges, all while developing creations that have a minimal and/or positive impact on the environment and contribute to happier, healthier lives. Collaboration and co-creation with customers and partners, the use of renewable raw materials, eco-efficient manufacturing, green chemistry and upcycling are some of the approaches that help us meet this goal. Supplier-based innovation and new digital tools powered by artificial intelligence and big data round out our approach to this topic.
Taste & Wellbeing: The market increasingly recognises the urgent need to transform the food system into one that is regenerative and equitable and aims to provide healthy, safe and nutritious food for all: this means that proactivity and partnerships are essential. We aspire to become the go-to partner for our customers to co-create consumer preferred food experiences. We are well supported in these endeavours by our expertise, technologies and eco-systems.
Fragrance & Beauty: Today’s consumers increasingly seek fragranced products
made from natural and renewable ingredients that are sourced responsibly. The demand for products with wellbeing and emotional benefits is also rising. We place a special emphasis on these two areas, all while working to reduce the carbon footprint of our fragrance molecule development process. We look to develop cutting-edge, sci-ence-backed scent solutions for all product categories that have a positive impact on consumers’ lives.

About Givaudan
Committed to Growth, with Purpose
With game-changing innovations in food and beverage and inspirational creations in the world of scent and beauty, we lead the global industry in flavour & taste, functional & nutritional ingredients, and fragrance & beauty.
We are committed to driving purpose-led, long-term growth by increasing our positive
impact on nature and improving people’s health and happiness. It’s a commitment to create shared value for the business, society and nature.
In the fiscal year 2021, the Company employed 16,800 people worldwide and achieved sales of CHF 6.7 billion and a free cash flow of 12.6% of sales. Givaudan operates across 185 sites worldwide, in 52 countries, with 79 production sites, 69 creation and research centres.

More about Givaudan

Financial market infrastructure provider SIX announced today the launch of a new climate data offering, aimed at supporting investors in reporting and monitoring of climate factors, and in climate-related investment and risk decision making.

The climate data sets, from various data providers in a range of industries, will provide clients with modelled and reported emissions data, covering over 33,000 companies globally, and bringing together multiple data sets on regulatory, historical and forward-looking climate impacts from providers including MSCI and Inrate. SIX also announced that it has recently entered into an agreement with environmental disclosure platform CDP to offer access to its global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Dataset across various industries.

According to SIX, the new data sets come as investors increasingly require ESG and climate data to monitor investment decisions and to meet growing regulatory disclosure requirements, including the EU’s SFDR and the U.S.’ upcoming SEC Climate Disclosure Rules.

Martina Macpherson, Head ESG Product Strategy and Management, Financial Information, SIX, said:

“Understanding, measuring and managing climate risk and opportunities, as well as the impact that these can have on investment decisions, is a critical area of focus for market participants and policy makers alike. As more climate risk monitoring and reporting is required globally, the cost of compliance is increasing – both in operations and in terms of specialist ESG resources. SIX works with established providers of basic and specific ESG and climate data in the market.”