Client story

JLL helps create world-leading sustainable and inclusive workplaces for Firmenich

Firmenich office and laboratories achieve world-leading 6 Star Green Star World Leadership rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.


World-leading fragrance and flavor business Firmenich briefed JLL to analyze the viability of refurbishing their existing Johannesburg-located premises compared to relocating. The decision was made to refurbish the existing premises and to re-engineer the building performance and interiors to deliver on the global Firmenich sustainability values; acting on climate change, embracing nature and caring about people.

The JLL approach

The JLL Market Advisory team worked with the client to renegotiate the lease and the JLL Work Dynamics business, Tétris Design and Build, developed a design solution inspired both by the chemistry used by Firmenich to develop unique tastes and smells and the vibrant culture of South Africa. Customized spaces, designed using circularity principles to reduce waste and maximize the natural setting, enhance wellbeing and performance across the laboratories and offices. Sustainability features throughout, from energy efficiency, EV charging, clean energy generation and battery storage solutions, to water harvesting systems, air quality and acoustic measures.

Bringing it to life:

Achieving the highest Green Star certification by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA)  - World Leadership, 6 Star Green Star Rating in September 2022, the Johannesburg workplace sets the standard for health, wellbeing and inclusivity. Highlights include:

  • Rooftop solar PV with battery storage provides continuous power supply even during disruptive power outages. It delivered a 75% reduction in municipal power usage compared to historic consumption

  • Rainwater collection systems commissioned by Firmenich cut the use of municipal-supplied water on-site by 67%; reverse osmosis treatment provides potable water to buildings; the remaining water required comes via natural underground water. Other innovative measures mean lavatories use 84% less water and 82% less CO₂ than conventional toilets

  • Technology optimizes resource consumption, tracking CO₂ levels, water consumption and electrical usage, facilitating the management of the working environment and helping ensure responsible use

  • The revamp brings the outdoors inside, with an interior courtyard for all-year round use, while outdoor space with large indigenous acacias enables employees and guests to be at one with nature

How JLL’s Tétris helped Firmenich to SEE A BRIGHTER WAY

Tétris supported Firmenich with the delivery of a holistic design-and-build solution that considered the entire eco-system of our workspace. Tétris breathed new life into Firmenich’s dated Midrand (Johannesburg) office, in collaboration with Firmenich’s Global Workplace Solution’s division whose focus was to provide employees with a great workplace experience. Tétris completely stripped down the cellular type office space and made way for an open plan layout, aligning with an entirely different way of working. From the start it was clear that Tetris based their overall design on sustainable best practices, which transcended the design and significantly contributed to the project achieving a 6 Star Green Star World Leadership rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Ashley Sams
GWS Workplace Manager -SSA, FIrmenich (Pty) Ltd