Business and financial review
Production designed for resource efficiency
All production sites are subject to a systematic, Group-wide environmental management, which holds a → combined Group Quality and Environment certificate in accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. All sites are recertified periodically. A comprehensive corporate eco-balance, which serves as the basis for targeted measures to improve environmental performance, is prepared each year.
Group-wide, the absolute environmental impact increased slightly in 2011 by 0.4% (prior year increase: 3.3%). This increase is put into perspective by the fact that Group sales after currency adjustments for the same period increased significantly more – by 9.5% – in comparison. The consumption of energy in the form of electricity, combustibles and fuels represents Geberit's greatest environmental impact. Energy consumption in the year under review increased as a result of considerably greater production volumes in Villadose (IT) and Langenfeld (DE) (114.2 GWh compared to 108.8 GWh the prior year). The Company consumed lower volumes of combustibles (43.4 GWh compared to 48.9 GWh the prior year) and fuels (17.3 GWh compared to 17.4 GWh the prior year). The fact that more green electricity was purchased than in the prior year had a positive effect on the absolute environmental impact, as did numerous technical measures: equipping injection molding machines with energy-saving drives and eliminating standby operation, for instance, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%. Or a new cooling system in Pottenbrunn (AT) which makes direct use of waste heat to reduce energy consumption by as much as 900 MWh annually – comparable to the electricity consumption of 200 households.
CO2 emissions in 2011 amounted to 76,903 metric tons (prior year 77,486 metric tons). Under the CO2 strategy, relative CO2 emissions (ratio of CO2 emissions to sales after currency adjustments) are to be reduced on average by 5% each year between 2006 and 2012. As of the end of 2011, Geberit is on target to meet this requirement. The amount of certified green electricity drawn from the Palü (CH) hydroelectric power station by Geberit's largest production site in Pfullendorf (DE) was increased from 6 GWh annually to 10 GWh annually in 2011. A further increase to 12 GWh is planned for 2012. In 2011, the Daishan site in China also drew about 3 GWh of wind power, which corresponds to approximately 60% of the plant's energy consumption. These measures as well as ongoing effective initiatives such as the binding requirements for energy-efficient, low-emission new vehicles and the associated lowering of CO2 emissions from the vehicle fleet by 10% every three years also contributed to the improved CO2 balance. All of the corresponding targets and measures are detailed in the scope of the Company's participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
Successes were also achieved with respect to other environmental factors. In internal water consumption, Geberit has been acting as a role model year after year. After years of considerably reduced consumption compared to each respective prior year, water consumption leveled off at a low level in 2011. During the year under review, total consumption of 130,037 cubic meters of water was slightly more than that of the prior year (125,592 cubic meters). Taken as a ratio to sales after currency adjustments, however, this still represents a slight decrease. Targeted improvements, such as reusing water in laboratories and the optimization of fresh-water test runs in development, contribute to the diligent handling of water resources. The total amount of waste disposed of increased to 11,516 metric tons (prior year 10,863 metric tons), while 84% was sent to external recycling processes as in the prior year.
Geberit is investing in the energy-efficient infrastructure of tomorrow with appropriate planning in its new buildings. The new shower toilet production plant in Rapperswil-Jona (CH), which meets Minergie standards, and the new building currently under construction in India, which integrates the use of rainwater, a shading concept and optimized ventilation and cooling, are projects for which investments have been made in forward-thinking technologies.