Business and financial review
Social projects with focus on water
As defined in the Vision, Geberit wants to make a sustainable contribution to improving the quality of life for people. Various social-aid projects in developing regions are supported with products, expertise and financial contributions for this purpose. Care is taken to ensure that the topic of water plays a central role and that the projects exhibit a substantial relationship to Geberit’s core competencies and corporate culture. Geberit apprentices from a range of professional areas and various countries are recruited to share in the work of the social-aid projects. At the same time, a contribution is made by means of these projects to the implementation of the millennium goal of the United Nations for global access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation.
Concrete commitment around the world
During the year under review, the focus was on a project in the Serbian city of Kraljevo. On the night of November 3, 2010, a severe earthquake damaged large sections of the city. Available space and the infrastructure of the two schools in Kraljevo were, however, already critical even before the earthquake. The toilet facilities at the two elementary schools, “School IV kraljevački bataljon” and “Svetozar Marković”, with a combined student body of 2,000 and 120 teachers, were in a very bad condition. There was therefore an urgent need to act. Under the auspices of the → renovation project, the seven sanitary rooms in the schools were completely renovated and a total of 20 toilets, 11 urinals and 18 washbasins were newly installed. At the end of June, a Geberit team with eleven individuals (nine apprentices from Germany and Austria, one supervisor and one technical advisor) actively supported the work for two weeks.
The partnership launched in 2008 with the renowned adventurer Mike Horn was continued. Mike Horn is on a four-year expedition around the world known as “Pangaea” with the goal of raising awareness of environmental concerns worldwide. With his Young Explorers Project, he regularly enables young people from all continents to accompany him for part of his journey. Thus, for example, several Young Explorers also spent three weeks with the Geberit aid project in Kraljevo in Serbia in 2011 and carried out several workshops with schoolchildren on environmental topics.
A campaign sponsored by the Swiss development organization Helvetas and supported by Geberit that was launched in March 2010 aims to facilitate access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation for one million people in the world’s poorest regions by 2013. The Company's social commitment is deepened as a result of the long-term partnership. Helvetas was able to raise around CHF 22 million in donations in the context of this campaign during the year under review, which represents an increase of 16%. Helvetas provided a total of around 370,000 people with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitary facilities in 2011.
In addition, Geberit also recognizes its responsibilities at its respective sites. For example, the commitment to the local ice hockey club Rapperswil-Jona is to be mentioned in this connection, with its first team playing in the top ice hockey league in Switzerland. In addition to its many years of sponsoring the first team, Geberit has also been showing its commitment to youth work with a significant monetary contribution since 2011. This enables a valuable amount to be given to the expansion of the regional ice hockey school, in which around 400 young athletes are currently active in 13 junior teams.
Donations and financial contributions, including product donations totaling CHF 2.7 million (prior year CHF 2.9 million), were made during the year under review. In addition, Geberit employees contributed approximately 2,390 hours of charitable work as part of social projects (prior year 2,200 hours). All donations and related commitments are neutral from a political party point of view. Geberit also supports facilities for handicapped persons and long-term unemployed, where simple installation and packaging work in the amount of around CHF 3.5 million was carried out in 2011 (prior year CHF 4.0 million). No donations are made to parties or politicians, no political statements are made as a rule, and no political lobbying is carried out. This is ensured globally as part of the annual audit of the Code of Conduct.