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The Geberit year 2012.
Geberit laboratory accredited as a testing site
The Geberit sanitary and materials laboratory in Rapperswil-Jona was designated an internationally recognized, independent testing laboratory for piping and sanitary systems by the Swiss Accreditation Service. It is now possible for Geberit to perform internationally applicable approval tests for products independently. Markus Tanner, Director of the Laboratory: “The technical and organizational requirements imposed on an official testing site create a lot of work. Yet the independence from external bodies gained as a result of this accreditation results in significant cost and time savings for Geberit when developing new products.”
2012 – a year with significant innovations and substantial further developments
The Monolith sanitary modules, which have now grown to an entire product family, featured among the newly launched products. Their hallmark: innovative lines that add a new visual dimension to the bathroom. 2012 also saw the launch of the Sigma80 actuator plate, which works via a hand signal and fulfills the most exacting demands in terms of design, hygiene and convenience. Products were also presented for the growing markets in Asia. The Geberit Monolith sanitary module for WCs was launched in China and the Alpha concealed cistern in India. The economical use of resources has always been a part of the Geberit corporate identity, a fact that can be seen once again in the new self-sustaining power supply, which provides touchless lavatory faucets with a sustainable supply of energy. 2012 also saw further developments in existing products, including the Sigma01 and Sigma20 actuator plates, new products for the shower element, an improved seal ring for Geberit Mapress, a flange gasket for the Pluvia roof drainage system and the battery-operated pressing tool ACO 102.
Emotive and eventful premiere of the new trade fair concept at Swissbau in Basel
Right on schedule for the trade fair season at the beginning of the year, Geberit presented itself in an all-new guise – fresh, self-confident and on a grand scale. Over 115,000 visitors to the Swissbau trade fair were able to learn more about Geberit in an interactive and entertaining manner. Christine Roth, Head of Communications Group Marketing, on the new concept: “Our booth used to be an informative product exhibition; now it has become an interactive landscape.” As a result, this modular designed booth concept has been increasingly used at subsequent trade fairs worldwide.
More clarity thanks to new water-efficiency label
The WELL classification system (which stands for “Water Efficiency Label”) is based on established efficiency labels used for domestic appliances and provides customers with an instant overview of whether or not they are purchasing an economical and efficient product. At its introduction, seven Geberit products already achieved the highest possible WELL classification.
“red dot design award 2012” for Sigma80 and Monolith
Designers and manufacturers from throughout the world submitted a total of 4,515 designs for the renowned German product competition. Thanks to their high design quality, the Sigma80 actuator plate and Monolith sanitary module for washbasins won over the jury of experts. Initiator and CEO of the “red dot design award” Peter Zec on the award of the most coveted international quality seal for outstanding design to Geberit: “These achievements are not only testament to Geberit’s exceptional creative quality, but also show that design is an integral part of innovative product solutions.”
The Harpa concert hall and conference center: a new landmark for Reykjavík
The Icelandic capital Reykjavík has a new landmark – the Harpa concert hall and conference center. The angular building with its gleaming facade was designed by Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríið Architects. Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson designed the spectacular double facade, which is made of more than 8,000 hexagonal-shaped glass blocks and reflects the daylight in different colors. While the architects focused on the rugged, swooping coastal cliffs for the building’s shape, the glass blocks are based on the basalt columns omnipresent in the treeless, volcanic landscape of Iceland. The Duofix installation system and Mapress pipes from Geberit are on hand to ensure that this spectacular concert hall and conference center is not just a pretty face, but also functions optimally.
iPads, now indispensable tools in sales talks
Gone are the days when German consultants jammed a couple of product samples under their arms, picked the most important sales brochures and the general catalog to spread all out in front of the customers. When it comes to sales talks, the practical iPad has become the new companion of choice. Technical consultant and iPad mentor Stefan Thomas, who was involved in planning how iPads are used, on the added benefit to customers: “The image in the customer’s mind used to be predominantly generated by the explanations provided by the consultant. However, this is an area of work where the iPad simply excels.” His colleague Christian Lehmann on the reactions in the market: “The reaction has been unanimously positive. By using iPads, we have left our own distinctive mark.”
Belgium, another puzzle piece on the Geberit AquaClean map
For three days, the “I love water” truck stood in front of the grounds of Batibouw, Belgium’s largest trade fair dedicated to the building industry. At the same time, a nationwide billboard campaign and articles in various media were drawing attention to the shower toilets and Geberit’s booth. Thanks to the skillful planning of the marketing activities, the Geberit AquaClean campaign in Belgium got off to a very successful start.
Successful business year 2011 in a challenging environment
Geberit successfully closed out a challenging 2011 by significantly outperforming portions of the relevant market environment. Sales as a whole amounted to CHF 2,122.6 million. In Swiss francs, this resulted in a minus of 1.1%. When calculated in local currencies, however, on a long-term basis an above-average increase in sales of 9.5% was achieved.
High praise for the innovative online Annual Report as a focal point of communication aimed at specific target groups
With a completely revamped communications approach, Geberit is venturing into new waters in the area of annual reporting. The praise for this new approach was reflected by the prizes won by the all-digital Annual Report and the additional printed publications: silver in the competition “Best of Corporate Publishing”, winner in the design category and third place in the overall evaluation in the “Annual Report Rating” from the Swiss business magazine BILANZ, gold in the “ARC Award”, silver in the “LACP Spotlight Award” and, last but not least, silver in the “Econ Awards”. The praise ranged from “impresses thanks to its fresh approach and its open layout”, “exceptional design, involving a high degree of creativity” through to “for me, the annual chronicle is a true gem”.
drinking water: a
Strong signals in the battle against a growing problem
World Water Day focused public attention on the shocking fact that there are still 800 million people worldwide with no access to clean drinking water. The situation will worsen in the future. 2.6 billion people currently live without any basic sanitary facilities whatsoever. Millions of people in the world’s poorest countries and newly industrialized countries are forced to relieve themselves in the open. As a company whose core focus is water, Geberit recognizes its responsibility, with aid projects around the globe ensuring that people – predominantly children and young people in schools – receive new sanitary facilities. The goal of the long-standing partnership with the Swiss development organization Helvetas is to provide one million people in the world’s poorest regions with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitary facilities by 2013. These efforts continued right throughout the year, resulting in quantifiable success – 750,000 people have already benefited to date.
Hotel Bella Sky: sometimes an X,
sometimes a Y
The Hotel Bella Sky in Copenhagen is currently the largest hotel in Scandinavia. The complex, consisting of two leaning towers, was designed by 3XN Architects. To offer the best possible view in all rooms, the two towers lean in opposite directions at an impressive 15-degree angle. The complex contains a total of 817 guest rooms and 30 conference rooms, with the angle of the towers giving the exterior a variety of shapes. Depending on where you stand, the complex sometimes looks like an X and sometimes like a Y. Geberit products installed in the Hotel Bella Sky include PE Sovent fittings. With these fittings, hydraulic know-how from Geberit is now also available for discharge stacks with a diameter of 160 mm. This discharge stack size enables the drainage of waste water from up to 200 residential units and is primarily installed in high-rise hotel, residential and office buildings, such as in the 76-meter-high Hotel Bella Sky.
Board of Directors
Jørgen Tang-Jensen and Jeff Song newly elected to the Board of Directors at
At the General Meeting on April 4, Chairman of the Board of Directors Albert M. Baehny paid tribute to the work of Randolf Hanslin and Robert Heberlein. After having served for many years on the Board of Directors and, in the case of Randolf Hanslin, also on the Group Executive Board, both bowed out to applause. In Jørgen Tang-Jensen from Denmark and Chinese-born Jeff Song, the Board of Directors is joined by two proven construction industry experts, each with access to a large international network.
Fire protection measures, tested under realistic conditions
All Geberit installation and piping systems contain certified fire protection solutions. When installed correctly, these contribute greatly to the safety of a building in the event of fire. Fire protection sleeves, for example, are used where plastic discharge pipes pass through ceilings and walls. Under exposure to a certain degree of heat, the intumescent material integrated into the sleeve expands with irresistible force and reliably seals off the opening in the ceiling or wall. Tests are carried out under realistic conditions in order to ensure that these sealed-off areas really can withstand a fire for 30, 60 or even 180 minutes.
Striking presence in the global design capital
At Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile, numerous exhibitors also presented themselves and their products outside the fair itself. This year, Geberit opted for an old palazzo right in the heart of Milan. It wasn’t all about industry experts, as many passers-by also took the opportunity to have a look at the latest trends in bathroom design. The exhibition entitled “Innovation Democracy” centered around the Monolith sanitary modules, the Sigma actuator plates, the new wall drain for floor even showers and the Geberit AquaClean shower toilet. Video presentations showing the life of a family illustrate how design permeates our everyday life. The message: Geberit design is “democratic” as it appeals to everyone.
New training center opened in ideal location near Dublin
Geberit offers its partners in the construction industry throughout the world substantial added value in the form of a wide variety of training courses. Alongside the practical handling of products from the sanitary technology and piping range, core topics including drinking water hygiene, sound insulation and fire protection are also dealt with. The training service is also firmly established in Ireland. However, the opening of new training facilities near Dublin has made it even more attractive. The major advantage is the location, just five minutes from Dublin Airport. At the opening ceremony, Managing Director of Geberit United Kingdom/Ireland Mark Larden paid tribute to this step: “Our customers in Ireland value our training service, which also influences and helps further develop the Irish construction sector to a certain degree. The new training center underscores our commitment.”
Geberit with a good start in the new year
Based on convincing, currency-adjusted growth in sales, Geberit was able to achieve good results in line with internal expectations in the first quarter of the year, despite considerable investments in organic growth. After currency adjustment, sales increased by 6.6% or 1.0% in Swiss francs and reached CHF 568.9 million.
Contact established with 30,000 plumbers in 15 countries
Many plumbers and sanitary engineers living outside the major cities do not have the opportunity to attend international trade fairs. As a result, Geberit set off on its Europe-wide tour once again with 15 Land Rovers packed to the brim. The vehicles stopped off at a different location on an almost daily basis and set up an informative exhibition, mostly on site at sanitary wholesalers. The plumbers from near the respective stop-off points were invited to the respective event weeks in advance. Head of Group Marketing Philip Bucher at the launch of the campaign: “Geberit On Tour will be visiting 15 countries this year. We will be stopping off at more than 600 destinations and hope to personally get to know well over 30,000 plumbers along the way.”
20th anniversary of the Lichtenstein plant – reason enough for a celebration with illustrious guests and major customers.
The production plant in Lichtenstein commenced operations 20 years ago. The installation systems manufactured here have since become a household name in the construction industry under the label “Quality from Saxony”. The anniversary celebrations began with a tour of the plant in the presence of representatives from Chambers of Handicrafts from all states in eastern Germany, as well as the most important customers and wholesalers. “With our anniversary activities, we want to thank the partners who have contributed to our success and give them something in return”, explained Christian Buhl, Managing Director at Geberit Vertriebs GmbH in Germany. This successful event was the prelude to a range of further activities for customers from the region and for employees. As a special birthday present, the twenty-millionth Duofix mounting frame left the production halls.
Poland and Ukraine
Geberit well represented in UEFA European Football Championship stadiums
The UEFA European Football Championship attracted a lot of visitors to Poland and Ukraine in June. Geberit was a visible presence in the newly constructed, top-quality stadiums. In addition to the amber-colored PGE Arena Gdańsk, the National Stadium in Warsaw was the most prominent example of Geberit’s success. The stadium was designed by the global architecture group gmp (von Gerkan, Marg and Partners). Sustainability was a main priority when building the stadium incorporating the Polish national colors of red and white, which is why Geberit products were given the nod. One example is the water supply: Geberit supplied all the concealed systems for the 2,100 toilets and urinals. Furthermore, Geberit sanitary flush units were used for the flushing systems, which guarantee the quality of the fresh water by regularly flushing the water in the pipes.
Switzerland’s blue-chip stock index
Switzerland’s most important stock index, the SMI, welcomes Geberit
Any company that goes from having a low stock market value and climbs to the very top within 13 years has most certainly done a good job. The reward came in the form of inclusion into the circle of the 20 most important companies listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Roman Sidler, Head Corporate Communications & Investor Relations: “We are very proud of our inclusion into the SMI – it is an acknowledgment of the work of our employees.”
Plenty of gains through insourcing of shower toilet production
Nowadays, industrial enterprises often outsource labor-intensive manufacturing processes to countries with low wage levels. By insourcing shower toilet production to the Rapperswil-Jona (CH) site, Geberit very much swam against the current in this regard. This move resulted in 80 newly created jobs. But that was not all. An equally important role was intended for “reverse engineering”. Because the shower toilets had been previously manufactured by an external partner, an understanding of the earlier development steps was needed. Erwin Schibig, Head Product Development: “Although it would have been possible to recreate a Geberit AquaClean on the existing basis, we wanted to develop and optimize the products based on our own data.”
anything but a washout
A teary-eyed victor, but an otherwise dry Centre Court thanks to Pluvia
The traditional tennis tournament at Wimbledon experienced a first this year. For the first time ever, the Men’s Singles Final was played under a closed roof. The new roof over Wimbledon’s venerable Centre Court was completed in 2009. Weighing in at 3,000 tons, covering 5,200 square meters and fitted with 110 Geberit Pluvia outlets for roof drainage purposes, the roof ensured that, for once, nobody was looking anxiously towards the heavens in anticipation of a washout.
Social networking services have changed the way in which we communicate.
While social networking services open up new ways of working together with customers, colleagues and the outside world, they also provide companies with new channels for highlighting important issues. Their common feature – dialog. With a convincing presence, Geberit has established itself in the new digital media landscape in next to no time.
Geberit, an unmistakable employer
Geberit is a market leader – and also wants to be on top of potential employees’ wish lists as an employer. With a new, unmistakable identity and a more offensive-minded approach on the employment market, the course for the future has been set. This new approach involved company employees taking center stage as ambassadors and highlighting the international opportunities Geberit has to offer.
Zayed University: imposing architecture designed by Hadi Teherani
Striking, futuristic and built to the highest technical standards – Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, named after its founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, meets the highest demands in all respects. Designed by Hamburg-based architect Hadi Teherani and his team at BRT Architects, the complex combines futuristic architecture, engineering ingenuity and local traditional elements. A key feature of the complex is the dynamically curved roof aimed at capturing the image of desert sand drifting in the wind and evoking an association with the veil. Around 6,000 students study at the campus, which covers an area of 80 hectares. When constructing Zayed University, climate protection and sustainability were important aspects. In addition to good design, quality and durable products, a great deal of attention was also paid to sustainability. As a result, Geberit’s electronic lavatory faucets type 185 were installed in the bathrooms, as they combine all of these qualities in one product.
Geberit United Kingdom and the Olympic adventure
London was gripped by Olympic fever this summer, as the Summer Olympic Games and the subsequent Paralympic Games took place over the city. An entire district was redeveloped in advance of this major sporting event – with Geberit United Kingdom very much part of the action. Geberit products were chosen for an entire range of prestigious buildings, with many installed in the Aquatics Centre. When designing this spectacular building, star architect Zaha Hadid was inspired by the flowing movement of the water, borrowing from the riverscape of the Olympic Park. The greatest challenge with this project was the curved roof. For the heating pipes, an impressive 130 customized bends had to be fitted in order to adapt to its curvature.
Sales growth clearly above the general market trend
Despite a challenging environment, Geberit could look back on a convincing first half of the year. Healthy sales growth contributed to a situation whereby, despite considerable investments in organic growth, the results were slightly up on the prior year’s level. Sales increased by 6.5% in local currencies or 2.2% in Swiss francs and reached CHF 1,142.9 million.
site in Ruše
Construction of new injection molding plant in Slovenia underway
The Geberit production company in Ruše, Slovenia, began construction work on a new injection molding plant that is to replace the current site. Relocation to the new site and commissioning are expected to take place in 2014. With land available around the site, production capacities can be further expanded in the future if required.
The gondoliers of sanitary technology
Where else in the world do young and old wave at two plumbers on their way to a construction site? Only in Venice of course. A visit to plumbers Claudio Zampedri and Franco Crocicchio revealed a special world. After all, the two travel by boat each day on the lagoon city’s winding canal network.
Encounters on Shaftesbury Avenue in London
It was a lovely summer day by British standards. Two design pieces from Geberit, the Monolith sanitary module for washbasins and the Monolith sanitary module for WCs, were fitted to the outside of a house in the middle of busy downtown London. Secretly monitored by several film cameras, the spontaneous reactions of passers-by to the sanitary products placed in this unusual setting were recorded.
9 countries + 450 teams of two = the Geberit Challenge
The first Geberit Challenge taking place in the German city of Mannheim was a major success. Cheered on by more than 200 fans, 60 plumbers in teams of two engaged in an exciting contest, with skill, specialist knowledge, speed and teamwork the qualities being sought after. The winners had a luxury vacation in Dubai to look forward to – together with the winners from the other eight participating countries.
Pottenbrunn plant’s 40th anniversary marked by open-house event for family and friends
At the Pottenbrunn plant’s 40th anniversary celebrations, an open-house event gave visitors an interesting insight into the corporate culture within the Austrian plant. They also found out more about the products, the processes and technologies, the working conditions and the various activities aimed at securing the future of the Pottenbrunn site. In his speech, CEO Albert M. Baehny underlined the importance of Pottenbrunn and thanked the employees for their exceptional dedication.
Geberit represented by the young generation at the job fair in Leverkusen
Apprenticeship positions at companies are in high demand each fall in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. One year ago, the apprentices Michael Jaskulla, Sandy-Katharina Winzen, Tanja Dahm, Jan Taddey and Marcel Klein managed to land themselves such positions at Geberit in Langenfeld, Germany. At the job fair in neighboring Leverkusen, it was now up to them to inform the next generation of potential recruits about the Geberit product range. They also told them about the apprentice trip, which is organized once a year, and the social aid projects conducted by Geberit and its apprentices all over the world. Word got around about the young team’s fresh performance. “We are receiving a great deal of praise,” noted training manager Frank Knieps during a brief visit. “On the one hand, due to how well the apprentices are doing their job, but also due to our courage in giving them such responsibility in the first place.”
Mike Horn and his sailing boat “Pangaea” set course for home
Mike Horn traveled around the globe in his sailing boat “Pangaea” in a four-year expedition supported by Geberit. He was frequently accompanied on parts of his journey by young people, who were given tips and information on treating the environment correctly.
On his journey, Horn dropped anchor in many ports in order to welcome Geberit customers, partners, media representatives and employees on board, and to give them an insight into his expedition. Hamburg, London, New York, Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Cape Town are just some of the famous cities where Geberit events were held. On October 22 in Abu Dhabi, Geberit invited guests on a final inspiring journey. Mike Horn shared exciting tales from his travels and gave his listeners food for thought in terms of what can be done to safeguard our planet. A short cruise on the “Pangaea” concluded the event and ensured an unforgettable experience was had by all.
Building industry more challenging
Following a convincing first half of the year, Geberit saw sales wane in the third quarter. Although expected, the decrease was much larger than forecast. This trend, combined with substantial investments in organic growth, led to the nine months’ results being slightly lower than in 2011. Sales rose by 3.8% in local currencies, or 2.1% in Swiss francs, reaching CHF 1,686.4 million.
Geberit tops satisfaction rating among wholesalers in the Netherlands
A survey of wholesalers in the Netherlands on their satisfaction with their suppliers revealed that Geberit was top of the class in the area of sanitary and building technology. Raymond Koopman, Marketing Manager at Geberit Netherlands: “This accolade is not only a nice compliment for the Geberit employees, but also a valuable sign for the wholesalers in confirming that they are working together with a professional company.”
Geberit apprentices back home again after finishing their work
After completing two weeks of hard work and experiencing a wide range of emotions, the eight apprentices landed back home with an abundance of valuable impressions. The Geberit team had spent two weeks in Port Elizabeth in South Africa renovating sanitary facilities at the Fontein Primary School as part of Geberit’s social commitment, which sees it undertake aid projects throughout the globe each year. Shaped by their unique experiences in the “Rainbow Nation”, the apprentices who participated in the aid project all agreed: “What we experienced and saw together has shaped us for life.”
Mechanically stable, hydraulically leakproof, durable and economical
50 years ago, Swedish engineer Gunnar Larsson set about reaping the fruits of his development work. In a five-page sales brochure, he pitched a completely new type of connection technology that was revolutionary at the time – press fittings for metal pipes. However, the Swede was too far ahead of his time and sold on the rights to his invention.
The invention has now firmly established itself all over the world under the brand name Geberit Mapress, and is widely used in plant engineering, shipbuilding and sanitary technology. The number of plumbers who still take a welding tool and blow torch with them to a construction site is declining year by year. The advantages of pressing technology, which is continually developed further by Geberit, are simply too compelling.
The new Adidas building “Laces” – striking corporate architecture with edge
In Herzogenaurach, Germany, set in the midst of the tranquil countryside, stands the corporate headquarters of Adidas. With its research and development building “Laces”, a new building providing workplaces for around 1,700 designers, developers, researchers and marketing strategists was added to the campus-like “World of Sports” company complex. The building was designed by kadawittfeldarchitektur, whose objective was to create a complex to fit the Adidas brand. This design process resulted in a sleek, saw-toothed complex with connecting walkways – or laces – that not only give the building its name, but also facilitate maximum interaction and allow open communication areas to emerge. The bathrooms in the “Laces” complex are fitted with Geberit Bolero actuator plates. Thanks to its sleek, linear design, this actuator plate fits in perfectly with the research and development building’s purist design.
First showroom with a building technology and acoustics laboratory in miniature
The new showroom in Copenhagen presented the first building technology and acoustics laboratory in miniature, or “mini acoustics lab”. Michael Storm Pedersen, Head of Nordic Product Management on the world first from Geberit: “Using the mini acoustics lab, we can show visitors how various installation forms have an impact on room acoustics.” For Sandro à Porta, Head of Building Drainage Systems for the Geberit Group, this innovation provides an excellent opportunity to market the entire range of products in a combined way: “The mini acoustics lab enables us to demonstrate our competence as a system provider impressively.”
High sustainability standards in the Mauritius Commercial Bank
The headquarters of the Mauritius Commercial Bank is a unique green building that takes into account all aspects of sustainable building and meets high social and economic standards. The 40-meter-high banking complex was designed by Mauritian architect Jean Francois Koenig. The building is conceived in such a way that it uses around one-third less energy than conventional buildings. The building’s own solar park provides the headquarters with the required energy. Wherever it is practical, rainwater and gray water are used instead of drinking water. Geberit supported the project by not only providing products and cutting-edge technology, but also its know-how in the realization of the water supply system. The Pluvia roof drainage system ensures that the water is channeled into the tanks from the complex and curved roof structure in the most efficient manner possible. As a result of the consistent implementation of resource-saving concepts, the building was awarded the sustainability labels GREEN STAR and BREEAM.
Presence in flagship stores significantly increased
Geberit has been present in flagship stores – a concept which is very popular throughout China – since 2010. At first, flagship stores feel like an everyday department store. The subtle difference lies in the range of products – flagship stores only carry products from a specific sector, but do so as comprehensively as possible. As a result, all of the other major brands in the sanitary industry are competing with Geberit for the public’s attention. With an increasing focus on design, Geberit offers the best possible arguments. These arguments are being employed well – Geberit products are currently carried in 30 stores, with as many as nine in Shanghai and Beijing alone. The ever-growing list does not end there and also includes other major cities such as Wuhan and Chengdu. Geberit has established a strong position in the competitive Chinese retail industry.