Business report  >  Business and financial review

Social engagement

Social projects with focus on water

Geberit aims to achieve sustained improvement in the quality of people’s lives through innovative solutions in sanitary tech­nol­ogy. This is why it supports social projects in developing regions. What all social activities have in common is the topic of “water”. When selecting projects, it is important that they exhibit a relationship to Geberit’s core competencies and corporate culture. The social projects are also integrated into Geberit’s training philosophy. Working on these projects provides apprentices with the opportunity to develop abilities and social skills that aid their personal development. At the same time, social commitment also contributes to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goal of the United Nations, which has the aim of providing people worldwide with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation.

Targeted aid throughout the world

In 2013, Geberit funded the installation of the sanitary facilities at a hospice in Bucharest (RO) that treats seriously ill patients, offering them day-care facilities and in-patient care. The organization “Hospice Casa Sperantei”, which is responsible for the hospice, is dependent on donations. The materials for all sanitary facilities were provided free of charge. The Geberit team was made up of eight apprentices from Switzerland, Germany and Austria, as well as a technical advisor and a supervisor. Their first week in Bucharest was spent installing the sanitary technology. This was followed by a week of voluntary work which saw them mainly visit patients or look after the children of patients.

Geberit continued its support of Swiss WaterKiosk’s pilot project aimed at cleaning polluted drinking water in Bangladesh. The goal of the project is to supply the population in several rural locations with clean water. The water available there is usually contaminated with arsenic and iron or has an excessive salt content. The water is treated using a solar water pasteurization system developed at the University of Applied Sciences in Rapperswil-Jona (CH). The long-term goal is for the locals to take over responsibility for the operation of the water treatment systems.

The partnership with the Swiss development organization Helvetas was continued, with the contract extended by three years. Geberit supports Helvetas in its commitment to providing people in the world’s poorest regions with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitary facilities. 2013 was the United Nations “International Year of Water Cooperation”. In this regard, the partnership between Geberit and Helvetas is a success story that highlights what can be achieved by two partners in pursuit of a joint vision.

The cooperation with the non-profit organization “Swiss Water Partnership” was also continued in the reporting year. The goal of this platform is to bring together all those involved in the topic of water supply (from academic, economic as well as public and private spheres) to collectively address future challenges in this area and promote the international dialog on water.

Donations and financial contributions – including product donations – totaling CHF 3.1 million were made during the reporting year (previous year CHF 2.7 million). In addition, employees contributed 1,340 hours of charitable work as part of social projects (previous year 2,335 hours). All donations and related commitments are neutral from a party political point of view. Geberit also supported facilities for disabled persons and long-term unemployed, where simple assembly and packaging work in the amount of around CHF 4.4 million was carried out in 2013 (previous year CHF 4.8 million). No donations were made to parties or politicians. As a rule, no political statements are made and no political lobbying is carried out. This is ensured globally as part of the annual audit of the Code of Conduct.