Sustainability  >  Sustainability performance report

6. Ecology (EN)

  1. DMA-EN Management approach ecology

    Geberit has long stood for a high level of environmental awareness and been committed to environmentally friendly, resource-efficient production as well as the development of water-saving and sustainable products. Environmental criteria are considered in all decision-making processes. In addition, processes are continuously being optimized so that a proven high standard is achieved which often greatly exceeds legal requirements. Geberit's environmental principles are defined in the  Code of Conduct.

    Systematic, Group-wide environmental management takes center stage. This is the remit of the central Environment and Sustainability department that reports directly to the CEO. Guidelines and measures pertaining to all aspects of the GRI environmental guidelines are coordinated here. Since 1992, a network of environmental managers has been practicing active environmental protection at the production plants, thus ensuring that the measures are implemented worldwide. For objectives and measures for production, see > Sustainability > Sustainability Strategy.

    Since the beginning of 2007, Geberit has had a  combined Group certificate for quality and environment in accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which by now covers all production locations (with the exception of the site in India) and logistics services. This certificate is valid until 2015. The persons in charge at all locations meet at least once every year to exchange experiences and share best practice. The most recent meeting took place in September 2013.

    The preparation of an annual corporate eco-balance has been an integral part of Geberit’s environmental strategy since 1991. The corporate eco-balance covers 16 production plants worldwide, the Logistics Center in Pfullendorf (DE) and the eight largest sales companies. The  production plant in Pune (India), which commenced operations in the second half of 2013 and represents Geberit’s 17th production site across the globe, will be included in the assessment as of 2014. The corporate eco-balance enables an overall assessment of the environmental impact and its largest contributing factors. This makes it possible to calculate the total environmental impact of the Geberit Group in terms of eco-points and monitor the implementation of the environmental targets. Key figures for environmental impact, energy consumption and the CO2 emissions triggered by the transport of Geberit products are reported separately. The CO2 emissions generated by air travel have also been recorded since 2012. In 2013, the roll-out of the integrated management system for quality, environment, energy and safety was continued at all plants. This includes the further implementation of the software program launched in 2012 for the Group-wide monitoring of the corporate eco-balance, the energy master plan and occupational safety. Among other things, this enables energy consumption to be monitored on a monthly basis.

    The absolute environmental impact for the Group declined by 2.1% in the reporting year (previous year decrease of 5.1%). This is explained by improved electricity efficiency, an increase in the share of green electricity and the use of biogas to replace natural gas. Sales after currency adjustment grew by 3.6% in the same period. The relative environmental impact with respect to sales (currency-adjusted) improved by 5.5% and exceeded the target figure of 5%.

    Detailed key figures on the environmental impact are provided at  Key figures sustainability > Environment. Longer time series are now also provided for individual key figures.

  2. EN1 Materials used

    The most important materials for production are plastics, metals, semi-finished and finished products. A total of 184,216 metric tons of materials were used in 2013 (previous year 177,762 metric tons). Detailed key figures on the use of materials can be found at  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

    For packaging materials used, see  EN27.

  3. EN2 Percentage of recycled material

    When estimating the share of recycled material in production, a distinction is made between external and internal sources of raw materials for reasons of expediency.

    External sources:

    The share of recycled material in purchased metals is relatively high. The data is based on Geberit’s product life cycle assessments for supply pipes for buildings (2009). Extrapolated, the raw material metal purchased contains around 54% or 26,000 metric tons of recycled material.

    With plastics, virgin material is primarily used. The search for suitable, high-quality regranulate from external plastic waste is an integral part of Geberit’s procurement strategy. In terms of the material ABS, a suitable alternative made of 100% recycled material was found. This alternative is based on high-quality plastic waste from the electronics industry (e.g. used computer cases). According to the supplier, the manufacture of this regranulate consumes over 80% less energy compared to the manufacture of a metric ton of new petrochemical-based plastic. Furthermore, between one to three metric tons less CO2 are released into the atmosphere, depending on the material. In 2013, over 350 metric tons of ABS regranulate were used for the mounting frames for concealed cisterns. The use of plastic regranulate is to be increased further and applied to other product areas.

    Internal sources:

    In terms of the raw material plastic, recycled material is primarily generated internally and is ground on site or via a decentralized mill and fed back into the process. The proportion fluctuates depending on the manufacturing process. For blow molding it is around 35%, for injection molding around 15%, depending on product class, and for pipe extrusion around 3%. This corresponds to a total of around 7,700 metric tons.

  4. EN3 Direct energy consumption

    Geberit generally uses energy purchased externally. The direct energy carriers (Scope 1) include heating oil extra light, natural gas and the fuels diesel and gasoline. Consumption of natural gas was increased by 4.8% (previous year reduction of 11.1%) and heating oil consumption was reduced by 31.0% (previous year reduction of 39.9%). Fuel consumption increased slightly by 1.6% (previous year increase of 3.8%).

    Since 2012, a  block heating station has been in use in Pfullendorf (DE). This plant was fed by 10.6 GWh of regionally produced biogas in 2013. The electricity generated by the plant (3.9 GWh) is fed into the transmission grid and the resulting heat (4.9 GWh) can be used in production, thereby substantially reducing the use of natural gas. The efficiency of the plant is 82%.

    For detailed key figures on energy consumption, see  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

  5. EN4 Indirect energy consumption

    At Geberit, only electricity consumption is significant for indirect energy consumption (Scope 2), and it simultaneously represents the greatest environmental impact. In terms of end energy, electricity consumption declined by 1.5% in spite of higher production (previous year decrease of 0.7%). The share of purchased green electricity was increased by 1 GWh to 21 GWh in 2013 and now accounts for 19% of total electricity consumption.

    Since 2012, the Group has also been generating electricity in a  block heating station powered by regional biogas in Pfullendorf (DE). This electricity is fed into the transmission grid, with this figure amounting to 3.9 GWh in 2013. Furthermore, the roof area at the plant in Givisiez (CH) was made available to an energy services provider in 2013 for the construction of a 3,050 m2 photovoltaic system with projected annual electricity production of 0.5 GWh. However, this contribution is not included in the energy balance as the energy produced is managed by the regional energy supplier.

    For detailed key figures on electricity consumption and the electricity mix, see  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

  6. EN5 Energy saved

    Important energy-saving measures in production include:

    • the insulation of buildings
    • the continuous modernization of the machine fleet
    • increasing the efficiency of production installations
    • the optimization of cooling systems through the use of natural ambient cold (free cooling)
    • the improved use of waste heat (heat recovery)
    • the careful use of compressed air

    Concrete examples show the clear efficiency gains that the reduction in relative energy consumption has been contributing to for years:

    • The number of injection molding machines retrofitted or purchased new with energy-efficient drive technology was increased from 74 to 96 in 2013, with the two Chinese plants in Shanghai and Daishan benefiting particularly from this development. The analysis on site showed that a modified machine consumed an average of over 40% less energy. This measure enables the Chinese plants to save approximately 2 GWh of electricity per year.
    • Replacing an old blow molding machine in Pfullendorf (DE) with the latest machine technology contributes to a reduction in energy consumption of around 0.6 GWh per year.
    • A pilot project for the preheating and drying of plastic granulate was started at the same site. Using the waste heat from the block heating station as opposed to additional heating energy enables the plant to save around a further 0.6 GWh per year.
    • By carefully planning new buildings, the company is also investing in the energy-efficient infrastructure of the future. The completely  new, state-of-the-art factory premises currently being built in Ruše (Sl) are already serving as a role model in all of Slovenia in the area of green building and production. The site’s sophisticated holistic energy concept includes the use of all waste heat from industrial processes as well as the complete absence of fossil fuels. The available ground water is used for cooling, while rainwater is collected and used both as fire fighting water and for watering the surrounding area.

    Although no quantitative summarized breakdown of energy savings according to the measure implemented is available, systematic energy management has been expanded further. In 2013, work commenced on the development of a systematic energy management system at the three sites in Pfullendorf, Lichtenstein and Langenfeld (DE) and pre-audits have already been conducted by SQS. The certification of these production plants according to ISO 50001 (energy management) is planned for 2014 within the scope of the existing integrated management system according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  7. EN6 Energy-efficient products

    The biggest environmental contribution by the Geberit products lies in the conservation of water, which indirectly also saves on energy:

    • The creation of the infrastructure for drinking water supply and waste water disposal, the conveyance, processing and distribution of water and the subsequent purification of the waste water in a wastewater treatment plant also consume resources and energy. According to the Ecoinvent database (version 2.1), 9.3 MJ of energy are required per cubic meter of water and 0.61 kg of CO2 emissions are released (reference values for Europe).
    • The  water footprint, which has been prepared since 2012, covers the entire value chain and shows that almost 100% of water consumption occurs during the usage of the products. The picture is similar for the CO2 emissions: Around 67% of the total CO2 footprint occurs during usage.
    • The total water savings achieved by Geberit products in use throughout the world are impressive: According to one model calculation, the entire dual-flush and flush-stop “fleet of cisterns” produced since 1998 has saved around 15,800 million cubic meters of water to date in comparison with traditional flushing systems. In 2013 alone, the water saved amounted to 1,980 million cubic meters.

    Direct energy savings when using the products are made possible thanks to systematically improved energy efficiency. Current examples include:

    • With its simple, modern lines and wealth of innovative technology, the new  Geberit AquaClean Sela shower toilet launched in April 2013 is a compelling product offering a high level of convenience. In adding this model, Geberit is supplementing its line of shower toilets with a complete solution that has been fundamentally redesigned and fits into nearly any style of bathroom. The spray functionality, which uses aerated water for cleaning, is the main feature of the new shower toilet. Enrichment with air not only gives a pleasant feeling of cleanliness, but also reduces water and energy consumption. With the spray intensity at the maximum setting, just 0.5 liters of hot water are required for the entire shower procedure. This results in around 65% less water consumption and 33% less electricity consumption compared to the top Geberit AquaClean 8000plus model. For further information, see  Business report > Business and financial review > Innovation.
    • With the  electronic lavatory taps type 185 and 186, the company has for several years been offering environmentally friendly products for public facilities that reduce water consumption. The taps, which were awarded the top A category by the WELL water efficiency label, ensure economical water-saving consumption thanks to their control electronics. Since spring 2012, a new generator unit has been using the energy of the flowing tap water to generate the required electricity, thus making the electronic taps independent of mains current or batteries.
    • The  Geberit actuator plate Sigma70, which will be launched on the market in 2014, distinguishes itself through its refined elegance and a patented servo technology that does not require an external energy source due to its use of pipe pressure. Thanks to this technology, a gentle press suffices to trigger the dual flush.

  8. EN7 Reduction of indirect energy consumption

    • Raw materials: The eco-design workshop in product development generally pursues the approach of using as few materials as possible (see  EN6 and  EN26). No quantitative analyses on the resulting energy savings are available.
    • Logistics: For information on the reduction of energy consumption, see  EN29.
    • Business trips: Travel using company vehicles is covered in  EN3. As part of the CO2 strategy, an ambitious fuel reduction plan for new vehicles has been defined. The emissions caused by business trips by air travel have also been captured and calculated since 2012 (for both these figures, see  EN18).

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  9. EN8 Water consumption

    The  water footprint, which covers Geberit’s entire value chain, shows that nearly 100% of water consumption is attributable to the use of the products, while the manufacture of the products by Geberit accounts for less than 0.01% of water consumption. Geberit nevertheless also serves as a role model with respect to its internal water consumption in production and goes to great lengths to further optimize its processes with regard to water consumption every year.

    Geberit mainly uses fresh water from the public water system, together with well water and rainwater. Thanks to targeted savings measures, the consumption of fresh and well water has been reduced by nearly 40% since 2006 and is now leveling out at a low level. Consumption decreased by 3.5% in 2013. Water consumption per sales (currency-adjusted) has declined by over 50% since 2006, confirming that Geberit is on track to meet its long-term target of reducing consumption by 5% per year.

    Geberit also advocates the economical use of water beyond processes and products. This can be seen by its collaboration in the development of the product classification system  WELL (Water Efficiency Label) introduced in 2011, its collaboration within the standard group for the development of the new ISO 14046 water footprint standard and its active role in the dialog with stakeholders on the European ecolabel for WCs, urinals and lavatory taps.

    Key figures concerning water consumption by source can be found at  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

  10. EN9 Water sources significantly affected by withdrawal of water

    Geberit production plants’ water consumption does not place a considerable burden on water sources as defined in the GRI guidelines.

  11. EN10 Water recycling

    Throughout the Group, two processes are responsible for much of the water requirements:

    1. During the production of multilayer pipes in Givisiez (CH), the pipes are cross-linked in autoclaves. A total of 30,670 m³ of water was used for this purpose in 2013. Around 31% or 9,380 m³ of this is fresh water; the remaining 69% was recycled internally.
    2. Newly developed products are tested at the Geberit sanitary laboratory in Jona (CH). The tests require some 130,700 m³ of water annually. Only about 2% or 2,280 m³ of this is fresh water. The remaining 98% is used in a closed-circuit system. Based on these two processes, the estimated proportion of recycled water in the Geberit Group is almost 55%.

  12. EN11 Parcels in biodiversity reserves

    This indicator is not relevant to Geberit. The typical activities at Geberit’s production sites and the company’s products and services do not endanger any sanctuaries or areas of significant biodiversity.

  13. EN12 Impact on biodiversity in protected areas

    This indicator is not relevant to Geberit. The typical activities at Geberit’s production sites and the company’s products and services do not endanger any sanctuaries or areas of significant biodiversity.

  14. EN13 Protected or restored natural habitats

    This indicator is not relevant to Geberit. The typical activities at Geberit’s production sites and the company’s products and services do not endanger any natural habitats or areas of significant biodiversity.

  15. EN14 Management of impact on biodiversity

    This indicator is not relevant to Geberit. The typical activities at Geberit’s production sites and the company’s products and services do not endanger any sanctuaries or areas of significant biodiversity.

  16. EN15 Influence on IUCN Red List species

    This indicator is not relevant to Geberit. The typical activities at Geberit’s production sites and the company’s products and services do not endanger any sanctuaries, areas of significant biodiversity or species on the IUCN Red List.

  17. EN16 Direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions

    A comprehensive CO2 footprint has been calculated since 2012. The CO2 footprint covers the entire value chain – from the provision of raw materials, the manufacturing of products at Geberit, logistics and use, right through to disposal. An analysis of the CO2 footprint revealed that product use (67%) and the provision of raw materials (21%) are by far the largest sources of CO2 emissions. During product use, the provision of water, treatment of waste water and generation of hot water play a central role. Production by Geberit accounts for only 3% of total CO2 emissions. In a relative comparison, the transport (1%) and disposal (8%) of the products also cause fewer emissions.

    CO2 emissions are calculated as part of the annual preparation of the corporate eco-balance. The six leading substances as per the Kyoto Protocol (CO2 fossil, CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC and SF6) were used for the greenhouse gas emissions and shown as a sum parameter (CO2 equivalents or simply CO2). The calculation includes both direct emissions (Scope 1) from the burning of combustibles and fuels (see  EN3) and indirect emissions (Scope 2) resulting from electricity consumption (see  EN4). The emissions from the preparation of combustibles and fuels in the upstream chain (Scope 3) are included in the cumulative value (see  EN17).

    Key figures on the CO2 emissions are available at  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

    In absolute terms, CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) decreased by 2.7% to 69,909 metric tons in 2013 (previous year 71,853 metric tons). If one relates these emissions to sales (currency-adjusted), there is an improvement of 6.1%. At 75%, electricity consumption is by far the largest source of CO2, followed by combustibles and fuels. Just the purchase of 21 GWh of green electricity in Pfullendorf (DE), Daishan (CN), Givisiez (CH) and Weilheim (DE) reduces the CO2 emissions by more than 12,200 metric tons.

  18. EN17 Other relevant greenhouse gas emissions

    Other relevant greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3) result from:

    • The provision of combustibles and fuels (in  EN16) which accounted for some 2,000 metric tons of combustibles and around 2,250 metric tons of fuels in 2013.
    • The raw materials used and the “gray energy” purchased along with them. This is estimated for the corporate eco-balance, and amounted to around 10,720 TJ in 2013 (previous year 10,500 TJ) and caused around 491,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions (previous year 478,000 metric tons).
    • Logistics (see  EN29), which caused a total of 27,483 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2013 (previous year 26,883 metric tons).
    • Business travel by air, which caused 829 metric tons of CO2 emissions (previous year 769 metric tons).

  19. EN18 Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    Under the established  CO2 strategy the CO2 emissions per sales (currency-adjusted) should be reduced by 5% per year on average between 2006 and 2015. With an improvement in this key figure of 6.1%, Geberit outstripped this annual target in 2013 and is well on track with its strategy (see  EN16). In line with the “best-in-class” approach, ambitious long-term goals were drawn up at the end of 2012. Based on organic growth, CO2 emissions should be reduced by 20% by 2020 compared with the base year 2000, in line with the EU target values. In addition, the share of combustibles from renewable sources should be increased to 25% and the share of electricity from renewable sources to 60% by 2020.

    The measures for implementing the CO2 strategy are based on the three pillars “energy saving”, “increased energy efficiency” (see  EN5) and the “targeted expansion of the share of renewable energy sources”. An energy master plan is being implemented in the largest plants to manage and plan energy consumption. This provides a forward-thinking illustration of the development of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In Switzerland, Geberit works with the Business Energy Agency and has also obtained corresponding CO2 certificates.

    In 2013, another 2 GWh of certified green electricity was purchased by the largest production plant in Pfullendorf (DE), bringing the total for green electricity to 14 GWh. The plan is to increase this by another 3 GWh in 2014. The Daishan (CN) plant purchased around 2 GWh of wind energy in the reporting year, which accounted for around 60% of the plant’s total energy consumption. In addition, the plant in Givisiez (CH) converted to 100% green electricity and purchased approximately 4.6 GWh of green electricity in 2013. In 2013, the consumption of green electricity amounted to 21 GWh (previous year 20 GWh). Renewable energy sources accounted for 31% of total electricity consumption (previous year 30%). Furthermore, the roof area at the plant in Givisiez (CH) was made available to an energy services provider in 2013 for a 3,050 m2  photovoltaic instalation with projected annual electricity production of nearly 0.5 GWh.

    The share of renewable energies when it comes to combustibles is also being increased gradually. An important milestone was reached in 2012 with the commissioning of the  block heating station in Pfullendorf (DE), which was fed by 10.6 GWh of regionally generated biogas in 2013. This already brought the share of renewable energies for combustibles to 21% in 2013 (target figure 25%).

    The efficiency of the in-house fleet of vehicles is enhanced with a consistent purchasing policy. Since early 2008, binding guidelines have applied for the purchase of new vehicles with the goal of reducing consumption by 10% every three years until 2012. Since 2013, this fuel reduction plan for new vehicles has been increased to 5% per year to reach an emission value of 100 grams of CO2/km by 2020 as targeted by the EU. At the same time, emission-reducing measures are being implemented. Currently 99% of all Geberit diesel vehicles have particle filters.

    Geberit promotes awareness among all employees for the promotion of environmentally friendly behavior. New employees receive training on the subject of sustainability at Geberit as part of their job orientation program. In the largest plants, this is also tailored to the target group of production employees.

    All targets and measures for improving the CO2 balance are disclosed in detail as part of the company’s participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

  20. EN19 Ozone-depleting substances

    Emissions of ozone-depleting substances, measured in CFC11 equivalents, can be calculated based on the Geberit Group’s corporate eco-balance. The calculation includes both direct emissions from the burning of combustibles and fuels and process emissions (solvents), as well as indirect emissions resulting from electricity consumption.

    Key figures on ozone-depleting substances can be found at  Key figures sustainability > Environment. The increase at a very low level is due to the increase in coolant losses.

  21. EN20 NOx, SOx and other air emissions

    Emissions of NOx, SO2, NMVOC (non-methane VOC) and dust (PM10) can be calculated on the basis of the Geberit Group’s corporate eco-balance. The calculation includes both direct emissions from the burning of combustibles and fuels and process emissions (solvents), as well as indirect emissions resulting from electricity consumption.

    Key figures on these emissions are available at  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

  22. EN21 Total water discharge

    Geberit does not engage in the unplanned discharge of water. All resulting domestic waste water and all process waste water is treated. In 2013, 116,719 m3 of waste water was generated (previous year 114,932 m3 of waste water). Of this, 75% is domestic waste water that passes into the communal wastewater treatment plant (previous year 65%), and 2% (previous year 12%) is domestic waste water that is pretreated and fed into receiving waters. The remaining 23% (previous year 23%) is waste water that is pretreated and fed to a communal wastewater treatment plant. Waste water is not directly reused by third-party companies.

    Key figures on waste water can also be found at  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

  23. EN22 Waste

    In 2013, the total waste was 12,118 metric tons (previous year 11,460 metric tons). Of this, 84% was channeled to external recycling processes (previous year 84%). The measures focused above all on the further separation of waste and the reduction of mixed waste and hazardous waste. The following examples show that considerable progress was made in the past few years: In Weilheim (DE), the manufacturing waste was reduced by 80% in five years, mainly through the use of a new foaming facility. This pioneer project was tested and implemented in several stages. Central aspects include the use of rainwater for cleaning, which is then added to the foaming process as process water, and optimized cleaning cycles to prevent residues in the plant.

    Key figures concerning waste by category are provided at  Key figures sustainability > Environment.

  24. EN23 Significant spills of chemicals

    There were no spills of chemicals in the reporting period.

  25. EN24 Transport of hazardous waste

    In 2013, approximately 269 metric tons of hazardous waste (previous year 179 metric tons) were disposed of by incineration and 956 metric tons (previous year 1,199 metric tons) were recycled. At Geberit, all waste is disposed of and recycled by licensed disposal companies.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  26. EN25 Effects of water discharges on bodies of water

    This indicator is not relevant to Geberit as no bodies of water are affected by significant water discharge from Geberit facilities as defined in the GRI guidelines.

  27. EN26 Mitigation of environmental impact of products

    The basis for sustainable products is a systematic innovation process in which the most environmentally friendly materials and functional principles possible are chosen, risks are minimized and a high level of resource efficiency is targeted for the production process as well as the product itself.  Eco-design workshops, in which different disciplines cooperate and ensure that every new product exceeds its predecessor in environmental aspects, are an integral part of the early development phase.

    Specially created product life cycle assessments are important decision-making tools for development and provide arguments for the use of resource-efficient products. Detailed life cycle assessments have already been prepared for the following products: drainage/supply pipes, AquaClean 8000plus, electronic lavatory taps type 185/186, concealed cisterns and urinal flush control. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) was issued in accordance with the new European standard EN 15804 for the first time in 2012. The  EPD for lavatory taps provides relevant, comparable and verified information about the product’s environmental performance. New ways of more efficiently creating product life cycle assessments and EPDs for other products are currently being sought. A pilot project for the systematic recording of environmental data at the product level was therefore started, which should greatly simplify a further processing to EPDs and ecological product information. This further supports the visible positioning of the company as a provider of system solutions in the area of green building. Examples from the product range that help to reduce the environmental impact:

    • Since 2011, a new technological solution has been deployed to simplify the conversion of the large flush volume on nearly all concealed cisterns from 6 or 9 liters to 4.5 liters. The gradual conversion of the product range is creating great potential for even more water conservation.
    • The new WELL water efficiency label, which was introduced by the European umbrella organization for valve manufacturers (EUnited) in 2011 and which determines the water efficiency of products in line with the European energy label, provides more transparency in the area of water conservation (see also  PR3). Of the eight Geberit product groups already certified, seven are represented in the A, one in the B class. These product groups account for around 20% of Group sales.
    • Swift implementation of the European Drinking Water Directive 98/93/EC, which is valid as of December 1, 2013 and defines a maximum allowable lead concentration in drinking water: In 2013, Geberit adapted all components made of copper materials that come into contact with drinking water – some 1,800 products – to the new requirements and did so ahead of time, thus ensuring that customers with Geberit products are on the safe side.
    • The Geberit Sovent fitting, which facilitates an optimal layout of waste water discharge stacks in high-rises, was streamlined and optimized thanks to the leading know-how of Geberit’s flow specialists. The new flow-optimized fitting causes the water to rotate in the discharge stack, which creates a continuous column of air in the center. This ensures optimum pressure compensation and increases the discharge rate by 40%, while at the same time taking up less space and using 45% less material. The Sovent fitting also permits the use of relatively small-sized discharge stacks even in very high buildings.
    • Since 2010, eco-design has also been included in product modifications and technology projects, thus ensuring that opportunities to reduce the ecological footprint are always utilized to their full potential: From the end of 2013, the elements for WCs, urinals and washbasins will receive new halogen-free protecting hoses for the threaded rods. By replacing around 6.7 million hoses, 110 metric tons of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can be replaced by 35 metric tons of environmentally friendly polyethylene (PE).

    Advances in the reduction of the environmental impact were not only made at product level, but also with regard to product information. From 2013, the user manuals for the shower toilet will only be provided to the main markets in five instead of 22 languages. This change, which was initiated by environmentally conscious customers, is very effective, as it reduces paper consumption by some 19 metric tons per year.

  28. EN27 Reclaimed packaging material

    The following quantities are based on an internal survey at the sites: On the product side, approximately 13.3 metric tons of used products (mainly electrical equipment) were taken back and disposed of appropriately in 2013 (previous year 7 metric tons). In some markets (DE, CH), parts of the multilayer drinking water pipes (Mepla) are also taken back. The exact quantity is not known, but is estimated to be just under around 10 metric tons Group-wide (previous year 7 metric tons). In 2013, approximately 13,360 metric tons (previous year 12,320 metric tons) of packaging material were used, over 49% (previous year 45%) of which was collected and recycled by Geberit itself or by financed contract partners. The rest is disposed of and recycled on a country-specific basis.

  29. EN28 Sanctions due to non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations

    No significant fines or non-monetary penalties were imposed in the reporting year.

  30. EN29 Environmental impact of transport

    In the area of logistics, in addition to cost effectiveness and punctuality, it is increasingly important to customers that transport services be as environmentally friendly as possible. Geberit does not maintain its own fleet of vehicles. Because external logistics equates to around 35% of the Geberit Group’s total environmental impact (production plants and sales companies), collaboration with the transport service providers that work with Geberit is central. Partners agree to actively support Geberit in its efforts to use energy and packaging material efficiently and to reduce emissions, and undertake to provide the data needed for Geberit’s environmental reporting.

    The logistics calculator developed in 2010 facilitates the capture of data on the vehicle fleet composition, transportation performance and fuel consumption of all transport service providers, as well as the preparation of the annual eco-balance. In the reporting year, the twelve largest transport service providers handled 176.6 million ton-kilometers (previous year 169.7 million ton-kilometers). This generated 27,483 metric tons of CO2 emissions (previous year 26,883 metric tons). The increase in transport services and CO2 emissions was mainly caused by the increase in sales and the related increase in transport volumes. The share of Euro 5 vehicles remains high at 87%. Euro 6 vehicles (compulsory for new vehicles from January 1, 2014) were also used for the first time. As a result, Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles account for a total of nearly 90% of the entire truck fleet.

    Another important step in reducing the environmental impact is switching from road to rail. For instance, 80% of the goods transported from Italy and 50% of those transported to Italy are moved by train. The use of  mega-trailers, which can carry an approximately 15% greater load volume, also increases energy efficiency: In 2013, about 1,350 such transport runs (previous year 1,280) between Rapperswil-Jona (CH) and Pfullendorf (DE) and around 800 transport runs (previous year 800) between Pottenbrunn (AT) and Pfullendorf (DE) were completed in this way. This translates into a reduction of 134,000 kilometers compared with conventional transport runs. As a result, diesel consumption was reduced by 39,900 liters and CO2 emissions were lowered by 164 metric tons. Geberit is also working on innovative solutions aimed at enabling a higher goods per truck ratio – i.e. increasing capacity utilization of the transport volume.

    Furthermore, the pilot project with an  environmentally friendly, natural gas truck running between Pfullendorf (DE) and Rapperswil-Jona (CH) commenced at the end of 2013. This pioneering project is being conducted in collaboration with a transport service provider and a truck manufacturer.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  31. EN30 Costs of environmental protection

    Approximately CHF 1.3 million was spent on environmental protection and preventive environmental management in 2013 (previous year CHF 1.2 million). This involved external advisory services and training, external certification and personnel expenditures on environmental management activities. The costs of disposal of hazardous and other waste, in turn, amounted to approximately CHF 0.6 million in 2013 (previous year CHF 0.6 million).