Just like it was yesterday.
The Geberit year 2013.
The “Geberit Integrity Line” is activated
A Code of Conduct for everyday work has already been in place at Geberit for a number of years. Entitled “Thinking and acting in a fair manner”, it outlines the rights and duties that are binding within all Geberit Group companies. The beginning of the year is marked by the launch of the “Geberit Integrity Line” – a hotline for reporting violations of the Code. All employees from across the globe can contact this hotline anonymously via phone or the Internet to report cases of unfair business practices, discrimination or other misconduct.
Swiss training courses in high demand
The demand for training courses in Switzerland shows no signs of letting up. At a total of 27 live, hands-on events, a record-breaking 3,295 plumbers are brought up to speed on the innovations from Geberit. These events have previously been advertised at the customer training courses on the new drinking water directives, where 2,800 customers listened attentively to the explanations from the Geberit technical advisors. “Although both events take place in quick succession, we have set an ambitious target with regard to the number of participants,” explains project manager Walter Brändle. “The fact that the attendance figure is 12 percent up on the previous year clearly demonstrates just how popular our training courses are in the sector.”
A new landmark on the London cityscape
With the opening of the viewing gallery, The Shard is finally open to the wider public. At 306 meters, the mixed-use skyscraper erected close to London Bridge towers above every other high-rise in the city. Prior to completion of Mercury City Tower in Moscow, The Shard is even the tallest building in Europe for a few months. The building is cooled using water siphoned off from the River Thames, whose salinity requires a special solution. Robin Riches, Key Account Director at Geberit United Kingdom, explains further: “Our MapressCuNiFe piping system meets the unusual requirements perfectly as it is corrosion-resistant and durable.”
Energy-saving project in Chinese plants proving effective
The energy master plan is part of the sustainability strategy of Geberit. Based on this plan, examinations have been carried out in the two Chinese plants in Shanghai and Daishan in order to find out how substantial energy savings could be made. As a result, a total of 33 injection molding machines are now equipped with extremely energy-efficient drive systems. With an average reduction in energy consumption of over 40 percent, this is proving a very effective measure. Extrapolated over the year as a whole, this represents no less than two GWh of electricity, which corresponds to over 20 percent of total electricity consumption.
New products for 2013 ready for launch
A range of new products are aiming to create a furor this year. The further developed actuator plates Sigma10 and Sigma50 are leading the way – one round, the other elongated and slightly curved. Off to a completely different environment, directly under the roof, where the noise reduction insert for Geberit Pluvia roof outlets minimizes irritating sounds. Then there is the completely overhauled welding machine designed to ensure maximum efficiency and reliability when connecting discharge pipes. There are also some additions to the product range for the Asian markets, with new colors and patterns introduced for the Geberit Monolith sanitary module for WCs just a year after its launch.
Convincing full-year results 2012
Despite the challenging environment, the Geberit Group can look back on a convincing 2012. It once again successfully defended its excellent market position and gained market shares. Healthy sales growth was a major factor in raising the results slightly above the prior-year level, and this despite substantial additional investments in organic growth. Sales reached CHF 2187.8 million for 2012 as a whole, which represents growth of 3.1% in Swiss francs and 4.5% in local currencies. Net income increased by 2.2% to CHF 392.3 million, with a return on sales of 17.9%.
Revolutionary shower toilet the focus of the new AquaClean campaign
The launch of the Geberit AquaClean Sela is accompanied by a range of marketing activities. In addition to its appearance at Europe’s largest sanitary fair, the → ISH in Frankfurt, another setting where the new shower toilet can be admired is Ideal Home in London (UK) – a trade fair attended by over 250,000 visitors spread over an 18-day period. Another one is the luxurious spa at Denmark’s new landmark building – the Bella Sky Hotel in Copenhagen. In addition to the activities in the campaign markets, a new, far-reaching advertising campaign featuring brand ambassador Melanie Winiger has been generating additional attention since the beginning of the month.
Presence at the ISH in Frankfurt causes
quite a stir
Around 190,000 visitors flock to the ISH in Frankfurt am Main (DE) – the world’s most important sanitary fair – which takes place every two years. Geberit has two very well-attended stands, where customers from all over the world can experience the entire product range in an atmosphere that is as impressive as it is pleasant. The Geberit AquaClean stand, which turns out to be a true visitor magnet, proves a major highlight. This is hardly surprising, given that the presentation of the new shower toilet AquaClean Sela is accompanied by a special dance performance which captivates the audience. The same goes for the star of the show – the new shower toilet – whose simple, modern design is met with great enthusiasm across the board.
Cooperation with Swiss development organization is continued
Since its establishment in 2003, UN-Water – an initiative from the United Nations – has been highlighting how important fresh water and its sustainable use are for the entire world. It does so by coordinating global activities and events on topics such as the provision of fresh water and sanitation. On World Water Day, the international community is called upon to introduce relevant UN recommendations on water and to encourage concrete action. Geberit is setting a good example in this regard, with the renewal of the successful cooperation with the Swiss development organization Helvetas coming right on schedule to mark World Water Day. The goal of this partnership is to provide people in the world’s poorest regions with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation.
The ProApp – the practical assistant for the construction site
The Geberit ProApp for iPhone and Android has been available since the leading trade fair, the → ISH. Specially conceived for use by plumbers on the construction site, the app contains a range of features, including a special product identification function that can be used to quickly call up all concealed cisterns manufactured from 1964 onwards, as well as the corresponding spare parts. By the end of the year, the Geberit ProApp was downloaded 23,356 times and visited over 100,000 times.
General Meeting elects new member of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Geberit Group has a new member. At the General Meeting, the shareholders elect Swiss citizen Felix R. Ehrat as the successor to Susanne Ruoff, who stepped down due to job-related reasons. The 56-year-old lawyer is Group General Counsel and a member of the Executive Committee of the Basel-based pharmaceutical group Novartis. His broad legal expertise and his experience in an international environment were at the basis of his election.
Design enthusiasts gather in Milan for the Fuorisalone
Geberit Italy is present at the Fuorisalone (an event that takes place during the Milan Furniture Fair) for the third time. On the first floor of a building rented especially for the event in the heart of the Brera district, reference bathrooms highlight the full range of possibilities when it comes to renovations. In an AquaClean lounge set up on the top floor, visitors can view all shower toilet models as well as the new campaign film featuring Melanie Winiger. “The evening events we organized are a real visitor magnet,” explains a satisfied Maurizio Molgora from Geberit Italy – an opinion that is also shared by colleagues from Germany, Turkey and Poland, who have come to Milan with selected partners.
Renovation of materials laboratory completed
What effect do cleaning agents have on plastics? Which adhesive is ideal for use on glass? How much pressure can a push-fit connection withstand? Almost any secret can be uncovered in the materials laboratory in Rapperswil-Jona (CH). After a period of renovation spanning a year, it now shines in new splendor. “The lab has become more and more important within the company over the past few years. We are now able to offer a comprehensive service to our colleagues from development, technology and the quality department – from materials analyses and environmental impact testing through to mechanical load tests and experiments with colors and adhesives,” explains Margit Harsch, Head of Materials Laboratory, at the open house event for staff.
Geberit Challenge wins Swiss event award
Xaver is the name of the most important award bestowed by the Swiss live communication industry. The 2013 award for best event goes to the Geberit Challenge, with the contest for sanitary professionals winning over the independent jury and stealing the show from high-profile competitors.
Latest developments from the Slovenian plant
The Geberit production company in the Slovenian town of Ruše will soon boast a completely new home comprising both production and office facilities. Although preparatory work has been underway for quite some time, the official groundbreaking ceremony has now finally taken place. Project manager Bozidar Marot is clearly impressed: “All the obstacles are now out of the way regarding the construction of the new premises, which will solve the current space shortage.” The eagerly awaited move will take place step by step starting in January 2014.
Geberit AquaClean now also in Poland and Italy
For Poland and Italy, the two most recent among the eleven European AquaClean markets, the moment of truth arrives where they present the shower toilets to the public for the first time. But how can you publicize the concept of “cleaning with water”? And where? “The choice of venue for our promotion is key,” explains Anna Dabrowska-Makara from Geberit Poland. “We want to appeal directly to an affluent audience.” Selected shopping malls across the country prove the ideal shop window for the premiere. A different strategy is taken in Italy, where the → Fuorisalone – an event that takes place during the Milan Furniture Fair – stages the unveiling.
Venerable grand hotel shines in new splendor
After a period of renovation lasting two years, the d’Angleterre in the Danish capital Copenhagen opens its doors once again. The hotel rooms exude pure elegance and luxury in line with the 250-year tradition of the five-star hotel. Thanks to the redesign work, all the needs and wishes of discerning international guests can be fulfilled in a stylish atmosphere. Small wonder that the Geberit AquaClean shower toilet comes into play here, ensuring comfort in the bathroom.
Unique showroom built in the Matrei plant
Anyone who visits the factory building in Matrei in Austria can’t help but immediately notice the new showroom standing proudly on an elevated platform right in the heart of the hall. At the opening of the showroom, Josef Rapp, Managing Director of Geberit Huter in Matrei, expresses his pride in the new gem: “Many architects, planners and plumbers visit us each year. We can now train and provide these visitors with information in state-of-the-art surroundings.” The showroom is not only the perfect setting for the products from Geberit Huter, but also for the entire Geberit range.
Geberit shines at “Kitchen & Bath”
With over 3,300 exhibitors presenting their products to some 130,000 visitors, the China International Kitchen & Bath Expo is a real crowd-puller once again this year. Geberit China also has a stand at the expo, exhibiting products such as the Monolith sanitary module and the actuator plates Sigma and Alpha. “The visitors show great interest in European technology and the high-quality bathroom products,” explains Geberit employee Michelle Shen from China.
Successful series of events celebrates premiere in Israel
The “Geberit On Tour” campaign is on the road for the third time. During this “Tour”, plumbers are introduced to Geberit’s piping systems and selected products from Geberit’s sanitary system range at a mobile booth directly on site, mostly during visits to wholesalers. No fewer than 17 Geberit Group companies are involved in the 2013 edition, which sees Israel take part for the first time. The series of events celebrates its premiere in the Middle East from February to June. Designed according to the European model, the trailer stops in 21 different locations, offering over 600 sanitary professionals insights into the Geberit product range.
Internationalization of apprenticeship
Manuel Krom is leading the way. After completing his apprenticeship as a mechatronics engineer in the Pfullendorf plant in Southern Germany, he is now gaining practical work experience in the production plant in Shanghai. He is the first to benefit from the internationalization of apprenticeship at Geberit. Project manager Annika Heilig explains the background to this approach: “It’s about young people gaining some first-hand experience of living and working abroad. Having done so, they will be much more willing to put their knowledge to use abroad once again later on in their career. Our international locations such as Shanghai also benefit immensely from the knowledge transfer afforded by our newly qualified young talents.” Other apprentices from both technical and commercial fields will soon be following in Manuel Krom’s footsteps.
A special launch
In one of the three major shipyards in the Asian city-state of Singapore, an extraordinary project is completed. “Ekofisk L” is a platform that contains living quarters for oil rig workers on the high seas. “It is the first time that a platform bound for the North Sea is being constructed here,” explains Geberit employee Mark Lim during an on-site visit. Shortly afterwards – and equipped with Mapress stainless steel pipes – a structure as large as a block of houses bids farewell to Singapore. The journey on board the freighter “Osprey” lasts a month. Crazy, isn’t it?
An award-winning first half of 2013
The Geberit AquaClean Sela takes home some coveted awards, namely the iF Product Design Award and the Interior Innovation Award. Martin Baumüller, Head Geberit AquaClean for the Group, is delighted: “Once again, our products impress not only through smart technology and functionality, but also thanks to their sophisticated and simple design.” Not just one, but two products – the Geberit AquaClean Sela and the actuator plate Sigma70 – are presented with the prestigious “Design Plus powered by ISH 2013” award, which is bestowed for outstanding and particularly innovative design in connection with climate protection, energy efficiency and sustainability.
Ten trend shows on the bathroom of the future
From April to July, Geberit Germany captivates a total of 1,700 customers at ten trend shows, where participants learn what the future holds in the area of bathroom design – and how Geberit is embracing these trends. The series of events is based on the trend study carried out by Zukunftsinstitut GmbH in Frankfurt entitled “Changes in Body Awareness and Hygiene” (currently available only in German). The findings on the wishes and needs of bathroom users are crying out to be passed on to representatives from the skilled trades and wholesalers, as well as to architects and planners. For Christian Buhl, Managing Director of the German sales company, one thing is for sure: “The positive feedback confirms that we are on the right track with this event format.”
Sweden’s flagship mall relies on Geberit expertise
“Emporia” is one of the largest shopping malls in Europe. The impressive shopping center in the Swedish city of Malmö not only sets itself apart thanks to its striking architecture – it also fulfills all aspects of a sustainable building, which has resulted in it receiving the highly coveted BREEAM certification. The architects Gert Wingårdh and Joakim Lyth on why Geberit products were given the nod for this building: “To receive BREEAM certification, all materials have to be assessed and approved in terms of their environmental friendliness. The sustainable products from Geberit met these requirements in every regard.”
The Monolith conquers New York City
“Those who see it are instantly fascinated.” Howard Friedman, President of the sanitary wholesaler AF Supply in the New York City area, does not doubt for a second that the Monolith – the sanitary module for WCs – will also be a hit in the USA. “It simply needs time and exposure.” In line with its thinking that a good dose of publicity couldn’t do any harm, Geberit USA has organized a range of events like the one in Duravit’s showroom in New York, where many interested parties carefully examine the sanitary module for themselves.
Half-year results slightly above prior year’s values
The Geberit Group achieved solid results in the first half of 2013 in a very challenging environment, which were slightly up on the prior year’s values across the board. Sales grew by 2.7% to CHF 1,173.7 million. After currency adjustment, this represents an increase of 1.1%. Net income rose by 4.3% to CHF 233.2 million.
Geberit social project in Romania
Eight apprentices embark on an experience that is anything but ordinary, working together assisting with the construction of the “Hospice Casa Sperantei” in Bucharest (RO). They describe their experiences with justified pride: “The results after four days of hard work are impressive. We installed a total of six toilets and eleven washbasins. The teamwork with the other plumbers on site ran very smoothly and we look forward to tackling week two all the richer for this valuable experience.” The second week sees the team undertake a special kind of challenge working with the residents of “Hospice Casa Sperantei”.
First Alpha concealed cistern leaves the Indian plant
The list of Geberit production sites has a new member – India. In the production plant in Pune – Geberit’s latest and 17th across the globe – the first Alpha concealed cisterns for the Indian market leave the assembly line. Following one and a half years of plant construction, this proves quite a moving experience for the production team, who helped with the construction of the factory building. While work on the factory building and warehouse is completed by the time production gets underway, the main building and the outdoor area still have to be finished.
Geberit presents solutions with style – in the “stilhaus” mall
Anyone still unsure about how widespread “Design by Geberit” has become need only pay a visit to the “stilhaus” mall in the Swiss town of Rothrist, where the who’s who of the construction, interior design and interior furnishing industries are represented across 20,000 square meters. End users can even receive advice about house construction while there. Here, Geberit presents bathroom solutions in a permanent exhibition that centers around the Geberit AquaClean shower toilet. Visitors not only get a chance to take a detailed look at the AquaClean, they can also try it out for themselves in the public toilets next door.
Italian plant preparing for a third Silent-PP line
The pipe manufacturing facility in Villadose, where Geberit PE pipes, Silent-db20 pipes and Silent-PP pipes are manufactured, is being enlarged by an impressive 6,600 square meters. “Silent-PP is earmarked for growth, which can no longer be met by the current plant capacity,” explains Managing Director Rainer Prügl. Since the groundbreaking ceremony in May, 735 piles have been anchored in the ground to ensure the static safety of the new production plant. As part of this expansion, the external storage area is also being relocated to the side of the new building. With deadhead trips reduced to a minimum, the 12,000-square-meter area can therefore be managed more efficiently in future. The external storage area is expected to be completed at the end of 2013, with the production plant to follow in April 2014.
The museum as a “place of reflection”
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Cleveland is one of only a few non-collecting contemporary art museums in the USA. As a result, the new exhibition complex deliberately dispensed with storage areas, with the entire space set aside for the museum. London-based architect Farshid Moussavi has created a solitary building structure that is located on the corner of a triangular site, thus leaving sufficient scope for an urban space. The building, which features Geberit Duofix installation systems, is clad in mirror-finish black stainless steel that reflects its urban surroundings, changing in appearance with differences in light and weather.
Building technology and acoustics laboratory in Shanghai plant carries out tests for Europe
Owing to bottlenecks in the building technology and acoustics laboratory in the Group’s headquarters, tests for a project from Italy are transferred to the laboratory in Shanghai for the first time. This represents the starting point for the building up of expertise in China and a doubling of capacity in the area of acoustics.
Austrian “Solar Decathlon” winners rely on Geberit expertise
With its low-energy house, the Vienna University of Technology wins first place among a total of 20 participants in the world’s most important university competition in the field of sustainable building – the “Solar Decathlon”. Its solar house L.I.S.I. (Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation) produces more energy than can be consumed by home appliances, heating, cooling and hot water combined. Geberit expertise can also be found in the winning project. The innovative PushFit supply system accelerated the project’s construction progress, thereby making the work considerably more economical.
Energy generation on the roof of the plant in Givisiez
The solar panels from the energy company Groupe E are put into operation on the roof of the production plant in Givisiez in western Switzerland. Following three months of work on an area covering 3,050 square meters, the Geberit Group’s largest solar system is now up and running. “An average of 475 MWh of electricity is produced each year,” explains Michel Pittet, Managing Director of the production plant in Givisiez. “That is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by two entire production lines in our plant each year.”
Online sustainability reporting wins high praise
The Econ Awards for corporate communication are presented for the seventh time in Berlin – and Geberit is once again among the award winners. “Fresh, plausible and convincing!” The jury is full of praise for the sustainability reporting for 2012, resulting in Geberit once again standing on the victory podium in the Online Reporting category, taking the silver medal. Citing its reasons, the jury explains that the online report from Geberit combines aesthetics, brand and accountability in an exemplary manner, thus offering users clear added value.
Belgian pedestrians marvel at urban design idea
Like a supermodel, the Geberit Monolith can expertly present itself in any environment. Following on from the presentation in Shaftesbury Avenue in London last fall, its catwalk can now be seen in five cities across Belgium. The Monolith proves a big hit in the urban setting in combination with the new shower toilet Geberit AquaClean Sela. “The lines, materials and craftsmanship of the products on display are striking a major chord with the passersby,” reports Véronique Langlois from Geberit Belgium.
Geberit Challenge in Zurich, Helsinki, Coventry and Glasgow
The trophy for the best plumbers in the country is fought out once again in Switzerland, Finland and in two cities in the United Kingdom. In Zurich, the Geberit Challenge attracts just under 80 competitors and some 400 fans cheering them on. In Finland, over 800 people turn up for the plumbing spectacle and around 650 in the United Kingdom. “I will never forget this day,” says Ferhat Özcevik from the Los Cubanos team at the Geberit Challenge in the Swiss town of Dübendorf. The winners of the 2013 edition can look forward to the same excellent prize that last year’s winners have already enjoyed – a week-long luxury holiday with their partners in Dubai.
Television headquarters in Beijing wins 2013 Best Tall Building award
The new headquarters of the Chinese state television broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) wins the 2013 Best Tall Building award bestowed by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago. The colossal complex, which stands out in the skyline of downtown Beijing, was designed by the architects Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). With a gross floor area of over 473,000 square meters, it is second only to the Pentagon in Washington as the world’s largest office building. In addition to Duofix installation systems, this spectacular building also features other Geberit products, namely electronic lavatory taps and WC and urinal flush controls.
Hotel renovation uncovers first-generation concealed cisterns
No, the concealed cisterns that are to be replaced in the Hotel Eiger in the Swiss resort of Grindelwald are not broken – just old. Back in the 1960s when they were installed by the sanitary company Ruoff AG, the hotel staff had to explain to most guests that the little buttons in the wall are for flushing. The cisterns – which are not far off their 50th birthday – are today being replaced by new ones as part of comprehensive renovation work on the hotel rooms. Thomas Ruoff, who represents the fourth generation of his family to manage Ruoff AG, is clearly impressed by the quality of what awaits him behind the wall. “These installations would have carried on working for many years to come.”
First natural gas truck put into service
The first truck powered by natural gas is now traveling between the production plant in Rapperswil-Jona (CH) and the logistics center in Pfullendorf (DE). The new truck is not only a sensible option from an ecological perspective, it is also an excellent choice in terms of cost-effectiveness. Although the initial outlay is higher, the fuel costs are around 30% lower than with a comparable vehicle with a diesel or gasoline tank. In order to ensure that environmentally friendly products are also transported in an environmentally friendly manner, Geberit is in continuous discussion with all its logistics partners with regard to gradually expanding the use of natural gas trucks.
Geberit flush valves – unique expertise, manufactured many million times over
Flush valves are sold separately and as a fundamental component of each and every cistern. They are manufactured in Pfullendorf (DE), Ruše (SI) and the two Chinese plants in Shanghai and Daishan. An impressive number of over 13.5 million units are manufactured each year – each an example of industrial design at its very finest.
A visit to plumbers on Svalbard
New arrivals at Imtech Spitsbergen AS – probably the world’s northernmost plumbing company – receive a manual from Managing Director Ryno Hansen on their first day. Among other things, the manual contains details of what to do if you should encounter a polar bear. The risk is not to be underestimated, which is why the plumbers always take a rifle along when they have to work outside Svalbard’s main town of Longyearbyen. However, the weapons are left at the door during the presentation of the most important new products by Geberit technical advisor Rolf Sæther. Ryno Hansen is visibly excited by the rare visitor: “It’s been several years since a rep from a manufacturer has visited us here up north.”