“Sustainability has been demonstrably lived at Geberit for over 20 years. I will go all out to ensure that we continue to build on our position as pioneers in the industry.”
Christian Buhl, CEO
A sustainable corporate culture makes it possible to increase the value of the company over the long term and minimize risks for its future development. This approach has shaped Geberit for a long time. In my new role as CEO, I will give it my all to ensure the continued implementation of our sustainability strategy. We also receive outside support in this regard. The stakeholder panel made up of experts confirms our great efforts in setting standards in the area of sustainability. The materiality analysis compiled as part of the first implementation of the G4 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) shows the key topics for our further development, which are highly in line with our strategy.
Water conservation as a major contribution
Discussions on the content of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals show that water management is a key issue for sustainable development. The biggest environmental contribution by Geberit products also lies in the conservation of water. In the product classification system WELL (Water Efficiency Label) for water-saving and resource-saving products introduced by the industry in 2011, eight Geberit product groups are already in the highest classification class A. These product groups account for over 20% of Group sales. In the coming years, we will aim to continue to set standards in water conservation when developing new products.
Solutions in green building
The demand for system solutions for green building is continually growing. European and international standards are defining the framework conditions and new standards are setting out the basic rules for environmental declarations for individual products and systems in buildings. Investors, project developers, owners and tenants are looking for system providers with holistic know-how regarding green building that can contribute to the respective desired standards being fulfilled in a targeted manner. This is opening up a future market with major potential in which Geberit is present with water-saving, energy-saving, low-noise and durable products, and one in which Geberit specifically positions itself as a provider for green building.
Leading production standards
All production sites and logistics as a whole work with an integrated management system in accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. By mid-2016, all plants will also integrate the OHSAS 18001 standard for occupational health and safety management and individual sites will integrate the ISO 50001 standard for energy management. The first sites such as Lichtenstein already set international standards in 2014 with the certification of a fully integrated management system for quality, environment, energy and occupational health and safety. Areas with potential for improvement are thus tackled and very good results achieved in the area of quality, resource efficiency and occupational safety. In 2014, the culmination of a wide range of measures resulted in a drop of 7.5% in the overall environmental impact per sales (currency-adjusted), which was calculated as part of the corporate eco-balance.
Social responsibility as a solid foundation
More than 6,200 employees worldwide appreciate their outstanding working conditions and high level of training. With this in mind, the standardized global performance assessment, development and compensation process (PDC) started in 2012 was continued. Our goal here is to reinforce a culture of cooperation, increase transparency and better recognize and promote talent than has been done to date. The health and safety of employees has the highest priority and is a core element of our corporate culture. Geberit realizes its corporate social responsibility within the scope of global social projects relating to the topic of water and sanitary facilities, as well as in cooperation with partners.
Acquisition of Sanitec
With the acquisition of Sanitec, our product range will become even more comprehensive and attractive. Throughout the process of integrating Sanitec, we will aim to maintain our high sustainability standards throughout the entire company and develop them further over the medium term.
Statement of continued support for the UN Global Compact
Geberit has been a member of the UN Global Compact since October 2008 as a sustainability leader in the area of environmental protection, responsible labor practices, human rights and the prevention of corruption. We provide customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders with information on our sustainability goals and performances in a transparent manner. Since 2007, our sustainability reporting has been based on the implementation of the GRI guidelines in their most comprehensive form. The Communication on Progress UN Global Compact (COP) on the financial year 2014 can be found at www.geberit.com > Sustainability > UN Global Compact.
Christian Buhl, CEO