4. Stakeholder engagement

G4-24 Relevant stakeholder groups

Significant stakeholder groups for Geberit are customers, shareholders and analysts, banks, the media, employees and trade unions, neighbors, research institutes and suppliers, transport companies, competitors, associations, non-government organizations and the general public, as well as regulators. Details on stakeholder engagement can be found under  G4-26.

G4-25 Basis for selection of stakeholders

Systematic dialog with stakeholders helps Geberit to identify possible conflict issues and opportunities for further development and to respond to these in good time. At the national and international levels, the Geberit Group and the Group companies maintain relations with organizations and institutions in the respective countries that direct requests and suggestions to the company. The stakeholders listed under  G4-24 have been identified as important for systematic stakeholder dialog as they fulfill one of two criteria: Either the stakeholder group exerts a strong influence on the economic, environmental or social performance of Geberit and/or the stakeholder group is strongly affected by the economic, environmental or social performance of Geberit. An  external Stakeholder Panel helps Geberit to review its assessment of important stakeholder groups and their concerns.

G4-26 Approaches to stakeholder engagement

As part of sustainability reporting on the financial year 2014, Geberit consulted a panel of external stakeholders for the second time. Its mandate consisted of scrutinizing the results of the internal materiality analysis from the standpoint of external stakeholders and providing feedback on the sustainability strategy and sustainability communication. The results are presented in the  Panel statement. In the  Response from Geberit to the Panel statement Geberit deals in detail with the external assessment and the recommendations contained therein.

A stakeholder analysis is performed at all production plants as part of environmental management in accordance with ISO 14001. Based on this information, Geberit identifies potential for conflict or opportunities and essentially pursues a cooperative approach in order to discuss and further develop possible measures with the stakeholders concerned.

Engagement of stakeholders according to stakeholder group:


  • Around 500 technical advisors working in the field are in daily contact with plumbers, planners and architects in particular.
  • During the reporting year, around 30,000 customers were provided with basic and further training in Geberit systems and software tools at the 25 information centers in Europe and overseas.
  •  “Geberit On Tour”: Mobile exhibition that presented the advantages of Geberit products at more than 750 events in 15 countries in 2014. Around 20,000 visitors were registered at the events in total.
  • For trade fairs and customer surveys, see  Business report > Business and financial review > Customers.
  • A trend study entitled «Changes in Body Awareness and Hygiene» was carried out by Zukunftsinstitut GmbH in Frankfurt (DE).

Shareholders, analysts:


  • Regular conference calls, bilateral meetings/interviews with the relevant media for Geberit.
  • Sustainability issues and in particular the proof of performance of Geberit in this area play an important role in Geberit’s media relations.

Employees, trade unions:

  • Regular meetings of the employee representatives of the European sites with a member of the Group Executive Board and the Head Corporate Human Resources as part of the Geberit Europe Forum.
  • Training and feedback opportunities on topics regarding the Code of Conduct.
  • Group-wide  “Geberit Integrity Line” in place since 2013 to enable all employees across the world to report internal irregularities anonymously.
  • Employee survey every four years, with the next one in 2015 or 2016.

Neighbors, municipalities:

  • Consultation with and inclusion of the neighbors of production plants in larger construction projects.
  • Open days at various production sites.

Research institutes:

  • Financial support of the ETH Zurich Foundation with its key strategic area entitled "Green Building".
  • Partner of the  research platform NEST (Next Evolution in Green Building Technologies) at EMPA in Dübendorf (CH).
  • Cooperation with Tongji University (CN) on technological trends and developments directly related to sanitary technology.


  • Initial contact within the scope of the assessment procedure and implementation of the Code of Conduct for Suppliers, see  chapter Suppliers.
  • Regular discussions between buyers and suppliers on site.
  • On-site audits (quality, environment, safety) carried out by Geberit and since 2012 also by certified third-party specialists.
  • Sustainability risks in the supply chain are analyzed using a database-supported method.
  • Cooperation with manufacturers of infrastructure equipment, e.g. pilot project for the use of waste heat for the preheating of granulate in Pfullendorf (DE).

Transport companies:

  • Discussions with transport service providers concerning the results of the environmental monitoring, see  G4-EN29.
  • Joint planning and implementation of a pilot project with a  natural gas truck with a vehicle manufacturer and transport service provider.


Non-government organizations, general public:

  • Partnership with the Swiss development organization Helvetas.

Feedback from stakeholder dialogs is incorporated into the  Materiality analysis and into the  Sustainability Strategy.

G4-27 Response to and dealing with key topics and concerns of stakeholders

The topics introduced by the external  Stakeholder Panel have been integrated into the updated sustainability strategy and reporting by Geberit; see  Panel statement and the  Response from Geberit to the Panel statement.

Examples of important topics that were introduced by stakeholders and have been implemented by Geberit include: