7. Ethics and Integrity

G4-56 General principles and code of conduct

The most important central guidelines and fundamental values are summarized in the Geberit Compass. This provides the framework within which this global organization is to achieve its vision and objectives.

As a multinational group and one of the world’s top performers in the field of sanitary technology, a clear code of conduct is required if Geberit is to work successfully with internal and external individuals and institutions. These principles are laid down for employees in the  Geberit Code of Conduct, which was revised in 2014. Geberit also operates in accordance with the ten principles of the UN Global Compact.

Other specific guidelines that are important to Geberit are the:

G4-57 Mechanisms for securing ethical and lawful behavior

Geberit has established an effective compliance system to ensure that its conduct is both ethical and in compliance with the law. Action on compliance focuses on the five key topic areas of “antitrust legislation”, “corruption”, “employee rights”, “product liability” and “environmental protection”, see  Business Report > Business and financial review > Compliance.

Conformity with the Code of Conduct for employees is subject to binding controls each year. All Geberit Group companies receive around 50 questions on the five above-mentioned topic areas. In addition, on-site audits are performed by the Internal Audit Department and corrective measures taken in the event of misconduct. The audits also comprise special interviews with the managing directors of the individual companies on the topics mentioned in the Code of Conduct. The respective information is verified. The findings from the survey and audits form the basis for the annual Compliance Report submitted to the Group Executive Board and are published in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in this report.

G4-58 Mechanisms for reporting concerns regarding unethical or unlawful behavior

The Board of Directors and Group Executive Board are available at any time to address the concerns of stakeholders.

Employees who openly address irregularities which represent breaches of applicable law, ethical standards or this Code of Conduct are acting correctly and in accordance with the Geberit Code of Conduct. As a general rule, employees should seek a personal meeting with their supervisor. The  Geberit Integrity Line is available to all employees as a whistleblower hotline. This service is intended to enable employees to anonymously report cases such as sexual harassment or when a corrupt payment is being covered up. The Integrity Line is operated by an external company with experience in this area, and is available around the clock seven days a week.