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. Guidelines and measures pertaining to all aspects of the GRI 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 targets and measures laid down in the Sustainability Strategy are implemented worldwide. 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 2014.
All production sites and logistics as a whole work with an integrated management system and have a Group certificate in accordance with ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment). 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 standards in 2014 with the certification of a fully integrated management system for quality, environment, energy and occupational health and safety. Software-based, uniform monitoring of the environmental performance, the energy master plan and occupational safety is carried out Group-wide.
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 17 production plants worldwide, the logistics center in Pfullendorf (DE) and the seven largest sales companies. The corporate eco-balance permits an overall assessment of environmental impact in terms of eco-points.
The absolute environmental impact for the Group declined by 1.6% in 2014 (previous year decrease of 2.1%). This is due primarily to improved energy efficiency, an increase in the share of green electricity and a reduction in waste that damages the environment. Sales after currency adjustment grew by 6.4% in the same period. The relative environmental impact with respect to sales (currency-adjusted) improved by 7.5% and exceeded the target figure of 5%.
Detailed key figures on the environmental impact are provided at Key figures Sustainability > Environment.
9.1 Materials (EN)
Management Approach - Materials
The use of raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products with a global procurement value of CHF 646.0 million is a significant production factor for Geberit. At around 12,200 TJ, the consumption of “gray energy” associated with purchased materials is around 19 times the entire energy consumption of the production plants themselves. This emphasizes the importance of treating raw materials with care. The resource-efficient use of raw materials is determined as early as the product development process as part of eco-design workshops, see Management approach products and services.
G4-EN1 Materials used
The most important materials for production are plastic and metal raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products. A total of 198,229 metric tons of materials were used in 2014 (previous year 183,433 metric tons). Detailed key figures on the use of materials can be found at Key figures Sustainability > Environment.
For packaging materials used, see G4-EN28.
G4-EN2 Percentage of recycled material
When estimating the share of recycled material in production, a distinction is made between external and internal sources.
The share of recycled material in purchased metals is relatively high. This data originates from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (2008). Extrapolated, the raw material metal purchased contains around 28,000 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 2014, over 400 metric tons of ABS regranulate were used for the mounting frames for concealed cisterns. Thanks to an intelligent redesign, half of the material for the new OEM flush valve type 240 is made of high-quality ABS regranulate, representing a further increase in the volume used. The use of plastic regranulate is generally to be increased further and applied to other product areas.
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 7,740 metric tons.
9.2 Energy (EN)
Management Approach - Energy
With a share of 93.2%, the consumption of energy in the form of electricity, combustibles and fuels represents Geberit’s greatest environmental impact. An energy master plan is being implemented in the largest plants to manage and plan energy consumption. This is based on the three pillars “energy saving”, “increased energy efficiency” and the “targeted expansion of the share of renewable energy sources”. With its energy master plan, Geberit is pursuing long-term aims. The share of combustibles from renewable sources should be increased to 25% (2014: 19%), and the share of electricity from renewable sources to 60% (2014: 37.4%) by 2020.
Energy management is practiced systematically and uniformly in production: Following on from Lichtenstein (DE), the Pfullendorf (DE) and Langenfeld (DE) plants were also certified according to the ISO 50001 standard for energy management for the first time in 2014. In addition, software introduced in 2012 permits the Group-wide monitoring of environmental impact and the energy master plan, as well as monthly monitoring of energy consumption.
For the development of energy-efficient products, see Management approach products and services.
G4-EN3 Energy Consumption within the Organization
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 reduced by 12.3% (previous year increase of 4.8%) and heating oil consumption was reduced by 35.3% (previous year reduction of 31.0%). Fuel consumption fell slightly by 0.8% (previous year increase of 1.6%).
Since 2012, a block heating station has been in use in Pfullendorf (DE). This plant was fed by 8.8 GWh of regionally produced biogas in 2014. The electricity generated by the plant (3.2 GWh) is fed into the transmission grid and the resulting heat (4.1 GWh) can be used in production, thereby substantially reducing the use of natural gas. The efficiency of the plant is 83%.
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 increased by 1.8% (previous year decrease of 1.5%), which was lower than the growth in production volumes. Electricity consumption was thus lower than in 2006, even though currency-adjusted sales grew by 39% during the same period. The share of purchased green electricity was increased by 2.4 GWh to 23.4 GWh in 2014 – meaning that renewable sources of energy now account for 37.4% of total electricity consumption (target 60%).
Since 2013, the roof area at the plant in Givisiez (CH) has been made available to an energy services provider for a 3,050 m3 photovoltaic installation. It generated 0.5 GWh of electricity in 2014. 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 the consumption of combustibles and fuels (Scope 1), as well as electricity (Scope 2) and the electricity mix, see Key figures Sustainability > Environment. The calculation of energy data is based on the internationally recognized Ecoinvent database (version 2.0) and the individual continental electricity mix.
G4-EN4 Energy Consumption outside of the Organization
Where the energy balance outside the organization is concerned, Geberit concentrates on purchased materials, intercompany and distribution logistics, and business travel.
In 2014, purchased materials resulted in “gray energy” consumption of around 12,200 TJ (previous year 10,670 TJ).
For the environmental impact caused by logistics, see G4-EN30.
Business flights have been recorded and included in the assessment since 2012. The flight distances are calculated according to the respective departure and arrival airports. The CO2 emissions comprise direct and indirect emissions and are based on the Ecoinvent database (version 2.2), see G4-EN17.
G4-EN5 Energy Intensity
Energy intensity is an important performance indicator at the production plants, and is monitored monthly in the form of a key figure. Those plants which are ISO 50001-certified have also introduced a more refined system of monitoring.
G4-EN6 Energy saved
Important energy-saving measures in production include:
- the continuous modernization of the machine fleet
- the purchase of energy-efficient systems
- increasing the capacity utilization and efficiency of production installations
- the optimization of cooling systems through the use of natural ambient cold (free cooling, ground water)
- the improved use of waste heat available internally (heat recovery)
- the careful use of compressed air
- the insulation of buildings
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 with energy-efficient drive technology was increased in the reporting year from 94 to 109. Analyses show that a modified machine consumes over 40% less energy on average.
- 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. The central material distribution with integrated preheating of granulate was implemented at the same site. This results in savings of around a further 0.6 GWh per year.
- From 2015, a new raw material for the inner layer of Mepla pipes will be used at the plant in Givisiez (CH). While maintaining the very highest product quality for customers, this will reduce the consumption of water and natural gas by around 50%.
- By carefully planning new buildings, the company is also investing in the energy-efficient infrastructure of the future, for example at the new, top-modern plant in Ruše (Sl). 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.
G4-EN7 Energy-efficient products
The biggest environmental contribution by Geberit products lies in the conservation of water, which indirectly also saves on energy. A number of estimates illustrate the scale of this saving: According to the Ecoinvent database (version 2.1), some 9.3 MJ of energy are required and 0.61 kg of CO2 emissions are released per cubic meter for the conveyance, processing and distribution of water and the subsequent treatment of the waste water in a wastewater treatment plant. The water footprint calculated for Geberit shows that nearly 100% of water consumption is attributable to the usage phase. The water volume saved owing to Geberit products is enormous: According to one model calculation, all dual-flush and flush-stop cisterns installed since 1998 have so far saved around 17,900 million cubic meters of water in comparison with traditional flushing systems. These water savings go hand-in-hand with substantial energy savings.
Direct energy savings when using the products are made possible thanks to systematically improved energy efficiency. Current examples include:
- The new shower toilet Geberit AquaClean Mera Comfort, a premium-class complete solution featuring the highest levels of comfort. The patented WhirlSpray shower technology ensures particularly thorough, gentle cleaning while virtually halving water and energy consumption. The hybrid hot water technology with continuous flow heater and boiler only heats the water spray when required. The odor extraction unit now works with a long-life catalytic filter that needs to be replaced less often. Despite these additional comfort functions, the energy consumption is comparable to that of the AquaClean 8000plus.
- The Monolith Plus sanitary module sets new standards in both comfort and style, while permitting a high degree of energy efficiency: Its integrated odor extraction unit means window ventilation is no longer required and a considerable amount of energy can be saved.
- The Geberit actuator plate Sigma70, which was 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.
9.3 Water (EN)
Management Approach – Water
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 0.1% of water consumption. For the development of water-saving products and Geberit’s commitment beyond product development, see Management approach products and services.
The corporate eco-balance shows a similar picture. Here, water consumption and subsequent waste water treatment also account for only a minor share – 0.8% – of the company’s environmental impact. Despite this, Geberit also aims to serve as a role model with respect to its own water consumption and to further optimize its water consumption every year. This includes measures such as reusing water in laboratories, optimizing fresh water test runs in development, and process optimization.
G4-EN8 Water consumption
Geberit mainly uses fresh water from the public water system, together with well water and rainwater. Thanks to targeted saving measures, the consumption of fresh and well water has been reduced by 39% since 2006 and is now leveling out at a low level. In 2014, water consumption amounted to 131,289 m3 (previous year 131,938 m3), confirming that Geberit is on track to meet its long-term target of reducing consumption by 5% per year.
Key figures concerning water consumption by source can be found at Key figures Sustainability > Environment.
G4-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.
G4-EN10 Water recycling
Throughout the Group, two processes are responsible for much of the water requirements:
- During the production of multilayer pipes in Givisiez (CH), the pipes are cross-linked in autoclaves. A total of 26,405 m3 (previous year 30,670 m3) of water was used for this purpose in 2014. Around 31% (previous year 31%), or 8,312 m3 of this is fresh water; the remaining 69% was recycled internally.
- Newly developed products are tested at the Geberit sanitary laboratory in Jona (CH). The tests require some 222,173 m3 (previous year 130,700 m3) of water annually. Only around 2% or 3,742 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 62%.
9.4 Emissions (EN)
Management Approach – 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 (66%) and the provision of raw materials (22%) 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 comparison, the transport (1%) and disposal (8%) of the products also cause only few emissions.
Production emissions are recorded and analyzed in detail as part of the corporate eco-balance – CO2 emissions are particularly crucial to Geberit. Other air emissions (NOx, SO2, hydrocarbons etc.) are also recorded and calculated, but have a comparatively minor impact on the environment. 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. Geberit is on track here, see G4-EN18. 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» and «targeted expansion of the share of renewable energy sources», see also Management approach energy.
The calculation of greenhouse gas data is based on the internationally recognized Ecoinvent database (version 2.1) and the continental electricity mix. The data covers the Scope 1 and 2 as well as Scope 3 to a certain extent as per the GHG Protocol (see The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) Initiative – A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition, 2004) of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)). The six leading substances as per the Kyoto Protocol (CO2 fossil, CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC and SF6) were used for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions and shown as a sum parameter (CO2 equivalents or simply CO2).
G4-EN15 Direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) and G4-EN16 Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2)
In absolute terms, CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) decreased by 1.0% to 69,230 metric tons in 2014 (previous year 69,909 metric tons). They have been cut by 19% since 2006 – with the figure as high as 42% if currency-adjusted sales are taken into account. Geberit is thus on track to meet its long-term target.
At 76%, electricity consumption is by far the largest source of CO2, followed by combustibles and fuels. Just the purchase of 23.4 GWh of green electricity in Pfullendorf (DE), Daishan (CN), Givisiez (CH) and Weilheim (DE) reduces the CO2 emissions by more than 13,915 metric tons.
Key figures concerning greenhouse gas emissions can be found at Key figures Sustainability > Environment.
G4-EN17 Other relevant greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3)
Where other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3) are concerned, Geberit concentrates on the following categories:
- The raw materials used and the CO2 emissions that result from them: 560,800 metric tons (previous year 489,400 metric tons).
- The provision of combustibles and fuels (in G4-EN15, which accounted for some 2,032 metric tons from combustibles and around 2,231 metric tons from fuels in 2014.
- Logistics (see G4-EN30), which caused a total of 28,282 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2014 (previous year 27,483 metric tons).
- Business travel by air, at 711 metric tons of CO2 emissions (previous year 663 metric tons).
G4-EN18 Greenhouse gas emissions intensity
In relation to currency-adjusted sales, CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) declined by 6.9% in 2014 – thus outstripping the annual target of 5%. Since 2006, relative CO2 emissions have fallen by a total of 42% – meaning that Geberit is also on track to meet its targets for the long term.
For more detailed key figures concerning greenhouse gas emissions in relation to the Group’s currency-adjusted sales, see Key figures Sustainability > Environment.
G4-EN19 Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
CO2 emissions were cut by 679 metric tons (previous year 1,944 metric tons) in 2014. This reduction was the result of a series of specific measures.
In 2014, Geberit purchased another 2.4 GWh of certified green electricity, bringing the total to 23.4 GWh. Overall, renewable energy sources thus accounted for 37.4% of electricity (target figure for 2020: 60%).
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 8.8 GWh of regionally generated biogas in 2014. This already brought the share of renewable energies for combustibles to 19% in 2014 (target figure for 2020: 25%).
Fuel consumption is determined primarily by the company’s own fleet of cars. 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. Furthermore, 99% of all diesel vehicles now have a particle filter.
Substantial volumes of CO2 emissions can also be saved by consistently applying eco-design principles in new product development. A current example is the new OEM flush valve type 240. Thanks to an intelligent redesign, it was possible to increase the flush performance by 40% while also reducing the quantity of material used. In addition, half of the material is made of high-quality ABS regranulate. Indirectly, this means that almost 500 metric tons of CO2 can be saved, corresponding to a saving of about 1 GWh of average European electricity.
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 sheet are disclosed in detail as part of the company’s participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
G4-EN20 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.
G4-EN21 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.
9.5 Effluents and Waste (EN)
Management Approach - Effluents and Waste
According to the corporate eco-balance, waste disposal accounted for 4.8% of the environmental impact of production in 2014. All production plants have a Geberit management system, which provides the foundation for optimized processes. The reduction and safe handling of waste water and waste is integrated into this system. In particular, the environmental management system ensures that waste is sorted so that as much as possible is recycled, and as little as possible is incinerated or ends up at landfill sites.
G4-EN22 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 2014, 112,521 m3 of waste water was generated (previous year 116,719 m3 of waste water). Of this, 71% was domestic waste water that passes into the communal wastewater treatment plant (previous year 75%), and 2.5% (previous year 2%) was domestic waste water that is pretreated and fed into receiving waters. The remaining 26.5% (previous year 23%) is waste water that is pretreated and fed to a communal wastewater treatment plant. Waste water was not directly reused by third-party companies.
Key figures on waste water can be found at Key figures Sustainability > Environment.
In 2014, the total waste was 11,587 metric tons (previous year 12,118 metric tons). Of this, 85% 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.
G4-EN24 Significant spills and contamination
There were no significant spills of chemicals in the reporting period.
G4-EN25 Transport of hazardous waste
In 2014, 262 metric tons of hazardous waste (previous year 269 metric tons) were disposed of by incineration and 505 metric tons (previous year 956 metric tons) were recycled. At Geberit, all waste is disposed of and recycled by licensed disposal companies.
G4-EN26 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.
9.6 Products and Services (EN)
Management Approach - Products and Services
In addition to their quality, durability and high degree of water and resource efficiency, Geberit products also impress with their good environmental compatibility and high recyclability. 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. Geberit regards eco-design as the key to environmentally friendly products. Employees from different disciplines take part in eco-design workshops so that each new product outperforms its predecessor in environmental aspects. The workshops involve systematic product analysis that covers the entire life cycle, a review of legal requirements and an analysis of competing products. Based on the findings of these eco-design workshops, new solutions are developed which are then adopted into the specifications for that product.
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, AquaClean Mera Comfort, electronic lavatory taps type 185/186, concealed cisterns and urinal flush controls. The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) in accordance with the new European standard EN 15804 is becoming increasingly important and can also be used directly for green building standards such as LEED. For example, the EPD for Geberit lavatory taps presents relevant, comparable and verified information about the product’s environmental performance. A pilot project for the systematic recording of environmental data at the product level is currently underway, which should greatly simplify a further processing to EPDs and ecological product information.
The biggest environmental contribution by Geberit products also lies in the conservation of water. The analysis of the entire value chain in the form of a water footprint shows that nearly 100% of the water consumption is attributable to the product usage phase. The water savings are impressive: According to one model calculation, all dual-flush and flush-stop cisterns installed since 1998 have so far saved around 17,900 million cubic meters of water in comparison with traditional flushing systems. In 2014 alone, the water saved amounted to 2,128 million cubic meters. This is more than half of the annual consumption of all German households.
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 group for standardization 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.
G4-EN27 Mitigation of environmental impact of products
The environmental impacts of Geberit’s products are improved continually through the consistent application of eco-design principles in product development. Examples that make a particular contribution to reducing environmental impact include:
- Since 2011, a new technological solution has been developed 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 flow-optimized Sovent fitting facilitates a simplified layout for waste water discharge stacks in high-rises, saving space, resources and costs all at the same time. The fitting ensures pressure compensation and increases the discharge rate by 40%. It also permits the use of relatively small-sized discharge stacks in very high buildings.
- The AquaClean Mera complete shower toilet solution: newly developed WhirlSpray shower technology reduces water and energy consumption while improving cleaning performance, leaving energy consumption unchanged despite more comfort functions, and reducing flush volume to 4.5 liters thanks to TurboFlush flush technology.
- The new Omega concealed cistern is available in three installation heights, and with extra-small actuator plates. In addition, the large flush volume can be set to 4.5 liters, meaning the product conforms to WELL class A.
- An optimized, material-saving design was developed for various fittings in the Mepla piping system. In addition to improved flow rates, this saved around 30 metric tons of gunmetal.
- Thanks to an intelligent redesign of the new OEM flush valve type 240 – which will be launched on the market in 2015 – it was possible to increase the flush performance by 40% while also reducing the quantity of material used. In addition, half of the material is made of high-quality ABS regranulate.
- Since 2013, the user manuals for the shower toilets have been provided to the main markets in only five instead of 22 languages. This change, which was initiated by environmentally conscious customers, reduces paper consumption by some 19 metric tons per year.
G4-EN28 Reclaimed packaging material
The following quantities are based on internal estimates at the sites: On the product side, approximately 7.1 metric tons of old products (mainly electrical equipment) were taken back and disposed of professionally in 2014. 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 around 9.5 metric tons Group-wide. In 2014, approximately 15,517 metric tons of packaging material were used, over 38% 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.
9.7 Compliance Environment (EN)
Management Approach - Compliance Environment
In its Code of Conduct, Geberit states that it will limit the environmental impact of its business activities to a minimum. This is achieved by means of consistent compliance with all applicable laws, internationally recognized guidelines and industry standards. With many of the initiatives that it implements, Geberit goes above and beyond legal and official requirements. Reviewing and ensuring compliance with the law is a mandatory element of ISO 14001 certification. Compliance with legislation is also monitored as part of the compulsory annual survey conducted at all Group companies.
G4-EN29 Sanctions due to non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations
No significant fines or non-monetary penalties were imposed in the reporting year.
9.8 Transport (EN)
Management Approach - Transport
Reliable, on-time product deliveries to the customer are an important core competence. For this reason, Geberit opened a state-of-the-art logistics center in Pfullendorf (DE) in 2010 and established an independent logistics unit a year later. This is already approaching its capacity limits, meaning a further expansion is planned. Geberit does not have its own fleet of vehicles, having outsourced this to external transport service providers. Intercompany and distribution logistics play a major part in Geberit’s environmental impact, coming to around 35% of the total figure. Cooperation with the transport service providers is therefore of key importance. Partners agree to actively support Geberit in its efforts to use energy and packaging material efficiently and to reduce emissions. Furthermore the partners support Geberit by providing the data needed for the 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.
G4-EN30 Environmental impact of transport
In the reporting year, the largest transport service providers handled 181.0 million ton-kilometers (previous year 176.6 million ton-kilometers). This generated 28,282 metric tons of CO2 emissions (previous year 27,483 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 is high at 83%. Euro 6 vehicles have been compulsory for new vehicles since January 1, 2014, and already accounted for 8.4% of the total figure during 2014.
Where possible, Geberit takes the opportunity to shift truck traffic to rail. Since 2014, rail consignments have been used alongside road transport on the longest overland route in Europe, from Pfullendorf (DE) to Turkey. 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: Compared with the previous year, the number of such transport runs was increased by 30 to 2,180. 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.
The pilot project with an environmentally friendly natural gas truck running between Pfullendorf (DE) and Rapperswil-Jona (CH) was implemented end of 2013. The experience on this transport route proved positive. The pioneering project, which is being conducted in collaboration with a transport service provider and a truck manufacturer, is now being evaluated in detail. This will include an assessment of whether it can be transferred to other routes.