Annual Report 2016

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, neighbours, research institutes, suppliers, transport companies, competitors, associations, non-government organisations 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 guided dialogue 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 its local companies maintain relations with organisations 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 dialogue as they fulfil 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

Geberit consulted an external Stakeholder Panel for the third time in September 2016. Its mandate consisted of providing feedback on the sustainability strategy and sustainability communication and also discussing the materiality analysis. 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:


  • More than 800 technical advisors working in the field are in daily contact with plumbers, planners and architects in particular.
  • During the reporting year, more than 30,000 customers were provided with basic and further training in Geberit systems and software tools at the 25 information centres in Europe and overseas.
  • Mobile AquaClean lounge: Over 15,000 end users in Switzerland and Austria alone received the opportunity to try out a shower toilet for themselves.
  • Mobile exhibition Geberit On Tour that presented the advantages of Geberit products at more than 900 events in 16 countries in 2016. More than 25,000 visitors were registered at the events in total.
  • For trade fairs and customer surveys, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2016 > Customers.

Shareholders, analysts:


  • Regular conference calls, bilateral meetings/interviews with the relevant media for Geberit.
  • Regular conference calls, bilateral meetings/interviews with the relevant media for Geberit.

Employees, trade unions:

  • Extended Europe Forum in 2016 with employee representatives from all European countries, during which a member of the Group Executive Board and the Head Corporate HR meet with the delegates.
  • 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 in 2016 with all employees of the Geberit Group.

Neighbors, municipalities:

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

Research institutes:

  • Partner of the research platform NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) at EMPA in Dübendorf (CH).
  • Cooperation with EAWAG Dübendorf, HSR Rapperswil, ZHAW Winterthur, ETH Zurich (CH) and 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, occupational safety) carried out by Geberit and since 2012 also by certified third-party specialists.
  • Introduction of an Integrity Line for suppliers: irregularities in the purchasing process can be anonymously reported.
  • Cooperation with manufacturers of infrastructure facilities, e.g. for the retrofitting of eleven tunnel kilns for ceramic production.

Transport companies:

  • Discussions with transport service providers concerning the results of the environmental monitoring, see chapter 9.8.


  • Collaboration with FECS (European Federation of Ceramic Sanitary Ware Manufacturers) on a new voluntary European standard for assessing the sustainability of ceramic sanitary appliances (EN  16578).
  • Involvement in various associations and organisations with participation in corresponding management bodies and programmes.

Non-government organizations, general public:

  • Partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas.
  • Participation in the non-profit organisation Swiss Water Partnership.

Feedback from the stakeholder dialogues 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: