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
A 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. On 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. The next Stakeholder Panel is planned for 2018.
The newly released ISO norm 9001:2015 that is being applied at Geberit requires as a new element a stakeholder and a materiality analysis to be conducted. As Geberit has already implemented these two elements for several years as part of its sustainability strategy and its management system according to ISO 14001, only minor changes were necessary internally. Based on the stakeholder analysis, Geberit identifies both potential for conflict and opportunities, and pursues a cooperative approach when it comes to discussing and further developing 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, sanitary engineers and architects.
- During the reporting year, around 30,000 professionals were provided with basic and further training in products, tools and software tools at the 29 Geberit Information Centres in Europe and overseas.
- The mobile AquaClean lounge offers the opportunity for end users to try out a shower toilet for themselves. In the reporting year, it was possible to establish contact with over 28,000 end users with these lounges alone.
- The Geberit On Tour mobile exhibition was held for the seventh time in 2017, offering around 20,000 people in 12 countries the opportunity to assess Geberit innovations and solutions.
- For trade fairs and customer surveys, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Customers.
- For the participatory rights of the shareholders, Business Report > Corporate Governance > Participatory rights of shareholders.
- Regular conference calls, bilateral meetings, conferences and roadshows by the CEO, CFO and Head Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.
- Regular conference calls, bilateral meetings and interviews with the relevant media for Geberit.
- Sustainability topics and in particular Geberit’s performance in this area play an important role in the media activities of Geberit.
Employees, trade unions:
- Geberit Europe Forum 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 irregularities anonymously.
- Regular employee survey with all employees of the Geberit Group.
- Consultation with and inclusion of the neighbours of production plants in larger construction projects.
- Open days at various production sites.
- Partner of the research platform NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) at Empa in Dübendorf (CH).
- Cooperation on technological trends and developments directly related to sanitary technology with EAWAG Dübendorf, HSR Rapperswil, ZHAW Winterthur, ETH Zurich (CH), Tongji University (CN) and others.
- 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.
- Since 2017, Integrity Line for suppliers for anonymously reporting irregularities in the procurement process.
- Cooperation with manufacturers of infrastructure facilities, e.g. for the retrofitting of tunnel kilns for ceramic production.
- Discussions with transport service providers concerning the results of the environmental monitoring, see chapter 9.8.
- Significant participation in the founding of a new platform for the European sanitary industry – the European Bathroom Forum (EBF) – and launch of a new European water label for sanitary products.
- Collaboration with FECS (European Federation of Ceramic Sanitaryware 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 organisations, general public:
- Partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas.
- Participation in the non-profit organisation Swiss Water Partnership.
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 current topics that were introduced by stakeholders and have been implemented by Geberit include:
- Education and further training as an important success factor, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Employees.
- Holistic solutions for products and systems in front of and behind the wall, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Innovation.
- Expansion of the portfolio of water-saving products, see G4-EN27 and Water footprint, which covers the entire Geberit value chain.
- Customer training, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Customers.
- Direct information for end users, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Customers.
- Transparency of the remuneration system, see Business Report > Remuneration report.
- Long-term CO2 target compatible with the two-degree target set out in the Paris Agreement (science-based), see Management Approach Emissions.
- Transparency in the environmental impact of logistics, see Management Approach Transport.
- Best-in-class approach to occupational safety, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Employees.
- Implementation of social projects, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2017 > Social responsibility.