6. Stakeholder Engagement

GRI 102-40 RELEVANT STAKEHOLDER GROUPS

Significant stakeholder groups for Geberit are customers, shareholders and analysts, the media, employees and trade unions, neighbours, municipalities and authorities, research institutes, suppliers, transport companies, competitors, associations, non-government organisations and the general public. Details on stakeholder engagement can be found under GRI 102-43.

GRI 102-41 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

There are currently 9,008 employees (corresponding to 75% of the workforce) who are covered by collective agreements (e.g. collective labour agreements, wage agreements). In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Ukraine, Finland and Sweden, over 90% of employees are subject to a collective labour or wage agreement. There are no collective agreements with employees in place in the USA and China.

GRI 102-42 IDENTIFICATION AND 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 GRI 102-40 have been identified as important for systematic stakeholder dialogue as they fulfil at least 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.

GRI 102-43 APPROACHES TO STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

Geberit consulted an external Stakeholder Panel for the fourth time in September 2018. 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. The external review and the recommendations contained therein are dealt with in detail in the Response from Geberit to the Panel Statement. The next stakeholder panel is planned for 2020.

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:

CUSTOMERS:

  • More than 800 technical advisors working in the field are in daily contact with plumbers, sanitary engineers and architects.
  • During the reporting year, around 35,000 professionals were provided with basic and further training in products, tools and software tools at the 29 Geberit Information Centres in Europe and overseas.
  • Invitation of around 700 architects, interior designers and other market partners to visit an exhibition on the design pioneer Victor Papanek and the presentation of innovative Geberit bathroom solutions at the prestigious Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein (DE).
  • Around 90,000 additional customers became more familiar with Geberit know-how and products at external training events, many of which were organised in cooperation with local trading partners.
  • The mobile AquaClean lounges offer the opportunity for end users to try out a shower toilet for themselves.
  • The Geberit On Tour mobile exhibition was held for the eighth time in 2018, with specially fitted-out mobile showrooms visiting local and regional wholesalers and offering plumbers the opportunity to assess Geberit innovations and solutions directly on site.
  • For trade fairs and customer surveys, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2018 > Customers.

SHAREHOLDERS AND ANALYSTS:

MEDIA:

  • 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 AND 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 to enable all employees across the world to report irregularities anonymously.

NEIGHBOURS, MUNICIPALITIES AND AUTHORITIES:

  • 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 on technological trends and developments directly related to sanitary technology with EAWAG Dübendorf, HSR Rappers­wil, ZHAW Winterthur, ETH Zurich, Empa (CH), HFT Stuttgart, University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf (DE), Tongji University (CN) and others.

SUPPLIERS:

  • Initial contact within the scope of the assessment procedure and implementation of the Code of Conduct for Suppliers, see Chapter 10.2 Operations > Procurement.
  • Regular discussions between buyers and suppliers on site.
  • On-site audits (quality, environment, occupational safety) carried out by Geberit and external partners.
  • 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.

TRANSPORT COMPANIES:

  • Discussions with transport service providers based on the results of the environmental monitoring.

ASSOCIATIONS:

  • 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 Sanitaryware Producers Federation) 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 AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC:

  • Partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas.
  • Membership of the charitable organisation Swiss Water Partnership.

Feedback from stakeholder dialogues is incorporated into the Materiality analysis and into the Sustainability strategy.

GRI 102-44 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:

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