An efficient network
The Geberit Group operated 29 plants in the reporting year, 23 of which are located in Europe, three in the US, two in China and one in India. The plants fall into the following three categories depending on the processed materials and production technologies:
- Ceramics (10 plants)
- Plastics & Metal (12 plants)
- Composites & Metal (7 plants)
GPS as a guideline for production
All Geberit plants display an ongoing capability for renewal. Despite the diversity of the materials and production technologies used, the approach is determined uniformly: all improvements are consistently geared to the principle of flow production. Maximum efficiency and flexibility are targeted in this way, which is reflected in the reliable, timely supply of products to customers and savings in important resources such as working time and materials. The benchmarks of flow production are set out in the Geberit Production System (GPS 2.0). GPS 2.0 is the guideline for production processes in which the principles for efficient manufacturing are combined.
Numerous measures pertaining to GPS 2.0 were again initiated, promoted or brought to a conclusion in the reporting year. The “SigmaLine” project in Rapperswil-Jona (CH) and the changes made in Bromölla (SE) and Givisiez (CH) are just some of the prime examples of the many major and minor improvements made in the production processes. In Rapperswil-Jona, different subprocesses for packaging actuator plates – from laser marking to packing in boxes – were linked together using sensor technology, resulting in a substantial increase in capacity. In Bromölla, various process steps used for sorting the ceramic sanitary appliances after the firing process were automated. Finally, work also began on integrating flexible packaging cells directly into the production lines in Givisiez – a major step forward towards the planned flow production of multilayer pipes here.
The principles of GPS 2.0 also form the basis of all investments made in the production network. In the reporting year, these included the commissioning of two shuttle kilns in Slavuta (UA) and four new casting workbenches at the plant in Wesel (DE).
Impacts of the brand switch
The streamlining of the brand portfolio (see the section on Customers) had a direct effect on the production plants. The replacement of Keramag in the reporting year and the upcoming replacement of Allia, Pozzi Ginori and Sphinx with the Geberit brand in 2020 required a special effort that will pay off in the medium and long term through the reduction in complexity of the existing product range.
Environmental management in production
As already mentioned, continious improvements at the plants are aimed at increasing efficiency by saving resources. The topic of sustainability is also implemented in production through GPS 2.0. One example of this is the use of recycled plastic. At the plants in Pfullendorf (DE), Ruše (SI) and Rapperswil-Jona (CH), bought-in plastic regranulate is used to manufacture components for actuator plates, fill and flush valves, and for the Monolith sanitary module.
The absolute environmental impact of the Geberit Group decreased by 3.7%, even though currency-adjusted net sales increased by 3.4% in the same period. The environmental impact in relation to currency-adjusted net sales (eco-efficiency) decreased by 6.9%. As regards the long-term target, which is based on an average annual decrease of 5% per year, Geberit therefore remains on course.
Environmental impact 2015–2019
* UBPs = Ecopoints in accordance with the Swiss Ecological Scarcity Method (upgraded version 2013)
Distribution environmental impact 2019
CO2 emissions were reduced in 2019 by 3.8% to 222,639 tonnes. In relation to currency-adjusted net sales, emissions decreased by 7.0%. This enabled the targets set out in the long-term CO2 strategy for reducing CO2 emissions to be met. In addition to relative targets, this strategy also includes long-term absolute targets. A three-pillar model is used for implementing the CO2 strategy. The first pillar is about savings in energy consumption. Increasing efficiency forms the second pillar. The third pillar entails the targeted sourcing of high-quality renewable energies. The detailed CO2 balance sheet and all measures taken to reduce CO2 emissions are also disclosed in detail as part of the company’s participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
CO2 emissions 2015–2019
Geberit aims to further reinforce its leading position in the branch in the area of sustainability. Eco-efficiency and relative CO2 emissions are to be improved by 5% per year (see also Sustainability Strategy 2020–2022). One major system helping to achieve this target is the integrated Geberit Management System, which unites aspects such as quality, environment, occupational health and safety and energy. By the end of 2020, all production plants are to be integrated into this system. At the end of the reporting year, 28 of the 29 production plants were certified in accordance with ISO 9001 and 14001 as well as the occupational health and safety standard ISO 45001 resp. OHSAS 18001. Certification according to ISO 50001 (energy management) is taking place for selected sites.