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, associations, non-government organisations and the general public. For details on stakeholder engagement, see GRI 102-42.
GRI 102-41 Collective bargaining agreements
There are currently 8,483 employees (corresponding to 71% of the workforce) who are covered by collective agreements (e.g. collective labour agreements, wage agreements). In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Ukraine, 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 in 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 fifth time in 2020. Its mandate consisted of providing feedback on the materiality analysis, sustainability performance, sustainability strategy and sustainability communication as well as on opportunities and risks associated with climate change. 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 2022.
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:
- Technical advisors working in the field who are in daily contact with plumbers, sanitary engineers and architects.
- During the reporting year, around 22,000 professionals (previous year 35,000) were provided with training on products, tools, software tools and installation skills at the 29 Geberit Information Centres in Europe and overseas. This decline was compensated for by a wide range of webinars and alternative training formats with 52,000 people (previous year 2,000) taking part.
- Virtual 360° visits to booths at trade fairs that were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increased contacts over the phone and digital visit and meeting formats.
- Live transmission of the first virtual showrooms, which provide a good overview of the wide range of products and market-specific innovations in the form of short videos, graphics and links.
- Continuation of the end user campaign in a further twelve European markets under the title ”Better bathrooms, better lives”, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2020 > Customers.
Shareholders and analysts:
- For the participatory rights of the shareholders, see Business Report > Corporate Governance > Participatory rights of shareholders.
- Regular telephone conferences, bilateral meetings, conferences and roadshows with 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 and trade unions:
- Geberit Europe Forum with employee representatives from most European countries, during which a member of the Group Executive Board and the Head Corporate Human Resources 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 in the corresponding language.
- Regular employee survey of all employees of the Geberit Group.
Neighbours, municipalities and authorities:
- Consultation with and inclusion of the neighbours of production plants in larger construction projects.
- Partner of the research platform NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) at EAWAG and Empa in Dübendorf (CH). In the Water Hub, systems are tested that use water and waste water as efficiently and diversely as possible.
- Cooperation on technological trends and developments directly related to sanitary technology with EAWAG and Empa Dübendorf, University of Applied Sciences OST Rapperswil, University of Zurich (CH), Technical University Dresden (DE) and others.
- Exchange with the University of Antwerp (BE) on the subject of eco-design and plastic in the circular economy.
- 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 health and safety) carried out by Geberit and external partners.
- Since 2017, Integrity Line for suppliers for anonymously reporting irregularities in the procurement process or non-compliance with the Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
- Discussions with transport service providers based on the results of environmental monitoring.
- 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.
- Involvement in various associations and organisations with participation in corresponding management bodies and programmes, see GRI 102-13.
Non-government organisations and the general public:
- Partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas.
- Membership of the charitable organisation Swiss Water Partnership.
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.
Some examples of important current topics that were introduced by stakeholders and have been implemented by Geberit include:
- Education and further training of employees as an important success factor, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2020 > Employees.
- Best-in-class approach to occupational health and safety, see GRI 403.
- Transparency in the remuneration system, see Business Report > Remuneration Report.
- Customer training, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2020 > Customers.
- Holistic solutions for products and systems in front of and behind the wall, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2020 > Innovation.
- Expansion of the portfolio of water-saving products, see Water footprint.
- Eco-design approach for decoupling resource consumption and economic growth, as well as implementing circular economy approaches in production and product development, see GRI 301, Chapter 10.1 Products and innovation.
- Reduction of the amount of packaging while taking the optimum protection of the products into account, see GRI 306.
- CO2 strategy compatible with the two-degree target set out in the Paris Agreement and the Science Based Targets Initiative, see Management approach CO2 and other emissions.
- Reporting on the opportunities and risks associated with climate change, see GRI 201-2.
- Implementation of social projects, see Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2020 > Social Responsibility.