Geberit has long stood for a high level of environmental awareness and been committed to environmentally friendly, resource-efficient production as well as the development of water-saving and sustainable products. Systematic, Group-wide environmental management takes centre stage here. This is the remit of Corporate Environment and Sustainability. Guidelines and measures pertaining to all significant environmental issues are coordinated here. A network of environmental managers practises active environmental protection at the production plants, thus ensuring that the targets and measures laid down in the Sustainability strategy are implemented worldwide. The environmental and occupational safety managers from all production plants meet once a year to discuss best practice and further develop Group-wide standards.
each product more environmentally friendly than its predecessor throughout the entire product life cycle, see Chapter 10.1 Products and innovation. Environmental criteria are considered in all decision-making processes. These processes are continuously being optimised so that a proven high standard is achieved which often greatly exceeds legal requirements. Geberit’s environmental principles are defined in the Code of Conduct.
The Geberit Group has a Group certificate in accordance with ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety) that is valid until the end of 2021. Out of 30 production plants, all were certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, 29 to OHSAS 18001 and five to ISO 50001 (energy) at the end of 2018. The Geberit Safety System was implemented worldwide in 2018 and all production plants will be certified according to the new occupational safety standard ISO 45001 by the end of 2019.
The annual preparation of a corporate eco-balance has been an established part of Geberit’s environmental management since 1991. It covers all production plants worldwide, the logistics centre in Pfullendorf (DE), other smaller logistics units and the larger sales companies. The corporate eco-balance permits an overall assessment of environmental impact in terms of eco-points. For the reporting in 2018, as in the previous year, the basic data from the internationally recognised Ecoinvent database (version 3.1) and the latest version of the method of ecological scarcity (version 2013) were used. The calculation was based on the national electricity mix.
The absolute environmental impact fell by 4.4% and CO2 emissions by 4.7%. The environmental impact per sales (currency-adjusted) dropped by 7.3%. This figure is above the long-term target of 5% per year. This progress is founded largely on continuous improvements in efficiency at the energy-intensive ceramics plants. Since the acquisition of Sanitec in 2015, the absolute environmental impact has been reduced by 11.6% and eco-efficiency improved by more than 20%.
Detailed key figures on the environmental impact are provided at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
RESOURCES AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY (GRI 301)
MANAGEMENT APPROACH RESOURCES AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The use of raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products with a global procurement value of CHF 920 million is a significant production factor for Geberit. At around 12,900 TJ (previous year 13,000 TJ) – based on basic data from Ecoinvent (version 3.1) – the consumption of grey energy associated with purchased materials (including mineral raw materials of the ceramic plants and raw materials of the plant in Ozorków (PL)) is 4.5 times the entire energy consumption of the production plants themselves. This emphasises the importance of treating raw materials with care. The resource-efficient use of raw materials is determined as early as the product development process as part of eco-design workshops, see Chapter 10.1 Products and innovation > Product management and innovation.
As part of the European vision for a resource-saving circular economy, efforts are being made to identify and implement options in the area of closed material cycles. The circular concept has played an important role at Geberit for many years. Geberit products have a very long service life thanks to the high-quality materials used, are often backwards-compatible, any plastics used are clearly labelled and spare parts are available for up to 25 years. Other steps include the search for further high-quality plastic regranulates and options for closing internal material cycles and making production waste useful for others as secondary materials. This is particularly relevant in ceramic production, where Geberit’s latest objective is to improve resource efficiency (kg ceramic waste/kg ceramic) by 10% by 2021.
MATERIALS USED (GRI 301-1)
The use of materials depends on the various manufacturing processes: 17 plants for processing plastic and metal, ten plants for manufacturing sanitary ceramics, and three other plants for processing acrylic as well as aluminium and glass (in the case of shower partition walls). The range of manufacturing technologies used thus includes the areas of injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion, metal-forming and thermoforming, assembly and ceramic production.
The most important materials for production are plastic and metal raw materials, mineral raw materials and various semi-finished products and finished products. A total of 409,573 tonnes of materials were used in 2018 (previous year 414,637 tonnes). Besides the mineral raw materials from the former Sanitec Group, these amounts include the materials from the plant in Ozorków (PL). Detailed key figures on the use of materials can be found at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
In 2017, the implementation of a software-based solution for managing hazardous substances began. This solution was rolled out at nine production sites in 2018. Roll-out at a further six sites is planned for 2019. The aim here is to implement a standardised process in all production plants, improve efficiency in the management of hazardous operating and auxiliary materials, and scale down the use of hazardous substances in the long term.
PERCENTAGE OF RECYCLED MATERIAL (GRI 301-2)
When estimating the share of recycled material in production, a distinction is made between internal and external sources.
In terms of the raw material plastic, recycled material is primarily generated internally and is ground on site or via a decentralised mill and fed back into the process. The proportion fluctuates depending on the manufacturing process. For blow moulding it is around 35%, for injection moulding around 15%, depending on product class, and for pipe extrusion around 3%. This corresponds to a total of around 9,000 tonnes.
Raw materials are also recycled internally and fed back into the process in ceramic production. The recycling rate for the ceramic slip is around 10%, while this figure is 20 to 40% for the glaze.
The share of recycled material in purchased metals is relatively high. This data originates from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Extrapolated, the raw material metal purchased contains around 35,600 tonnes of recycled material.
With plastics, virgin material is primarily used. The search for suitable, high-quality regranulate from external plastic waste is an integral part of Geberit’s procurement strategy. In terms of the material ABS, a suitable alternative made of 100% recycled material was found. This alternative is based on high-quality plastic waste from the electronics industry (e.g. used computer cases). According to the supplier, the manufacture of this regranulate consumes over 80% less energy compared to the manufacture of a tonne of new petrochemical-based plastic, while releasing around three tonnes less CO2 into the atmosphere. In 2018, some 900 tonnes of ABS regranulate were used for various components in exposed and concealed cisterns. Thanks to an intelligent redesign, half of the material used for the flush valve type 240 can be made of high-quality ABS regranulate, for example. The use of plastic regranulate is generally to be increased further and applied to other product areas.
REUSE OF PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING MATERIALS (GRI 301-3)
In 2018, around 37,500 tonnes of packaging material including the former Sanitec were used, of which over 50% was collected and recycled by Geberit or by financed contractual partners. The rest is disposed of and recycled on a country-specific basis.
ENERGY (GRI 302)
MANAGEMENT APPROACH ENERGY
With a share of 96.6%, the consumption of energy in the form of electricity, combustibles and fuels represents Geberit’s greatest environmental impact. A Software introduced in 2012 permits monthly monitoring of water and energy consumption, as well as the Group-wide calculation of environmental impact and CO2 emissions. In addition, a systematic energy monitoring and an energy master plan are being implemented in the most energy-intensive plants to manage and plan energy consumption. This is based on the three pillars energy saving, increased energy efficiency and the targeted expansion of the share of renewable energy sources. Targets were also defined for the share of renewable energy sources as part of the development of a long-term CO2 target that is compatible with the two-degree target set out in the Paris Agreement (science-based). By 2021, the share of renewable energy sources should account for 45% for electricity and 10% for combustibles.
At present, the five German plants in Lichtenstein, Pfullendorf, Langenfeld, Wesel and Haldensleben are certified according to the ISO 50001 standard for energy management. Furthermore, all Geberit companies implemented the European Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU in 2015, and these companies will be reviewed again in 2019.
For the development of energy-efficient products, see Chapter 10.1 Products and innovation.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION WITHIN THE ORGANISATION (GRI 302-1)
Geberit generally uses energy purchased externally. The direct energy carriers (Scope 1) include the combustibles natural gas, biogas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel for power generation, heating oil extra light and solid combustibles, as well as the fuels diesel, gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas (CNG). The indirect energy carriers (Scope 2) include electricity and district heating.
Energy consumption decreased by 4.6% in the reporting year and is now 790.3 GWh. Since the acquisition of Sanitec in 2015, it has been possible to reduce energy consumption by 13.3%, making a significant contribution to reductions in the environmental impact.
Combustibles (primarily from ceramic production), including district heating, still account for the greatest share of energy consumption at 67.8%, followed by electricity with 28.4% and fuels with 3.8%.
Renewable sources of energy are to be expanded continuously as part of the sustainability strategy. Since 2012, a block heating station has been in use in Pfullendorf (DE). This plant was fed by 8.1 GWh of regionally produced biogas in 2018. The electricity generated by the plant (3.1 GWh) is fed into the transmission grid and the resulting heat (3.9 GWh) can be used in production, thereby reducing the use of natural gas. In total, renewable energy sources accounted for 5.2% of combustibles.
Since 2013, the roof area at the plant in Givisiez (CH) has been made available to an energy services provider for a 3,050 m2 photovoltaic installation. It generated 0.5 GWh of electricity in 2018. However, this contribution is not included in the energy balance as the energy produced is managed by the regional energy supplier. Overall, the share of purchased green electricity was increased by 3 GWh to 50 GWh in 2018 – meaning that renewable sources of energy accounted for 40.6% of total electricity consumption.
For detailed key figures on the consumption of combustibles and fuels (Scope 1), as well as electricity and district heating (Scope 2) and the electricity mix, see Key figures sustainability > Environment.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION OUTSIDE THE ORGANISATION (GRI 302-2)
Where the energy balance outside the organisation is concerned, Geberit concentrates on purchased materials, intercompany and distribution logistics, and business travel.
In 2018, purchased materials resulted in grey energy consumption of around 12,900 TJ.
Logistics services are provided by external transport service providers. A logistics calculator developed by Geberit is used for monitoring purposes. Compared to the previous year, the logistics calculator was expanded to include three locations from the former Sanitec. In the reporting year, the largest transport service providers handled 505.9 million tonne-kilometres (previous year 415.1 million tonne-kilometres). This gave rise to energy consumption of 917.8 TJ (previous year 854.7 TJ). The increase in transport services and energy consumption was mainly caused by the increase in locations included as well as the rise in sales and the related expansion in transport volumes.
Business flights have been recorded and included in the assessment since 2012. The flight distances are calculated according to the respective departure and arrival airports. Business flights resulted in energy consumption of 22.1 TJ.
ENERGY INTENSITY (GRI 302-3)
Energy intensity is an important performance indicator at the production plants, and is monitored monthly in the management cockpit. Those plants which are certified to ISO 50001 have also introduced a more refined system of monitoring. At Group level, sales constitute a key indicator alongside environmental impact and CO2 emissions. With this in mind, energy consumption per sales improved by 7.5% compared to the previous year.
ENERGY SAVED (GRI 302-4)
Important energy-saving measures in production include:
- The optimisation of production processes in terms of efficiency, scrap, stability, energy and resource consumption
- The continuous modernisation of the machine fleet and the purchase of energy-efficient equipment
- Increasing the capacity utilisation and efficiency of production equipment
- The optimisation of cooling systems through the use of natural ambient cold (free cooling, ground water)
- The improved use of waste heat available internally (heat recovery)
- The careful use of compressed air
- The insulation of buildings
Concrete examples which show the reduction in energy consumption in production:
- Demolition and safe disposal of plant and infrastructure in Wesel, Haldensleben and Pfullendorf (DE) and Bromölla (SE) that were obsolete and no longer required, as well as handover of the old plant in Slavuta (UA) to the state. A new factory building was completed in Pfullendorf (DE), Langenfeld (DE) and Ozorków (PL), as well as new buildings for logistics and technology in Slavuta (UA).
- Number of injection moulding machines with energy-efficient drive technology increased from 156 to 174.
- Process optimisation for the manufacture of bent Mapress fittings in Langenfeld (DE) with a reduction in electricity and natural gas consumption, reduced use of lubricants and lower quantities of hazardous waste. Implementation of first fully electrically driven production line.
- Three further tunnel kilns for ceramic production were retrofitted with state-of-the-art burner technology. A total of eleven state-of-the-art tunnel kilns have now been retrofitted and the project is now concluded. Savings of more than 20% natural gas per kiln, which corresponds to some 27 GWh of natural gas and approximately 6,500 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Measures to reduce energy consumption in (outsourced) logistics operations:
- Great importance is attached to central transport management as the interface between plants, markets and transport service providers in order to enable cost- and resource-optimised transport solutions. By integrating the distribution of the Mapress range, customers now receive their entire sanitary technology order in a single truck delivery. This not only reduces the number of empty kilometres, it also increases truck capacity utilisation and reduces CO2 emissions. The share of transport services handled by Euro 5 trucks was 33% and the share handled by state-of-the-art Euro 6 vehicles 64%.
- Where possible, Geberit takes the opportunity to shift truck traffic to rail. From Pfullendorf, almost 100% of shipments to Hamburg (ocean freight), 80% of shipments to Italy, 67% of shipments to Turkey, and 15% of shipments to Switzerland are conducted by rail. The percentage of rail consignments from Italy to Pfullendorf is 50%.
- With regard to transportation by truck, Geberit continues to look for options for making more efficient use of freight compartments and using bigger shipping containers. As such, the percentage of “high cube swap bodies” (offering around 10% more capacity) deployed from the logistics centre in Pfullendorf is being successively increased. In addition, the use of long trucks (with a length of up to 25 metres and a total weight of up to 60 tonnes) in Scandinavia increased load volumes and the number of transported pallets per truck by around 40%.
REDUCTIONS IN ENERGY REQUIREMENTS OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES (GRI 302-5)
The biggest environmental contribution by Geberit products lies in the conservation of water, which indirectly also saves on energy. According to the Ecoinvent database (version 3.1), some 10.3 MJ of energy are required and 0.64 kg of CO2 emissions are released per cubic metre for the conveyance, processing and distribution of water and the subsequent treatment of the unpolluted waste water in a waste water treatment plant. The Water footprint calculated for Geberit shows that nearly 100% of water consumption is attributable to the usage phase. The water volume saved owing to Geberit products is enormous: according to one model calculation, all dual-flush and flush-stop cisterns installed since 1998 have so far saved around 28,100 million cubic metres of water in comparison with traditional flushing systems. These water savings go hand-in-hand with substantial energy savings.
Direct energy savings when using the products are made possible thanks to systematically improved energy efficiency. Current examples include:
- The Geberit energy retaining valve ERV uses a patented magnetic diaphragm system to cap the ventilation pipe for waste water above the roof. This opens only when required and ensures pressure compensation only when this is necessary. This helps avoid unnecessary heat loss and can save up to 50 litres of heating oil a year.
- The Geberit AquaClean Sela Comfort shower toilet stands out due to its sophisticated product concept and elegant design. The innovative WhirlSpray and heating-on-demand technology considerably reduces energy consumption compared to its predecessor.
- The Geberit urinal system comprises urinals with electronic flush controls but also with completely waterless operation. The central elements are the two rimless urinal ceramics Preda and Selva, which were developed by Geberit. Thanks to the low consumption of resources and the option of a control system supplied with electricity by an autonomous energy source, the urinals satisfy the most stringent requirements for green building and economic operation. For this purpose, a proprietary environmental and cost calculator was developed for various sales companies, see www.geberit.de > Products > Geberit urinal systems > Urinal system sustainability calculator.
- The modular Geberit tap system is the ultimate in sophisticated installation technology, different energy concepts and elegant tap housings for wall-mounted and deck-mounted taps. The taps can be mounted quickly and flawlessly. The mixer, valves, electronics and power supply are stored in a function box, which is mounted under the washbasin where it is protected from moisture. The product boasts both optimal user-friendliness and ease of installation as well as minimal water and energy consumption.
WATER (GRI 303)
MANAGEMENT APPROACH WATER
The Water footprint, which covers Geberit’s entire value chain, shows that nearly 100% of water consumption is attributable to the use of the products, while the manufacture of the products by Geberit accounts for less than 0.1% of water consumption. According to one model calculation, all dual-flush and flush-stop cisterns installed since 1998 have so far saved around 28,100 million cubic metres of water in comparison with traditional flushing systems. In 2018 alone, the water saved amounted to 2,880 million cubic metres. This is more than half of the annual consumption of all German households.
The corporate eco-balance shows a similar picture. Here, the environmental impact caused by water consumption and subsequent waste water treatment also accounts for only a minor share of the company’s overall impact (1.1%). Despite this, Geberit also aims to serve as a role model with respect to its own water consumption and to further optimise this every year. This includes measures such as reusing water in laboratories and production processes. Ceramic production accounts for the biggest share of water consumption. Geberit’s latest goal in this area is to reduce consumption (l water/kg ceramic) by 5% by 2021.
Since 2016, Geberit has been publishing its detailed water balance as part of the CDP’s Water Program.
For the development of water-saving products and Geberit’s commitment beyond product development, see Chapter 10.1 Products and innovation.
WATER CONSUMPTION (GRI 303-1)
Water consumption dropped compared to the previous year by 8.6% to 1,032,501 m3 (previous year 1,129,893 m3). Above all, the manufacture of ceramic sanitary appliances requires a great deal of water, both for preparing the ceramic slip and glaze and for cleaning the moulds and systems. In 2018, it was possible to reduce water consumption in ceramic production by 5.5% to 6.6 l/kg of ceramic.
Water consumption can be categorised into drinking water (26%), well water (50%), lake and river water (23%) and rain water (1%). Key figures concerning water consumption by source can be found at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
AFFECTED SOURCES OF WATER (GRI 303-2)
The water consumption of Geberit production plants does not place a considerable burden on water sources as defined in the GRI guidelines.
RECLAIMED AND RECYCLED WATER (GRI 303-3)
Throughout the Group, two processes are primarily responsible for much of the water requirements:
- Relatively large quantities of water are used in ceramic production. Around 5 to 10% of the water used is recycled internally, corresponding to around 81,500 m3 per year.
- Newly developed products are tested at the Geberit sanitary laboratory in Rapperswil-Jona (CH). The tests required 116,052 m3 of water. Only around 3% or 3,435 m3 of this is fresh water. The remaining 97% was reused in a closed-circuit system.
CO2 AND OTHER EMISSIONS (GRI 305)
MANAGEMENT APPROACH CO2 AND OTHER EMISSIONS
Production emissions are recorded and analysed in detail as part of the corporate eco-balance. CO2 emissions are particularly important to Geberit Other air emissions (NOx, SO2, hydrocarbons etc.) are also recorded and calculated, but have a comparatively minor impact on the environment. Under the current CO2 strategy the aim is to reduce emissions per sales (currency-adjusted) by 5% per year on average. Geberit remains on track here, see GRI 305-2. In 2016, a long-term CO2 target was established that is compatible with the two-degree target set out in the Paris Agreement (science-based). Within this context, Geberit plans to reduce its absolute CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by 6% between 2015 and 2021 to under 240,000 tonnes (based on organic growth). This target was already achieved at the end of 2018. Specific goals for the share of renewable energy sources were also established: 45% for electricity and 10% for combustibles.
A CO2 footprint across the entire value chain has been calculated since 2012. This carbon footprint covers the provision of raw materials, combustibles and fuels, the manufacturing of products at Geberit, logistics, use and disposal. With regard to the former Sanitec, only mineral raw materials and raw materials from the plant in Ozorków (PL) are taken into account. An analysis revealed that product use (69.4%) and the provision of raw materials (16.2%) are by far the largest sources of CO2 emissions. During product use, the provision of water, treatment of unpolluted waste water and generation of hot water play a central role. Production by Geberit accounts for only 5.6% of total CO2 emissions. Similarly, transport (1.4%), the provision of combustibles and fuels (1.0%) and the disposal (6.4%) of the products also cause only few emissions.
The measures for implementing the CO2 strategy are based on the three pillars energy saving, increased energy efficiency and targeted expansion of the share of renewable energy sources, see also GRI 302.
The calculation of greenhouse gas emissions is based on the internationally recognised Ecoinvent database (version 3.1), with the IPCC 2013 factors used, production-related process emissions included and the national electricity mix taken into account. The seven leading substances (CO2 fossil, CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC, SF6 and NF3) are used for the calculation of the greenhouse gas emissions and shown as a sum parameter according to IPCC (CO2 equivalents or simply CO2).
DIRECT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (SCOPE 1) (GRI 305-1) AND INDIRECT, ENERGY-RELATED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (SCOPE 2) (GRI 305-2)
In 2018, CO2 emissions amounted to 231,484 tonnes (previous year 242,796 tonnes), corresponding to a decrease of 4.7%. CO2 emissions per sales (currency-adjusted) fell by 7.5%, meaning that Geberit exceeded its target of 5% per year.
At 48.4%, combustibles are the largest source of CO2, followed by electricity at 48.1% and fuels at 3.4%, as well as process emissions and district heating at 0.1% in total. The purchase of 50 GWh of green electricity in Pfullendorf and Weilheim (DE), Kolo (PL), Bromölla and Mörrum (SE), Givisiez (CH) and Daishan (CN) meant that it was possible to reduce CO2 emissions by around 24,900 tonnes.
Key figures concerning greenhouse gas emissions can be found at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
OTHER INDIRECT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (SCOPE 3) (GRI 305-3)
Where other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3) are concerned, Geberit concentrates on the following categories:
- Raw materials used and the resulting CO2 emissions at 665,087 tonnes (previous year 667,065 tonnes).
- The provision of combustibles and fuels, which accounted for 33,530 tonnes from combustibles and 5,691 tonnes from fuels in 2018.
- CO2 emissions of power generation from the upstream chain are included in GRI 305-1.
- Logistics (see GRI 302-2) gave rise to CO2 emissions of 55,802 tonnes in 2018 (previous year 52,075 tonnes). The increase was mainly caused by additional locations included as well as the rise in sales and the related expansion in transport volumes. Since 2015, Geberit has managed to improve the eco-efficiency of its logistics operations (environmental impact per tkm) by more than 30%.
- Business travel by air, at 1,588 tonnes of CO2 emissions (previous year 1,626 tonnes). These CO2 emissions comprise direct and indirect emissions and are based on the Ecoinvent database (version 3.1) and the IPCC conversion factors from 2013.
INTENSITY OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (GRI 305-4)
CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) in relation to currency-adjusted sales decreased by 7.5%. This figure is above the target of 5% per year. Since the acquisition of Sanitec in 2015, the CO2 emissions per sales have fallen by more than 20%.
REDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (GRI 305-5)
In 2018, Geberit purchased another 3 GWh of certified green electricity, bringing the total to 50 GWh. Overall, renewable energy sources thus accounted for 40.6% of electricity (previous year 39.0%). According to the CO2 strategy, the share of renewable energy sources is to be expanded by 3 GWh annually so that it reaches 45% by 2021.
For combustibles, the share of renewable energy sources should be increased to 10% by 2021. The block heating station in Pfullendorf (DE), which was commissioned in 2012 and which was fed by 8.1 GWh of regionally generated biogas in 2018, makes a key contribution. In addition, 6.4 GWh of wooden pellets were burned and 13.3 GWh of district heating were obtained from a paper mill. This brought the share of renewable energies for district heating and combustibles to 5.2% in total in 2018 (previous year 5.3%).
Fuel consumption is determined primarily by the company’s own and leased fleet of cars and delivery vans. Since early 2008, binding guidelines have also applied for the purchase of new vehicles. As of 2019, these guidelines were adjusted to take into account the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).
Substantial CO2 emissions can also be saved by consistently applying eco-design principles in new product development. One concrete example is the flush valve type 240 for cisterns. Half of the material used is made of high-quality ABS regranulate. Indirectly, this means that almost 500 tonnes of CO2 can be saved annually, corresponding to savings of about 1 GWh of average European electricity.
Geberit also promotes awareness among all employees for the promotion of environmentally friendly behaviour. New employees receive training on the subject of sustainability at Geberit as part of their job orientation programme. In the largest plants, this is also tailored to the target group of production employees. There are also local initiatives, e.g. tree planting work, forestry projects, environmental competitions and environmental newsletters.
All targets and measures for improving the carbon footprint are disclosed in detail as part of the company’s participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
EMISSIONS OF OZONE-DEPLETING SUBSTANCES (GRI 305-6)Emissions of ozone-depleting substances, measured in CFC11 equivalents, can be calculated based on the eco-balance using the base data from the Ecoinvent database (version 3.1). The calculation includes both direct emissions (Scope 1) from the burning of combustibles and fuels and process emissions (solvents), as well as indirect emissions (Scope 2) resulting from electricity consumption and the provision of district heating. Key figures on ozone-depleting substances can be found at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
NITROGEN OXIDES (NOx), SULPHUR OXIDES (SOx) AND OTHER AIR EMISSIONS (GRI 305-7)
Emissions of NOx, SO2, NMVOC (non-methane VOC) and dust (PM10) can be calculated on the basis of the eco-balance using the base data from the Ecoinvent database (version 3.1). The calculation includes both direct emissions (Scope 1) from the burning of combustibles and fuels and process emissions (solvents), as well as indirect emissions (Scope 2) resulting from electricity consumption and the provision of district heating. Key figures concerning emissions can be found at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
WASTE WATER AND WASTE (GRI 306)
MANAGEMENT APPROACH WASTE WATER AND WASTE
According to the corporate eco-balance, waste disposal accounted for just 1.8% of the overall environmental impact. The reduction and safe handling of waste water and waste is promoted at the plants within the scope of the environmental management system according to ISO 14001. Waste is sorted so that as much as possible is recycled, and as little as possible has to be incinerated or sent to landfill sites.
As part of a resource-saving circular economy, efforts are being made to generate secondary material for other processes from waste. In both the Kolo and Wloclawek ceramic plants in Poland, for example, gypsum waste from ceramic production, which had previously been disposed of as waste to landfills, is now being used as secondary material in the cement industry since the end of 2016. This reduces waste quantities in landfills by over 6,000 tonnes per year. Geberit’s latest goal is to improve resource efficiency (kg ceramic waste/kg ceramic) in ceramic production by 10%.
DISCHARGE OF WASTE WATER (GRI 306-1)
The 2018 figure for waste water was 808,158 m3 (previous year 811,769 m3). At 72%, process waste water from the production of sanitary ceramics accounted for the largest share of the total. Other important categories are domestic waste water (25%), which passes into the communal waste water treatment plant or is pretreated and fed into receiving waters, and other waste water (3%), which is pretreated and fed to a communal waste water treatment plant. Waste water was not directly reused by third-party companies. Geberit does not engage in the unplanned discharge of waste water. All resulting process waste water and domestic waste water is treated. Key figures on waste water can be found at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
VOLUME OF WASTE (GRI 306-2)
The total waste quantity in 2018 was 84,074 tonnes (previous year 81,953 tonnes).
74.8% of waste was channelled to external recycling processes (previous year 72.0%). The measures focused on the further separation of waste and the reduction of mixed waste and hazardous waste, as well as the utilisation as secondary material. Resource efficiency in ceramic production declined slightly by 2% to 0.51 kg ceramic waste/kg ceramic.
Key figures concerning waste by category are provided at Key figures sustainability > Environment.
SPILLS OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES (GRI 306-3)
There were no spills of chemicals in the reporting period.
TRANSPORT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE (GRI 306-4)
In 2018, 777 tonnes of hazardous waste (previous year 896 tonnes) were disposed of by incineration and 588 tonnes of hazardous waste (previous year 599 tonnes) were recycled. At Geberit, all waste is disposed of and recycled by licensed disposal companies.
WATER BODIES AFFECTED BY WASTE WATER DISCHARGES (GRI 306-5)
This indicator is not relevant to Geberit as no bodies of water are affected by significant water discharge from Geberit facilities as defined in the GRI Standards.
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE (GRI 307)
MANAGEMENT APPROACH ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE
In its Code of Conduct Geberit states that it will limit the environmental impact of its business activities to a minimum. This is achieved by means of consistent compliance with all applicable laws, internationally recognised guidelines and industry standards. With many of the initiatives that it implements, Geberit goes above and beyond legal and official requirements. Reviewing and ensuring compliance with the law is a mandatory element of ISO 14001 certification, and is monitored as part of the annual Group-wide survey on compliance with the Code of Conduct at all companies, see GRI 419.
SANCTIONS DUE TO NON-COMPLIANCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS (GRI 307-1)
During the reporting year, a significant incident occurred when historical contamination was discovered at a ceramics plant. In a joint operation with the authorities, Geberit instigated measures to dispose of the contaminated waste fully and correctly.