CO2 and other emissions (GRI 305)
Management approach CO2 and other emissions
Geberit has been calculating its carbon footprint along the value chain (Scopes 1 to 3) since 2012. Within this context, the following activities are relevant: the provision of raw materials, combustibles and fuels (Scope 3), the manufacture of products (Scopes 1 and 2), logistics, together with use and disposal of products (all Scope 3). An analysis revealed that the provision of raw materials (55.8%) is by far the largest source of CO2 emissions. The manufacture (11.3%) and disposal (22.5%) of sold products also play a major role. Intercompany and distribution logistics (5.0%), the provision of combustibles and fuels (2.0%), business flights (<0.1%), and the use of sold products (3.4%, direct emissions resulting from electricity consumption) result in only few emissions. For further information, see Key figures sustainability > Environment.
In the reporting year, the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions was updated with new basic data on the basis of the internationally recognised Ecoinvent database (version 3.8) and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) factors from 2013. Production-related process emissions are now also taken into consideration and, where possible, the effectively purchased local electricity mix (market-based) instead of the electricity mix of the respective country. Greenhouse gas emissions are calculated according to IPCC and are shown as a sum parameter (CO2 equivalents or simply CO2).
Production emissions are recorded, calculated 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. The reduction of these emissions is directly related to the reduction targets of the CO2 strategy.
The Geberit Group stands for an ambitious and implementation-oriented approach in its activities. This also applies to the new CO2 strategy developed in 2021 and implemented in the reporting year. The goal in the future is to continue to reduce CO2 intensity by an average of 5% per year. As such, Geberit is looking to achieve a long-term reduction in absolute CO2 emissions from 183,886 tonnes in 2021 to 121,000 tonnes by 2035. In comparison with the reference year 2015, relative CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 70% by 2030 and by 80% by 2035, while absolute CO2 emissions are to fall by 47% and 50% by 2030 and 2035 respectively. The targeted reduction in emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) is equivalent to a contribution to a reduction path that limits CO2 emissions to “well below 2°C” above pre-industrial levels.
A central element of the new CO2 strategy is its integration in all relevant and existing business processes as well as the handling of CO2 emissions as external costs by means of internal CO2 pricing. In this way, Geberit wants to ensure that the procedure of reducing the company’s carbon footprint is widely supported within the company, incorporated in daily business activities, and that the measures taken have a long-term, sustainable effect. The new CO2 strategy consists of six elements: transparency, accountability, CO2 pricing, energy, structural reduction, and offsetting or removal.
The annual preparation of a comprehensive corporate eco-balance is an established part of environmental management. It covers all production plants worldwide, central logistics in Pfullendorf (DE), other smaller logistics units and the larger sales companies. Geberit has been calculating its carbon footprint along the value chain (Scopes 1 to 3) since 2012 Key figures sustainability > Environment.
As part of the new CO2 strategy, internal reporting has been further expanded: Key figures on CO2 emissions are included in the regular monthly reporting and forecasting processes. Additionally, the calculation of CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) was also audited externally for the first time as part of a limited assurance engagement, see Audit Report Greenhouse Gas Balance.
In addition to focusing on Scope 1 and 2 emissions, work continued on the transparency of Scope 3 emissions. This took place on a product level as part of environmental product declarations (EPDs) and also for Scope 3 emissions from the supply chain.
Since 2022, the annual achievement of targets in reducing CO2 has been integrated as one of five equally weighted criteria in the calculation of the Group bonus. The annual reduction goals are thus bonus-related with a weighting of 20% for the entire Group management (around 220 managers) as well as for the employees in Switzerland (a total of 1,500 employees).
The internal CO2 pricing is of central importance. Once a year, the Group Executive Board suggests a CO2 reference price as part of the budget, which is then approved by the Board of Directors – this was EUR 60 per tonne of CO2 for 2022. This is based on the price of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) for CO2. The internal CO2 reference price embodies the reference costs for saving one tonne of CO2. An implicit CO2 project price is calculated for each project using an economic efficiency calculation. This serves as a basis for deciding on investments in measures to reduce energy or CO2. The lower the CO2 project price, the more attractive the project, whereby the price for implementing a project has to be under the CO2 reference price.
Pivotal in the CO2 strategy are measures for saving energy, increasing efficiency, heat recovery and procuring energy in the plants. The corresponding measures are drawn up and implemented as part of an energy master plan and a rolling CO2 forecasting of the significant plants. The proportion of renewable energies is being further increased throughout the company, always taking the internal CO2 reference price and the economic efficiency of the planned projects into consideration. There are various ways of doing this: purchasing high-quality green electricity certificates, long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with selected operators, or the installation of proprietary photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the production plants to generate electricity to be used within the company (GRI 302, GRI 305-5).
Accordingly, the area of ceramics, which accounts for around two-thirds of all Geberit’s CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2), has the largest savings potential. This includes a special focus on the reduction of scrap rates and refiring rates. The firing process and the use of the resulting waste heat will be continually optimised. This can be used for other process steps, such as drying the plaster moulds or ceramic blanks. Furthermore, projects were launched to investigate the possibilities of switching to renewable energy sources – for example, green hydrogen – in the long term, as well as the systematic reuse of ceramic waste (GRI 301).
Geberit also contributes to reducing Scope 3 emissions as part of purchasing and product development. Since 2007, all new products have been optimised in terms of sustainability as part of eco-design workshops. Seen across the entire life cycle, each product should be better than its predecessor from an ecological perspective – and all without sacrificing on quality, functionality or durability. With regard to the individual areas in the upstream and downstream value chain, the planned measures are aiming for the following improvements:
- Ensuring high quality, durability and repairability
- Reduction of water and energy consumption when the products are used
- Reduction of the quantities of material used
- Increasing the share of recycled and sustainable, CO2-reduced materials
- Simplification of dismantling and recycling products and their components
- Reduction of packaging material
- Optimisation of transport routes and maximising shipping container utilisation
The sustainable design of products makes a significant contribution to Scope 3 emissions at Geberit. Through the continuous development of products, Geberit can set itself apart from the competition at customers with an increased awareness of sustainability and reduce potential risks resulting from possible future environmental regulations.
A sustainable supply chain also contributes to reducing Scope 3 emissions. The selection of suitable raw materials with minimal CO2 emissions plays an increasingly important role, and is addressed in discussions with suppliers and included in decision-making processes, see Procurement.
Offsetting or removal
Geberit has the goal of significantly reducing CO2 emissions on its own, wherever possible. There is an increasing demand for low-carbon or carbon-neutral products among customers. As part of the new CO2 strategy, Geberit is testing out the approach of voluntarily offsetting currently unavoidable CO2 emissions from ceramic production through the purchase of high-quality CO2 certificates as part of a pilot project run by the Swiss myclimate foundation. The environmental product declaration (EPD) for ceramic appliances is the basis for calculating emissions here.
Direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) (GRI 305-1) and indirect, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2) (GRI 305-2)
In 2022, CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) amounted to 150,591 tonnes (previous year 183,886 tonnes), corresponding to a decrease of 18.1%. At 64.3% (previous year 58.5%), combustibles are the largest source of CO2, followed by electricity at 30.9% (previous year 38.0%) and fuels at 4.4% (previous year 3.2%), as well as process emissions and district heating at 0.4% in total (previous year 0.3%). The targeted purchase of 111.8 GWh of green electricity (previous year 85.1 GWh) in Rapperswil-Jona and Givisiez (CH), Pfullendorf and Haldensleben (DE), Pottenbrunn (AT), Bromölla and Mörrum (SE), Ekenäs (FI), and Koło, Włocławek and Ozorków (PL) meant that it was possible to reduce CO2 emissions by around 51,400 tonnes (previous year 31,500 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 742,402 tonnes (previous year 757,572 tonnes).
- The provision of combustibles and fuels, which in 2022 accounted for 21,683 tonnes from combustibles (previous year 23,857 tonnes) and 4,590 tonnes from fuels (previous year 4,087 tonnes). CO2 emissions of electricity generation from the upstream chain are included in GRI 305-2.
- Business travel by air, at 732 tonnes of CO2 emissions (previous year 423 tonnes). These CO2 emissions comprise direct and indirect emissions and are based on the Ecoinvent database (version 3.8) and the IPCC factors from 2013.
- Intercompany and distribution logistics (see GRI 302-2), which gave rise to a total of 65,889 tonnes of CO2 in 2022 (previous year 70,666 tonnes). The reduction in CO2 emissions was mainly due to the decline in volume. Since 2015, Geberit has managed to improve the eco-efficiency of its logistics operations (environmental impact per tkm) by 31%.
- Use of the products (shower toilets and washbasin taps) through the consumption of electricity required to operate the products or provide hot water, and the resulting direct CO2 emissions at 44,668 tonnes.
Intensity of greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-4)
CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) in relation to currency-adjusted net sales (CO2 intensity) decreased by 21.9% in 2022. Since the acquisition of the ceramics business in 2015, CO2 intensity has been reduced by 56.4%, or 9.9% per year on average. This figure is clearly above the target of 5% per year.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-5)
The measures for implementing the CO2 strategy (Scopes 1 and 2) are based on the three pillars energy saving, heat recovery, and the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, see also GRI 302.
In 2022, Geberit purchased another 26.7 GWh of green electricity, bringing the total to 111.8 GWh. Overall, renewable energy sources thus accounted for 71.3% of electricity (previous year 62.4%). The share of renewable energies for district heating and combustibles was 4.9% in total in 2022 (previous year 5.0%). The block heating station in Pfullendorf (DE), which was commissioned in 2012 and which was fed by 7.5 GWh of regionally generated biogas in 2022, makes a key contribution. Additionally, 15.1 GWh of district heating was sourced from a paper factory and a block heating station powered by wood in the ceramics plants and at the site in Mörrum (SE).
A wide range of measures for saving energy and increasing efficiency are planned at the plants. Accordingly, the area of ceramics, which accounts for around two-thirds of all Geberit’s CO2 emissions, has the largest structural savings potential. This includes a special focus on the reduction of scrap rates. The firing process and the use of the resulting waste heat will be further optimised. This can be used for other process steps, such as drying the cast plaster moulds or ceramic blanks. Furthermore, projects were launched to investigate the possibilities of switching to renewable energy sources – for example, ecologically produced hydrogen – in the long term as well as the systematic reuse of ceramic waste.
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).
Geberit also encourages 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.
The consistent application of eco-design in product development is paramount in terms of reducing CO2 emissions in Scope 3, and Geberit has adhered to this approach since 2007. Specific examples of sustainable, CO2-reducing products can be found at Products and innovation.
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) and in the new TCFD Reporting on climate-related risks and opportunities.
Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (GRI 305-6)
Emissions of ozone-depleting substances, measured in CFC-11 equivalents (chlorofluorocarbons), can be calculated based on the corporate life cycle assessment using the basic data from the Ecoinvent database (version 3.8). 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 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 (PM 10) can be calculated based on the corporate life cycle assessment using the basic data from the Ecoinvent database (version 3.8). 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.