Energy (GRI 302)
Management approach energy
Representing a 97.6% share of the corporate life cycle assessment, the consumption of energy in the form of electricity, combustibles and fuels represents Geberit’s greatest environmental impact. 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, systematic energy and CO2 monitoring and an energy/CO2 master plan are being implemented in the most energy-intensive plants to manage and plan energy consumption.
Pivotal in energy management and the new CO2 strategy are measures for saving energy, increasing efficiency and procuring energy in the plants. The corresponding measures are implemented using 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. A special guideline for planning and building such installations was developed in 2022. The company plans to further increase its purchase of green electricity in 2023 by an additional 10 GWh.
In addition, 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, which was reviewed for the first time in 2019 and will be reviewed again in 2023.
For the development of energy-efficient products, see 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, 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 8.1% in the reporting year – primarily due to the decline in volume, a mild winter and targeted energy efficiency measures – and is now 712.6 GWh (previous year 775.7 GWh). Since the acquisition of the energy-intensive ceramics business in 2015, it has been possible to reduce energy consumption by 21.9%, making a significant contribution to reductions in the environmental impact and CO2 emissions.
Combustibles (primarily for ceramic production), including district heating, still account for the greatest share of energy consumption at 65.8% (previous year 67.3%), followed by electricity with 30.7% (previous year 29.9%) and fuels with 3.5% (previous year 2.8%).
Since 2012, a block heating station has been in use in Pfullendorf (DE). In 2022, this plant was fed by 7.5 GWh of regionally produced biogas. The electricity generated by the plant (2.8 GWh) is fed into the transmission grid, whereas the resulting heat (3.5 GWh) can be used in production, thereby reducing the use of natural gas.
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 2022. However, this contribution is not included in the energy balance as the energy produced is managed by the regional energy supplier. Overall, the volume of purchased green electricity was increased by 26.7 GWh to 111.8 GWh in 2022, which corresponds to around half of the entire volume of purchased electricity.
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.
Energy consumption outside the organisation (GRI 302-2)
Where the energy balance outside the organisation is concerned, Geberit concentrates on purchased materials, business travel, intercompany and distribution logistics, and the use of sold products.
In 2022, purchased materials resulted in grey energy consumption of around 13,600 TJ (previous year 14,000 TJ).
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. Energy consumption arising from business flights amounted to 10.5 TJ in the reporting year (previous year 6.0 TJ).
Intercompany and distribution logistics are provided by external transport service providers. Since 2010, a logistics calculator developed by Geberit has been used for monitoring purposes and covers intercompany and distribution logistics. In the reporting year, the transport service providers handled 644.5 million tkm (tonne-kilometres), previous year 672.3 million tkm. This gave rise to energy consumption of 1,187 TJ (previous year 1,267 TJ). The reduction in transport services and energy consumption was mainly due to the decline in volume. For further information, see Logistics.
Energy consumption arising from the use of sold products is determined by the electricity consumed directly by the products themselves (especially shower toilets) and the heating of water for the washbasin taps. This indicator is based on the average annual consumption of the product in question multiplied by the sales figures in the reporting year and its expected service life, and amounted to around 412 TJ in the reporting year.
Energy intensity (GRI 302-3)
Energy intensity is an important performance indicator at the production plants, and is monitored monthly in the management cockpit. It refers to the quantities produced in unit equivalents and, in the ceramics plants, also to the quantity produced in terms of weight. Those plants which are certified to ISO 50001 (energy) have also introduced a more refined system of monitoring. At Group level, net sales constitute a key indicator alongside environmental impact and CO2 emissions. In 2022, energy consumption per net sales improved by 12.3% compared to the previous year.
Energy saved (GRI 302-4)
Important ongoing energy-saving measures in production include:
- The optimisation of production processes in terms of efficiency, utilisation, stability, scrap, energy and resource consumption.
- The continuous modernisation of the machine fleet and the purchase of energy-efficient equipment, and the systematic switchover of lighting to LED technology.
- The optimisation of cooling systems through the use of natural ambient cold (free cooling or ground water).
- The improved use of waste heat available internally (heat recovery, e.g. for the pre-heating of plastic granules or the drying of plaster moulds and ceramic blanks).
- The careful use of compressed air and use of generated waste heat.
- Improved insulation of buildings.
Concrete examples which show the reduction in energy consumption in production:
- Increase in the number of injection moulding machines with energy-efficient drive technology (hybrid, fully electrical, standby) to 229 machines, and commissioning of a seventh fully electrical blow-moulding machine.
- Process optimisation in the production of Mapress Stainless Steel fittings in Langenfeld (DE) leading to a reduction in electricity and natural gas consumption through a step-by-step reduction in pickling.
- Replacement of conventional plaster casting systems with modern high-pressure casting systems in Koło and Włocławek (both PL) in order to increase efficiency, improve ergonomics and reduce raw material consumption and plaster waste.
- Commissioning of first glazing robot in Carregado (PT) in order to increase efficiency, improve ergonomics and reduce raw material consumption.
Measures to reduce energy consumption in intercompany and distribution logistics:
- Product deliveries from the logistics centre in Pfullendorf (DE): More efficient utilisation of the capacity of the loading vessels thanks to the optimised calculation of loading space and implementation of organisational measures.
- Efficient utilisation of freight capacity: Use of high cube swap bodies (around 10% more capacity), double-decker systems, and the double stacking of cisterns for major customer deliveries (around 400 truck journeys saved in the reporting year), and the deployment of long trucks in Scandinavia with a length of up to 25 metres and a total weight of up to 60 tonnes (around 40% increase in load volumes).
- Use of state-of-the-art truck technology: The share of transport services handled by state-of-the-art Euro 6 trucks was 87% (previous year 82%). In addition, four trucks powered by natural gas are in operation between Jona (CH) and Pfullendorf (DE) and on other routes.
- Shift truck traffic to rail: From Pfullendorf (DE), almost 100% of ocean freight shipments to Hamburg (DE), 80% of shipments to Italy, and 15% of shipments to Switzerland are conducted by rail. The percentage of rail consignments from Italy to Pfullendorf is 59% and to Switzerland 86%.
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 3.8), some 9.9 MJ of energy are required and 0.6 kg of CO2 emissions released per cubic metre for the conveyance, processing and distribution of water and the subsequent processing of the unpolluted waste water in a treatment plant. The water footprint calculated for Geberit shows that nearly 100% of water consumption is attributable to the product use 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 42,050 million m3 of water in comparison with traditional flushing systems. These water savings indirectly result in substantial energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions.
Direct energy savings when using the products are made possible thanks to systematically improved energy efficiency. Specific examples include:
- The Geberit DuoFresh module removes unpleasant odours by extracting the air directly from the WC ceramic appliance and purifying it using a ceramic honeycomb filter. This can save around 50 litres of heating oil per year compared to opening the window for ventilation.
- The Geberit energy retaining valve ERV uses a 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 around 50 litres of heating oil a year.
- The Geberit AquaClean Sela Comfort shower toilet uses innovative WhirlSpray and heating-on-demand technology to reduce energy consumption.
- 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 sustainable building and economic operation. For this purpose, a proprietary environmental and cost calculator was developed for various sales companies, see www.international.geberit.com.
- The modular Geberit tap system is the ultimate in sophisticated installation technology, comprising different energy concepts and elegant tap housings for wall-mounted and deck-mounted taps. The product boasts both optimal user-friendliness and ease of installation as well as minimal water and energy consumption.
- The Geberit Control app enables product configuration via smartphone, meaning appliances can be operated simply and also constantly optimised in terms of energy management and water consumption, among other aspects.