Management approach social responsibility
Social responsibility is exercised both within the scope of long-term partnerships with social institutions and programmes with partners and in the annual social projects that Geberit has been carrying out since 2008. These projects exhibit a relationship to the topic of water and sanitary facilities, as well as to Geberit’s core competencies and corporate culture. Equally important is the aspect of personal and professional education. By getting actively involved in the social projects in developing regions, apprentices become familiar with other cultures and also acquire new social, linguistic and professional competencies. Furthermore, these social projects make a tangible contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include giving all humans access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation by 2030. A review of what has been achieved is carried out on a regular basis.
Infrastructure investments and promoted services (GRI 203-1)
Donations and financial contributions, including product donations, totalling CHF 4.4 million (previous year CHF 4.2 million) were made during the reporting year. Geberit employees also carried out charitable work totalling around 1,890 hours in the reporting year (previous year 1,650 hours).
The focus was on the following projects and partnerships in 2022:
- In 2022, twelve Geberit apprentices from Germany, Austria and Switzerland travelled to Istanbul in Turkey as part of the social project. Accompanied by the local Geberit sales company, the apprentices helped renovate eight sanitary rooms and a total of 24 sanitary installations at a primary school for over 1,000 children in a suburb of the city.
- The partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas was continued. Part of this partnership focuses on infrastructure projects in developing countries where Geberit employees went on volunteering assignments. Following a two-year interruption to these projects due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, 14 Polish employees from Geberit travelled to Nepal in the reporting year. In a remote village in western Nepal, they laid water supply lines, secured wells and built water tanks under the guidance of experts. In doing so, they helped to ensure better access to clean drinking water for the villagers.
- Despite the war in Ukraine, the local Geberit sales company continued its long-standing project for supporting the professional training of plumbers in the country. Geberit Ukraine is carrying out this project in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Swiss foundation Swisscontact and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education. By the end of 2022, almost 3,000 young sanitary specialists (including 19 women) and 50 teachers were trained in 25 vocational schools. As part of this project, Geberit supported the Ukrainian vocational schools with additional material and equipment.
- As a long-standing member of the Swiss Water Partnership network, Geberit supported a newly launched competition for students and young professionals. As part of the “Youth Water Challenge”, participants drew up suggestions for projects that improve access to water, drinking water quality or hygiene. Nine of these projects were put into action.
- Geberit also provided sanitary equipment to the “L’Unique Foundation”. Established by a Swiss sanitary enterprise and based in Basel (CH), this foundation finances the construction and renovation of sanitary facilities at schools in Nepal.
The Geberit Group’s social commitment is rounded off by a multitude of other initiatives at a local level. At various Geberit sites in Europe, such as Germany, Austria, Poland, France and Switzerland, for example, assembly and packaging work is regularly awarded to workshops for people with disabilities. In the reporting year, this work amounted to CHF 9.5 million and gave around 550 people meaningful work.
As a basic principle, all social projects carried out by Geberit are regularly checked by company employees in the respective country or in partnership with non-governmental organisations – including after completion of the projects in question. All donations are neutral from a party political point of view. No donations were made to parties or politicians. This is ensured globally as part of the annual audit of the Code of Conduct. For further information, see also Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2022 > Social responsibility.