Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023



Long-term value creation

Geberit had already drawn up its first environmental strategy and implemented specific measures in 1990. Over the years, this strategy was gradually developed into a comprehensive Sustainability strategy, is now an integral part of the corporate culture, and makes a significant contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The sustainability strategy bundles together current and future projects, initiatives and activities, and specifies clear responsibilities with measurable objectives, derived measures and quantifiable key figures for effective monitoring. Social, ecological and economic aspects are given equal consideration in the strategy. A total of twelve sustainability modules form the basis here. Among these are employee attraction & retention, diversity & equal opportunity, health & safety, social responsibility, resources & circular economy, energy & CO2, water, eco-design & sustainable products as well as sustainable supply chains, green production, green logistics and compliance & governance.

Twelve modules of the Geberit sustainability strategy

Sustainability Strategy (graphic)

For further details, see Sustainability, Sustainability strategy.

Materiality analysis as basis

The Geberit sustainability strategy is based on the materiality analysis according to GRI Standards (Global Reporting Initiative). Geberit has carried out the materiality analysis involving the input of external stakeholders since 2012. The goal is to create potential added value in the individual business areas, both from a company and a stakeholder perspective. At the same time, the potential for conflict between stakeholder groups and opportunities for cooperation are also recognised in good time.

The materiality analysis is checked periodically. The last update in 2022 focused on aligning it with the corporate strategy and sustainability strategy, and was approved by an external Stakeholder Panel. Twelve topics were defined, assigned to the three dimensions People, Planet and Profit. While the material topics defined in the two dimensions People and Planet cover the modules in the sustainability strategy, the material topics in the Profit dimension have a broader scope.

The twelve material topics at Geberit

Materiality analysis (graphic)

For further details, see Sustainability, Materiality analysis.

Value-oriented management and ESG governance

The value- and future-oriented corporate governance strengthens the resilience of the Geberit business model and thus the long-term value creation of the company. A sustainability-oriented business management philosophy was defined as one of the strategic success factors of the company. This includes the long-term planning of investment projects taking an internal CO2 reference price into consideration, checking whether the defined measures have achieved their targets, and integrating the CO2 reduction target as one of five equally weighted criteria in the calculation of the bonus for management and some of the employees.

All positions involved in the sustainability strategy and its implementation, with the corresponding tasks and responsibilities, are listed below; ultimate responsibility lies with the Board of Directors. Further information can be found in the TCFD reporting.

Governance-Structure (graphic)
* EHS: Environment, Health and Safety

For further details, see Management structure.

Focus on four global goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda. This details 17 specific targets for sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals, which countries are required to implement by 2030 – with significant support from the business world. Four of these goals are particularly important to Geberit. The goal calling for “equitable access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation” (Goal 6) for all people worldwide is key to the company’s efforts, as is the goal of “sustainable cities and communities” (Goal 11). Additionally, high-quality education and further training of employees, the training of skilled crafts launched back in the 1950s and the newly adopted strategy for social commitment in vocational training in newly industrialised countries (Social responsibility) all play an important role in “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” (Goal 4). Moreover, with the CO2 strategy, the energy master plan and the eco-design principle as the basis for product development, Geberit also contributes to “taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” (Goal 13).

Geberit again honoured with EcoVadis award

The Geberit Group has once again been recognised for its sustainability management by EcoVadis. Gold is the second-highest rating awarded following the annual evaluation. Geberit thus finds itself in the top five percent of rated companies. EcoVadis is one of the world’s largest providers of business sustainability ratings and has created a global network of over 100,000 companies in around 180 countries. The comprehensive analysis takes into account 21 criteria in the areas Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement, and contributes towards ensuring transparency in sustainability performance of the companies. The Gold rating shows both customers and suppliers that Geberit has a comprehensive, systematic sustainability management in place.

Environmental performance significantly improved again

The absolute environmental impact of the Geberit Group decreased again in 2023 by 17.6%. Currency-adjusted net sales fell by 4.8% in the same period. As a result, the environmental impact in relation to currency-adjusted net sales (eco-efficiency) decreased by 13.4%. Since the integration of the energy-intensive ceramics production in 2015, eco-efficiency has improved by 62.6%. As regards the long-term target, which is based on an average improvement of 5% per year, Geberit therefore remains very well on course.

In order to measure environmental performance, the Swiss Ecological Scarcity Method has been used for many years, which takes into consideration a wide range of environmental impact factors (emissions, resources, waste) and summarises them as a key figure.

Environmental impact

(Index: 2015 = 100)

% 0 80000 160000 240000 320000 400000 0 30 60 90 120 150 2022 2023 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 Net sales, currency-adjusted Environmental impact, in relation to currency-adjusted net sales Environmental impact, absolute Environmental impact in million UBP* 400,000 320,000 240,000 160,000 80,000 0
* UBP = Eco-points in accordance with the Swiss Ecological Scarcity Method (version 2021)

On the path towards reducing CO2 emissions

The Geberit Group stands for an ambitious and implementation-oriented approach in its activities. This also applies to the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The central elements in the new CO2 strategy introduced in the previous year are its integration in all relevant business processes as well as the handling of CO2 emissions as external costs by means of an internal CO2 reference price. With the CO2 strategy, Geberit’s medium-term goal is a CO2 reduction of 5% per year compared to currency-adjusted net sales, which would correspond to an 80% reduction in relative CO2 emissions by 2035 compared to the reference year 2015.

Geberit also significantly exceeded its medium-term goal of reducing relative CO2 emissions by 5% per year in the reporting year. In relation to currency-adjusted net sales, CO2 emissions decreased by 15.6%. Compared to the previous year, absolute CO2 emissions fell by 19.6% to 121,014 tonnes (2022: 150,591 tonnes) and have therefore been reduced significantly more than volumes. This reduction is due to targeted operating measures and the continuous increase in the share of electricity from renewable energy sources, plus a decline in production volumes. Since the acquisition of the energy-intensive ceramics production in 2015, CO2 emissions in relation to currency-adjusted net sales (CO2 intensity) have been reduced by 63.2%.

CO2 emissions

(Index: 2015 = 100)

0 30 60 90 120 150 % 2022 2023 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 Net sales, currency-adjusted CO 2 emissions, in relation to currency-adjusted net sales CO 2 emissions, absolute CO 2 emissions in tonnes 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0

The calculation of Group-wide CO2 emissions was again externally audited in the reporting year. Carried out by the consulting company intep, the successful audit of the greenhouse gas balance sheet (“limited assurance”) included the calculation of CO2 emissions in Scopes 1 and 2, as well as the verification of processes on which this calculation is based. The standards of the WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064-1 were applied here (see also Audit Report Greenhouse Gas Balance).

For 2023, the CO2 reference price was set at EUR 80 per tonne. This was based on the price of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) for CO2. The CO2 reference price embodies the costs for saving one tonne of CO2. An implicit CO2 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. With the CO2 reference price, the responsibility for reducing the carbon footprint is widely supported within the company, thus ensuring that the measures taken have a long-term effect.

Pivotal in the CO2 strategy are measures for saving energy, increasing efficiency, heat recovery and procuring energy in the plants. The corresponding measures are implemented using an energy master plan. Among other projects, the construction of a new tunnel kiln was started at the ceramics plant in Carregado (PT) in 2023. This will replace the three existing kilns, resulting in an energy saving of around 20%. As part of the structural reduction approach, new, alternative technologies for firing the ceramic appliances are also regularly evaluated.

The production of ceramic appliances is energy-intensive. CO2 emissions are generated when obtaining the raw materials and also during the production and transportation of the ceramic appliances. In addition to technological innovations such as the installation of a second high-pressure casting system at the ceramics plant in Koło (PL), a product-specific specialisation at the ceramics plants is being pursued. Scrap rates are reduced thanks to this, which in turn has a positive effect on the energy efficiency of the ceramic appliances.

Finally the reduction of CO2 intensity is also down to the systematic increase in the share of electricity from renewable energy sources in overall electricity consumption. In the reporting year, the share of green electricity was increased further. At the end of 2023, 157 GWh of electricity came from renewable energy sources, of which 128 GWh was green electricity with proof of origin. As a result, around 80% of the total electricity required by the company is covered by renewable energy sources.

For more details, see Sustainability Performance Report.

Focus on water consumption

Careful, sparing use of water as a valuable resource is one of Geberit’s core areas of focus. The consistent focus on reducing water consumption both in production and in the product use phase is the company’s greatest lever for contributing to sustainable development.

In the reporting year, water consumption in production totalled 850,178 m3 (previous year 908,407 m3). In comparison with 2015, the year of the integration of the ceramics business, water consumption fell by 27.4%. Geberit consistently applies measures to successively reduce water consumption. In particular, this includes measures such as reusing water in laboratories and the production process. At around 80%, ceramic production accounts for the biggest share of water consumption; in this area, water consumption fell by 5% compared to the previous year and savings of 31% have been achieved since 2015.

With eco-design, the products are also checked and improved with regard to water consumption. Geberit’s innovative sanitary products help to systematically optimise water consumption in buildings. Rimless ceramic appliances, optimised TurboFlush technology, water-saving taps and urinals or the flush valves type 208 and 212 help customers handle water sparingly. According to a model calculation, water consumption for toilet flushing, for example, has decreased since 1952 by around 80% from 70 litres to 14 litres per person per day thanks to several innovations such as flush-stop cisterns and Geberit dual flush.

The optimisation of water efficiency continues to be of the highest importance. For example, if the Acanto WC ceramic appliance – equipped with the latest TurboFlush flush technology – is combined with the water-saving flush valve 212 and the dual flush actuator plate, the required flush volume is reduced to 2.6 litres for the partial flush and 4 litres for the full flush. Due to the optimally coordinated components, the flush performance is up to ten times higher than the requirements of international standards.

Circular economy and longevity

The aim of the circular economy is to operate an economic cycle in the most resource and environmentally friendly way possible. The greatest lever here is the service life of a product. The longer a product can be used, the lower the resource input per use. One of Geberit’s key contributions to the circular economy is therefore to achieve the longest possible product life due to high-quality materials and strict quality requirements. Geberit products typically have a service life spanning several decades. The service life often exceeds 50 years, for example in the case of plastic drainage pipes. An important contribution to the longevity of Geberit products and systems is that a significant proportion of the product range also has a spare parts availability of 25 years. In the reporting year, the spare parts availability for all mechanical components on concealed cisterns was increased from 25 to 50 years. Furthermore, many Geberit products can be cleaned, maintained and repaired easily. The fact that new products and innovations are backwards-compatible – for example in the case of actuator plates – is also an important contribution to a longer service life of a previously installed product.


Geberit has consistently been developing its own products in line with the eco-design principle since 2007. All environmental aspects are examined, from the selection of raw materials right through to disposal. The eco-design principle follows the circular economy approach. Every new product should be better than its predecessor from an ecological perspective. The energy efficiency and the water consumption of the products in the product use phase are also continuously improved. Since 2007, over 180 eco-design workshops have been held as part of the development of new products.

The CleanLine50 shower channel launched in 2023 was optimised according to the eco-design principle, for example. Material consumption was significantly reduced compared to its predecessor CleanLine60, with only half as much stainless steel required on the new shower channel. As the production of this high-quality material is energy-intensive, using less of it reduces CO2 emissions by 60% per shower channel.

The eco-design principle follows the circular economy approach

Ecodesign (graphic)

Careful use of plastics

Among other aspects, the use of recycled plastics is also promoted as part of the eco-design workshops. In particular, work continues towards constantly increasing the share of bought-in plastic regranulate used (post-consumer waste). Alongside recycled ABS, a suitable recycled material was also evaluated for applications involving polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (LDPE). This will be used increasingly, for example as transport protection for Mepla pipes. Thanks to internal recycling, almost 100% of all processed plastics can be reused in production.

Furthermore, Geberit participates in the Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) initiative. OCS is an international initiative promoted by the plastics industry dedicated to preventing the loss of plastic granules and ensuring that these materials do not pollute the environment. All Geberit plants that process plastics take part in the initiative and implement appropriate improvements.

Reducing the use of packaging material

The optimisation of packaging is of great importance, with a Group-wide strategy adopted here in 2023. The goal is to further reduce the consumption of resources while simultaneously offering optimal protection to the products. As a first result of implementing this strategy, the AquaClean Mera shower toilet was delivered in new packaging at the end of 2023. Both the boxes and protective liners made of corrugated cardboard were reduced by more than a third compared to the old packaging. Thanks to the smaller, lighter packaging, 70 tonnes of CO2 can be saved each year. The optimised packaging of the AquaClean Sela Round shower toilet will follow at the start of 2024.

Green building supported by digitalisation

Green building is becoming ever more important. Sustainability certificates and building labels such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen – the German Sustainable Building Council) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) have a positive impact on sustainability aspects when planning the sanitary technology, as does digital building planning with BIM. Thanks to the available data relating to sustainability, transparency here is increased.

For many years, Geberit has been creating product life cycle assessments and externally inspected environmental product declarations (EPDs) in accordance with the European standard EN 15804, and makes these available to architecture firms and planning offices in digital form. EPDs present relevant, comparable and verified information about a product’s environmental impact in a transparent manner. In the reporting year, in addition to the existing 14 EPDs, a new one for the Sigma actuator plates was added. This means that products with an EPD account for around 34% of Group sales.

Comprehensive controlling and reporting

Since 2006, the sustainability performance of the Geberit Group has been reported annually in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The information disclosed within the scope of this reporting was compiled in accordance with the new GRI Standards 2021. The corresponding GRI Content Index was audited according to the GRI Content Index – Essentials Service and met the requirements, see GRI label and formal GRI Content Index. All aspects of the GRI Standards can be found in the Sustainability Performance Report for 2023. In preparation for the ordinance on reporting obligations regarding non-financial matters in the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO Art. 964a ff.) that came into force on 1 January 2024, Geberit addressed the requirements as part of an interdisciplinary process. Reporting on all compulsory non-financial matters (climate, social and employee matters, adherence to human rights and fighting corruption) is integrated in the annual report for 2023.

Geberit has been a member of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact since 2008. The purpose of this worldwide agreement between companies and the UN is to place globalisation on a more social and ecological footing. Geberit is also a member of the local network of the UN Global Compact. The Code of Conduct for Employees and the Code of Conduct for Suppliers further incorporate the topic of sustainability. Continuously improved compliance processes ensure compliance with guidelines and directives. A system for the control and management of all risks involved in entrepreneurial activities is in place throughout the Group (see also Risk management).

Geberit also reports on climate-related risks in accordance with TCFD guidelines (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures). The TCFD is a working group set up by the Financial Stability Board of the G20 countries. TCFD guidelines aim to ensure the transparency of climate-related financial information for investors, lenders and insurance companies. The report on governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and goals discloses how Geberit identifies and deals with physical risks and transition risks and opportunities that are caused by climate change and may have a financial impact on the company (see also TCFD reporting).

Geberit aims to further reinforce its leading position in the industry in the area of sustainability. One major system helping to achieve this target is the integrated Geberit Management System, which unites aspects such as quality, environment, occupational health and safety, and energy. All production plants throughout the world and central logistics are certified in accordance with ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety). Certification according to ISO 50001 (energy management) is taking place for selected sites.

Further increased importance of sustainable business management for customers and the capital market

In terms of customers, the importance of sustainable products and sustainable business management is increasing, see also EcoVadis. Geberit is meeting the increased demand for communication on sustainability via various information channels. In the reporting year, communication on sustainability was further expanded and consolidated for specific customer groups (architects, sanitary specialists, consumers). Furthermore, education and training on current sustainability topics were intensified for the company’s own sales representatives.

The activities in terms of sustainable business management are also recognised by the capital market. The Geberit share is prominently represented in the sustainability stock indices and sustainability funds segment. Geberit wants to continue to play a pivotal role in the “Sustainability” and “Water” investment segments.