Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023


Social responsibility

Management approach social responsibility

Taking on social responsibility through partnerships in social projects and the application of in-house know-how in these projects makes a positive contribution to social development in disadvantaged regions. However, if this commitment is not taken seriously, this can give rise to reputation risks that could impair public perception of the company. Therefore, social responsibility at Geberit is exercised within the scope of long-term partnerships with social institutions. In addition, Geberit has been carrying out social projects with its own apprentices annually 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 acquire new social, linguistic and professional competencies. Furthermore, these social projects make a tangible contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, 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 3.7 million (previous year CHF 4.4 million) were made during the reporting year. Geberit employees also carried out charitable work totalling around 2,790 hours in the reporting year (previous year 1,890 hours).

The focus was on the following projects and partnerships in the reporting year:

  • Eleven apprentices from Germany, Austria and Switzerland travelled to India as part of the social project. In collaboration with the Swiss NGO Stiftung Usthi, the apprentices constructed a new sanitary wing in the Ananda School. They also installed water supply pipes in the school kitchen. The new sanitary installations and improved access to running drinking water benefit the 246 schoolchildren and their teachers.
  • 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 June 2023 (end of the three-year project phase), around 2,730 young people – including 48 women – had taken part in dual studies as plumbers. Around 230 teaching staff were also trained as part of this project. Geberit also provided additional support to 25 vocational schools in Ukraine with 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. Seven of these projects were awarded and 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 and children’s homes 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 9.2 million.

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 – even after the completion of the corresponding projects. 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 2023 > Social responsibility.