Integrated Annual Report 2015
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4. Stakeholder engagement

G4-24 Relevant stakeholder groups

Significant stakeholder groups for Geberit are customers, shareholders and analysts, banks, the media, employees and trade unions, neighbours, research institutes, suppliers, transport companies, competitors, associations, non-government organisations and the general public, as well as regulators. Details on stakeholder engagement can be found under  G4-26.

G4-25 Basis for selection of stakeholders

Systematic guided dialogue with stakeholders helps Geberit to identify possible conflict issues and opportunities for further development and to respond to these in good time. At the national and international levels, the Geberit Group and the Group companies maintain relations with organisations and institutions in the respective countries that direct requests and suggestions to the company. The stakeholders listed under  G4-24 have been identified as important for systematic stakeholder dialogue as they fulfil one of two criteria: Either the stakeholder group exerts a strong influence on the economic, environmental or social performance of Geberit and/or the stakeholder group is strongly affected by the economic, environmental or social performance of Geberit. An  external Stakeholder Panel helps Geberit to review its assessment of important stakeholder groups and their concerns.

G4-26 Approaches to stakeholder engagement

As part of sustainability reporting on the financial year 2014, Geberit consulted a panel of external stakeholders for the second time in the second half of 2014. Its mandate consisted of scrutinising the results of the internal materiality analysis from the standpoint of external stakeholders and providing feedback on the sustainability strategy and sustainability communication. The results are presented in the  Panel statement. In the  Response from Geberit to the Panel statement Geberit deals in detail with the external assessment and the recommendations contained therein.

A stakeholder analysis is performed at all production plants as part of environmental management in accordance with ISO 14001. Based on this information, Geberit identifies potential for conflict or opportunities and essentially pursues a cooperative approach in order to discuss and further develop possible measures with the stakeholders concerned.

Engagement of stakeholders according to stakeholder group:


  • More than 800 technical advisors working in the field are in daily contact with plumbers, planners and architects in particular.
  • During the reporting year, around 30,000 customers were provided with basic and further training in Geberit systems and software tools at the 25 information centres in Europe and overseas.
  • “Geberit On Tour”: Mobile exhibition that presented the advantages of Geberit products at more than 1,000 events in 18 countries in 2015. More than 31,000 visitors were registered at the events in total.
  • For trade fairs and customer services, see  Business Report > Business and financial review > Financial Year 2015 > Customers.
  • A trend study entitled “Changes in Body Awareness and Hygiene” was carried out by Zukunftsinstitut GmbH in Frankfurt (DE).

Shareholders, analysts:


  • Regular conference calls, bilateral meetings/interviews with the relevant media for Geberit
  • Sustainability issues and in particular the proof of performance of Geberit in this area play an important role in Geberit’s media relations.

Employees, trade unions:

  • Regular meetings of the employee representatives of the European sites with a member of the Group Executive Board and the Head Corporate Human Resources as part of the Geberit Europe Forum. Meetings with the European works council of former Sanitec took place in parallel with this. Merging of the two committees from 2016 to create a new Europe Forum with employee representatives from all European countries, during which a member of the Group Executive Board and the Head Corporate HR meet with the delegates.
  • Training and feedback opportunities on topics regarding the Code of Conduct.
  • Group-wide Geberit Integrity Line in place since 2013 to enable all employees across the world to report internal irregularities anonymously. As of 2015, this already includes all employees of the former Sanitec Group.
  • Employee survey every four years, with the next one in 2016.

Neighbors, municipalities:

  • Consultation with and inclusion of the neighbours of production plants in larger construction projects.
  • Open days at various production sites.

Research institutes:

  • Partner of the  research platform NEST (Next Evolution in Green Building Technologies) at EMPA in Dübendorf (CH).
  • Cooperation with Tongji University (CN) on technological trends and developments directly related to sanitary technology.


  • Initial contact within the scope of the assessment procedure and implementation of the Code of Conduct for Suppliers, see  chapter Suppliers.
  • Regular discussions between buyers and suppliers on site.
  • On-site audits (quality, environment, safety) carried out by Geberit and since 2012 also by certified third-party specialists.
  • Cooperation with manufacturers of infrastructure equipment, e.g. pilot project for the use of waste heat for the preheating of granulate in Pfullendorf (DE).

Transport companies:

  • Discussions with transport service providers concerning the results of the environmental monitoring, see  G4-EN29.


  • Collaboration with FECS (European Federation of Ceramic Sanitary Ware Manufacturers) on a new voluntary European standard for assessing the sustainability of ceramic sanitary appliances (EN 16578).
  • Involvement in various  associations and organizations with participation in corresponding management bodies and programmes.

Non-government organizations, general public:

  • Partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas.

Feedback from stakeholder dialogues is incorporated into the  Materiality analysis and into the  Sustainability Strategy.

G4-27 Response to and dealing with key topics and concerns of stakeholders

The topics introduced by the external   Stakeholder Panel have been integrated into the updated sustainability strategy and reporting by Geberit, see  Panel statement and the  Response from Geberit to the Panel statement.

Examples of important topics that were introduced by stakeholders and have been implemented by Geberit include: