Annual Report 2016

Social responsibility

Water matters

Innovative sanitary technology continuously improves the quality of people’s lives. Geberit rigorously pursues this mission. The guideline for employees, the Geberit Compass, sets this out.

Besides improving quality of life through innovative sanitary products, Geberit takes its social responsibilities seriously – which is why it has for many years undertaken social projects involving its own apprentices. These projects always exhibit a relationship to the topic of water and to the company’s core competencies. Apart from being involved in the projects, the young people who take part become familiar with other cultures and acquire new social, linguistic and professional competencies – experiences that will aid their personal and professional development. Furthermore, these social projects make a tangible contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which include giving all humans access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation by 2030.

In 2016, the apprentices travelled to Warsaw (PL). Employees of Geberit Poland had become aware of a school in the Warsaw district of Wola with sanitary installations that were in urgent need of renovation. The 300 or so children at Żwirki i Wigury primary school were being educated in a building constructed in 1949. With the school unable to afford renovations, the bathrooms, toilets and showers were in poor condition. In stepped the local Geberit sales company with a plan to renovate and expand the school’s existing toilet facilities and common rooms. In October 2016, a Geberit team comprising ten apprentices, a technical manager and a coach spent two weeks at the school installing the sanitary facilities. In addition, various activities involving the schoolchildren were organised during this time. Geberit Poland also prepared a number of interactions with the pupils following completion of the project. These related to the theme of water, giving the children a playful and interesting take on how to conserve this valuable resource.

Global commitments

Geberit continued its extensive partnership with the Swiss development organisation Helvetas, supporting the new Helvetas campaign with a substantial sum of money. The “Change of Perspective” project was also implemented, as two Swiss plumbers travelled to Nepal in the autumn for the first time, working there for a week with two Nepalese colleagues. Their Nepalese counterparts returned the compliment a short time later, visiting and working with the Swiss plumbers in their home country for a week. The “Change of Perspective” project is set to continue in 2017. In addition, 17 Geberit employees visited Nepal for a voluntary two-week deployment in November 2016, helping a village community in western Nepal to construct a water pipeline. Geberit also made a major donation to support Helvetas-run water projects in Nepal.

In partnership with the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine and the Ukraine education ministry, and with technical assistance from Geberit, a vocational school for plumbers was opened in 2016 in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. As the sixth establishment of its kind to be supported by Geberit in Ukraine, the school will provide apprentices with a professional, contemporary training in plumbing.

The cooperation with the non-profit organisation Swiss Water Partnership was continued. This platform seeks to bring together all those involved in the topic of water supply (from academic, economic as well as public and private spheres) to collectively address future challenges and promote international dialogue on water.

A multitude of other initiatives and collection campaigns at a local level round off the Geberit Group’s social responsibilities. As a basic principle, all social projects and the use of funds are regularly checked by Geberit employees in the respective country or in partnership with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), even after completion of the projects in question. For an overview of donations and financial contributions, see Investments in infrastructure and services primarily for public benefit. All donations and related commitments are neutral from a party political point of view. Furthermore, no donations were made to parties or politicians. As a rule, no political statements are made and no political lobbying is carried out. This is ensured globally as part of the annual audit of the Code of Conduct.