Starting with the first environmental report in 1997, GF has been continuously expanding the recording and collection of sustainability-relevant data. Initially, only environmental figures were collected, and since 2005, social indicators have been included in the reporting as well.
The Sustainability Report has been published every two years since 2005, with an interim report published in the intervening years. Additionally, information on energy consumption and CO2e emissions is also published annually under the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This report covers the reporting period from 1 January – 31 December 2017, and it has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option (2016).Anchor-1
Scope of data collection and reporting
In the year under review, the reporting scope was revised, a new data management tool was implemented and the definitions of the following KPIs were updated:
- –“Business travel” includes information on air travel booked via the internal travel agency and, since 2017, also the data on air travel booked individually but for business purposes. Business travel by car is reported in the same way as in the past reporting cycles.
- –The basis for the calculation of the accident rate indicator was changed from “1’000 employees” to “one million working hours,” in alignment with industry practice.
- –As of 2017, we provide a breakdown of donations made by the Corporation and its various entities according to four categories: charitable donations, sponsorship, societal investments, and the volume of orders placed with workshops employing people with a disability.
- –The scope of the Sustainability Target 2020 on emissions was broadened from CO2 (carbon) only, to CO2-equivalents (CO2e), thus better reflecting our efforts to reduce the GHG emissions.
In a change to the previous reporting periods, the information presented in this Sustainability Report accounts for the equity share that GF owns in the individual companies under the Corporation’s control. This is done in alignment with the approach used in the financial data reporting and is based on the following criteria:
- –All companies in which GF owns 50% or more of equity are consolidated at 100 percent.
- –For companies where GF has a joint venture participation of 50 percent or less, environmental and health and safety data are weighted accordingly.
For consistency reasons, the historic data have been updated throughout the text of the report as well as in the performance indicator tables to reflect this revised approach.
The target achievement paths in the area of the environment are calculated in relation to the production volume. The average consumption in the years 2013–2015 serves as a baseline year to reflect a more realistic consumption path1. The Sustainability Targets were introduced in 2015 and have to be achieved within five years, i.e. by 2020. In order to provide companies with a realistic timeframe for target achievement, companies that joined GF before 2017 are included in the calculation for the achievement of the Sustainability Targets 2020. Companies that joined later have individual targets. Business divestments and closures can also affect the results. However, for the year under review, this had only a limited impact, and therefore, the results are comparable with those of the prior years. The companies acquired during 2017 have three years to join the social and environmental reporting. Economic performance indicators cover all of the companies under the scope of Corporate consolidation, as reported in the Annual Report 2017.
In the year under review, GF had 136 companies. About 75 percent of them report their indicators, which covers 91 percent of the production sites and 95 percent of the total workforce.
The social performance indicators are presented in this report based on the data collected from all sales and production companies worldwide with more than ten employees. They report this information to the sustainability teams at the divisional and Corporate levels on a monthly and bi-annual basis using the Sustainability Information System. Environmental performance indicators are reported by the production companies according to the same cycle.
The financial performance indicators follow Swiss GAAP FER principles (Swiss Generally Accepted Accounting Principles Accounting and Reporting Recommendations) and are consistent with those reported in the GF Annual Report 2017.
With regard to environmental figures, GF tracks and records the energy and water consumption (on the input side) and emissions into the air, waste, and wastewater (on the output side). The environmental impact of transportation within our locations, as well as business travel by plane or company car, is also calculated. The environmental footprint of purchased materials, the construction of facilities and buildings, as well as the use of products by customers are not covered at this point in time.
Transparent and verified reporting is important to GF. Therefore, our Sustainability Report is externally audited and verified by SGS TÜV Saar GmbH. This includes the validation and verification of environmental and social performance indicators relevant to the GRI-Standards: Core option.
1 In any given year, some of the indicators may be influenced by random weather fluctuation, such as a cold winter, which translates into an increase in energy consumption for heating.