Disclosure information

This report covers the reporting period from 1 January – 31 December 2019, and it has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option (2016). 

Starting with the first environmental report in 1997, GF has been continuously expanding the recording and collection of sustainability-relevant data. Initially, only environmental indicators were collected, and since 2005, social indicators have been included in the report.

Reporting cycle

The comprehensive Sustainability Report has been published every two years since 2005, with an interim report published in the intervening years. Sustainability Reports from previous periods are available on the GF website. Additionally, information on energy consumption, CO2e emissions and management of water as a resource is also provided annually to CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). 

Scope of data collection and reporting

In the year under review and in line with the organizational adjustments of GF, the scope of reporting was adopted accordingly:

In line with 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 aligned with the approach used in financial reporting and is based on the following criteria:

Scope and calculation of Sustainability Targets 2020

The target achievement for the environmental indicators are calculated in relation to the production volume. The average consumption in the years 2013–2015 serves as a baseline to reflect a more realistic consumption path.1

The Sustainability Targets were introduced in 2015 and have to be achieved within five years, i.e. by 2020 at year-end. 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 acquisitions, divestments as well as closures can also affect the results. Organizational adjustments during 2019 are explained in the section “Scope of data collection and reporting.”

The companies acquired during 2019 have three years to be consolidated in the social and environmental reporting system. Economic performance indicators cover all of the companies under the scope of Corporate consolidation, as reported in the Annual Report 2019.

In the year under review, GF had 142 companies. About 72% of them report their indicators, which covers over 98% of the production sites and 96% of the total workforce.

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 2019.

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.

With regard to environmental figures, GF tracks and records the energy and water consumption (on the input side) and air emissions, waste, and wastewater (on the output side). The environmental impact of transportation within GF’s 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 yet covered at this point in time.


External assurance

Transparent and verified reporting is important to GF. Therefore, the Sustainability Report is externally assured by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG (PwC). This includes the validation and verification of selected 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.

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