Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals
GF actively contributes to and/or supports 11 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
GF produces high-quality systems and solutions for the safe and hygienic transportation of water. This is particularly relevant for preventing legionella, a pathogen whose bacteria reproduce when water does not circulate or when the water temperature is at a level that favors their growth. For example, GF Piping Systems’ Hycleen Automation System ensures a permanent hydraulic balance across all pipes and bacteria-free drinking water.
Amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, GF took swift and proactive steps to safeguard its employees from potential exposure.
In 2020, over 65% of GF’s workforce attended various professional training programs. The average number of training days per employee was lower than in prior years due to pandemic-related restrictions. GF responded to the restrictions by revising many of the offered courses and moving them online.
The Corporation is proud to have a vocational training program that was started in Switzerland over 100 years ago. The program now encompasses its operations in the United States and China. In 2020, 387 apprentices were trained worldwide.
Additionally, GF has work-study arrangements with universities in several countries, with students completing their degree while participating in projects at GF.
In recent years, GF has initiated a range of measures to increase the proportion of women in its workforce and management. To accelerate progress, GF set specific targets for gender balance in its Sustainability Framework 2025.
GF’s ongoing measures include management training programs that address gender balance, company events, and participation in career fairs aimed at female job candidates.
Large amounts of drinking water are currently lost or contaminated around the world due to poor infrastructure. GF Piping Systems offers a variety of products that help ensure leak-free delivery. For example, the new NeoFlow pressure regulating valve (PRV) helps upgrade old water networks, reduce the flow rate of existing leaks, and limit unnecessary mechanical stress on the infrastructure and avoid burst pipes.
In 2020, GF’s Clean Water Foundation provided CHF 400’000 to projects in Indonesia, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Honduras, and Peru. Most of the projects focus on improving infrastructure for water filtration and water distribution in rural communities and for hospitals.
GF helps improve global energy efficiency by increasing the energy efficiency of its own operations and by making its products and solutions steadily energy-smarter.
GF Machining Solutions, for example, participates in the Blue Competence initiative and strives continually to incorporate eco-design features into its machines. It aims to reduce average energy consumption during customer use by 15% for Milling and by 20% for EDM models.
GF considers workplace safety essential for its operations. It has conducted a corporate-wide Zero Risk campaign since 2015. GF’s ongoing efforts helped reduce its accident rate by 44% at year-end 2020 relative to its baseline (2013–2015).
The Corporation provides livelihoods and fair and competitive compensation to 14’118 employees in more than 30 countries around the world.
GF invests continuously in R&D – CHF 112 million in 2020 (CHF 127 million in 2019) – to create innovative new products and solutions that provide social and/or environmental benefits for customers during the product’s use phase. All three GF divisions address sustainability issues along their products’ value chains and across product life cycles.
GF Casting Solutions, for example, focuses on lightweight components for the aerospace and energy sector. GF Machining Solutions offers solutions to increase the energy efficiency of high-precision machines.
GF Piping Systems’ solutions directly support municipalities in establishing and maintaining safe and leak-free water distribution networks. Solutions like COOL-FIT also enable GF’s customers to increase the energy efficiency of their drinking water systems and cooling equipment.
GF Casting Solutions excels at the design and manufacture of lightweight components for the automotive and aerospace industries. GF therefore contributes directly to the development of alternative-drive mobility and to noise and pollution abatement in cities and communities.
GF has actively managed its use of natural resources since 1997, when the company also published its first environmental report. Since then, the scope of its sustainability program was extended to the Sustainability Targets 2020 and forms the basis for its sustainability-related activities.
GF strives continually for its operations to reduce the waste sent to landfill or incineration.1 Its Sustainability Framework 2025 enhances this commitment, focusing on decoupling resource consumption from growth.
GF’s target was to reduce its operations’ GHG emissions intensity by 10% over the period 2016-2020. At year-end 2020, GF had exceeded this target by 2%. Under its Sustainability Framework 2025, GF intends to reduce its absolute GHG footprint by 12.5%.
CDP gave GF a score of A- (Leadership level) in 2020 in recognition of GF’s global efforts to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions and its water management.2
GF offers a wide range of products and solutions that enable its customers and/or end-consumers to reduce their energy consumption and GHG emissions during the products’ use phase.