This report covers the reporting period from January 1 to December 31, 2020. It was prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option (2016).
Starting with its first environmental report in 1997, GF has continually expanded the recording and collection of sustainability-relevant data. Initially, only environmental indicators were collected. Social indicators were added in 2005.
Since 2005 and until 2018, a comprehensive Sustainability Report was published every other year, with an interim report published in the intervening years. Since 2019, GF publishes a comprehensive report on an annual basis. Sustainability Reports from previous periods are available on the GF website and in the online version of the Corporate Archives. Additionally, information on energy consumption, GHG emissions, and GF’s management of water as a resource is also provided annually to CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). As of 2021, GF again participates in the S&P Global CSA (Corporate Sustainability Assessment), with the information covering the 2020 reporting period.1
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:
- As part of the strategic realignment of GF Casting Solutions and to strengthen its positioning in the aluminum and magnesium light-metal segments, the iron foundry in Herzogenburg (Austria) was divested as of September 30, 2019, and the site in Werdohl (Germany) was closed and production partially shifted to two other locations of GF Casting Solutions. Both facilities accounted for a significant share of GF’s environmental footprint. For this reason and to ensure data consistency and comparability over time, the 2019 environmental indicators in this report are shown in two ways: including both facilities and the 2019 pro rata data excluding both facilities. The indicators relevant to calculate target achievement exclude both facilities for 2019 and all previous years.
- Two GF companies, Georg Fischer Meco Eckel GmbH in Biedenkopf-Wallau (Germany) and Chinaust Plastics Ltd in Xian (China), joined the reporting of social and environmental indicators in 2020 for the first time. In line with the Corporate Instruction on sustainability management at GF, newly acquired companies have up to three years to be integrated into the sustainability reporting. The contribution of both facilities to the total is small. Their data is included in the absolute figures presented in the KPI tables.
- In line with financial reporting, for one GF Piping Systems site in China that is part of the Chinaust joint venture (Shanghai Chinaust Plastics Corp Ltd), the equity share was applied in 2020 and as a correction for all previous years. As the contribution of this site to the total is small, restatement of data for previous periods is not necessary.
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 its control. This is aligned with the approach used in financial reporting and is based on the following criteria:
- All companies in which GF owns 50% or more of equity are consolidated at 100% and
- For companies where GF has a joint venture participation of 50% or less, environmental and health and safety data are weighted accordingly.
Scope and calculation of Sustainability Targets 2020
The target achievement for the environmental indicators is calculated in relation to production volume. Average consumption for the years 2013–2015 serves as a baseline to reflect a more realistic consumption trajectory.2
The Sustainability Targets were introduced in 2015 and had to be achieved within five years: by year-end 2020. In order to provide companies with a realistic timeframe for target attainment, companies that joined GF before 2017 are included in the calculation for the achievement of the Sustainability Targets 2020. Companies that joined later had individual targets. Business acquisitions, divestments, and closures can affect the results as well. Organizational adjustments that took place during 2019 are explained in the section “Scope of data collection and reporting.”
Economic performance indicators cover all of the companies under the scope of corporate consolidation, as reported in the GF Annual Report 2020.
In the year under review, GF had 137 companies. About 72% of them report their social and environmental indicators, which covers 95% of the production facilities 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 2020.
The social performance indicators presented in this report are 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.
GF’s environmental indicators are energy and water consumption (on the input side) and air emissions, waste, and wastewater (on the output side). GF also calculates the environmental impact of transportation at its facilities as well as business travel by plane or company car. The environmental footprint of purchased materials, the construction of facilities and buildings, as well as the use of products by customers are not yet included.
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.