Disclosure information

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.

Reporting cycle

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:

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:

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.


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 Formerly known as SAM CSA and Dow Jones Sustainability Rating.
2 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.