Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address the key challenges of sustainable development on a global level. Through its business activities and dedication to sustainability, GF is making significant contributions towards these goals.

Thanks to its commitment to the SDGs, in 2021, GF was included as a sustainability leader in the “50 Climate and Sustainability Leaders” campaign of TBD Media Group. The campaign consists of a video series showcasing companies that are advancing themselves and their industries towards a better future.

The video on GF explains how it develops products in all three divisions that are particularly sustainable in their manufacture or production.

GF’s contribution to the SDGs in detail

The following overview presents GF’s contributions to the SDGs. Each goal comprises several numbered targets which detail its specific objectives and outcomes. Therefore, each box outlines GF’s progress towards these targets and highlights its activities in the relevant area.


GF makes continual efforts to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from water pollution and contamination (target 3.9).

It 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.


Through its company programs, GF is helping to increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (target 4.4).

In 2021, about 67% 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.

Additionally, GF has work-study arrangements with universities in several countries, with students completing their degree while participating in projects at GF.


GF actively promotes women’s full, effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making (target 5.5).

In recent years, GF has initiated a range of measures to increase the proportion of women in its workforce and management. In its Sustainability Framework 2025, GF has set a target that, by 2025, 25% of its newly appointed managers are women and has initiated a range of measures to achieve this goal. These measures include management training programs that address gender balance, company events and participation in career fairs aimed at female job candidates.


Through various initiatives and projects, GF is increasing water-use efficiency to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity (target 6.4). In addition, the company is further promoting international cooperation and capacity-building to support developing countries in water-related activities and programmes (target 6.a).

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. In 2021, the division developed the Butterfly Valve 565 that optimizes piping systems built for water applications.

Through its Clean Water Foundation, GF supports worldwide projects to provide people with better access to safe drinking water. For example, in 2021, the foundation conducted projects in Somaliland, Zambia, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Uganda. Most of the projects focus on improving infrastructure for water filtration and distribution in rural communities and hospitals.


GF helps to improve global energy efficiency (target 7.3).

As part of these efforts, GF continuously increases the share of renewable energy purchased and self-generated. In 2021, renewables represented 24% of GF’s total energy consumption (up from 17% in 2020). In addition, the company is increasing the energy efficiency of its own operations. In 2021, measures to reduce the site’s energy consumption included for example investments in efficient water pumps and cooling systems as well as in LED lightning.

At the same time, GF is also contributing to the production of clean energy through its broad range of products and solutions. GF Casting Solutions partners with Microsoft Switzerland in an innovation project using artificial intelligence. The project seeks to optimize the ramp-up phase of casting production and ultimately maximize the quality of components while minimizing their associated energy consumption. In 2021, the project was successfully tested at one of GF’s locations in Europe.


GF supports efforts to achieve full and productive employment and decent work (target 8.5) and to reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education, or training (target 8.6). The Corporation also promotes a safe and secure working environment for all workers (target 8.8).

GF provides livelihoods and fair and competitive compensation to 15’111 employees in more than 30 countries around the world. GF also directly supports young people to achieve productive employment. For more than 100 years, the company has offered a vocational training program that trains apprentices in technical and commercial professions.

In addition to developing skilled employees, GF also considers safe and secure working environments essential for its operations. The Sustainability Framework 2025 is an important guideline that will help the Corporation achieve the ultimate goal of having zero workplace accidents. In the framework, GF has set itself the goal to reduce the accident rate by at least 30% relative to the previous three-year average (i.e., 2018–2020).


GF makes ongoing efforts to upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies (target 9.4).

The company invests continuously in R&D to create innovative new products and solutions that provide social 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 helps to reduce the adverse environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality (target 11.6).

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. In a successful joint venture with Fisker, GF’s lightweight components are contributing to the development of highly efficient and advanced electric vehicles.


GF strives to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (target 12.2). The company takes measures to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse (target 12.5) and to adopt further sustainable practices (target 12.6).

GF continually strives to reduce the waste sent from its operations to landfill or incineration. In its Sustainability Framework 2025, GF has set itself the target to reduce the intensity of waste sent to landfill or incineration by 20% by 2025. In 2021, GF recycled the majority of its waste (71%).

In addition, in 2021, GF launched a circular economy project with a series of workshops to develop a shared understanding of the concept and initiatives to promote its adoption. The project defined new pilot programs to improve the way GF designs, repairs and re-manufactures its products.


GF continually integrates climate change measures into its strategies and planning (target 13.2).

Its Sustainability Framework 2025 outlines its plan to reduce the climate impacts of its operations and value chain. This ambition is highlighted by GF’s specific goal to reduce its GHG emissions in absolute terms by 21% by 2025 (scope 1 and 2 emissions).

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.


GF strengthens the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries (target 17.2)

The company is a signatory of, and an active participant in, the UN Global Compact (UNGC). Since 2019, it has also been a member of UNGC’s Swiss network’s working group “Sustainable Supply Chains."