This report covers the reporting period from 01 January to 31 December 2021. 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.
From 2005 to 2018, GF published a comprehensive Sustainability Report every other year, with an interim report in the intervening years. Since 2019, GF has been publishing 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), starting with the information covering the 2020 reporting period.36 In addition, GF Piping System and GF Casting Solutions were reassessed by EcoVadis in 2021.
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 2021, one of GF Machining Solutions’ sales offices in Vietnam joined reporting via GF’s Sustainability Information System upon reaching the 10-employee threshold. The site’s contribution to the total figures is small. The data is included in the absolute figures presented in the chapter Performance indicators
- In addition, all of GF’s sales companies included data about company cars in their 2021 reporting, resulting in a minor increase in scope 1 emissions.
- One GF Casting Solutions site in Germany re-joined the reporting in 2021, after a major iron foundry part of the site was divested and closed in 2019/2020.
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.
Target scope and calculation for the Sustainability Framework 2025
The Sustainability Framework 2025 was introduced in 2021. Its targets have to be achieved within five years: by year-end 2025. In order to provide companies with a realistic timeframe for target attainment, only companies that joined GF by 2022 are included in the calculation for the achievement of the Sustainability Targets 2025. Companies that joined later have individual targets. Business acquisitions, divestments and closures can affect the results as well. Organizational adjustments that took place in 2021 are explained in the above section: Scope of data collection and reporting. For previous changes, please refer to the specific Sustainability Report of that year.
The level of achievement for the Sustainability Framework’s targets regarding water and waste is calculated relative to production volume. Average consumption for the years 2018–2020 serves as a baseline to reflect a more realistic consumption trajectory.37
In addition, the Sustainability Framework calculates its CO2e emissions targets using adjusted 2019 GHG emissions as a baseline reference.
For the supply chain target, the purchase volume of 2020 is used by GF Piping Systems. As the division has a conservative supplier base, those suppliers do not change often. For GF Casting Solutions and GF Machining Solutions, the purchase volume was updated in 2021 as the supplier base has changed compared to 2020. Both divisions will update the purchase volume data on an annual basis.
Economic performance indicators cover all of the companies under the scope of corporate consolidation, as reported in the GF Annual Report 2021.
In the year under review, GF had 139 companies. About 73% of them report their social and environmental indicators, which covers 97% of the production facilities and 78% 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 Annual Report 2021.
The social performance indicators presented in this report are based on the data collected from all sales and production companies worldwide with more than 10 employees. They report this information to the sustainability teams at the divisional and corporate levels on a monthly, quarterly and bi-annual basis using the Sustainability Information System. Environmental performance indicators are reported by the production companies according to the same cycle. In addition, GF reports information about work-related incidents as they occur.
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. In addition, in 2021, GF also calculated its scope 3 GHG emissions according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard for the first time. These emissions are the result of activities that GF does not directly control, but that it indirectly impacts in its value chain.
Calculation methodology of scope 3 emissions data
In the year under review, all 15 scope 3 categories were screened to determine its relevance and the amount of CO2e emissions. Two categories – purchased goods and services and the use of sold products – were found to contribute almost 90% of the total CO2e emissions, whereas four categories were found to be irrelevant – leased assets, both upstream and downstream, as well as franchises and investments. Albeit less significant, the amount of CO2e emissions were calculated for the remaining nine categories.
The scope 3 calculation included not only a quantification for the 2021 reporting year but was extended to 2019 and 2020. One of the reasons for calculating emissions over the three-year period is to establish a basis for comparison, but more importantly, 2019 is used as the base year for target setting over the 2021 to 2025 strategy period.
Scope 3 emissions data were calculated using a combination of methods for each category as prescribed by the GHG Protocol. For those categories that contribute most to emissions, primary data were used whereas for those activities that contribute least to emissions, secondary data were used. For the category on “purchased goods and services” supplier specific data based on GHG inventory sources for raw materials were obtained. For the “use phase of sold products” activity data were used based on the electricity consumed during operating hours for each type of machine.
Major assumptions made for calculating scope 3 emissions
Category 1: Purchased goods and services
For GF Piping Systems, the amounts of purchased raw material, pipes, glue, copper wires and other raw metals for fittings are included in the calculation.
For GF Casting Solutions, the amounts of purchased aluminum (primary, secondary), magnesium (alloy, pure), iron (scrap, pig), steel, alloys inoculants and other consumables are included in the calculation.
For GF Machining Solutions, emissions from purchased goods and services are excluded, due to immateriality after the first assessment.
GF’s internal procurement systems serve as the databse for all divisions.
Services were excluded from the purchased goods and services category due to the low emission intensity compared to the raw materials purchased for all three divisions.
For all three divisions, a combination of ecoinvent, supplier declarations and third-party research was used as sources for emission factors. In addition, for GF Machining Solutions, emission factors were derived from representative machines based on the share of sales per machine type.
Category 11: Use of sold products
For both GF Piping Systems and GF Casting Solutions, the products don’t consume energy in the use phase, whereas for GF Machining Solutions, energy is consumed for its machines, for example EDM, milling and laser machines.
In those cases, the electricity consumption was based on the depreciation tables taken from the German Federal Ministry of Finance, while emission factors for electricity were taken from the International Energy Agency, including CH4 and N2O.
For GF Piping Systems, electric actuators were excluded as this was estimated to be consuming less than 0.1% of electricity during the use phase over a 10 year period.
In case of any further detailed question on the assumptions taken, the calculation approach or the emission factors please reach out to the Corporate Sustainability Team, at email@example.com
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.