Sustainability is an integral part of GF’s strategy, corporate culture and business. GF acknowledges that its role and responsibility in society extend beyond fulfilling the needs of our customers and include a broad range of stakeholders.
GF’s value chain at a glance
GF addresses the wide spectrum of sustainability topics in all steps of its value chain. The company contributes to various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Materials and equipment sourcing
GF engages with many different types of suppliers. Key suppliers are (raw) material suppliers, e.g. for plastics, aluminum, magnesium or iron, and electronic component manufacturers. Furthermore, GF cooperates with material recovery and trading companies. Suppliers are located in all countries where the company operates, including Canada, China, the DACH region, France, Italy, Turkey and the USA.
GF’s decisions in designing solutions for its customers have direct implications for its supply chain, from a social and environmental perspective. GF recognizes this and works to increase transparency in its complex purchasing network and to engage with its business partners to ensure adherence to GF’s standards and expectations. By the end of 2021, GF had conducted sustainability assessments on 34% of its procurement spend, representing approximately 300 new and existing key suppliers.
Operational tasks over which GF has direct control
Good corporate governance lays the foundation for how GF conducts business. GF’s over 200-year history is built on customer-centricity and respect for the people who run and sustain its operations. GF strives to deliver superior quality and to create added value for customers while staying abreast of technological developments, innovating, and evolving with the times.
The GF organization brings together a wide range of businesses and cultures. Consequently, it fosters a respectful, engaging, inclusive and affirming work environment for its diverse family of employees.
Being an industrial company gives GF crucial responsibilities: to apply rigorous safety standards at its facilities, to embrace continuous improvement and to do its utmost to operate accident-free. GF therefore places strong emphasis on embedding safety into every one of its facilities worldwide. It also invests continually to upgrade its production and office locations to make them more efficient and prevent adverse environmental impacts.
Sales/distribution of products and services
Sustainability is engineered into the solutions GF designs for its customers. The company continuously engages with customers to understand their needs, as well as to meet or even exceed their expectations for suppliers’ social and environmental performance. The company also strives to optimize its logistics processes to be more convenient for customers and environmentally friendlier.
In 2021, for the first time, GF calculated its scope 3 GHG emissions according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. These emissions result from activities that GF does not directly control but which it indirectly impacts through its value chain. The assessment concluded that scope 3 emissions represent the majority (86%) of GF’s total GHG emissions.
Product use and end-of-life management
GF’s products add value for customers by offering high-value sustainable products and solutions, reducing their pain points and meeting their sustainability needs during the use phase. At the same time, the company is also continuously working on incorporating considerations for what happens with GF’s products at the end of their useful life into its R&D processes. In 2021, GF initiated a circular economy project featuring a series of workshops to develop a common understanding of circular economy and concepts to promote its adoption. The workshops conceived and defined new pilot projects covering how GF designs, repairs and re-manufactures its products. GF will implement these projects throughout 2022.