Sustainability Report 2015

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About GF

About GF

Contact

Stefanie Koch
Corporate Sustainability Officer
Georg Fischer AG
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

stefanie dot koch #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Procurement and Logistics

Ethical conduct and sustainability include long-term, trusting partnerships, the legally compliant conduct of suppliers as well as environmentally friendly transport solutions.

Andreas Jasko Head of Global Supply Chain GF Piping Systems, Schaffhausen, SwitzerlandAndreas Jasko, Head of Global Supply Chain GF Piping Systems, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Procurement


Incorporating environmental, social, and compliance standards into its procurement processes is essential for GF. It has therefore long engaged in an active dialog with suppliers. The GF Supplier Code plays a fundamental role in this context. It defines the requirements in terms of sustainable management for all companies supplying goods and services to GF and is applicable worldwide to all suppliers and their employees. GF expects the principles set out in the Code to be implemented in the respective companies. In addition, GF buyers regularly perform inspections and discuss incidents on-site to ensure compliance. The supplier audits that are conducted worldwide examine the quality of services, adherence to envi­ronmental and social conditions as well as safety and compliance requirements.

Logistics


Every year within the supply chain, a variety of raw materials and other goods are acquired, and products are transported to sales companies and customers around the globe. Therefore, environmentally friendly transports have a high degree of importance. In close cooperation with key logistics partners, GF has set itself the target of reducing key performance indicators with regard to energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and packaging material.

In light of this, systematic reduction of air freight is an integral component of GF’s sustainability goals. For example, GF Piping Systems implemented a project to switch goods transport for sales companies and clients abroad from air transport to sea transport.

Interview with Andreas Jasko

Head of Global Supply Chain GF Piping Systems, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Mr. Jasko, why did GF Piping Systems optimize the global goods transport?
Our goal was to reduce costs, make processes more efficient and also protect the environment. We therefore implemented a range of targeted measures to reduce the proportion of climate-damaging air transport.

What did you do specifically?
One prerequisite for successfully switching from air to sea transport was an analysis of the regular demand from sales companies and major clients abroad. Based on the findings of this analysis, smaller deliveries that were previously sent individually by air freight are now grouped in containers and sent together. Optimal distribution is managed via new distribution centers, for example in Singapore, from where deliveries reach all locations in Asia and Australia.

Are you already seeing results?
The measures we have taken are already showing signs of success. Between 2011 and the end of 2015, we increased the proportion of sea transport from 56% to 72%.

Contact

Stefanie Koch
Corporate Sustainability Officer
Georg Fischer AG
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

stefanie dot koch #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Environment and Energy

The largest impact on the environment in industrial manufacturing operations stems from energy consumption and air emissions. Relevant from an environmental standpoint is further the waste caused by manufacturing activities, while water consumption plays a less significant role. Foundries have the highest environmental impact due to the large quantities of coke, natural gas, and electricity needed for their energy- and material-intensive smelting processes.

Climate and energy


Improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions as well as the selection of adequate resources go hand in hand. Both have a high priority among GF sustainability targets. Key measures on the path to achieving these targets are increasing the energy efficiency of production facilities as well as expanding the waste heat recovery systems. One current option for reducing energy consumption is to use waste heat from engineering plants for heating or generating power. This is being done at many locations, and in particular at GF Automotive’s foundry in Singen, where since 2008 the waste heat from the production has also been used by the nearby factory of the company Maggi.

Energy measures //

GF implemented a considerable number of measures in recent years in order to achieve its sustainability goals 2015. Because energy consumption has the biggest environmental impact on GF, production processes should be streamlined so as to minimize the consumption of energy and increase energy efficiency. The key measures are described in detail below.

Energy consumption //

Sales grew organically by 1% in 2015 compared with the previous year. At the same time, energy consumption increased 1.4% to 6.21 million gigajoules (GJ). This moderate rise was achieved thanks to the coming into production of new energy-efficient molding machines, the upgrading of production plants with energy-efficient actuators, the optimization of heating, the use of waste heat, and the lighting and the installation of free cooling in refrigeration systems. In addition, simple and effective measures, such as a complete shutdown of machines when they are not in use, made a contribution to reducing energy consumption. All told, GF spent more than CHF 127 million on energy in 2015. The 13 largest production sites account for 90% of total energy requirements. Around two thirds of the energy was consumed by the four largest foundries in Singen and Mettmann (Germany) as well as Herzogenburg and Altenmarkt (Austria). By contrast, the 20 production sites with the lowest consumption figures account for less than 3% of overall energy consumption.

GF has set a quantitative goal for improving energy efficiency and would like to increase this goal by another 10% in production by 2020. In the year under review, measures for reducing energy consumption were implemented at all production facilities. In particular, these include the expansion of waste heat recovery, acquisition of energy-­efficient equipment and components, and demand-­based system controls.

All energy-intensive locations of GF Automotive as well as the two most important locations of GF Piping Systems have modern and integrated energy management systems and are certified to DIN EN ISO 50001. This standard is compatible with certifications to ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and OHSAS 18001 (job safety and health).

Energy sources //

The most important energy sources at GF are electricity, coke, natural gas, and oil. Coke is used in the foundries for the energy-intensive smelting and carburizing. The main energy source used to keep production processes running is electricity, followed to a lesser extent by natural gas and coke.

Oil is used primarily to heat buildings, supplemented by energy from waste heat recovery and district heating. In 2015, electricity’s share of total energy consumption was around 48%, while coke accounted for 30% (31% in 2014). The remainder was covered by natural gas and other energy sources.

Renewable energy and heat recovery //

In 2015, GF raised the share of renewable energies and heat recovery in its total energy consumption to 15% (13% in 2014). The increase in the share of eco-electricity and greater proprietary production of hydroelectric power at the Herzogenburg and Traisen (Austria) sites have made a significant contribution. In 2015, around 12% of the electricity requirements were met with hydroelectric power in Traisen (Austria).

Emissions


Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions along with methane (CH4) and other greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. In industrial production these air pollutants result primarily from the supply and use of fossil fuels such as coke, natural gas, and oil. Furthermore, other air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX),and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also released.

Direct and indirect emissions //

In the recording and reporting of greenhouse gases, a distinction is drawn between direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2 and Scope 3) emissions of air pollutants:

– Direct emissions (Scope 1) are created by the company’s consumption of fossil fuels such as gas, oil, and coke.
– Indirect emissions (Scope 2) are not created by GF itself, but by the generation of electricity and district heating which are purchased and then consumed at GF plants and sites.
– Indirect emissions (Scope 3) are released through other activities along the value chain, such as business trips and transportation.

Greenhouse gas emissions //

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are among the greenhouse gas emissions indirectly caused by GF when the company consumes energy. Any measures taken to reduce energy consumption therefore also lower these emissions. The figures reported here have been calculated on the basis of specific emission factors (e.g. ecoinvent data base) that take into account the type of energy source used and the electricity mix in individual countries.

CO2 //

The total CO2 emissions fell by a modest 0.3% in 2015 compared with the previous year to 592 000 tons. In 2015, direct emissions at production sites (Scope 1) remained unchanged at 252 000 tons of CO2 (2014: 252 000 tons).

The electric power and district heating bought and used by GF emitted at the producers around 338 000 tons of carbon dioxide (Scope 2) compared with 342 000 tons in 2014. Compared with the Scope 1 and Scope 2 figures, emissions caused by employee business travel (Scope 3) are low. At around 2 000 tons, they accounted for less than 0.5% of total CO2 emissions. GF is therefore currently focusing on introducing measures to enhance energy efficiency in production.

CH4 // 

Approximately 95% of the Group’s methane emissions arise from electricity production, with the rest attributable to the burning of fossil fuels at production sites. Compared with the previous year, methane emissions were reduced by 27% in 2015.

Except for the energy consumption, production processes themselves only cause minor emissions of CO2 and methane. GF’s production processes do not release any other greenhouse gases; in particular, our plants do not use any sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Contribution of the divisions to three key environmental indicators

Energy consumption


(100% = 6.210 million gigajoules)

Water consumption


(100% = 2.926 million m3)

CO2 emissions*


(100% = 592 000 tons)

* Real emissions, calculated based on ecoinvent 1.3.

Emissions //

Approximately 54% of emissions of both nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX) occur at GF during fossil fuel combustion, while electricity generation accounts for around 46%. Changes in these emissions should therefore always be viewed in close conjunction with the overall energy requirements. Emissions of sulfur oxides fell by 24% in 2015, while nitrogen oxide emissions dropped by 22%.

Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions were caused in approximately equal measure by production processes and energy consumption. These emissions are mainly attributable to the use of cleaning agents, adhesives, and paints. In the year under review, there was a modest increase in VOC emissions compared with the previous year (2015: 170, 2014: 160).

None of GF’s production processes emit any substances that damage the ozone layer. Except for tiny quantities in a few laboratories, GF does not use any halogenated hydrocarbons. Such substances are contained in a few closed systems, for example in fire protection or refrigeration systems. However, they do not cause any emissions unless there is an incident or a fire.

Legal framework //

New legal guidelines have been issued at various levels in recent years in order to reduce greenhouse gases. For example, the Mettmann and Singen (Germany) sites have been subject to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Registry since 2013. In Switzerland, the CO2 Act has been in effect since the year 2000. This law aims to achieve, by 2020, a 20% reduction in the country’s CO2 emissions compared with the level of 1990. To achieve this, there has been a CO2 tax levied on fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas since the beginning of 2008; 2014 and 2015, this tax has been CHF 60 per ton of CO2 emissions (as of 2016 it is CHF 84 per ton). Because the revenues from this tax are reimbursed to the population and business community, its financial impact on GF is minor.

Waste and recycling


Avoiding waste in the first place or recycling it if it does occur is an effective way to save valuable resources and is therefore a key feature of environmental management at GF. At the same time, this approach reduces the cost of disposal, and fewer raw materials have to be purchased. In addition, the emphasis also lies on reducing waste during production. The wise consumption of resources plays as big a role as the recycling of industrial waste. GF Automotive, for example, uses around 500 000 tons of recycled material in its foundries annually.

GF distinguishes between four categories of waste depending on the type of waste and manner of disposal:

– Normal waste that is recycled
– Normal waste that is landfilled or incinerated
– Hazardous waste that is recycled
– Hazardous waste which is treated or incinerated

Closing the circles //

GF’s production facilities make the most of the opportunities offered by the recycling economy, channeling waste from production directly back into the manufacturing processes whenever possible. In 2015, GF internally recycled 76% of its waste (2014: 80%). The volume of waste being landfilled or incinerated fell by 3 percentage points on the previous year.

Water


Careful use of water plays an important role in industrial production. GF obtains only 24% of its total water consumption from public supply systems; the remaining 76% comes from GF’s own sources and surface waters. This industrial water is used primarily to cool equipment and cast parts. As it is not polluted in the process, its environmental impact is minor. Due to rising production volumes, water consumption in 2015 rose by 6% compared with the previous year.

Waste water //

Around one third of the water used at GF becomes wastewater. The other two thirds are used for cooling, evaporate, or are returned to nature unpolluted. The wastewater is treated at public wastewater treatment plants. The total amount of wastewater produced increased by 7% compared with the previous year.

Due to the diverse characteristics of the divisions and locations a uniform reference base is currently not in place. A respective development project will be implemented in 2017.

Environmental costs


Spending on energy fell by 5% to CHF 127 million in 2015. Water costs remained unchanged at CHF 3 million. Due to high recycling rates, waste disposal costs decreased by 22%.

Incidents and regulatory compliance


Compliance with environment regulations is checked using the Sustainability Information System (SIS). This analysis also incorporates the number of incidents that have an impact outside of GF production facilities and complaints from residents or other interested parties. No incidents were reported in 2015.

Legal conformity


This self-declaration confirms that relevant legal requirements regarding environment and health and safety have been monitored and respected. In the 2015 reporting year, no cases of non-compliance with legal requirements regarding the environment and health and safety were reported or otherwise detected.

Energy consumption


1 000 gigajoules

CO2 emissions


1 000 tons

Waste volumes


1 000 tons

Energy sources


in %

CO₂ emissions direct/indirect


in %

* Business travel accounted for 2 000 tons and represented less than 0.5%.

Contact

Stefanie Koch
Corporate Sustainability Officer
Georg Fischer AG
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

stefanie dot koch #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

People and Safety

Motivated employees are the basis of success for a company – today and in the future. The declared goal of GF is to offer employees attractive and interesting jobs. This includes a fair wage and good benefits, along with training and professional development opportunities. GF further places particular emphasis on ensuring that the approximately 14 400 employees work in safe conditions and return home healthy after a day’s work.

Maggie Jiang Head of Sales Iron Casting, GF Automotive, Kunshan (China)Maggie Jiang, Head of Sales Iron Casting, GF Automotive, Kunshan (China)

“I really appreciate the wide variety of challenges that I experience in my position at GF Automotive. With a management position in sales, I have the possibility to be the link to our most important customers. In this role I can work on my own skills while also leading and developing a team.”

Diversity and flexibility


As a company that produces in more than 30 countries and has a presence in more than 120, GF experiences every day how valuable the various qualifications and characteristics of its global workforce are. The diversity of cultures, religions, nationalities, genders, and age groups is a valuable source of talent, creativity, and innovation.

GF employed a total of 14 424 people in 2015. In addition, approximately 1 000 people worked as temporary employees or subcontractors for GF. GF assumes direct responsibility for on-the-job safety and health and also guarantees appropriate wages and benefits for these employees. In the year under review, 17.3% (2 491) of employees were women, an increase of 6% compared with 2014. The proportion of women in management at the Corporate companies was 12.4% (76 women). This is an increase of 5% compared with 2014 (74 women).

Further measures to promote diversity are indispensable. Additional measures are planned, in particular, to boost the percentage of women among the workforce and in management. A good example for a young and successful female engineer at GF is Maggie Jiang, who has been serving the major client SAIC Volkswagen for more than five years as the Head of Sales of the iron foundry in the Chinese city of Kunshan.

Another example is the initiative “future@work@GF”, which has as its goal the development of a more attractive and flexible work model for women and men, enabling them to have a better work-life balance. The idea is not only to promote the balancing of job and family, but also to ensure that current and future employees perceive GF as an attractive employer. Currently, it is possible to work part-time at more than 50% of GF companies; however, the percentage of employees working part-time is low at 2.3%. A reason for this is that in work systems with shift work – as is the case for GF Piping Systems and GF Automotive – it is extremely difficult to integrate part-time positions and therefore there is little demand.

In addition, GF has set the goal of offering safe and ergonomic workplaces. The company is continually working in the production facilities to improve the ergonomy of workplaces and to relieve employees having to do particularly heavy work by using robots.

We welcome applications from people with a disability and support their integration into our workforce. People with disabilities make up about 2% of the total workforce.

Training and professional development


Knowledge and hence the development of employees are essential for a company’s sustained success. GF nurtures and accompanies its employees during their entire career through targeted training and professional development activities.

The training and professional development portfolio is designed and implemented by the GF Academy: The GF Academy combines Corporation-wide training and professional development measures and programs for management and employees of all divisions and regions.

Additionally, the divisions have their own training programs. They focus on applied technical education as well as training in the area of occupational health and safety. Additionally, the divisions focus on the implementation of Corporation-wide strategic education and training initiatives that aim to promote social and technical management skills. By doing so, the divisions can provide targeted support to the operations of the business areas.

Many of these education and training programs take place in the Klostergut Paradies, the corporate training center in Schlatt (Switzerland). The center has an excellent infrastructure.

Apprenticeships have a long-standing tradition at GF and ensure that the Corporation can draw on a skilled workforce. There is a broad range of training opportunities spanning a variety of technical and commercial professions. Across the entire Corporation, GF trained 509 apprentices in 2015 (506 in 2014). In addition, GF offers graduates an internship after their training, enabling them to gain professional experience. GF also has internal guidelines to ensure that persons who have completed an apprenticeship are given preference for job hiring. In the US, GF is using the Swiss apprenticeship model to offer training positions in all three divisions. Agreements have already been reached with colleges, and professors are also involved. The close cooperation with some States in the US has led to direct governmental support of these initiatives. GF has similar initiatives in mind for China. The goal of all these measures is to make up for the lack of qualified workers by developing the company’s own specialists. In addition, GF gains the reputation of being an attractive employer in its local area.

GF Automotive counts on its young professionals program called WiN, which encourages an exchange program for young talents to gain experience in different locations, while also offering job rotation. GF works closely together with various universities and offers students around the world possibilities for an internship as well as for completing their bachelor’s or master’s work. This especially in areas where sustainable, advanced technologies are developed.

In 2015, the costs for employee education and training accounted for CHF 6 million and reached 83% of employees (CHF 500 per employee).

The education and training program, together with the management development program that has been in place for one year, has created within GF a stable base so that the company has been able to fill 70% of the vacant positions in senior management in 2015 with internal candidates. With this the company reached an important sustainability goal.

Employees with “off the job” training


In %

Apprentices and interns


Number

“Off the job” training days per employee


Days

Employee satisfaction


Employee retention plays a major role for the ongoing success of the Corporation. To measure the satisfaction and commitment of employees, GF regularly conducts employee surveys. The results and findings are used to design measures for improvement. In 2015, approximately 8 000 people in 41 companies throughout the Corporation (about 55% of the workforce) were surveyed. A measure resulting from these surveys was for example improving the ergonomy of workplaces in production.

The fluctuation rate (including dismissals and retirement) in 2015 was 9.9% (previous year 11.6%). The number of employees leaving due to dissatisfaction with pay, conditions, the atmosphere at work, or career prospects fell compared with the previous year.

Female employees


In %

Employees with disabilities


In %

Work-related accidents


Accidents per 1 000 employees

Part-time employees


In %

Distribution of the net value added 2015 (in%)


100% = CHF 1.21 billion

Health and safety in the workplace


The safety and health of all employees, temporary workers and visitors has the highest priority at GF. Given this, one of GF’s sustainability goals was to obtain OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001 certification for all production sites. This is an important step on the way to establishing a comprehensive culture of occupational safety. As of year-end 2015, all production facilities were certified. Newly founded or acquired production facilities must obtain OHSAS certification within three years at the latest. In addition to certification, the “Zero Risk” work safety initiative has given new momentum to job safety at regular intervals since 2015, while also creating awareness for occupational safety. This initiative was launched in 2015 by GF Automotive, and at the same time safety regulations were heightened. Further events related to occupational safety as well as targeted training courses will be implemented in the coming months to improve workplace safety. Management training courses as well as employee events aim at integrating job safety even more into daily work and ensuring that every employee goes home safe and sound.

Accidents //

The across-the-board certification, together with the cross-divisional safety campaigns, had a positive impact on the number of accidents, which fell from 39 per 1 000 employees in 2014 to 31 in 2015. The accident rate for temporary employees was 108 accidents per 1 000 employees. Most accidents happened, as in previous years, in the areas of production and processing.

We were profoundly shocked by a tragic work accident in 2015 in which a young worker from an external construction company died while working on a new production hall in Singen (Germany). He was so badly injured in the accident that he died at the accident site despite the efforts of his colleagues. We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to family members, and we would like to thank all of our colleagues as well as the local first responders who attempted to save his life.

Absence rate //

The absence rate remained unchanged compared to the previous year at 3.8%. Per full-time equivalent, this is equal to 8.7 absence days per year. 94% of these absence days were non-work-related. In order to enhance employee motivation to pursue a healthy lifestyle through adequate exercise, proper nutrition, and relaxation, the various GF companies offer a wide range of health promotion activities.

Number of employees

  2015 2014 2013  2012  2011 
           

Employees, total

14 424

14 140

14 066

13 412

13 606

Europe

8 783

8 676

8 548

8 871 9 465

– Thereof Germany

3 382

3 383

3 220

3 351

3 859

– Thereof Switzerland

2 642

2 686

2 539

2 577 2 650

– Thereof Austria

1 830

1 719 1 926

2 059

2 073

– Thereof Rest of Europe

929 888 863

884

883

Asia

3 502

3 455

3 468

3 226

3 077

– Thereof China

3 131

3 085 3 073 2 839

2 688

Americas

1 262

1 259

1 290

1 259

1 011

Rest of world

877

750

760 56 53

Anchored in the social environment


Through its fundamental values and corporate principles, GF is committed to promoting cultural, social, and environmental involvement. To this end, the holding company and Corporate companies are locally involved at their respective locations. To underscore the importance of social responsibility in the Corporation, GF became a member of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability network for companies and organizations in 2015. Starting 2016, GF will issue a “communication on progress” for the UN Global Compact. In addition, the guidelines for multinational companies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as the agreements of the International Labor Organization (ILO) form the basis for a common understanding for social responsibility.

In 2015, around CHF 2 million were spent at Corporation level on social involvement activities.

The biggest contributions in 2015 went to the Klostergut Paradies Foundation, the Iron Library, the Homberger Foundation, and Clean Water, and which are presented in detail below:

Klostergut Paradies Foundation //

GF Training Center Klostergut ParadiesGF Training Center Klostergut Paradies

The Klostergut Paradies Foundation, with the former Clarissan convent as a heritage site, houses not only important collections, but it also serves as a training center for the Group.

The Iron Library Foundation //

The Iron Library Foundation has the largest private collection of books The Iron Library Foundation has the largest private collection of books on the subject of iron

The Iron Library Foundation has the largest private collection of books on the subject of iron. Together with the Group archive, it is the center of competence for maintaining the Group’s historical and cultural heritage.

The Homberger Foundation //

From its inception in 1927, the Homberger Foundation has borne the name of its founder, the former Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors and long-standing Managing Director, Ernst Homberger. The foundation provides financial assistance to the children of employees of Georg Fischer AG and its affiliated companies to help them learn a trade or attend a course of further education at polytechnics, universities, or similar institutions. The aim is to provide the beneficiaries with a solid foundation for their subsequent career development. Since 2008, the offer of training bursaries has been available beyond Schaffhausen to all GF Corporate companies in Switzerland.

Clean Water Foundation //

The Board of Directors of Georg Fischer AG founded the Clean Water Foundation in 2002, upon the 200th anniversary of the Corporation’s founding. So far, GF has invested more than CHF 9 million in Clean Water projects and with more than 120 projects has helped people in developing countries and areas hit by catastrophes to have a better supply of drinking water over the long run. The foundation is an example of how GF lives its corporate culture.

Some of the projects that GF supported financially and followed closely were:

Social entrepreneur project in Bangladesh
Caritas Switzerland is coordinating a major project to provide people with limited financial means with the know-how, the equipment (kits), and the material (chlorine) to filter polluted surface water and thereby convert it into safe drinking water. The technology to do so was developed by the Geneva-based NGO Antenna. A total of 4 000 families (approximately 20 000 persons) received better access to safe drinking water during the project period. Based on a positive project evaluation, Caritas will continue implementation with the aim of enabling job creation and better access to affordable and safe drinking water.

Water distribution network for Kibakwe (Tanzania)
In cooperation with the communities of Eldagsen (Germany) and Kibakwe (Tanzania), GF funded the construction of a new water distribution network and a solar-powered pump station in a new deep well through the Clean Water Foundation. Every day, about 300 000 liters of drinking water flow down the mountains via six water distribution systems into the spread-out village, providing clean water to the 8 000 inhabitants.

The Foundation Board has already approved the support for six additional water projects for 2016. GF will continue to support the Clean Water Foundation with a significant annual amount of funding, thereby making a significant contribution to improving the supply of drinking water in developing countries.

130 Clean Water projects worldwide (2002–2015)

Contact

Stefanie Koch
Corporate Sustainability Officer
Georg Fischer AG
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

stefanie dot koch #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Products and Innovations

GF attaches a lot of importance to working closely with its clients. The focus areas of this collaboration are product development and innovation as well as the achievement of sustainability benefits. In this sense, along with quality, GF has strategically anchored energy efficiency as well as climate and environmental protection as main elements of product development across all divisions.

Client needs are at the center of what GF does. A key aspect of the Strategy 2020 is to transform GF from a pure product and system provider to an integrated solution provider. The goal is to support clients in the most meaningful way over the entire life cycle of a product.

GF Piping Systems


For GF Piping Systems this means being involved in the entire process, from the construction and design of a piping system to the logistics, installation, and commissioning as well as maintenance and repairs. Clients throughout the world are requesting an ever greater number of products and solutions that meet increasingly strict environmental requirements. Plastics, for example, combine qualities that enable environmentally friendly and cost-efficient use while meeting the requirements for sustainability. Piping systems made of plastics are long-lasting and sustainable solutions that have a life cycle of more than 50 or even 100 years, depending on where they are used. Frequent maintenance work is not needed, as no deposits or dangerous microbial contamination build up in the piping.

Successful product innovations achieve the right combination of economic and environmental benefits. GF was able, for example, to introduce not only a better flow geometry with the new generation of membrane valves, but to cut the loss of pressure in half, which has a very positive affect on the energy consumption for the pump input power.

Desalination of sea water is increasingly used today to boost the availability of drinking water in dry regions, such as Western Australia or the Arabian peninsula. It is absolutely necessary to have large piping systems that are resistant to the corrosive environment and that can transport the water. An important aspect is the need for inexpensive options to manufacture large connectors to enable distribution. GF has made some important progress in this area with the new Cassini connector system, which is inexpensive and easy to assemble.

GF Automotive


Whether made of aluminum, magnesium or iron, the castings of GF Automotive are 100% recyclable. The iron casting produces parts for new car models out of scrap iron. Thus a new use is found not only for pieces of old cars, but also for railways that are no longer used. In addition to the use of environmentally friendly material, the continual reduction of weight and the lowering of CO2 emissions play a central role. The global CO2 guidelines have pushed to the fore among manufacturers and suppliers the issue of lightweight solutions and alternative drive systems. The reduction of components and the manufacture of lighter parts, thereby lowering the weight of the vehicle, is indisputably one of the most important factors for cutting back fuel consumption and emissions. GF Automotive uses its know-how in bionic design and lightweight solutions in the development of vehicle components in order to continually optimize its products in terms of design, material, and production processes.

Another important factor with regard to making vehicle fleets environmentally friendly is alternative drive systems. GF Automotive has been working on new components together with clients for some years, some of which are already in high-volume production. In the area of e-mobility GF Automotive is in demand more than ever as an expert for lightweight solutions, as one of the central challenges is to offset the kilograms added by the heavy battery. Magnesium or aluminum components can help. In addition, batteries in cars need stable casings that are as compact as possible. Engineers at GF Automotive are also developing solutions for the cooling of electromotors.

GF Machining Solutions


The focus at GF Machining Solutions is on product development as well as on constantly rising technical standards, especially with regard to energy consumption for machines. As part of the “Blue Competence” sustainability initiative, the division set clear targets to lower the energy consumption of milling and EDM machines.

In addition, GF Machining Solutions is expanding its position as a solution provider for clients. This includes the optimization of client response processes and the offering of clear solutions, but also the maintenance of installed machine tools by their own service organization.

In the area of innovation GF Machining Solutions works together with universities and international organizations to carry out research into new technologies for use both in existing products as well as for new applications. An example of this are laser machine tools. Thanks to this unique technology, it is possible to do away with processes that damage the environment, such as the coating of pressure rollers, and replace them with more environmentally friendly processes.

Contact

Stefanie Koch
Corporate Sustainability Officer
Georg Fischer AG
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

stefanie dot koch #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com