2020 Sustainability Report

5 Dear customers, suppliers and business partners, Dear colleagues, This Sustainability Report covers the financial years 2019 and 2020 – two years which turned out to be fundamentally different for the entire world. At the end of December 2019, I gave a short speech at an in-house event. Looking back on that year, this is what I said: If we are to remain competitive by constantly coming up with new and desirable products, it will require continuous investment. In order to be able to finance that investment, our focus must always be on maintaining our profitability. To do anything else would be irresponsible. However, it would also be irresponsible if, in striving so hard for commercial success, we simply blanked out things of huge significance that are going on around us. Wars, breaches of human rights on an unimaginable scale, millions of young people in developing countries with no prospects, not to mention globalisation, have led to multi- cultural societies around the world, including here in Switzerland. We live and work with people who have different backgrounds, cultures, religions and languages. It is impos- sible to ignore the resulting social conflict and this is also having a far-reaching impact on political voting patterns. Climate change, which has itself been further accelerated by globalisation, but which we humans have been causing since the start of the industrial age, threatens to become a worldwide catastrophe. The arguments about how this immense global threat can be averted in an economically acceptable way are becoming increasingly heated. That debate is also fundamentally changing people’s political thinking. And there’s no shortage of other social problems with a high potential for causing con- flict: the ever-widening gulf between rich and poor, gender inequality and increasingly worrying racism are just three examples. They, too, show that, even though it’s essential for us to focus on profitability and returns, we must never lose sight of the issue of sus- tainability. Only by consistently keeping that in mind are we truly living up to our social responsibilities. Confirmation that we as a company are performing very well when it comes to sustain- ability and that we demonstrably intend to do even better has come in the form of a very special award: the international EcoVadis ratings platform has assessed over 75,000 companies around the world, including Girsberger. The EcoVadis assessment criteria cover a wide range of objectives and measures, focusing on doing business in a socially and ecologically responsible way. By winning a gold medal, the Girsberger Group is in the top 5 % for the overall assessment of corporate responsibility, in the top 4 % for its environmental measures and the top 3 % for sustainable procurement, out of all the companies in the furniture-making sector all over the world that have been certified by EcoVadis. The pandemic will not go away by itself – and nor will social injustice and environmental damage EcoVadis SAS (Paris, France) https://ecovadis.com/en/