2022 Sustainability Report
In the interest of easier legibility, the generic masculine form is used in this report. This is explicitly intended to include female and other gender identities where necessary for the avoidance of misunderstanding.
2022 1 Sustainability Report Without a flourishing economy, without humanitarian aid and without defending human rights and our democratic values, global warming cannot be stopped. 2 Business performance of the Girsberger Group 6 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 8 Organisation chart/scope 10 Our stakeholders 12 Key figures at a glance 14 Objectives and priorities 15 Key sustainability themes 20 Economy Social affairs Ecology Procurement practices 22 Procurement markets 24 Product stewardship/environmental compliance 28 Product development process 29 Customer health and safety 30 Ergonomics 31 Remanufacturing and upcycling of existing furniture 32 New sustainable materials 38 Environmental resources 42 Resources and raw materials 44 Use of wood as a raw material 47 Environmental relevance and business ecology 50 Operational waste, disposal 51 Logistics (road traffic and transport) 52 Energy consumption, water 54 Emissions 56 Our employees and corporate citizenship 60 Employees in numbers 61 Employee satisfaction 64 Workplace health promotion 65 Training 68 Corporate citizenship 69 Ethics and human rights 70 Supplier assessment according to social criteria 22 Customer health and safety 30 Content Additional information 72 Publishing details 72
Ökologie 2 and without defending human rights and our democratic values, global warming cannot be stopped.” “Without a flourishing economy, without humanitarian aid
3 Dear customers, suppliers and business partners Dear colleagues My contribution to our 2020 Sustainability Report bore the title: “The pandemic will not go away by itself – and nor will social injustice and environmental destruction.” Looking back on 2020, this is what I said: “All of a sudden, in spring 2020, everyone’s focus was solely and exclusively on the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. Greta Thunberg, the Fridays For Future campaign, climate activists and all the frequent demonstrations, events and media reports about climate change were swept away by the coronavirus pandemic. All the efforts that were being made in relation to the environment and sustainability and were previously so important suddenly became irrelevant, all over the world. And the same thing happened at Girsberger.” However, after this initial shock-induced paralysis, the world learned to live with the pandemic and at the same time came to realise that, compared with Covid, global warming is a far greater threat to humanity. In this context, I underlined our perspective in the 2020 Sustainability Report by saying: “At Girsberger, we see ourselves as being under an ongoing obligation to ensure that the continuing threat to the environment and the need to do business sustainably are permanently rooted in our consciousness.” Less than a year after the publication of our 2020 Sustainability Report, during the night of 24 February 2022, we sent out the following information to all employees of the Girsberger Group: “Dear colleagues Our Group’s position on Vladimir Putin’s military attack on Ukraine is expressed on our website as follows: ‘We are stunned and deeply shocked by the invasion of Ukraine, which Vladimir Putin has decided upon with a complete disregard for humanity. Our sympathies and sense of solidarity lie with the Ukrainian people.’ With the colours of the Ukrainian flag as the background, this text is currently on the homepage of our website.” Since then, another year and more has passed during which deaths in war, armed conflicts and terror attacks around the world have continued to increase. Millions of adults and children fall victim to inhumane dictatorships, military regimes and terror organisations. There is currently no sign of an end to, or even a defusing of, the humanitarian catastrophes – neither in North Korea and Myanmar, nor in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, the Republic of Congo, and numerous other countries in Africa and the Near and Middle East. Even within Europe, Russia is intensifying the terror of its war in Ukraine and, the longer Putin goes on driving his country ever further into the abyss, the greater the risk of an even more catastrophic escalation of this war. But Putin is still not sufficiently isolated from the global community. In some cases the UN sanctions are being circumvented, and, along with the nuclear powers of China, India and Pakistan, there are other important countries such as Iran and South Africa which have not come out in opposition to Russia’s war. Even in Europe itself, one democratic country is still maintaining its political and economic links with Russia: the Republic of Serbia, where one of our production sites is located.
4 And what about Switzerland, where our Group is based? Switzerland is supporting the UN sanctions against Russia, accepting refugees from Ukraine and also providing humanitarian aid on the ground in Ukraine. But so far it has rejected all requests to supply weapons and munitions, directly or indirectly, that would provide crucial support for the Ukrainian army. This country, otherwise so willing to help, is taking cover behind the War Materiel Act - which is in urgent need of updating - and a version of strict neutrality that is long outdated nowadays. With its incomprehensible intransigence, Switzerland is depriving the Ukrainian defence forces of meaningful aid of any kind. It is also dismissive of its neighbours and any country which is supporting the Ukrainian army with supplies of weapons and munitions. In so doing, Switzerland has sidelined itself from the rest of the world – to its own detriment. On the other hand, far more significant than Switzerland’s behaviour is China’s attempt to further strengthen its “strategic partnership” with Russia. And this at a time when China’s relationship with the USA is at an all-time low. In its opposition to the West and particularly to the USA, the dictatorship in Beijing seems to be more determined than ever to boost its military capabilities and become a global superpower, while permanently preventing Taiwan from becoming independent. In the light of these developments, we see the world today as facing the ever-increasing horror of war and the associated risk of escalation on a huge scale. By comparison, the coronavirus pandemic led to geopolitical changes of an entirely different kind. Yet when it comes to attempts to protect the environment, the effects of that threat and the current ones are the same: the efforts to reach environmental targets that are of existential importance to subsequent generations have once again lost their urgency in our day-to-day perception. Just like during the Covid pandemic, the destructive impact of climate change is again overshadowed by a threat that is more acute in the short term. Consequently, the absolutely essential need to combat global warming has again been pushed into second place. The dramatic consequences of this retrograde step are immeasurable. We can see it above all in the floods, droughts and famines caused by climate change in Haiti, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. In these regions and many other large areas of Africa, the death rate from malnutrition is at an unprecedented high, and many more millions of people remain at acute risk of death from starvation due to climate change. Such mass mortality is mitigated mainly by support from OECD member states, with the USA and Germany being by far the biggest donors of development aid. However, people suffering under the horror of war are equally dependent on aid from donor countries. Their numbers have risen rapidly during the last three years and are now at an unprecedented high: the UN Refugee Agency estimates the number of people who have been forcibly driven from their homes worldwide at around 103 million. They are all dependent on emergency humanitarian aid, economic assistance and, especially in Ukraine, they rely heavily on military support. The accumulation of all these highly dangerous threats around the world makes it impossible for any government, however responsible it may be, to focus on global warming at all times. After all, in addition to their own domestic problems, and having overcome the coronavirus pandemic, governments in the US and all democratic countries are now facing primarily foreign policy challenges. The range and scope of the humanitarian, economic and military action that they need to take have increased hugely in a very short time. In the light of this acute pressure to step up to the plate, it seems unlikely that combating climate change will always be top of a government’s agenda in the foreseeable future. A further complicating factor is that even the most responsible governments are forced to make compromises that are not only politically problematic but also, in some cases, conflict with their efforts to protect the environment. Often these compromises are financially necessary to keep the economy working, which is itself a prerequisite for a peaceful society. Anyone who is unwilling to recognise these dilemmas facing governments and the need to make difficult compromises fails to understand that the most pressing priority is to defend human rights, democracy and the free market economy.
5 Because, without a flourishing economy, without humanitarian aid and without defending human rights and our democratic values, global warming cannot be stopped. Simply fulfilling these basic commitments that are of such crucial importance everywhere in the world is currently presenting every democratic and responsible government with unprecedented challenges. The resources needed to overcome the problems – be that aid supplies, infrastructure, energy, weapons, munitions, people or capital – are permanently overstretched. In view of the number of extremely dangerous threats, this is not likely to change any time soon, and so global warming will remain relegated to a secondary priority in international politics for the foreseeable future. Consequently, the primary responsibility when it comes to everything to do with the environment and doing business sustainably falls even more now on individual companies. Because one thing must not be forgotten: the essence of sustainable development always lies in keeping all three dimensions – the environment, the economy and society – in mind and finding the right balance between them. And that may alter depending on the circumstances. That’s exactly why it is imperative to remember the following: unless companies take the initiative voluntarily and conduct their business sustainably, climate change cannot be stopped. So, companies should not only proclaim their long-term goals and intentions but also follow the right sustainable course of action at all times. Action that doesn’t just pretend to be sustainable and protect the environment, but actually contributes effectively to combating global warming. Now, more than ever, it is important for every company to undertake climate-friendly measures, innovations and investment on a scale that is significant in relation to its overall business activities. For us here at Girsberger, it is extremely important that taking effective action to protect the environment in every way remains firmly embedded as a primary requirement across our group of companies. We want our assessment, decision-making and management processes to be as consistently economically and environmentally viable as possible, so setting environmental goals and monitoring whether we are meeting them must be integral parts of our business planning and internal reporting and control systems. This applies to all our production sites in Switzerland, Germany, Serbia and Turkey, and our branches in other countries, as well as to Mobimex AG based in Seon, Switzerland. From the following pages of this report, you will see that, even though we were unable to fulfil all our ambitions, we have once again made significant progress. The main purpose of this report is to show that we are continuously setting ourselves new and binding objectives and pursuing them consistently. We will most definitely continue with our attempts to protect the environment and steadily make the way we do business more sustainable, and we are most grateful for your confidence in Girsberger, Mobimex and Boreal. Michael Girsberger Bützberg, 31 March 2023 “The essence of sustainable development always lies in keeping all three dimensions – the environment, the economy and society – in mind and finding the right balance between them.”
6 The economic complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic continued to be felt in 2021, albeit considerably less than in the previous year. Added to that, the global shortage of raw materials and transport capacity was particularly problematic. Due to the lack of availability, not only did our freight costs for container transport more than triple but the cost of buying our thousands of components in wood, steel, injection-moulded plastic and die-cast aluminium went up rapidly, because the prices of the raw materials used to make them had increased many times over. In order to maintain our production and delivery capability, we temporarily had to massively increase our stocks of materials, especially at Girsberger GmbH in Germany but also at Girsberger AG in Switzerland for our solid wood trading. This huge build-up of stock represented an additional, unplanned investment, which put the liquidity of the whole Group under great strain. During the following financial year, 2022, the global shortage of raw materials and the associated increased cost of materials became even more acute. We therefore needed to keep our stocks of materials at a constantly very high level. Thanks to taking this capital-intensive action, we managed to maintain ongoing availability in our solid wood trading business, and, most importantly, ensure that all our Office and Home product ranges continued to be available with no interruption and our normal delivery times. With the number of incoming orders generally good, our production plants were working at close to full capacity, and for long periods even had more orders than they could cope with. However, there was in fact a negative reason for this excessive strain on our working capacity. Our customers kept postponing delivery of their orders on a scale we had never seen before. The reason for these multiple postponements of the delivery date was that our customers’ renovations and new building work could often not be completed on time because of the shortage of raw materials. In that sense, the shortage of raw materials also had a significant impact on our productivity. That was because the repeated postponements of delivery dates by our customers involved all our production units in a great deal of additional effort: from the sales team to production planning and control, manufacturing, packaging, dispatch and installation at the customer’s premises. It resulted in countless non-productive working hours for which we could not charge. There were also additional costs for external support staff and extra trips to procure and deliver goods, and these costs could also not be passed on. As a consequence of these complications, and the hugely increased cost of materials, only part of which could be passed on, the results for the whole Group in the 2022 financial year were not satisfactory: adjusted for currency and consolidation effects, the figures for 2022 show an increase in total net turnover of +3.2% compared with the previous year. With a company profit after direct taxation of just CHF 7000, only a break-even result was achieved. Since then, the availability of raw materials has improved considerably. However, we are not expecting our material costs to fall, due to the sharp increase in energy prices. The trends that we have seen in the office furniture market over several years are expected to continue: especially in big cities, office space is increasingly being turned into living space, while living space at home is becoming working space. As a result of this trend, personal workspaces will be further reduced in number, and shared workspaces will be smaller. Consequently, companies’ need for office furniture will be less. This in turn means that net sales prices will remain under pressure. Nevertheless, this is counteracted by some current developments that are beneficial to us. There are two fundamental aspects to this: firstly, the social pressure to act in an eco-friendly way and do business sustainably will continue to increase. This means that our procurement criteria will become more and more important, including where exactly our office furniture comes from and how it was really made. The second fundamental issue is purely economic in nature: there is not yet any sign of an easing in the shortage of specialist workers, and it is impossible to say how long the present acute shortage will continue. However, while it continues, every company and organisation is obliged to try to make themselves as appealing as possible as an employer. One of the consequences of this is Business performance of the Girsberger Group Review of 2021|2022 Outlook for the 2023 financial year
7 that being able to offer attractive office space is becoming much more important. The nature of our service enables us to cater for these societal and economic trends: with its timelessly beautiful furniture, Girsberger offers a way of transforming living and office spaces into pleasant places in which people can work happily and productively. Our furniture is of enduring quality, highly functional, verifiably environmentally-friendly and manufactured in an entirely sustainable way – we have been climate-neutral since 2015. On the strength of this, we will be adding numerous new models to our Home and Office product ranges during the 2023 financial year, while continuing to pursue our existing five primary objectives: 1. Increase market penetration by focusing consistently on the following areas of business: • Office furniture: Girsberger Office • Home furniture: Girsberger Home • Project specific furnishings: Girsberger Customized Furniture • Refurbishing of commercial furniture and upcycling: Girsberger Remanufacturing • Exclusive furniture in the high-end commercial and residential market segment: Zoom by Mobimex and Studio by Mobimex (new including Mobimex Outside) • Timber trade: Girsberger Solid Wood 2. Expand the Girsberger Office and Home product ranges to include complete furnishing solutions for working from home 3. Enhance the Zoom by Mobimex and Studio by Mobimex collections 4. Further develop the Girsberger Customized Furniture, Remanufacturing and wood trade areas of business 5. Continue to manage the company in a measurably sustainable manner in accordance with the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) The progress made so far in 2023 compared with last year in terms of incoming orders, turnover and operating results is positive. At the same time, though, global political and economic developments remain unpredictable even in the short term. Unexpectedly arising events with far-reaching consequences for our future business performance are possible at any time. Whether or not we achieve our business objectives for 2023 is therefore subject to risk. All the more reason for us to be ready at all times to adapt our investment plans and running costs if necessary, by taking relevant measures depending on the situation. Our primary aim remains to preserve our corporate independence by continuing to develop the Girsberger Group as a profitable, principled and dynamic business. We regard entrepreneurial independence primarily as a responsibility – a responsibility to show creativity, courage and perseverance in maintaining a balance between commercial success, social justice and care for the environment. Michael Girsberger On behalf of 363 colleagues of 21 different nationalities Our five primary objectives
8 Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Every company, regardless of its size and sector, is called upon to conduct its business responsibly. We abide by the ten principles of the UN Global Compact for establishing a culture of integrity. That includes, as far as we can, helping to achieve the SDGs. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) announced by the United Nations in 2015 set global priorities and objectives up to the year 2030, with a view to tackling the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world. Out of the 17 United Nations goals, in this report we will address the following six as our core goals and show what contribution we, as a medium-sized company, can make to achieving the goals set out by the United Nations. 3. Health and Well-being Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. Our contribution: Workplace health promotion. Recreational activities in the areas of physical activity and nutrition. Support a good work-life balance (part-time work, working from home). 4. Quality Education Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Our contribution: Promoting skilled workers and junior staff. Offer training places and internships. Provide training and continuing education for all employees. Education and training of Indústria Fox employees in Brazil through the Fair Recycling project. 5. Gender Equality Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Our contribution: Equal pay. Support a good work-life balance (part-time work, working from home). Girsberger Policy Statement Ethics and Human Rights. Promoting the education of women in Brazil through the Fair Recycling project. 12. Responsible Consumption and Production Ensure sustainable patterns of consumption and production. Our contribution: Use manufacturers and raw materials suppliers based within 600 km of our production sites. Implement a Code of Conduct for suppliers. Ensure products have a long service life, offer guarantees on the availability of spare parts, find safe design solutions, use low-emission and reusable materials. Use of post-consumer materials. Product certifications. Remanufacturing and upcycling of existing furniture. 7. Affordable and Clean Energy Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Our contribution: Reduction of electricity consumption through energy-efficient equipment and processes. Obtain 100% of our energy from renewable sources. Use a photovoltaic system. E-mobility. 13. Climate Action Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Our contribution: Climate-neutral production. Obtain 100% of our energy from renewable sources. Use eco-friendly materials and sort waste for disposal. Use upholstery materials that comply with OekoTex Standard 100 or the EU Ecolabel. New sustainable materials (leather tanned with olive leaf extract, fabric made from recycled polyester including plastic waste from the sea, use of secondary raw material foam from old mattresses). Use of post-consumer materials. Use no PVC, heavy metals, or azo dyes. Use leather processed in ISO14000-certified tanneries. Use solid wood sourced 100% from European and sustainably managed forests. For more information: https://www.un.org/sustainable- development/
9 “To know and not to act, is not to know.” Wang Yangming, philosopher (1472–1529)
10 This 2022 Sustainability Report applies to Girsberger Holding AG, Bützberg/Switzerland, Girsberger AG, Bützberg/Switzerland and Girsberger GmbH, Endingen/Germany and their subsidiaries in France, Austria and Benelux. All the information and figures in this report therefore refer to the Girsberger Group companies mentioned above. This report does not include the subsidiaries Mobimex AG, Seon/Switzerland, Boreal doo, Kraljevci/Serbia, Bo-Real Estate doo, Kraljevci/Serbia, as well as the joint-venture production company Tuna Girsberger Tic. AS, Silivri/Turkey. The remaining property belonging to Girsberger Ind., Inc./USA was sold. This enabled the liquidation of the company to be completed at the end of June 2022. Bo-Real Estate doo/Serbia is limited to the holding of real estate, and we therefore consider its inclusion unnecessary for the purpose of environmental certification. Boreal doo has been a subsidiary of Girsberger Holding AG since July 2016. Environmental targets also form an integral part of our economic planning as well as our internal reporting and controlling systems at this production site too. We were unable to achieve our objective of certifying Boreal doo under ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 by the end of 2022. We had to accept that this goal was too ambitious. The next step will be for Boreal doo to prepare all its key statistics from 1 January 2023 and these will be included in the 2024 Sustainability Report. Mobimex AG produces and sells a completely independent furniture collection. The Zoom by Mobimex brand is positioned at the apex of the top market segment and is therefore managed strictly separately from Girsberger. Mobimex AG will also prepare all its figures from 1 January 2023 to be included in the next Sustainability Report. The Girsberger office chairs produced by Tuna Girsberger Tic. AS in Turkey are exclusively for sale in Turkey and export to the Near and Middle East. Girsberger Holding AG’s shareholding in Tuna Girsberger Tic. AS is 50%. The economic crisis that has been going on for years continues to make it difficult for Girsberger Tic. AS to generate positive operating results. Therefore, for cost reasons, environmental certification has been put on hold for the time being. Organisation chart/scope Labels of the certified companies
11 Girsberger Holding AG Switzerland Bützberg Girsberger AG Switzerland Bützberg Girsberger France Paris Girsberger GmbH Germany Endingen Girsberger GmbH Austria Vienna Girsberger Benelux BV Netherlands Naarden Mobimex AG Switzerland Seon Boreal doo Serbia Kraljevci Bo-Real Estate doo Serbia Kraljevci Tuna Girsberger Tic. AS Turkey Silivri Scope for the Sustainability Report Organisation chart/scope of the certified companies
12 We maintain an ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders to ensure that we know their interests and objectives and can take account of these in our sustainability activities. This is a continuous process that feeds into our daily work. Investors Because we are a family-owned company, investors are, on the one hand, kept informed on an individual basis and, on the other, are sent monthly reports from the individual companies in the group. Meetings of the Board of Directors are convened four to six times a year. The General Assembly takes place once a year. We engage in dialogue directly with our investors and communicate with them regularly, through monthly reporting, annual reports, and end-of-year financial statements. Customers These can be divided into specialist retailers and direct clients. Talks are held with both customer groups at the start of each year. In the course of these discussions, we reach agreement with the specialist retail partners on how we will work together (and this applies from March until February of the following year). In the case of both specialist retailers and direct customers, the frequency of our visits depends on the size of the customer (A-, B- or C-customer) and the current projects with them. It can vary from once to three times a week to once a year. During the next reporting period, we will again be conducting a customer survey among our specialist retailers and direct customers. The survey will be carried out by our service technicians. It will assess the quality of our products and the level of satisfaction with Girsberger’s customer service in terms of contactability, speed, friendliness and expertise. Facilitators (architects, designers and planners) Facilitators have come to play a very important role in our business. The Customized Furniture and Remanufacturing business units have now specialised in producing bespoke furniture for commercial use, based on design by architects and interior designers, and also in refurbishing existing furniture according to their own ideas and taking account of environmental, economic and design aspects. Their ideas are then made a reality at our workshops. We are in continuous dialogue with these facilitators to develop and manufacture furniture of all kinds – from unique one-off items to series production. Often these projects have to be accomplished at high speed and require great flexibility, while maintaining the highest quality standards. Those are precisely the reasons why we also give the facilitators the opportunity to work with us in the workshop on the designs and prototypes. That is essential if such joint projects are to be completed successfully. Employees All employees at Girsberger companies are kept informed about current business trends at a “ notice board” meeting roughly every two months. This is done personally by the managing directors as well as by means of a “ digital information wall” for everyone. Urgent information is communicated via Team meetings. Managers also receive quarterly reports giving detailed information about turnover and the number of orders received by the whole group. We raise awareness among our employees about environmental issues by offering tips on helping the environment and telling them about activities in the Smaragd (Emerald) project (part of the EU’s Natura 2000 network). During this reporting period, we focused particularly on food waste, meat consumption (UN report) and grey energy. We organise recreational activities to foster team spirit. Our stakeholders “Dialogue with our stakeholders is a continuous process that feeds into our daily work.”
13 Suppliers Suppliers are divided into categories A, B and C, depending on their importance. The criteria for their classification include social responsibility and environmental considerations. A- and B-suppliers are reassessed every year. The suppliers are told about these assessments. We are in regular contact with A-suppliers. Suppliers in Category A (which includes in particular all suppliers from high-risk regions) have to sign the “ Girsberger Group Code of Conduct”. This sets out the main principles and values of the Girsberger Group in terms of complying with current legislation as well as fundamental internationally recognized standards on human rights, employment rights, the environment and corruption. Society (population, media, associations, local authorities and politics) One of the ways in which Girsberger is in contact with the general public is by active media work, for example regularly sending out media briefings on new products, projects and partnerships, and talking directly to journalists and media representatives. Documents of interest to the general public such as our corporate mission ‘WE ARE GIRSBERGER’, the Girsberger environmental guidelines and reports on sustainability, with supplementary reports, are made available on our website www.girsberger.com. Other channels for sharing information and ideas include social media, where Girsberger has an active presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest). We also maintain active partnerships with the local population and community groups in the places where our branches are located. For example, we support clubs by making donations and get involved in environmental, sporting and cultural activities in the local area. We support non-profit and charitable institutions at home and abroad with financial donations. Customers Facilitators (architects, planners, designers) Media Population Associations Authorities Politics Investors Shareholders Suppliers Employees
14 Key figures at a glance The overview does not include the figures for the non-certified companies (see explanations on page 10) Employees Unit 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Number of management staff Number 269 256 253 257 259 259 Managers – female Number 11 12 7 8 13 12 Managers – male Number 42 44 47 46 49 47 Composition of the workforce – age Average 45.7 45.4 45.7 45.8 44.8 45.4 Fairness of pay – pay spread Factor 6.5 7.2 6.7 7.4 7.0 7.0 Disciplined cases of discrimination Number 0 0 0 0 0 0 Percentage of employee appraisals performed Percent 100 100 100 100 100 100 Assessment of employee satisfaction (scale 1–10) Average 8.1 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.1 8.0 Employee turnover rate Percent 10.0 8.98 6.3 4.2 6.9 8.1 Training per employee Hours 6.8 8.1 9.1 4.9 4.2 7.0 Resources and raw materials Wood m³ 648 741 710 788 836 826 Metal t 39 32 19 13 5 4 Leather m² 15,090 20,675 14,436 14,551 12,390 10,075 Fabric lfm 56,557 50,850 39,034 38,645 43,071 48,010 Operational waste Wood reused to generate heat t 255.8 268.6 262.0 257.6 295.8 325.4 Waste for incineration t 62.9 62.9 69.8 56.2 47.7 51.9 Recyclable waste t 170.7 159.5 158.8 135.8 128.1 118.0 Hazardous waste t 2.0 0 2.1 0 2.0 1.2 Water Water consumption m³ 4,670 6,337 5,793 3,986 4,155 3,363 CO2 emissions Electricity t 45.1 44.9 44.5 42.4 41.0 11.6 Heating oil t 32.3 29.2 37.1 25.0 23.3 26.2 Natural gas t 127.3 114.3 121.5 126.6 132.7 133.2 Petrol/diesel t 525.8 531.8 502.1 440.7 474.0 499.1 Flights t 23.5 22.6 24.5 3.7 1.9 8.8 Other significant emissions VOC t 4.0 3.5 4.6 4.3 5.7 5.7 Adherence to the law Non-compliance Number 0 0 0 0 0 0
15 Area Objectives/priorities 2021/2022 Objectives/priorities 2023/2024 – ✔ ✔ ✔ – Stakeholders Give preference to suppliers/producers within a radius of 600 km (wherever practicable and economically viable) Survey of specialist dealers and direct customers by our service technicians (product quality and customer service satisfaction) Development and production of durable, quality products, minimum use of materials Give preference to suppliers/producers within a radius of 600 km (wherever practicable and economically viable) Focus in the area of employees Development and production of durable, quality products, minimum use of materials Product stewardship, environmental compliance Economy Ecology Development of furniture with substantial proportions of post-consumer materials Boreal doo and Mobimex AG will prepare the key figures possible for them from 1 January 2023 and will be integrated in the 2024 Sustainability Report The search for a partner or supplier continues. Occasionally, fabric offcuts are given away to neighbouring kindergartens or the like Endingen: maintain a share of recyclable waste of at least 84% Bützberg: maintain a share of recyclable waste of at least 88% In 2024, the administration will switch to recycled paper Use of 100% green electricity in Bützberg and Endingen CO2 output which cannot be reduced with in-house measures is fully offset with climate-protection certificates from Fair Recycling This objective is no longer pursued Certification of Boreal doo, Serbia to ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 by the end of 2022 An economically and ecologically sensible solution for recycling fabric offcuts is still being sought Further reduction of offcut values to below 10% through 100 % conversion to single-ply cutter in Endingen Bützberg: maintain a share of recyclable waste of at least 88% Endingen: maintain a share of recyclable waste of at least 84% Use of 100% green electricity in Bützberg and Endingen CO2 output which cannot be reduced with in-house measures is fully offset with climate-protection certificates from Fair Recycling Resources and raw materials Energy consumption, emissions Changeover to recycled paper in the administration is being examined In 2021, the oldest truck (still EURO 5) will be replaced EcoDrive courses for frequent drivers The following list shows the extent to which the objectives set for the end of 2022 were achieved and sets out the objectives/priorities to 2024. Objectives and priorities ✔ + – – Objective achieved Objective partly achieved Objective not achieved New objective Continuing objective Continuing objective, not achieved + – Operational waste, disposal
16 Objectives and priorities ✔ + – Objective achieved Area Objectives/priorities 2021/2022 Objectives/priorities 2023/2024 Ecology Extension of the photovoltaic plant in Endingen by approx. 60 kWp Examination of a photovoltaic system at the Bützberg site Examination of another photovoltaic system on the new warehouse of Girsberger GmbH in Endingen The chip extraction system is controlled in such a way that the filter from the silo and the transport line from the day filter to the silo only run when required ✔ Anchoring the topic of sustainability in trainees with formats such as “ClimateLabs” Participation of trainees in the “ClimateLab” Further raising employees’ awareness of environmental issues with climate tips and the Smaragd project Fulfilling customer wishes with as few kilometres as possible Optimise transport kilometres Optimise packaging where still possible Annual evaluation of supplier ratings regarding ecological criteria and their monitoring Annual evaluation of supplier ratings regarding ecological criteria and their monitoring CO2-neutral production of printed matter CO2-neutral production of printed matter A changeover is currently not yet possible Further attempt to switch from solvent-based lacquers to water-based lacquers Expansion of the charging infrastructure according to the needs assessment of 2022 at the Bützberg and Endingen sites, evaluation of an e-bike charging station at the Endingen site Expansion of e-mobility through 5–6 charging stations in Bützberg, as well as at least 2 charging stations at Girsberger GmbH, Endingen Employees Logistics (road traffic and transport) – ✔ Supplier assessment Raising employee’s awareness of environmental issues Employee appraisal Revision of the supervisor appraisal interview forms Introduction of MS-Office Business Premium (cloud-capable versions), further expansion of mobile workplaces to promote work-life balance Focus on IT equipment (flexibility, mobility, up-to-date equipment) Social affairs ✔ + – Satisfaction + – New working time models Objective achieved at the Bützberg site, not achieved in Endingen Revision of working time and employment regulations at the Endingen site with a focus on reducing workload and increasing holidays. Introduction as of 1 January 2024 New working time models Decision and final drafting in 2021, introduction as of January 2022 + – – Objective partly achieved Objective not achieved New objective Continuing objective Continuing objective, not achieved
17 Area Objectives/priorities 2021/2022 Objectives/priorities 2023/2024 Social affairs Maintain apprenticeships and internships Maintain apprenticeships and internships Education Review of wages and salaries at the Bützberg and Endingen sites at least once a year The gradual adjustment of wages has taken place and will be completed in 2021. The review at least once a year will continue Equal pay + – – ✔ Individual education and training especially of employees of young age, for the targeted promotion of young talent Targeted promotion of skilled workers and junior staff, further training of managers with staff responsibility Training ✔ Workplace health promotion Focus on health and well-being (financial participation in health check-ups and preventive medical examinations) Focus on health and well-being with two health days at the Endingen site and a health week in Bützberg At the Endingen site, the following are being examined: Promotion of a company health insurance for selected additional benefits over the regular health insurance Covering the full insurance or a one-off final premium when taking out a company bike lease Implementation of targeted leisure activities in the area of exercise and nutrition Targeted activities in the area of exercise and nutrition Focus on promoting and supporting employee volunteering (time credit/special leave) Develop concept and implement as of 1 January 2024 Focus on promoting and supporting employee volunteering (time credit/special leave) Due to the priority objective of promoting professionals at a young age, this objective could not be implemented Promote diversity and equal opportunities, planning of training measures will be more balanced between the categories of employees, managers and management Developing a basis for audits The ten most important A-suppliers will be audited by Girsberger by the end of 2024 Develop guidelines Code of conduct signed by all A suppliers, as well as the most important B suppliers Code of conduct signed by all A suppliers, as well as the most important B suppliers Signing of the Boreal doo Supplier Code of Conduct, evaluation of supplier turnover with subsequent classification into A, B and C suppliers At least maintain or, where possible, further increase the already high verification rate for product safety and health safety of the Office range products If possible, further increase the already high verification rate for our product safety (swivel chairs 99.4% and multi-purpose/visitor chairs 89.7%) and health safety of the Office range products (swivel chairs 99.4% and multi-purpose/visitor chairs 64.4%) Evaluation of suppliers according to social criteria Customer health and safety Corporate citizenship Ethics and human rights
20 Every reporting process begins with determining the key sustainability issues. At an initial meeting, a committee made up of members of senior management (CEO, Managing Director, the Head of Product and Brand Development, Production Manager, Marketing Manager and the Head of Sustainability) determine the focus of the sustainability strategy and the general objectives for the next two years. In a next step, these objectives are discussed and approved with the division heads. The following are the topics on which we focus in this report. Key sustainability themes Procurement practices Procurement markets Product stewardship, environmental compliance Remanufacturing and upcycling New sustainable materials Resources and raw materials Operational waste, disposal Logistics (road traffic and transport) Energy consumption and emissions Supplier assessment according to environmental criteria Raising employees’ awareness of environmental issues Equal treatment, equal opportunities and equal pay Employee satisfaction Workplace health promotion Education and training Corporate citizenship Ethics and human rights Customer health and safety Supplier assessment according to social criteria Economy Ecology Social affairs
21 “Since more than 90% of the possible environmental impact of our products occurs during the phases before the parts and components reach our own production sites, selecting the right suppliers is of vital importance.” Economy
22 Economy Procurement practices We make every effort to choose suppliers who share our environmental and social values and maintain high ethical standards. This lays the foundation for long-term, sustainable procurement relationships. We fully acknowledge the obligation on companies to do business sustainably and demonstrate social responsibility (CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility). This encompasses taking a responsible approach to people and nature, observing and complying with international legislation on human rights and working standards and fighting corruption. We enforce this by asking suppliers to sign our Code of Conduct for Suppliers and our environmental requirements. In the last reporting period we noted that two A-suppliers in Canada and Germany had not yet signed our Code of Conduct. The two companies are now no longer among our suppliers: the Canadian supplier because we have shifted the relevant parts procurement to Germany and the second one, in Germany, because of changed requirements. Apart from one new supplier in Germany, the Girsberger Code of Conduct has been signed by all our A-suppliers and most of our B-suppliers. Since more than 90% of the possible environmental impact of our products occurs during the phases before the parts and components reach our own production sites, selecting the right suppliers is of vital importance. In this way we can minimise any negative social and environmental impact. Most of the products that we procure are processed at our production sites in Bützberg/ Switzerland and Endingen/Germany. In the interest of optimising quality and costs, we give preference to manufacturers and raw materials suppliers who are based within a radius of 600 km of our production sites. So, 86.6% of all our materials are sourced from Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland, 7.4% from other European countries and just 6.0% from Asia and North America. This means that we can largely be confident that the materials we buy comply with our requirements in terms of human rights and environmental standards. This is of great importance to us, because we do not have the capacity to carry out regular checks on sustainability and compliance at all our suppliers’ sites. In the light of the integration and growth of our latest production site in Kraljevci, Serbia, new suppliers have come under consideration for our supply chain. The process includes asking suppliers to sign the Code of Conduct, evaluating the volume of goods supplied – as a result of which they will be classified as A-, B- or C-suppliers for the 2023 financial year – and assessing the supplier on their environmental and social criteria. For 2022, Girsberger again put itself forward for EcoVadis certification and was awarded the EcoVadis silver medal for its overall efforts to be sustainable in the areas of the environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. This award puts us among the top 8% of furniture-making companies around the world that were assessed and certified by EcoVadis, while in the individual “Sustainable Procurement” category we are in the top 3% for the sector. Girsberger’s supply chains are, and will continue to be, affected by factors on the energy and raw materials markets, logistics issues and global events. The pandemic years of 2021 and 2022 hit our supply chains hard, especially because of the challenges on the raw materials markets and the general shortage of resources. Even though there were signs of a gradual easing of the situation in 2022, the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis in Europe put supply chains under further pressure. The prices for natural gas and electricity have reached an unprecedented high due to the war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis in Europe. This hit us hard as a production company because both energy sources – natural gas and electricity – are vitally important in our supply chain. The processing of plastic granules into injection-moulded parts and, especially, the smelting of aluminium die-cast alloys are very energy-intensive and the rise in energy prices increased our costs substantially. It has also been striking Supplier assessment according to social and environmental criteria
23 how even less energy-intensive materials and semi-finished products, including wood – a natural raw material – have been affected by significant price rises. Unfortunately, these manifold problematic developments of recent years have obliged some of our suppliers to either realign their businesses or even cease trading altogether. Others are not far from having to suspend their production activities or parts of them. We are therefore keeping a very close eye on developments in the energy and raw materials markets and the delivery situation at our suppliers and are continuously modifying our procurement strategy. We do this with the aim of ensuring continuous availability of materials and, above all, constantly refining our procurement processes: we want to maximise resource- and energy-efficiency, minimise currency risks and reduce the environmental damage caused by long transport distances. We can see no sign of any significant and lasting easing of the raw materials market, nor has the short- and medium-term energy supply situation in Europe been resolved. These uncertainties and the resulting business risks mean we have no option but to continue to maintain the unusually high and capital-intensive stocks of materials of the last three years. Thomas Gasser Thomas Gasser Executive Director Product & Brand Development, Girsberger Holding AG Origin of supplier components Distance Procurement volume Share of procurement volume over 1000 km distance Economy
10 20 30 50 60 70 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 69 65 69 71 69 69 61 2 2 2 2 2 5 4 3 3 2 3 11 9 3 37 40 4 36 3 8 32 34 28 80 40 6 6 11 9 11 9 7 7 18 17 15 16 2 10 44 4 2 2 2 24 Procurement markets 2022 Economy 2. Switzerland 14.76 % 3. Italy 12.91% 1. Germany 55.67 % Suppliers Environmental Relevance Analysis Relevance 1 without ISO14000 with ISO14000 No particular risks (wood, metal, plastic processing and other services) Relevance 2 without ISO14000 with ISO14000 Increased emissions risk (water, air, soil, legacy issues) from textiles/upholstery materials, coatings, varnishes, PUR foams Relevance 3 without ISO14000 with ISO14000 High emissions risk (water, air, soil, legacy issues) from leather tanning, galvanising, aluminium die casting, hazardous materials in products Graphic Procurement markets/suppliers Number of suppliers Total This statistic takes into account our A and B suppliers, which account for 85% of our procurement volume.
25 Economy ”Wherever practicable and economically viable, we give preference to suppliers or producers near our production sites, i.e. within a radius of 600 km from our respective plants.” 7. South Korea 1.96 % 5. China 3.01 % 6. Denmark 2.44 % 4. Slovenia 3.22 % 8. Poland 1.36 % 11. Austria 0.72 % 12. Bulgaria 0.51 % 13. United Kingdom 0.40 % 14. Slovakia 0.34 % 10. Canada 1.08 % 9. Romania 1.09 % 15. France 0.28 % 16. Hungary 0.11 % 18. Sweden 0.04 % 19. USA 0.02 % 17. Netherlands 0.07 %
27 “Girsberger Remanufacturing won the 2023 German Sustainability Prize in the ‘Design’ category.” Ecology “When developing future products, Girsberger will rely as far as possible on using post-consumer materials.”
28 Ecology Girsberger products are more than just pieces of furniture – they accompany many people through their personal and working lives over many years. That’s what drives us on every day to create functional furniture of outstanding quality in timeless designs. Our love of detail and our commitment to sustainability are two more reasons why we at Girsberger are proud to design and develop products that are not only functional and beautiful but also sustainably produced and suitable for use over many years. Our careful product development, production, marketing, customer service and post-sales guarantee on spare parts all help ensure that our products have a long service life. We use reliable design solutions and low-emission, recyclable materials. In this way we endeavour to ensure that buying our furniture is always also an environmentally and economically responsible decision. Out of a sense of conviction, we behave responsibly towards people, society and the environment, and our product philosophy reflects our sense that it is our duty to ensure that our furniture contributes to a more sustainable future. All our production has been climate-neutral since 2015. For every Girsberger product, we consider the environmental credentials of the materials to be used, right from the design phase. Even though we are increasingly exposed to the pressure to cut manufacturing costs, we consistently manufacture long-lasting products using environmentally friendly materials, and we separate different materials as much as possible so that they can subsequently be returned to the recycling loop. With the exception of scrap metal, large quantities of plastic, foam, textiles and waste paper tend to end up in incinerators, landfill sites and the oceans nowadays. That is why we have set ourselves the goal of using post-consumer materials wherever possible when designing new products. We enjoy the challenge of using waste materials to design and manufacture useful and durable furniture – thereby preserving resources and the environment as much as possible. It was with this objective in mind that we launched a product development project in 2022. It consists of a range of soft seating with multiple variants, comprising different seats and matching tables. The market launch is due to be in the second half of 2023. Because we have used only post-consumer recycled materials for the seat frames, upholstery and covers, we have achieved a rate of almost 100% sustainable materials by volume and weight. The only new materials in this extensive range of soft seating are the plastic sliders and a very small percentage of steel components, which include a proportion of scrap metal. In another project we are trying to produce the existing plastic seat shells that are used in great numbers in the Nava and Marel ranges out of post-consumer materials. However, implementation of this project has been delayed, simply because of the very limited availability of permanently stabilised post-consumer polyamide regranulate in injection- moulding quality, to ensure that structural components are safe. For that reason, we have had to delay the market launch until the 4th quarter of 2023. We have set ourselves the firm and overriding objective of offering our customers an ever-wider range of furniture containing a substantial proportion of post-consumer materials. Product stewardship, environmental compliance ”We manufacture our products in an environmentally friendly way, climate neutral since 2015.”