In 2021, the first year of the new strategy cycle, the company continued to successfully blend innovation and sustainability thanks to the contribution of its employees and strong collaboration with suppliers, customers, and business partners.
Strategy 2025 launch – March
In 2021, GF launched its new Strategy 2025, which is built on profitable growth, increased resilience, and a culture evolving towards more performance and learning culture. GF also unveiled its new vision: to become a sustainability and innovation leader while providing superior customer value.
Innovations for the food and beverage industry – April
GF Piping Systems was able to equip numerous internationally renowned wineries, including the refrigeration center of the Zimmermann-Graeff & Müller winery in Zell an der Mosel (Germany), with its COOL-FIT 4.0 system, which optimizes commercial and industrial refrigeration set-ups, allowing for increased energy efficiency.
German award for innovation – May
Symmedia, a subsidiary of GF Machining Solutions, was recognized by TOP 100 in Germany, which honors Germany’s most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, for its agile and open organization as well as its handling of the pandemic.
Twenty years of transparent ESG reporting – June
The Sustainability Report issued in June marked GF’s 20th year of transparent reporting on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) matters. Sustainability plays a key role in the company’s Strategy 2025 and is an integral part of GF’s corporate culture and business.
A leader in sustainability – May and December
GF was recognized as one of Europe’s climate leaders of Europe’s leading companies in the field of climate protection, according to the Financial Times. For the first time, GF was also awarded the top Environmental Quality Score in the Industrial Machinery category in the ratings of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). In addition, the London-based independent rating agency CDP gave GF an A– rating (leadership level) for the second consecutive year for its efforts in tackling climate change and improving water security. GF also scored higher than the European and the powered machinery sector averages.
Designing the innovations of tomorrow – July
The “Kickbox” innovation process, which is part of Design Thinking initiative at GF Machining Solutions, produced its first winner. The topic “Ergonomic Revolution” went through a rigorous validation process to verify its business potential and technical feasibility. The team is pioneering changes that will allow operators of milling machines to reduce their movements when retracting new parts by centralizing and showing relevant data on a transparent smart glass monitor, improving the workplace and machine ergonomics. The project is now being brought to scale and commercialized.
Innovative solutions from new Medical Solutions Center in Germany – July
The center in Schorndorf specializes in innovative solutions for the fast-growing and important MedTech segment. All key offerings, such as laser machines, additive manufacturing machines, high-speed milling, wire- and die-sinking EDM machines, as well as the appropriate software and a team of specialists are now all located under one roof. With this center, GF aims to learn with and from its customers to develop and test tailor-made services and solutions.
Big steps in e-mobility in China, new orders secured – September
GF services established and new companies, including start-ups, in China’s auto sector, one of the fastest-growing markets for electric cars. In 2021, GF secured new orders in the range of more than CHF 170 million in China. Among the new customers are the young Chinese manufacturers for electric vehicles Xpeng, Lixiang, Enovate Motors and Seres Huawei. In addition, GF for the first time became the No. 1 supplier of another well-known customer as a result of its new order volume. GF will manufacture about 7 million lightweight parts over lifetime to the new start-ups in China.
Progress at new innovation-led sites in China – September
Construction at the GF Casting Solutions Shenyang plant, equipped to meet the latest sustainability standards, is progressing quickly. The die-casting plant has already completed its first successful die-cast shot test, paving the way for the new facility to provide innovative components to customers. Major construction work at Yangzhou for GF Piping Systems’ new plant was also completed.
New member of the Board of Directors proposed – October
GF will propose Ayano Senaha for election to its Board of Directors at the next Annual Shareholder’s Meeting in April 2022. The 39-year-old Japanese national is the COO and a board member of Recruit Holdings in Tokyo (Japan). She brings international leadership experience and extensive expertise in digitalization, sustainability, and governance.
Showcasing the latest machine tool innovations – October
In its first major exhibition since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, GF presented its latest innovations in the machining tool sector at EMO Milano 2021, including an expanded range of laser texturing solutions. The innovations help to increase the productivity and accuracy of GF’s customers.
Recognition as top supplier and employer – October, November
GF Piping Systems was one of only 26 Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) Award recipients from among Intel’s entire global supply chain for 2021. It received this award for its continuous quality improvement and exceptional performance. In addition, GF Casting Solutions classified as one of the top 30 Best Employers in Suzhou (China), from among more than 200 companies.
Broad engagement to secure water treatment – November
In November, together with other sponsors, GF helped raise USD 150’000 for Water Mission, a US-based non-profit organization that builds safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for people in developing nations and disaster areas. This contribution will provide more than 6’000 people with clean water. Other contributions of the Clean Water Foundation were approved for water projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. GF Piping Systems also launched a webcast series to highlight the challenges posed by global water loss and water scarcity, and the solutions available to help overcome them.
Virtual kick-off for cultural change – November
The Executive Committee kicked off the largest ever hybrid town hall meeting, the Culture Movement, to introduce and disseminate the new GF corporate values. Around 3’000 employees joined remotely from all over the world. Several initiatives with a clear bottom-up approach will help to anchor the values in daily life.