GF is committed to becoming a global sustainability and innovation leader providing superior customer value.
Across its divisions, the company enables the safe and reliable transport of water and gas, empowers greener forms of mobility, and advances energy-efficient and clean manufacturing. As part of its sustainability approach, the company also supports its customers with value-adding services throughout the entire life cycle of each solution.
In 2022, 63% of GF sales (60% in 2021) delivered a social or environmental benefit. In 2022, GF focused its innovations on improving energy efficiency and increasing its use of recycling components as part of its circular economy approach.
The remaining 30% consists of products that have not recently been substantially upgraded by GF's divisions in terms of sustainability contributions. This covers the following:
- GF Piping Systems: applications in the non-renewable energy industry, as this does not contribute to the transformation
- GF Casting Solutions: non-automotive products for different industries, as traditionally weight reduction was the key lever for emission reduction during use phase
- GF Machining Solutions: machines that were not recently upgraded with energy efficiency features or improved ergonomics for the operator
The GF approach to sustainable products
To improve the sustainability impact of its products and services, the company follows a clear guideline: each new solution must demonstrate an improvement in at least two of the three sustainability dimensions (environmental, social and economic) compared with its previous generation. In cases where no predecessor exists, it must demonstrate these benefits in comparison to its main competing product or service.
Sales with social or environmental benefits
% of total sales
2022 sales with social or environmental benefits
in CHF million
Defining categories to measure impact
In each sustainability category, the company measures the benefits of each new solution using the following criteria and definitions:
- Environmental benefits: reduced CO2e emissions; reduced energy consumption and/or water consumption; materials that are biodegradable, recyclable and/or recycled may add longevity
- Social benefits: improved ease of operation, enabling users to maximize the solution’s potential and efficiency; enhanced health, safety and security of users
- Operational and economic benefits: improved efficiency and/or productivity compared with previous (or competing) solutions; compatible with the circular economy
GF’s sustainability assessment methodology
To incorporate environmental and social benefits into the early stages of its product development, the company has adopted a unique sustainability assessment methodology. All three divisions – GF Piping Systems, GF Casting Solutions and GF Machining Solutions – adopted and developed it for their respective solutions and markets.
The methodology incorporates the "radar model", which provides a quantifiable means of improving the sustainability of new products and solutions. In this model, teams assign values to many important criteria, such as raw materials, weight, energy consumption or logistics methods. The radar then calculates the values into a total score used to compare the social or environmental benefits of the new solution with its previous version or with competitors' products in the same category.
Using the company's sustainability assessment methodology, project managers can use the radar model to simulate and compare various possibilities quickly and easily. For example, via a simple color-coded system, managers can adjust various criteria to find more sustainable solutions, such as changing a product’s materials to reduce its weight and logistical carbon footprint.
Each division has adapted the methodology to suit its respective processes and goals. GF Piping Systems focuses on raw materials and recyclability, GF Casting Solutions aims to use more sustainable materials and reduce energy, while GF Machining Solutions seeks greater energy efficiency. The company's product and supply chain experts assess all final proposals to ensure they meet the company’s strict quality, safety and performance standards.