Sustainability Highlights

Sustainability highlights

Climate change, the energy transition, the protection of human rights and an increasing demand for clean drinking water are emerging as some of the most pressing sustainability issues of our time. 

With products and solutions that address these challenges, GF recognizes its critical role in advancing change while also pursuing sustainability within its own operations. With a clearly defined sustainability framework intertwined with its corporate strategy and a set of goals aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), GF is committed to addressing its impacts while also supporting its customers on their sustainability journey.

In 2023, GF made progress in several sustainability areas. Its corporate sustainability team conducted a net-zero feasibility study based on SBTi standards to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with setting a net-zero target, applying two different scenarios. Those results helped shape realistic, science-informed pathways towards that goal. GF also conducted a benchmarking analysis to evaluate how companies are incorporating biodiversity principles into their corporate strategies and disclosures, which will help guide the development of GF’s own biodiversity strategy in 2024. 

In another first, the company staged an inaugural global Sustainability Conference in Zurich in 2023, bringing its executive team and 160 employees from across the company together to delve into key sustainability topics such as decarbonization, responsible business development, circular economy, diversity and inclusion, and safety. The first recipients of Sustainability Fund grants were also announced at the conference. The Sustainability Fund, which launched in late 2022, enables employees to pursue their own ideas by providing funding for projects with key sustainability benefits. 17 winning projects, such as greening and cleaning the GF site surroundings, evaluating alginate films as a packaging material, investing in small projects such as solar showers that are installed to heat warm water using solar energy instead of fossil fuels that are used by GF employees after work, and measuring air emissions, were selected from 84 proposals, resulting in CHF 200’000 in grants that will ripple out to communities and initiatives around the globe. 

GF also took a significant step forward last year in building awareness of and advocacy for human rights by implementing a formal structure and program to accompany its human rights policy commitments. This will further embed this critical topic in the company’s operations and priorities, while GF continually informs its suppliers of the expectations outlined in its Code for Business Partners. 

GF’s progress has garnered important recognition from external stakeholders, exemplified by its ranking in the third edition of Europe’s Climate Leaders. Among 100 global companies in its industry, GF secured a position in the top 5, as determined by the Financial Times, underscoring its commitment to addressing the climate crisis and setting industry benchmarks. On top of that, GF secured the highest possible “A” score for the first time from the global rating agency CDP for transparency and performance on climate change, for its ambitions around water security, GF maintained its previous rating of “A-”, proving again that we are taking the necessary actions to be a leader in sustainability. 

Furthermore, all GF divisions received noteworthy accolades from EcoVadis, affirming GF’s dedication to environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. GF Piping Systems and GF Casting Solutions earned a gold medal, placing them in the top 5% of performers, while GF Machining Solutions achieved a commendable silver medal, positioning it in the top 15%. 

None of these developments would have been possible without the passion, persistence and skills of GF’s employees. To ensure that they are being supported and challenged in their work, the company conducted a worldwide employee engagement survey in 2023. The survey was available in 19 different languages and covered all of GF’s divisions, resulting in a 70% response rate. The survey delved into various aspects of the employee experience, highlighting noteworthy strengths in safety and engagement categories, which received an over 80% favorable response. Moreover, the survey also revealed employees’ strong intention to stay at GF for the next 12 months and their pride in their association with the company. 

GF is committed to upholding human rights across its operations. In 2023, it launched a new GF Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) process based on international conventions and standards to ensure that its actions are in line with new and emerging regulations and transparency requirements. For detailed information on the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO) – the Obligationenrecht in German – which serves as the legal foundation for business operations and corporate governance in Switzerland, please consult the Non-financial Reporting Requirements Content Index – Swiss Code of Obligations (CO) section of this report

In concluding these highlights, it is significant to mention that in November 2023, GF integrated a new division, GF Uponor, and GF Piping Systems acquired GF Corys. As both acquisitions took place in the fourth quarter of 2023, the product portfolio graphs include GF Corys, while the Sustainability related graphs do not include information or data relating to these acquired companies. 

Further information about this acquisition can be found in the Strategy 2025 update chapter. More information on Sustainability in Uponor (Finland) can be found in the Sustainability at Uponor chapter.


Sustainability key figures 2023

Sales with social or environmental benefits
% of total GF sales


Progress on Sustainability Framework 2025


Product Portfolio


Sustainability at Uponor


Environment, Social & Governance

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