In 2020, Arbonia AG is reporting in detail on its sustainability commitment for the first time. This report was prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: "Core" option.
100 % Foil-free packaging being implemented at the HVAC and Sanitary Equipment Divisions.
Arbonia pursues a sustainable business strategy geared towards long-term success. The comprehensive commitment of the divisions to sustainability is both strategically anchored as well as part of their operational activities.
The ongoing discussion about climate neutrality and the energy efficiency required to achieve it, as well as increasing urbanisation and demographic change are influencing the strategic development of Arbonia. The change in housing types is leading to an increasing demand for living space in conurbations. This coincides with a real estate market in which the majority of buildings have to be renovated for energy efficiency in order to reduce energy consumption in general and fossil fuels in particular, and thus greenhouse gas emissions.
There is therefore a high demand for products that reduce the energy consumption in buildings and ensure a pleasant indoor climate at the same time. Arbonia recognised this trend early on and has oriented its product portfolio accordingly. The company focuses on innovative system solutions for ventilating and heating interiors, as well as on doors and windows that help to reduce energy consumption thanks to their insulation performance.
The consistent focus on a sustainable and long-term business model has brought changes in recent years. Arbonia has made acquisitions and investments with the aim of being able to provide more sustainable products and production processes. It supports agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as the "Paris Agreement" of the Paris Climate Conference and the "European Green Deal", and actively contributes to minimising global warming (see "CO2 and energy", pages 60 – 64). The sustainable group strategy is implemented throughout the entire group, with the divisions having a high degree of responsibility due to the decentralised organisation. They develop specific plans to support the group-wide sustainability strategy and expand the product portfolio. An example of this is the acquisition of the Vasco Group in the HVAC Division in 2018, which, among other things, enabled Arbonia to increase the share of in-house produced underfloor heating products.
This sustainability report is based on a materiality analysis conducted in 2020. In this analysis, Arbonia determined which topics are relevant for long-term business success and with which topics the group has a significant impact on the environment and society. The starting point was a wide-ranging list that included topics from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the criteria of ESG rating agencies, and the orientation of comparable companies. Related issues were consolidated in a core team, and in a subsequent workshop, representatives from all divisions as well as the corporate functions Human Resources, Legal & Compliance, IT, Corporate Procurement, Group Controlling, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations assessed the relevance of the issues. This process was supported by an external specialist, and the result of the materiality analysis was mapped in a matrix. In this first sustainability report, Arbonia addresses four focus issues in detail. The reporting on the other material issues will be gradually expanded in the future.
Arbonia has a decentralised structure. Group Management – consisting of the CEO, CFO, and the division heads – defines the measures to implement the strategy set by the Board of Directors. The responsibility for the operational business lies with the divisions. Corporate sustainability is managed at the group level by the CFO of Arbonia, and the group-wide coordination is managed by the Corporate Communications & Investor Relations department. The implementation of the defined sustainability criteria is the responsibility of the divisions or their subsidiaries in consultation and coordination with the group. Group Management discusses and evaluates the most important initiatives and projects on a monthly basis.
Arbonia is aware of its economic, ecological, and social responsibility and is therefore committed to environmental protection and the careful use of resources in its code of conduct. The core social and ethical values of Arbonia are also set out in the code: engagement, responsibility, trust, and cooperation. The code was last revised in 2018 and is binding for all employees. Its application and implementation in daily interaction with internal and external partners is an integral part of the corporate culture.
Arbonia maintains an intensive exchange with its stakeholders, who have a significant influence on its economic, ecological, and social objectives. The internal and external stakeholders include employees, shareholders, customers, employee representatives, analysts, public authorities, as well as neighbouring companies, neighbours, and communities at the company locations. They also include partners such as suppliers, transport companies, research institutes, chambers and associations, as well as the general public. The most important associations and interest groups to which Arbonia belongs include Swissmem, the Thurgau Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SwissHoldings, the employer's association, the German Federal Association of Building Systems, and the German-Swiss Chamber of Commerce. The exchange with stakeholders takes place regularly in the context of personal discussions, meetings, conferences, and trade fairs, as well as surveys. An overview of the interaction with stakeholders can be found in the following table.
Inclusion of stakeholders and their concerns
|Stakeholder||Form of inclusion||Concerns raised|
|Customers||Internal and external customer surveys, Personal discussions||Product quality, product life cycle, customer satisfaction|
|Employees||Employees meetings, Employee representatives, Labour unions, CEO messages||Occupational health and safety, strategy, sustainability performance|
|Shareholders and investors||General Meeting, representation through Board of Directors Roadshows||Economic performance, future prospects, strategy, sustainability performance|
|Analysts||Roadshows, conferences, press releases||Economic performance, future prospects, strategy, sustainability performance|
|Public authorities||Regular exchange, approval processes for specific plants and processes||Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements|
|Neighbours and communities||Regular exchange, sponsoring||Securing jobs, promoting cultural life, noise and emission protection|
|Partners such as transport companies, suppliers, research institutes and associations||Supplier surveys, regular exchange||Transport damage minimisation, Exchange of information, partnership & fair cooperation|
|General public||Press releases||Current information on the company|