A year of reflection
The year brought optimistic signs of global economic growth, along with more concerning indicators of instability as millions of refugees and migrants flooded out of their home countries in the biggest wave of human displacement on record. These developments took place as we are standing on the brink of another fundamental shift – “the fourth industrial revolution”, which will forever alter the way we work, live and relate to each other.
This fast-paced revolution affects – and disrupts – every aspect of Grundfos’ operations, from expectations in the local communities where we have a presence and the way our customers shop to the way we manufacture our products and the solutions we offer. We have taken a long, hard look at our business, and the role our products and solutions can play, to ensure that Grundfos evolves to meet the new challenges.
We need to make bold decisions if we are to continue our leading role in a highly connected, digitally integrated world where social value is becoming a yardstick for business performance.
Sustainability is our business
Sustainability has always been our business. We are grateful to have twice won recognition from the United Nations for our efforts to address global water challenges. These challenges are more relevant than ever – water was first listed in the World Economic Forum’s Top 5 Global Risks in 2012, and it has stayed on the chart ever since – because water is an intrinsic part of any plan to cope with the challenges ahead. Grundfos focused on initiatives supporting our 2020 strategy for a sustainable future, and these issues will remain priorities in the years to come.
Tangible results included working closely with key partners to bring safe water to more than 700,000 people and in collaboration with the humanitarian organisation ADRA International, we aim to help another 1.5 million people in the next five years alone.
As in previous years, we have calculated the annual electricity savings represented by the high-efficiency circulator pumps that we have sold in the EU since 2005. In 2017, these Grundfos solutions saved an estimated 6.6 billion kWh.
We’ve acted decisively on human rights. After revising our Code of Conduct in 2016, this year we launched Code of Conduct Training in which more than 85% employees worldwide took part.
We also increased our supplier audits from 15 to 97 audits and completed our first in-depth, on-site human rights assessment in Suzhou, China.
This year, our sales organically grew by 5.3%, the highest level ever. However, this achievement also meant our energy, water consumption and carbon emissions increased slightly. We also saw a slight rise in work-related injuries. We believe these results are no more than temporary aberration, but it has prompted us to thoroughly assess our approach. We will launch a safety incident management system in 2018 and accelerate efforts to lower energy and water consumption.
Transparency is trust
In 2016, we set out to improve our collection of data and our reporting. This transparency improves collective knowledge about complex topics, enabling collective action at a practical level. It aligns with our values – to be open and trustworthy.
We have supported the UN’s Global Compact principles since 2002 and will continue to do so. Our customers and the communities in which we operate know that they can trust us to observe the highest standards. We are determined to maintain that trust, and to conduct business in an ever-more sustainable way.
I am proud of our achievements, but there is so much more we need to do. It’s about more than pumps – it’s about our impact on the world of which we are a part.
As we grow our business in a changing world, we remain committed to developing the most energy and water-efficient solutions available, exploiting the opportunities offered by new technology for greater sustainability. We are determined to strengthen our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) #6 and #13, and to be an inclusive and diverse company. Every time we partner with customers to deliver sustainable, responsible products and solutions, we strengthen our belief that we can meet the needs of today without compromising future generations.
With that in mind, come and join us on a journey through our 2017 results.