Unless specified further, the management approaches described in the four sections on our priorities include V-ZUG Ltd with its head office at the Zug site, V-ZUG Cooling Technology Ltd with head office in Arbon and the foreign subsidiaries, in particular V-ZUG (Changzhou) Special Components Co. Ltd., west of Shanghai. Unless otherwise indicated, the key sustainability figures refer to the Swiss production sites in Zug and Arbon and the site in Changzhou. They cover the period from July 2016 to June 2019 (three years). Key figures which relate to the Swiss market, irrespective of the organizational unit, are indicated as such.
* As no individual EBIT figures are published for V-ZUG Ltd, the figure for the whole Household Appliances division is shown here.
** The base year has been changed to 2016/2017 due to the availability of data for the full scope of the report (V-ZUG Ltd, V-ZUG Cooling Technology Ltd, V-ZUG Changzhou Special Components Co.).
Key figures Products and Services
Majority of appliances have energy efficiency class A and above
In 2018/2019, around 78 % of our appliances delivered met European energy efficiency class A or higher. This is 2.5 % fewer than in the prior period. However, this is due to the reclassification of data in connection with the switch to SAP: although appliances delivered to the USA satisfy energy efficiency class A or higher, since this reporting period they have been assigned to the “no energy efficiency class” group. Were it not for this reclassification, the percentage of appliances delivered which meet energy efficiency class A or higher would have risen by 0.5 %.
It should be borne in mind that there is no official European energy efficiency classification for certain product categories. At V-ZUG, this mainly affects hobs, warming drawers and microwaves. Moreover, not every appliance category can be awarded a classification higher than A (i.e. A+ to A+++). The appliances in class C are hoods, usage of which is relatively low compared with other household appliances. Of the appliances we manufacture ourselves, 100 % have the label A, A+, A++ or A+++.
Sharp fall in faults
For our customers, faulty household appliances are a nuisance. For us, they also have financial implications: repairs and maintenance services which we carry out under warranty or as a goodwill gesture incur quality-related costs. To counter this, we continuously invest in optimized products and manufacturing and logistics processes. Compared with 2015/2016, the number of faults recorded by us fell by 22 % during the reporting period.
Slightly longer response time
If a fault does occur, our aim is to respond swiftly and, if at all possible, resolve the issue on our first visit. Speed of response and successful repair on the first visit are therefore crucial statistics for our service and support. We have steadily reduced our average response time in recent years. In this reporting period, we were unable to do this because of the switch to SAP. However, the system issues which arose have now been rectified and stabilized. In this reporting period, the rate of faults repaired on first visit was once again around 90 %, i.e. we are able to resolve nine out of ten faults on the spot.
Key figures Employees
Part-time: a growing trend
In the 2018/2019 reporting year, 1,803 people were employed at V-ZUG (72 of them temporary workers). 82% of our employees work full-time. The percentage of part-time employees rose by 1.2% compared with the 2017/2018 reporting period. Part-time working is a very strong trend on the labour market. Reflecting this, we are receiving more internal requests and expressions of interest in applications. In Switzerland, around 17% of employees on permanent contracts are aged under 30, 52% between 30 and 50, and 32% over 50. We deliberately cover the full range of ages from 16 to 65. Furthermore, V-ZUG is actively involved in the awareness campaign “Age has potential”, run by the Canton of Zug.
Women still underrepresented
Last year , the percentage of women was around 22%, which was slightly higher than 2017/2018. With taster courses for school students, flexible working hours and models (see interview “Dynamic duo”) and initiatives such as “parents@ work” and the V-ZUG Women’s Network, we are shaping a corporate culture of equal opportunities. The share of women at executive level has risen further. However, at around 18%, women are still underrepresented at management level. We arrange external audits of equal pay every four years (most recently in 2016) and our certificate in accordance with L&M-Aba-24® , which is also valid for four years, confirms the non-discriminatory remuneration of our employees.
Rise in staff turnover
In 2018/2019 we welcomed 204 new employees to V-ZUG and 159 people left our company in the same period. This equates to a turnover rate (excluding retirements) of 9.5%. Turnover has increased by 0.8%p. compared with 2017/2018. Voluntary turnover, however, has remained consistently below 5% in recent years. We believe that the slightly upward trend in overall turnover over recent years is to do with the process of transformation at our company, as this impacts on work processes and organization, as well as areas and content of work.
Occupational accidents and absenteeism rate consistently low
We recorded 69 work-related accidents at V-ZUG during the reporting period. This is a fall of around 30% compared with the prior period, due to a sharp drop in minor accidents (e.g. bruises, cuts etc. entailing absence of less than three days). Accordingly, the share of minor accidents in work-related accidents has decreased to around 35%. The absenteeism rate, i.e. the hours lost due to work-related accidents as a percentage of all hours worked, decreased by 0.08%p. during the reporting year compared with the previous year. Minor accidents most commonly occur in production and service and are mainly due to carelessness or stressful situations. Occupational safety is and will remain one of our key quality concerns, as work-related accidents are a cause of both physical suffering and financial costs. Therefore, we remain committed to targeted information and training to raise awareness among our employees and encourage them to take personal responsibility.
Slight decrease in hours lost
Hours lost due to work-related accidents, non work-related accidents and illness increased by 7.2% compared with the prior period. Around 80% of all hours of absence are attributable to illness. The sharpest rise has been in hours lost due to non work-related accidents (+19.0%). This general increase is mainly attributable to two causes: firstly, more people are working at V-ZUG, which automatically leads to more total hours lost. Secondly, 2018 and 2019 were both exceptionally challenging and difficult years for all employees, which can lead to more stress-related incidences of illness.
Key figures Energy and Climate
Rise in absolute energy consumption
In 2018/2019, absolute energy consumption within the organization was 113.1 terajoules. That figure is made up of electricity (41.6 %), natural gas and biogas (27.1 %), diesel (23.4 %) and petrol (0.03 %) for our own fleet of vehicles (including trucks), and heating oil (7.9 %). Energy consumption rose by 3.0 % compared with the prior year, but fell by 3.2 % compared with 2016/2017. This is because, in 2017/2018, we lowered the temperature in the manufacturing halls in Arbon, on a trial basis. However, as the lower temperatures were very unpleasant for employees and also impaired the bonding properties of the adhesives, the heating system was turned up again during this reporting period.
CO2 emissions increasing
In 2017/2018, our business operations caused 4,698 tonnes of energy-related CO2 emissions. These are comprised of diesel (41.4 %), natural gas (32.3 %), heating oil (14.0 %), petrol (0.05 %) and electricity (12.2 %). At the Zug site, electricity (which we have sourced entirely from Swiss hydroelectric power since 2014) causes zero emissions. CO2 emissions have therefore risen by 2.4 % compared with the prior period. This development is due in part to heating oil consumption in Arbon.