Society - Sustainability Report 2017/2018


„We are part of society and want to make a positive contribution to our shared future.“

Since Verzinkerei Zug was founded in 1913, the history of the city of Zug has been intertwined with that of our company. Over our company's long history, spanning more than a century, we have formed sustainable relationships with our immediate neighbours, civil society organizations and the municipal authorities. We participate in local and regional initiatives and associations covering the issues of water consumption, energy efficiency and healthy eating. We support cultural and charitable organizations in Zug and give the outside world an insight into what we do by holding open days and giving guided tours. V-ZUG's terms of employment explicitly allow the performance of public duties.

From Zug to the world at large
This close-knit network of contacts is a cornerstone of a business-friendly climate that will continue allowing us to compete on the international stage and take the “Swiss Made” label out into the world from our base in Zug. Our fundamental values, which have been enshrined in the Metall Zug Group Code of Conduct since mid-2016, lie at the very heart of everything we do as a business and in society: sustainable and long-term value creation, excellence and integrity in our business operations. The Code applies to all employees and directors. We also uphold these fundamental values and principles in our dealings with suppliers and are committed to the observance of human rights along our entire value chain. Respect for human rights is an explicit requirement in our contracts with suppliers.



Intergenerational project gaining momentum
On 8 May 2018, the city parliament of Zug unanimously approved the Technology Cluster Zug (TCZ) zoning plan. The development of our original site into an urban cluster for technology and innovation has thus overcome another major hurdle. As an anchor user, we initiated the TCZ but we need more companies, start-ups, institutions and uses so that, by 2040 and beyond, a networked and innovative biotope can emerge which will be a source of new impetus for us as an industrial company and will boost the profile of the city of Zug as a business and technology base. V-ZUG Realty Ltd plays an important role in this structure, since it is responsible for the development of the entire site. In addition, together with Wasserwerke Zug (WWZ), it is working on the energy supply of the future. Going forward, the Multi Energy Hub (MEH) will supply the site with CO2-neutral heating, cooling, electricity and biogas. “We completed the preliminary project for this in the spring of 2018. The conclusion was that the MEH is feasible from a structural, financial and energy perspective”, says V-ZUG Realty CEO, Beat Weiss. The power needed for heating and cooling will be obtained from groundwater wells that were constructed during the reporting period and from the lake water from the WWZ’s Circulago district heating system. Lastly, gas boilers with biogas are available to accommodate peaks in demand and PV units on roofs and frontages for electricity. V-ZUG Realty is also breaking new ground in its cooperation with the city of Zug: “We report annually on key sustainability figures which demonstrate that the TCZ is developing in line with our common targets. Even this is groundbreaking”, Beat Weiss proudly states.

Innovation park as V-ZUG laboratory
Based loosely on Samuel Beckett’s famous words, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better”, members of the Innovationspark Zentralschweiz are following the “open innovation” philosophy, according to which the fast creation, testing and production of prototypes is paramount. Last year, the association, which is an important innovation lab for us headed by our CEO Dirk Hoffmann, further enhanced its reputation. At the Suurstoffi site in Rotkreuz, partners from business, academia and the public sector are working together on concrete problems in the three innovation fields of Digital Planning and Building, the Internet of Things, and Energy and Sustainability. We are, for example, working with partners in the home technology sector to develop the kitchen of the future, which will double as an energy hub. The work of an interdisciplinary team which, in a very short time, developed an app which connects household appliances with your smartphone and enables customers to use applications ranging from recipe suggestions to ordering items, is already complete. The Innovation Park is expected to finally move from pilot to operational phrase in January 2019. In future, it will help us break out of our existing silos and completely rethink products and solutions.