Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

Why biodiversity is important to us

We manufacture products that our customers use not only for sports, but also to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. So of course, conserving biodiversity is important to us.

Underestimated risk

Bio...what? is a question we are often asked when the VAUDE CSR Team holds talks on this issue. What is meant by this term, and why is biodiversity so important for VAUDE?

The term biodiversity derives from the Greek word “bio” which means “life”. “Diversity” means “variety” or “plurality”. Biodiversity, then, means the variety of plant and animal life on Earth.

Biodiversity refers to: 

  • Species diversity: diversity within different plant and animal species
  • Habitat diversity: diversity of all habitats
  • Genetic diversity: diversity within individual species that serves as a way for populations to adapt to changing environments making them more likely to survive

Reduced biodiversity is just as big a threat to our planet as climate change. Every day, approximately 100 species become extinct.

What “value” does biodiversity have?

At the International Convention on Biological Diversity (, many countries around the world have pledged to curb the rapid loss of biodiversity. Since the international community didn’t reach its own goals by 2010, the G8 countries, together with five large developing countries, initiated "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity", TEEB study.

The TEEB study assigns a market price to biodiversity and all the services that it provides to humanity – such as food, water, renewable resources – a market price. The actual value of biodiversity can then be expressed in monetary terms and incorporated into economic decision-making processes, such as in corporate or economic policies.

Antje von Dewitz

VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz is a member of the advisory board of “Naturkapital Deutschland - TEEB.DE” 

Interview with Antje von Dewitz (German)

The loss of biodiversity

The main causes of the rapid loss of biodiversity include land use and land consumption by humans. This results in:

  • the destruction of natural habitats
  • climate change
  • nutrient loading and pollution, such as from industry and agriculture 
  • invasive species

Invasive plant and animal species that are not originally native to the affected locations can spread very quickly due to their great adaptability. As a result, they displace many sensitive native species, many of which other species depended upon – for example, as a food source, as a symbiotic community (such as fungi that can only grow with certain trees) or as a habitat.

What the textile and outdoor industry can do

Organic cotton

The textile and outdoor industry also contributes to a loss of biodiversity. At the stage when materials are selected for VAUDE products, the first negative effects can already be felt on biodiversity. For example, the cultivation of organic cotton contributes to a less significant loss of habitat than growing conventional cotton because fewer herbicides and pesticides are used.

Of course, the manufacturing and processing of materials also have consequences for biodiversity. The negative impacts on biodiversity can be reduced with resource-efficient production – for example, by using less water and chemicals.

Endangered species on VAUDE company premises

The location and size of sealed surfaces at production facilities, administrative buildings, offices and warehouses also have a direct influence on the environment. Four of 13 endangered regional species exist at our headquarters. We are working on their behalf to maintain their habitat.

»Tettnang-Obereisenbach is located in the biogeographic transitional area between the Lake Constance basin and the West Allgäu hills. With 83 target species (animals), the municipality exhibits a very high species potential that is above average for Baden-Württemberg municipalities.

Thirteen species are classified as Category A Species, which means they are at risk for extinction – usually nationwide. Where they still can be found, these species are primarily isolated, predominantly unstable or acutely threatened. Immediate conservation assistance is needed for these species. The majority of the species of this category living in the Tettnang-Obereisenbach municipality can be found in small areas in natural bogs that are currently being maintained as wild flower meadows.«

From: Der Biodiversitäts-Check am Beispiel Tettnang-Obereisenbach, Dr. U. Schuckert und T. Friedemann, BWGZ 10/2012

GRI:   G4-DMA Biodiversity
Disclosure on Management Approach Biodiversity
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