Production, distribution and consumption of energy in its various forms have dire ecological impacts: the depletion of limited, non-renewable resources like oil, gas or coal is negatively encroaching on ecosystems.
As a company, we have a shared responsibility to use energy sparingly and switch to alternative sources such as wind generation power.
Time and again, the distribution of energy leads to social conflicts, such as the Russian natural gas pipeline through Ukraine or the war in Iraq.
The more independent we are of such energy sources as a company, the less our economic risk, and of course our moral "complicity" in such conflicts as well.
It is hard to believe that 1.5 German nuclear power plants alone are needed to generate electricity for the stand-by operation of electrical equipment. With the amount of electricity wasted in Germany for stand-by power, 5 million households could be powered for an entire year.
The economical use of energy is just as much of a given for VAUDE as the use of renewable energy for electricity and heat.
VAUDE achieved 100% renewable energy in electricity and gas consumption in 2014.
Because our waterproof bags production facility burned down in April 2015 due to lightning strike and was temporarily moved to a rented building, we had to use the (non-renewable) energy provided by the landlord for electricity and heating. This is the reason why the electricity consumption fell by 88% and heating consumption by 92% at the company headquarter in 2016.
Thanks to renewable electricity and gas, the percentage of renewable energy from total energy consumption is 50%. The rest is from electricity and gas in the rented building, heating oil, and, in particular, fuel for the company's vehicles as described above. Unfortunately, there is currently still no way to avoid using diesel and petrol from fossil energy.
The total energy consumption of VAUDE at the company headquarters in Obereisenbach increased just 8% compared to the base year 2013.
At the same time, the amount of products manufactured here since 2013 rose by 39%. Energy consumption per ton of production output fell by 24% compared with the base year 2013, partially because we were able to use our machines more efficiently.
We were able to reduce our energy consumption per employee by 6% compared to 2013.
Compared to 2015, we used 3% more energy at a production output growth rate of 9 % in 2016. This means that we were able to reduce our energy consumption per ton of production output by 8%. And compared to 2015, we were able to reduce our energy consumption per employee by 5%.
As a result, we succeeded in decoupling our resource consumption from the growth of the company with the help of our Energy Management System after the conversion in 2014 and 2015, which had led to an increase in energy consumption. The variety of our energy management activities is really making a difference – from the use of renewable energy, to energy conservation, and our own photovoltaic system.
After a fire in our manufacturing facility in 2015, we built a new building in 2016 which includes LED lighting, triple glazing and high-grade insulation for maximum energy efficiency. In addition, plenty of natural wood and ecological materials ensure comfortable, healthy workplaces. More at "Made in Germany".
In 2014 and 2015, VAUDE renovated a part of the building that had been used as a warehouse, in accordance with DGNB- standards (German Sustainable Building Council), to make offices. In this context, the entire administration building was modernized and energy efficiency played a prominent role in this process. The building has attained a very high energy efficiency standard due to better insulation and clever lighting solutions, as well as DGNB Silver Certification. More at: "Future-oriented working environment".
In addition to the environmental impact, energy consumption also has a high impact on the profitability of the company: the higher the energy consumption, the higher the costs.