At VAUDE, environmental protection is an essential element in our corporate values and goals. Our goals are to work holistically and systematically to minimize the environmental impact of our products and our business practices.
This process entails environmental-protection issues being fully integrated into all company processes. We also need to invest in technical improvements. In addition, VAUDE employees on the CSR Team work on environmental and social issues with predetermined quotas position in their departments. See also CSR Team as a Driving Force for Sustainability.
EMAS stands for "Eco-Management and Audit Scheme" and is one of the European Union's environmental policy instruments. EMAS is an environmental management system that helps companies anchor environmental protection firmly in all business processes. An independent environmental auditor annually verifies all published environmental data, whether the company is meeting its own standards, the evaluation of direct and indirect environmental standards as well as the suitability of the company’s environmental goals.
To become EMAS certified, we must disclose our environmental goals and report on the direct and indirect environmental impacts of our activities. An accredited independent environmental auditor then verifies this annually updated environmental statement. We have successfully passed this test every year since 2008 and are therefore EMAS certified and qualify for the EMAS logo.
VAUDE has an equal obligation to both economic and environmental responsibility. As a mountain sports supplier, it is important to us to protect the “playing field” of our customers and our employees - the great outdoors.
We are committed to the long-term, sustainable use of nature and to active environmental protection:
- by means of resource conserving economic activity in our administrative department and production
- by using renewable energy and investing in the preservation of biodiversity
- by using innovative, environmentally friendly materials and by recycling
- by means of environmentally friendly production techniques
- by means of active environmental policies in professional associations and collaborative environmental protection projects
- by collaborating with environmental associations, universities and public projects such as the Deutschen Nachhaltigkeitskodex (German Sustainability Code).
Our environmental activism reaches far beyond basic legal requirements. We are continuously expanding our commitment to the environment. And environmental management is a management issue at VAUDE.
In addition to the CSR expenditures listed above, we employ three personnel who work on site in Asia with the Fair Wear Foundation and supervise the project, Environmental Management in the Supply Chain. These employees are not included in this reporting as they are related to a subsidiary of VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co in China as well as a representative office in Vietnam.
Nevertheless, it remains difficult to monetarily express the value of all CSR activities at VAUDE. The positions mentioned above do not include non-quantifiable activities, but these also play an important role.
They primarily include additional costs of materials with a higher level of sustainability in product development, which leads to lower margins and lower profits. Also included are presentations and lectures held by Antje von Dewitz and her team on CSR issues as well as the many ongoing efforts of employees who are not permanent members of the CSR team concerning the ecological optimization of their working operations.
In 2014 VAUDE participated in a research study conducted by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen as a project partner. In this study, a benchmark figure was developed which companies could use to put a monetary value on their CSR activities and relate this to their turnover, number of employees or other variables: the CSR Quota.
We expected to obtain a methodology that we could put into practice and use to better quantify our CSR in this report, for example. We carefully analyzed and discussed the results of the study with the Zeppelin University. It was found that the CSR Quota was not meaningfully applicable as a method for us. The reason lies in the fact that we are convinced that the sustainability of a company increases the more it is integrated into daily business. In the CSR Quota, highly integrated aspects can, however, hardly be calculated because they cannot be cleanly defined as a pure CSR costs. We are therefore continuing to search for a suitable methodology. In the meantime, we will continue to use our projected budget to report on this issue.