Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

Suppliers as partners

VAUDE production sites and suppliers are contractually obligated to meet ecological standards with our MRSL. We work together in partnership based relationships to minimize environmental impact.

Environmental Stewardship Program for Suppliers

VAUDE is also consistently moving towards greater sustainability in the supply chain with awareness raising, training, and support in its Environmental Stewardship Program. We have already done a great deal of pioneering work in the industry and are on the right track.

»Our experience shows that suppliers are very willing to implement environmental technologies when they become aware of the dangers inherent in their older methods for people and the environment. Instead of simply testing finished products for hazardous substances, we are going down this truly sustainable path together with our suppliers. «

Bettina Roth, Head of Quality an Chemicals Management at VAUDE

Backgrounds and details here

Material manufacturing is often ecologically problematic

VAUDE differentiates in its supply chain between producers (manufacturers of ready-made clothing, Level 1) and material suppliers (Level 2). We only have a direct (contractual) business relationship with our producers. However, to a large extent, we also determine the selection of material suppliers – see "Our supply chain".

These materials are then assembled into finished VAUDE products (sewn, HF welded, etc.) at the production sites, which, of course, consumes energy, water and chemical additives, and results in waste, wastewater and emissions.

Pilot project for a higher level of environmental protection

The most serious environmental impacts, however, occur at the upstream stages of production: the manufacturing of textile materials and even further upstream to the cultivation of plant fibers or the mining of raw materials such as oil, from which synthetic fibers are obtained. 

These production steps are very resource intensive. The consumption of water, energy, materials and chemicals, as well as emissions such as wastewater and exhaust have a major impact on the environment and local populations.

Environmental Management System in the Supply Chain (Update: 18 November 2016)

Focusing on a higher level of environmental protection

Despite our current high standards, there is still much room for improvement in environmental and resource protection, in compliance with international environmental standards and the implementation of a systematic environmental management.

As a founding member of the federal government’s "Alliance for Sustainable Textiles" VAUDE is setting a good example and heading in the right direction: In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) VAUDE launched the project "Environmental Stewardship in the Textile Supply Chain" in 2015. Within the framework of the Deutsche Entwicklungsgesellschaft DEG, which promotes the “" program, VAUDE supports material suppliers in introducing sustainable systematic environmental protection and in continuing to improve the measures they already have in place.

More details on the project

Empowerment: Development assistance for self-help

The goal of the project is to raise awareness and the empowerment of selected VAUDE material suppliers in Asian procurement markets (e. g. Vietnam, China, Taiwan), so that they can more easily meet our environmental requirements.

The factories and their employees receive practical assistance for independently implementing measures with regards to corporate environmental and sustainability management. Helping them help themselves.

Workshop Chemicalmanagemant

We want the companies to recognize what advantages they have from clean production: healthier employees, higher product quality, better life conditions in the region, and last but not least, a reference as a qualified producer for international competition, which can be used for winning new customers.


Best Practice examples of participants and discussions with experts help to establish practical relevance for the facility and allay reservations for the participants.

How does the project work?

  1. Taking stock with supplier self-assessments and evaluation by VAUDE using external experts 
  2. Selection of ten pilot suppliers
  3. The creation of assistance and training materials (documents in local language, graphics, explanatory films)
  4. Implementation of training and individual consultations on-site in the local language
  5. Evaluation and anchoring of the results in the respective facilities, including responsibilities distributions and monitoring systems
  6. Promotion and strengthening of synergies through networking of suppliers among each other and with external experts, publication of findings from the project.

The project is very ambitious and scheduled for two years. After the end of the project term in the August 2017, we want to extend the project to the entire supply chain. We are trying to win other outdoor brands for this approach, to achieve a greater number of suppliers and thus together for even greater environmental protection in our supply chain

With this project, we were nominated for the CSR prize of the Federal Government, responsible supply chain management category.

Committed to compliance with standards

All VAUDE producers are contractually obligated to comply with ecological minimum standards. This includes, among other things, the Manufacturing Restricted Substance List - MRSL.

The VAUDE Material Policy allows us to preselect materials and technologies and influence the selection of our material suppliers. Because of the system partnerships that many of our material suppliers have with the bluesign® system and the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), we have a deep understanding of the situations, weaknesses and potential for development of most of our producers and material suppliers.

Selection and evaluation of VAUDE producers subject to a disciplined process that follows strict criteria (see also "Complex Supply Chain")

GRI:   G4-EN32
Percentage of new suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria
GRI:   G4-EN33
Significant actual and potential negative environmental impacts in the supply chain and actions taken
GRI:   G4-DMA Supplier Environmental Assessment
Disclosure on Management Approach Supplier Environmental Assessment
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