Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

The challenges of water consumption in the supply chain

Water is needed for nearly all steps of production. We do not currently have reliable data for our supply chain. We are relying on bluesign® and the Higg Index for making progress in this area in the supply chain.

Very little influence in the supply chain

The vast majority of our products are manufacturing elsewhere than in our production facility in Tettnang. In contrast to the situation at our company headquarters, VAUDE has very little influence over how water is dealt with in our upstream supply chain.
Thus far, we have no reliable data on water consumption in the supply chain. We also have no information about how much water is recycled or reused and which water sources are affected in our supply chain. Water is required for the textile production in almost all process steps:

Water is needed in nearly all process steps for textile manufacturing:

  • the cultivation of agricultural crops such as cotton
  • in the rearing of animals whose wool or feathers used such as sheep and geese
  • in the production of synthetic fibers such as polyester
  • in all washing and dyeing finishing and processes

There continues to be a lack of legal provisions on the designation of water consumption in the manufacturing of outdoor products.

Clean and transparent supply chain as a target

VAUDE commissions independent producers to manufacturer its goods. "We are trying, in fact, to influence the parameters of the materials to be processed in light of conservative use of water such as by using the bluesign® standard."

"Nevertheless, we must clearly recognize that our influence has been very limited in the supply chain for water issues thus far." It has not yet been possible to obtain reliable data on waste or wastewater consumption from producers and suppliers that would create a reference point for the manufacture of VAUDE products.

Urgent action needed

We know that we have an urgent need for action on this issue, both in terms of creating data transparency, as well as in terms of sanitation and waste management in the supply chain." We are pursuing these two strategic approaches: with the expansion of the bluesign® system and by using the Higg Index to build a database that collects all relevant environmental data - see "bluesign® system" and "Higg Index".

We are currently conducting a pilot project involving introducing an environmental management system at several of our suppliers. Under this "Environmental Stewardship Program", suppliers are also trained on how to deal with waste and effluents.

GRI:   G4-DMA water
Disclosure on Management Approach Wasser
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