Germany has some of the strictest environmental legislation worldwide. We all benefit from it: clean water, clean air and fertile soils are just as important to us as safe and healthy products. Images of dense smog in Beijing, tar sands mining in Canada or burning rainforests illustrate the fact that is not just a matter of course the world over.
German and EU environmental laws are democratically legitimized and therefore enjoy widespread acceptance by the population and business enterprises. Violating these regulations not only involves a large financial risk but is also a risk for a company's reputation.
In some of our production countries, there is often either no such far-reaching environmental legislation, or - such as in China - the fulfillment of the strict rules is not sufficiently demanded and monitored.
And even though we would not be held liable, VAUDE is responsible for its supply chain and we would be exposed to a high reputational risk if our suppliers violated national regulations in the countries of production. One example is the Greenpeace environmental organization’s Detox Campaign.
»We cannot afford to violate applicable regulations. Not only because of our reputation, but even more so, because of our own convictions. We often go far beyond legal requirements when it comes to environmental protection and social responsibility.«
In the supply chain, the verification of compliance with all environmental legislation and labor standards, laws and regulations is almost impossible – especially since we work almost exclusively with independent producers. Nevertheless, we take this issue very seriously. In the supply chain, we rely on the information provided by our suppliers and the monitoring carried out by the bluesign® system when it comes to environmental regulations.
Many of our suppliers are bluesign® system partners. The bluesign® system checks compliance with all applicable environmental legislation in the respective country of production. We are unaware of any cases in which our suppliers or their subcontractors have demonstrated violations against environmental laws that led to fines or non-monetary sanctions. More info - bluesign® system.
In the area of labor standards, laws and regulations, we trust the monitoring by the Fair Wear Foundation in our supply chain. As a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, we are committed to compliance with minimum standards based on the "International Labor Organization" (ILO) in all production facilities around the world. In 2015 we had 99 percent of our production sites audited by the Fair Wear Foundation. More info: "Fair Wear Foundation"
Our products have to conform with many different laws, regulations and standards. These can include, for example, requirements for textile labeling, specifications for product safety (such as standards for straps or cord in children’s clothing) and REACH, which regulates the use of chemicals. For this purpose, we are involved in various associations and working groups in order to be informed of all changes at an early stage and to incorporate them into our products and product specifications.
We see ourselves as a socially active company; this is embedded in our values and principles. This means that we not only adhere to legal requirements for our product range and environmental standards, but also meet labor standards, laws and regulations. We want to give our employees the assurance that VAUDE complies with all provisions of labor law – for example, we do not tolerate discrimination in the workplace.
To establish legal certainty we use various external sources and depend upon the advice of outside experts in different areas and fields. These include, among others: memberships in associations such as GermanFashion, Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikel-Industrie e.V., Dialog Textil Bekleidung, European Outdoor Group, etc. and partnerships such as the bluesign® system partnership.
From these sources we obtain current information on legislative changes or amendments to other rules. This also includes information about legal requirements in our production countries. In labor law issues, we work with a law firm that specializes in employment law.