Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

In constructive and active dialog

Dialog with our stakeholders provides us with ideas on how we can continue to improve our company and gives us the opportunity to involve our stakeholders in the value-oriented VAUDE community.

Working together to find the best solutions

We at VAUDE are open and interested in partner-based dialog with our stakeholders. We believe that by working together, we can make a bigger difference than working alone. Therefore, we address important issues and concerns in dialogs with our stakeholders.

»We want to use active dialog with our stakeholders in order to learn and actively involve them in the value-oriented community of VAUDE.«

Lisa Fiedler, Corporate Development and CSR

We have drawn valuable insights about how we can improve our company from discussions with these stakeholders – an example:

Four Paws is working to eliminate the practices of live-plucking down and force-feeding geese. VAUDE has made a clear commitment: we use only down from slaughtered animals.

Triggered by the campaign, we found out that we could not guarantee 100% control over the conditions. We have therefore commissioned an independent organization with auditing our entire supply chain for down. See also "Lightweight heat storage - wonder of nature".

Want to know whom we’re talking with and what structures for dialog we have? Then read further...

Exchanges and further development with internal stakeholders

Our employees are our most important resource. This is why we have implemented a variety of systematic events for dialog on different levels.
  • We discuss strategic issues and planning with our management team in quarterly meetings.
  • We survey our employees regularly in a variety of formats – more at "Satisfied employees are motivated". 
  • Once a year we organize an interactive company event during which we learn about and discuss current issues at VAUDE. 
  • In 2016 we selected an employee representative committee. Five elected employees and now an active liaison between employees and the management and discuss issues on an as-needed basis.
  • Together with our employees, we are continuing to develop our organization. Restructuring doesn’t take place from the top down, but with the involvement of those affected. More at "Culture of trust". 
  • For 2017 we are planning an interactive workshop with interested employees on the development of our personnel strategy. 
  • Twice a year a strategic exchange with shareholders during the shareholder meeting takes place – more at “Antje von Dewitz at the summit”.

Interactive dialog with retailers

Our sport goods retailers are our most important multipliers and our best link to our customers. With the Green Shape Campus and an annual Retailer’s Breakfast, we have set up a systematic opportunity for exchanging information with retailers.

In 2016 we provided training on sustainability issues for 123 salespeople at our Green Shape Campus and discussed sustainability management at VAUDE. The results of these discussions were incorporated in the company through our sustainability team.

Green Shape Campus topics:

Sustainable products and their significance for retail trade

  • Complex products, global supply chain 
  • Green materials and technologies such as recycled materials, fluorocarbon-free DWR, down
  • Good working conditions in Asia – what’s involved? 
  • The Fair Wear Foundation and the principle of shared responsibility
  • The bluesign® system
  • Climate change and climate protection – what does it have to do with us... and how do we communicate this to our customers? 

VAUDE – the environmentally friendly outdoor outfitter

  • The “green thread” at VAUDE: sustainability as a business model 
  • VAUDE Green Shape: eco-friendly, functional products made from sustainable materials 
  • Quality with system and labor 
  • Durability of VAUDE products: product design, maintenance and care, 2nd hand and repair services 
  • Made in Germany: the VAUDE Manufaktur product facility

Dialog Workshop

  • How can we successfully and authentically communicate the issue of sustainability in stores? 
  • How do you value the sustainability management at VAUDE and what expectations do you have regarding the issue at VAUDE? 

In 2016 we also organized two sustainability breakfasts with retailers. Together we worked on the issue of how we can successfully and authentically communicate sustainability issues in retail stores. The essential input to come out of this dialog was incorporated as inspiration in our sustainability communications.

Dialog on equal footing with producers and suppliers

We are in close communication with our producers, particularly regarding social issues. We are working on establishing dialog on environmental issues with producers and material suppliers.

In the supply chain, we have so far only established systematic findings procedure for social issues - read more about the "Findings Procedure". Environmental issues can also be addressed through this channel, but the awareness of employees in the supply chain has so far not been very pronounced.

We still need to take action in this area: in the supply chain, the awareness of both the management and the employees of the individual companies on environmental issues is of paramount importance. For us, it would be valuable and helpful to directly identify possible complaints from the manufacturing companies of local residents, employees of companies or even NGOs.

In a pilot project, we are currently implementing an environmental management system at various suppliers. Suppliers are also trained on these subjects within the scope of the "Environmental Stewardship Program".

Constructive dialog with experts, politicians, banks and initiatives

In the last two years, we have established systematic dialog with external stakeholders. In 2016, the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment and the dialog workshop with environmental experts on the subject of environmental management in the supply chain were particularly important.
  • Over the past few years, we have established a strong network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and initiatives with which we maintain a lively exchange. For example with Greenpeace on the topic of chemical-free clothing. Of course, this doesn’t protect us from being criticized publicly. While this is not particularly enjoyable, most NGOs have legitimate concerns. We try to sit down and jointly explore where VAUDE should start in order to achieve improvements. We achieved a great milestone with the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment 2016.

  • In 2016, we organized a Dialogue Workshop with representatives from our environmental stakeholder groups on environmental management in the supply chain and evaluated our pilot project with the experts. Representatives of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), the European Outdoor Group and the Federation of German Sports Goods Industry (BSI) were all included. The results flow into the continued development of the project – more at "Suppliers as partners".


»This project precisely identifies sticking points in the supply chain: building awareness and competence in the Far East. Together, we should tackle this issue in the industry. VAUDE deserves great credit for being a pioneer in this issue.«

Nicole Espey, Executive Director of the Federation BSI

»We believe that the combination of knowledge transfer and awareness of environmental and sustainability issues are instrumental for improving working conditions in one of the largest and most important industries in developing countries. We are pleased to be supporting VAUDE in this pilot project.«

Yvonne Veth, Investment Manager DEG
  • VAUDE's management board meets with the Tettnanger Municipal Council annually to talk about VAUDE’s influence in the region – see "Creating value through commitment". 

  • The management board meets regularly with VAUDE’s banks to discuss strategic issues. 

Comprehensive stakeholder analysis as a basis for dialog

We prepared a comprehensive stakeholder analysis for the preparation of our first GRI Report 2013. An interdisciplinary team with members from other companies in the industry identified our stakeholder groups, their key concerns and how they are included – "Who are our stakeholders?".

GRI:   G4-25
Report the basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage.
GRI:   G4-26
Report the organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group, and an indication of whether any of the engagement was undertaken specifically as part of the report preparation process.
GRI:   G4-27
Report key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement,and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns,including through its reporting.Report the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns.
GRI:   G4-EN34
Number of grievances about environmental impacts filed, addressed, and resolved through formal grievance mechanisms
GRI:   G4-DMA Environmental Grievance Mechanisms
Report why the Aspect is material. Report the impacts that make this Aspect material. Report how the organization manages the material Aspect or its impacts. Report the evaluation of the management approach, including: The mechanisms for evaluating the efectiveness of the management approach. The results of the evaluation of the management approach. Any related adjustments to the management approach
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