Search Report
2015 Sustainability Report
published 2016/07/13

Material aspects of "sustainability based on conviction"

Materiality is our guiding principle in the selection of issues for this report in accordance with the GRI guidelines. This report should describe the impact of our actions and the interests of our stakeholders while reflecting our values and goals: sustainability based on conviction.

Clearly defined process for determining materiality

This report contains all relevant information on issues during the reporting period and an outlook on effects and issues of future material aspects. The selection of aspects is based on our experience and our level of knowledge; we have not deliberately omitted any information that could be important to our stakeholders.

We aligned ourselves with the following principles for the selection of report content:

  • Materiality
  • Sustainability Context
  • Completeness
  • Involvement / consideration of stakeholders

Selection based on the list of all GRI G4 Aspects

In order to create a complete report, we began our process of materiality by looking at the complete list of GRI G4 Aspects. GRI Guidelines are divided into categories; each category is then divided into aspects. Within each aspect, there are several indicators that describe the economic, environmental and social performance of a company. In the selection process for each aspect, we looked at whether there were impacts within the organization and outside of it.

Material aspects determined in a team

The material aspects of this report were identified in a company-wide team. Team members were employees in key positions who are concerned with sustainability issues and have contact with our stakeholder groups (e.g. human resources, environmental management officer, sustainability communicators, product line implementation). In preparation for our team meetings, those in charge made a pre-assessment with regard to materiality.

Point system for evaluating materiality

We defined three evaluation areas that each had various subordinate aspects.

1. "Influence on the assessments and decisions of stakeholders"

  • Expectations of the stakeholders in regards to measures and reaction for the aspect
  • Expectations in regards to transparency for the aspect

2. "The importance of economic, environmental and social / societal impact"

  • The likelihood of an impact
  • The severity of an impact
  • The opportunity for the aspect to cause growth or bring advantages

These areas were rated per aspect and subsection numbers (3 = low, 2 = medium, 1 = high). This resulted in a clustering of topics:

3. “Are stakeholders with Priority 1 affected by this aspect?”

First we classified our stakeholders (more at These are Our Stakeholders) as Priority 1, 2 and 3 and then re-examined whether one, two, or more stakeholders with Priority 1 were affected by each aspect.

This third area was also given a numerical rating per aspect and subsection:
(3 = none, 2 = one, 1 = several Priority 1 stakeholders were affected.)

This resulted in a grouping of issues:

  • Material Priority 1 issues: 6-9 points
  • Material, but not a key issue in this report: 10 – 13 points
  • Non material, not reported on: 14-18 points

The estimates are based largely on the experience of the person responsible, as well as the discussion in the group. We verified individual aspects on the basis of figures, for example, spending on locally based suppliers. For each aspect we also assessed whether the effects occurred within or outside of the organization.

Finally, the results were discussed with the Executive Board (of which Jan Lorch, Chief Officer of Sales and CSR is also a member) and the aspects were again reviewed by the Executive Board.

The results of our materiality analysis can be found here.

Issues of importance to our stakeholders

In the definition of material aspects that define the content of this report, we took into account issues that were raised by stakeholders. An example of this: the higher emphasis on the aspect Transport, as this is an issue that plays a greater role in public perception than the actual impact would justify.

We selected the most important future challenges for the outdoor industry, as shown by working in industry associations, relevant laws and voluntary agreements, such as the Fair Wear Foundation’s "Code of Labour Practices" and sustainability impacts that were identified by professional reviews, such as biodiversity at our company location in Tettnang-Obereisenbach.

Active inclusion of our stakeholders

We have taken the interests of our stakeholders into account in a stakeholder analysis – "These are our stakeholders".

In 2014, we surveyed our employees and external stakeholders regarding our first GRI report (report year 2013). The feedback on the relevance of the individual aspects was incorporated into the materiality analysis and the preparation of the second report (report year 2014).

The survey showed that our stakeholders view those aspects that we identified as material aspects also as either very important or important. The question as to whether material aspects were missing in our report showed that while we covered the most important aspects, we should take some issues on more fully. We have implemented these suggestions in this report. For example in the “Materials” section, we report comprehensively about the origin of our materials and the compliance with environmental standards when selecting materials. In the "Environmental Impact" section, we are reporting on how we, together with our producers, have taken a stand for the use of green standards in production.

The detailed survey results can be found here.

Comparing material aspects with company goals

The aspects identified as material were compared with and assigned to the corporate goals – see "Our goals in detail". This makes a direct link with the company strategy visible.

Our business goals

  • We are economically independent and financially viable.
  • We are transparent and authentic.
  • Our products are sustainable and innovative.
  • Our business is holistically focused on environmental friendliness.
  • We implement high environmental standards in the supply chain.
  • Our employees are satisfied and we are an attractive employer.
  • We implement high social standards in the supply chain.

In "Our Goals in Detail" we have documented in detail, which aspects are assigned to each company goals. We report on what we have accomplished for each goal in the past year, and where we are still working on improvements.

In the sections "Our Sustainability Strategy" we represent our understanding of sustainable development on each subject and what long-term strategy we are pursuing as a company in the field of sustainability. Furthermore, we report the challenges we are facing at our site in Tettnang-Obereisenbach and what issues are particularly relevant in the supply chain.

Aspects in line with our corporate values

We have also concentrated on issues arising from our corporate values, our strategy, as well as the risks and opportunities that arise for us and our goals, and reflected the interests and expectations of our closest stakeholders such as our employees, partners and producers.

GRI:   G4-17
List all entities included in the organization’s consolidated financial statements or equivalent documents.
GRI:   G4-18
Explain the process for defining the report content and the Aspect Boundaries.
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