Our understanding of responsibility includes standing up for our beliefs and sharing our expertise and experience. We at VAUDE not only want to make our own company as sustainable as possible, we also want to inspire others to pursue sustainability. We willingly draw public attention to these issues, join industry associations for sustainable solutions and take a stand in politics.
We firmly believe that, together, we can achieve truly sustainable solutions, which is why it is important for us to work persuasively where it counts the most. In many areas, for example legal regulations would ensure fairness in competition and thus promote sustainable innovation.
»Sustainability is a life issue for me. That is why I am also active on a political level.«
Antje von Dewitz, CEO
At VAUDE, no single department is expressly and solely responsible for activism on a political level. Because we are a mid-sized company, we do not consider this to be necessary.
Incorporating positive and negative insights
In our work, we often encounter factors along the way that hinder us from becoming 100 percent sustainable. By the same token, we also often experience things that help us. Based on this experience, we form our ideas about what political or social conditions need to be created so that sustainability can be more strongly established.
Within the company management and CSR Team, obstacles and opportunities as well as issues brought in from the outside are discussed and our stance on these issues is developed. We also consider where and how we are able to and are driven to bring the issues to the public in order to achieve change.
Because of our clear commitment to sustainability, we will continue to be asked to take a stand on such sustainability issues by political, economical and societal groupings.
Although we do not have a formalized management approach for political work, we do a great deal to advocate sustainability on a political level. This includes establishing contact with politicians as well as our active participation in branch associations.
VAUDE CEO, Antje von Dewitz, often leads issue-based dialogues with politicians in which she clearly takes a stance based on her convictions; for example, with Federal President Joachim Gauck and Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller on the theme “Sustainability and Germany’s contribution to globally sustainable development.”
We have been a member of the Economy for the Common Good since 2013 and a member of the federal government’s Partnership for Sustainable Textiles since 2014. Both are initiatives that are aligned with social and economic policy to achieve a responsible management by means of changing law.
VAUDE is actively involved in industry organizations, for example, in the “European Outdoor Group” (EOG) and the “Federation of German sporting goods industry e.V.” (BSI), in order to influence legislation at both the European and national levels. These groups are involved in issues such as PFC-uptake in REACH, DIN standards on sleeping bags, customs regulations and quotas for textile imports from China.
VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz and other executives and employees express their political positions to the media, such as regarding the advocacy of a gender quota for women.
Political groups and individuals, (i.e. party members, ministers, councilors, Federal judges, employees of the Ministry of Economic Affairs) frequently visit VAUDE to meet and share experiences and to seek input on regulatory conditions.
In 2015, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Chairman of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Group Chairman of Alliance 90 / The Greens) in the Bundestag, visited and intensively discussed the issue of good corporate management with Ante von Dewitz.