Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

Increased sales with environmentally friendly products

Economic growth balanced with human well-being and the natural world: We are delighted to be able to show that a company can engage in environmentally and socially responsible business yet still be successful. We want to give our employees the chance to participate in this success: they can share in the company in the form of profit participation certificates so that working together, we can strengthen the financial independence of VAUDE.

Sustainable business is worth it

Our business figures show that our economic activity is sustainable.

Our revenues are growing at above-average rates

Sales performance for the 2016 fiscal year grew at 7.0% (2015: 3.5%, 2014: 1.7%, 2013: 7.3%) of gross sales revenue compared to the previous year.
VAUDE is not subject to disclosure requirements. For competitive reasons, we have chosen not to publish any figures on economic performance.

VAUDE Growth Rates

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Graphic comment: VAUDE's domestic and international growth rates (not including outlet stores and manual billing)

This shows that VAUDE is experiencing above average growth in a stagnating market. This can also be seen in direct comparisons with the European outdoor market based on growth rates of the European Outdoor Group (EOG).

EOG growth rates compared to VAUDE (EOG countries only)

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European champion for sustainable business

In May 2017 VAUDE was awarded the European Business Award in "Environmental & Corporate Sustainability" and recognized as one of the eleven best European companies. This honor is another milestone on our path to becoming Europe’s most sustainable outdoor outfitter. 

»The EBA has reaffirmed that our sustainability philosophy is an economic success factor. I am really pleased that we were distinguished among this large international group of applicants. The award goes to the team for its tremendous achievement because sustainability is teamwork and there are just so many people involved throughout the company.«

Antje von Dewitz, CEO

Our inventory turnover rate has increased

In the past few years we have also achieved good sales and were able to maintain our cost structure. Our inventory turnover increased by a value of 4.6 in 2016.

Cost Structure 2016

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Graphic comment: Compared to the previous year, distribution of costs didn't change significantly in 2016

All covenants maintained

Banks are key stakeholders for VAUDE. The company’s financing options are determined based on their ratings. As part of our bank financing, we undertake to comply with covenant requirements. These include figures such as the equity ratio and debt ratio. In 2016, we were able to maintain all requirements.

Thomas Kind, Director, Head of the Corporate Finance Center Department for Sparkassen, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg:

“As a Sparkassen Finance Group, we have been accompanying VAUDE on their road to success for decades. In our eyes, VAUDE is an outstanding example of how, as a family-owned company, you can successfully and symbiotically harmonize both environmental and social values with business objectives. This is balanced sustainability.”

The share of liabilities decreased in 2016 compared to 2015

Our economic equity ratio was 47.5% on 31.12.2016 (2015: 47.7%; 2014: 39.2%, 2013: 36.4%); the share of liabilities on the balance sheet on 31.12.2016 was 66.5% (2015: 67.1%; 2014: 69.2%, 2013: 73.8%).

This shows that we were able to maintain our economic equity ratio close to the previous year and reduce the percent of liabilities.

VAUDE issues profit participation certificates for employees

We want to allow our employees to participate in the success of the company and work together to strengthen VAUDE’s financial independence. This is the motivation behind the idea of issuing securities in the form of participation certificates. We can increase our financial independence and, at the same time, offer employees the possibility to share in the company as shareholders with attractive conditions. In 2016 a design concept was created. 

When we began to implement the plan at the beginning of 2017, great interest was shown and the first tranche were already completely awarded. 

Further development of the concept is planned for next year.

Our commitment to sustainability motivates us

We at VAUDE recognize a special responsibility towards human well-being and the natural world. Our focus is on the goal of keeping the company as sustainable as possible while creating secure and attractive jobs for our employees at the same time. Our goal is to maintain the VAUDE company over generations. This sustainable approach is not inconsistent with economic growth, but rather, it motivates us. There are several reasons and goals:

1. Financial independence: 

The intergenerational preservation of the family business is our ultimate goal. Financial independence gives us flexibility for our business practices and ensures the future of the company over the long term. 

2. International competitiveness:
Competition in the outdoor industry is extremely dynamic, international and has been determined by acquisitions and debt capital for the past few years. The size of the company and its associated brand strength are relevant to be successful in this competition. Our goal is to be internationally competitive as a strong, sustainable, European brand. 

3. Efficient economics:
We are striving for healthy growth in order to efficiently do business in the three main business areas of our corporate structure. At the same time, we want to optimize production resources and capacities and benefit from economies of scale. 

4. Increased influence for greater sustainability:
Growth also helps us to increase our influence on production and material suppliers, which we can use to implement further sustainability measures.

Isabel Stiefenhofer, Controlling at VAUDE:

»We believe that sustainable business pays off in the long term. Economic, ecological and social aspects must be equally considered.«

Our values are based on the idea that sustainability does not preclude successful business and are not aligned with pure profit maximization. We are convinced: sustainable management pays off in the long term. 

We are also willing to invest in this concept: In 2016 we invested 781,420 euros (2015: 615,672 euros, 2014: 578,791 euros, 2013: 504,640 euros). See also "CSR Team as a Driving Force for Sustainability".

In addition we are committed to the development of other sustainable business models. These include upcycling projects, repair services and the development of a gear rental program.

Objective system and budget planning at VAUDE

The implementation of a management approach has provided substantial support in our conversion to sustainable business activity. At VAUDE, the company is guided by a system of objectives and budget planning process.

The objective system is arranged according to the perspectives of the "Balanced Scorecard". Measures and indicators are defined for each goal.
In a multi-step process, the achievement of objectives and status of the budget and economics planning is monitored. This process includes the following steps:

1. Senior Management executive session in January: 

Management analyzes economic performance in the product areas, analyzes risks within and outside the company as well as the competition, checks the validity of the objectives set and sets strategic guidelines for the next three years.

2. Division manager committee executive session in February: 

The Division Managers define measures for the objectives set for the following year and check the previous achievement levels.

3. Distribution of the goals: 

Goals, measures and indicators are broken down by departments.

4. Ongoing controls:

Goal achievement levels are checked several times a year. The review indicators for some key figures only take place at the end of the year. 

5. Close connections for budget planning: 

The budget planning process is closely connected with the corporate management and runs parallel to the goal process. Budget planning takes place in the first half year, including the budget for the following year’s objectives. In several rounds of voting, plans are adapted to the possibilities.

6. Finalization of goals and budgets: 

In a two-day meeting in September, both the objectives for the following year and the budget are finalized by department heads.

7. Budget approval: 

The final, 100 percent approval of the budget in each case comes into effect only after ascertaining the previous year’s results and the winter preorders. If the planned annual results are unlikely to be met on this basis, those responsible can only have 80% of their budget.

8. Ongoing controls, for budgets as well: 

Similar to our reviews of the goal achievement status, budget compliance is verified during the year.

Sales are also carefully planned and consolidated at the top level. In addition, we regularly collect financial figures which are used to operationally guide the company. The most important figures are reconciled, evaluated and analyzed for deviations from the planned system on a monthly basis by management and controlling division. This is a requisite for the management to identify trends and developments and, when necessary, guide measures to offset adverse developments and reinforce positive trends.

GRI:   G4-EC 1
Report the direct economic value generated and distributed (EVG&D) on an accruals basis including the basic components for the organization’s global operations
GRI:   G4-DMA Economic Performance
Disclosure on Management Approach Economic Performance
GRI:   G4-9
Total capitalization broken down in terms of debt and equity
GRI:   G4-13
Commitments to external initiatives
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