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2015 Sustainability Report
published 2016/07/13

The VAUDE Ecosystem

VAUDE is dedicated to making (y)our world a better place – holistically and systematically. We rely on our VAUDE Ecosystem - a holistic sustainability strategy.

Sustainability throughout the entire product life cycle

Sustainability is complex. It is more than the sum of individual measures. The VAUDE Ecosystem is our holistic sustainability strategy that runs like a “green thread” through all phases of the product lifecycle. It shows how we perceive our social and environmental responsibilities.


The VAUDE Ecosystem is based on our mission statement and our corporate values. From this we derive our sustainability goals that spell out clearly what we want to achieve in practice:

  • We are economically self-sufficient and positioned for a promising future.
  • We are transparent and authentic.
  • Our products are sustainable and technical.
  • Our company is holistically focused on environmental friendliness.
  • We have high environmental standards in the supply chain.
  • Our employees are satisfied and we are an attractive employer.
  • We have implemented high social standards in the supply chain.
  • We have high social standards in the supply chain.


More about our goals – Our Goals in Detail

The VAUDE Ecosystem: Our “green thread” for your green product!

Lifecycle of a product
 
 

Watch it! The Green Thread

 
 

Economic Activity for the Benefit of All

Our conviction to do business in balance with people and environment is the origin of the VAUDE Ecosystem.
  • Economic sustainability: we are a mid-sized family-owned business without external shareholders with high investment return requirements – see “Sustainable business is worthwhile”. 
  • VAUDE Environmental management: our environmental management system has been EMAS and ISO 14001 certified by an independent verifier annually since 2008 – see “CSR-Team as driver of sustainability”.
  • Ecological responsible work in all departments including Green IT, the exclusive use of recycled paper, construction in accordance with DGNB, substitution of print with digital solutions, ecological trade fair and shop solutions as well as an organically certified café – see "99 percent recycling paper" and "Sustainable communication".
  • Balancing career and family is ensured with flexible work models, home offices and on-site child care – see “VAUDE as employer“. 
  • Honesty and transparency as fundamental values: For the second time, we have published a sustainability report in accordance with the GRI Standard which has been certified by the external auditor KPMG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft AG – see “About this report“.
  • Product and sustainability information at a glance: with central placement and the description of relevant sustainability information on our website and with information on products, sustainability is clearly coupled with the product – see “Sustainable communication”.
  • Renewable energy: supply of 100 percent green electricity and biogas. In addition, we produce approx. 550,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year – see “Energy – preferably renewable”.
  • Reducing and compensating for our emissions with the annual climate balance – see “Climate neutral at our Tettnang location”.
  • Accepting social responsibility at our headquarters in Tettnang as a leaseholder of the local outdoor swimming pool, operation of the VAUDE Kinderhaus childcare center and initiator of the local public transport – see “Actively creating added value “.
  • Business & Biodiversity: active implementation at the headquarters – see “Why biodiversity is important to us”.
 
 

Numerous activities run like a “green thread” through all phases of the product lifecycle and contribute to making our products sustainable.

 
 

Cleverly developed: our product development

  • Durability and reparability as criteria for Green Shape products: In addition to material selection, our revised Green Shape criteria now also cover the entire product development where repairability and durability of the products are key - see “VAUDE Green Shape”.
  • Revision of the design guidelines: We are currently revising the design guidelines for all products to anchor sustainability issues in product design - see “Sustainable Design”.

Sustainable materials: our material selection

  • Green materials and technologies as criteria for Green Shape products: We use certified environmentally friendly products and components for our Green Shape products. In addition, we use environmentally friendly printing processes for large area prints and motifs – see “VAUDE Green Shape”.
  • Exclusion of controversial technologies and materials: in the VAUDE Material Policy, VAUDE voluntarily agrees to use Best Available Technology (BAT), to refrain from using controversial technologies and materials and to ensure maximum traceability of all materials to their origin – see “VAUDE Material Policy”.


Fairly produced: our selection of producers

  • Environmentally certified production facilities: Clean production with the use of the strictest environmental standard for textiles - bluesign® – see “Suppliers as partners”. 
  • Fair working conditions in the supply chain using the strictest social standard in the textile branch and advanced work/life balance measures at our site in Tettnang-Obereisenbach – see "VAUDE –100 percent family company".
  • Founding member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles: as one of the first companies to do so, VAUDE joined the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles in Germany. We actively promote the implementation of environmental and social standards in the textile value chain – see “VAUDE – Founding member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles”. 


Environmentally friendly transport: transport at VAUDE

  • Low emissions from the transport of VAUDE products by ship: By far the majority of our products travel the largest distance by container ship. Translated to individual products, very little emissions are caused – see "Climate neutral transport”.
  • Climate neutral products “Made in Germany” – we calculate and compensate for our emissions that arise from the transport for our production at the Tettnang site – see “Product range Made in Germany”.
  • Green Logistics Project, in which together with our logistics service providers, we want to optimize the transport of our sustainability and emissions considerations – see “Climate neutral transport”.
  • Climate neutral mobility: we have created a mobility concept to reduce emissions from commuting and business travel – see “Climate neutral mobility at VAUDE”.

Competently advised: sales and retail

  • Product and sustainability info at a glance: sustainability is clearly coupled with products with the central placement and the description of relevant sustainability information on our website and with information on products – see “Sustainable communication”.
  • Experts on Sustainability : we offer sustainability training on a regular basis for our employees from sales, retail and for salespeople in shops – see “VAUDE Economy for the Common Good report”.
  • Sustainable trade fair stand and shop construction: we use exclusively natural materials such as untreated, local ash wood, linoleum or stainless steel – see “Responsible communication and action”.


Durable and repairable: repair, use and care of VAUDE products

  • Environmentally-friendly use and care as criteria for Green Shape products: in addition to material selection, our revised Green Shape criteria to now include the use and care phase as well. Green Shape products can be washed at low temperatures and do not need dry cleaning – see “VAUDE Green Shape”.
  • Comprehensive information on use and care with extensive care information at the products. Our comprehensive training in retail shops and sales of the environmentally-friendly alternative Nikwax – see “Use and Care“. 
  • Repair instead of disposal: the VAUDE repair service increases the life cycle of our products – see “Use and Care”. 
  • Collaboration with ecological partners and networks, above all - close collaboration with the WWF and the DAV as our direct contact to outdoor consumers and as mediator of sustainable conduct in nature – see “Stronger together”. 


Recyclable and reusable: VAUDE products at the end of product life

  • Ability to be recycled and high quality products as criteria for Green Shape products: our revised Green Shape criteria now include material selection as well as the recycling and disposal phase. For Green Shape products we use recyclable materials and enable second hand use with high quality products – see “VAUDE Green Shape“. 
  • Second Use – as good as new, but better for the environment: VAUDE supports private re-sale of used products with the VAUDE Second Use Shop on eBay – see “Recycling & Disposal”.
  • VAUDE donates to FairWertung: with the cooperation with FairWertung, our products get a second chance at life as second hand clothing or gear – see “Recycling & Disposal“. 
GRI:   G4-1
Provide a statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization (such as CEO, chair, or equivalent senior position) about the relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability.
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