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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment

At VAUDE, we acknowledge our responsibility for the entire life cycle of VAUDE products, including clean production in our supply chains.

Important questions and answers about our commitment

As Europe´s most sustainable outdoor brand, we are committed to leadership in environmental and social responsibility. We have consistently been working to improve VAUDE´s sustainability for many years. With many strong policies, processes, and experts in place, we are well positioned to live up to our leadership role once more.

The VAUDE Greenpeace Detox commitment is another piece in the puzzle within VAUDE’s commitment to sustainability.

 
 

What is the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment about?

In the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment, VAUDE acknowledges our responsibility for the entire life cycle of VAUDE products, including clean production in our supply chains.


This commitment consists of three main challenges:


  1. elimination of all releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment
  2. contributing to new responsible business models for more sustainable products and consumption
  3. transparency and public reporting on all results and progress as well as challenges and unresolved issues.

What does this mean for the VAUDE team?

As Europe´s most sustainable outdoor brand, we are committed to leadership in environmental and social responsibility. We have consistently been working to improve VAUDE´s sustainability for many years. We report transparently about progress and challenges in accordance with the most stringent standards in our annual CSR report.


With many strong policies, processes, and experts in place, we are well positioned to live up to our leadership role once more. The VAUDE Greenpeace Detox commitment is another piece in the puzzle within VAUDE’s commitment to sustainability.


Having said this, we are well aware of the challenges within this commitment. There are some serious difficulties ahead of us which will require enormous resources, man (woman) power and creativity to solve. This commitment really takes us far out of our comfort zone.


Still, we are convinced that it is the right thing to do.

What does this mean for our customers and partners?

VAUDE has been a reliable partner with great products and great spirit. This is one of our core values as a company and brand.


We will use this commitment to again strengthen our dialogue with retail, consumers and partners. Sustainability in the textile industry is a complex matter. This commitment helps to illustrate this even better and makes it easier to understand with clear goals and timelines. It will improve our communication of sustainability topics, so people gain a better understanding of their benefits regarding health, community, and fun.


Driving the business towards more sustainability is a win-win situation for each one of us, our children, and the entire planet.

What does VAUDE commit to?

We commit to a VAUDE specific action plan. This involves:


  • full supply chain transparency (material suppliers and manufacturers)
  • a stringent manufacturing restricted substance list (MRSL) which regulates strict limits or usage bans of critical substances within the entire production process as well as finished goods
  • substituting hazardous chemicals in our supply chain in accordance with the precautionary principle and a hazards based approach (including PFC)
  • testing all discharge of hazardous chemicals based on this MRSL and publishing these test results
  • close cooperation with suppliers and industry leaders, as well as training, capacity building and auditing of supply chain partners


Also, we commit to contributing to systemic change towards more sustainable design and living by acknowledging our extended producer responsibility. This involves:


  • promoting circular design and product development to slow and close the production loop
  • analyzing the economic value of pre-consumer waste
  • implementing systems for the re-collection of used VAUDE products
  • initiating new ownership programs, such as 2nd use, renting, or upcycling
  • publishing use, care and repair guides for end consumers to prolong products´ use phase
  • raising public awareness

What happens if we don´t comply with this commitment?

We have been in friendly dialogue with Greenpeace since 2012 when they first asked us to sign the Detox commitment.

After many hours of discussion and negotiation, we believe that Greenpeace has understood VAUDE and how serious we are about sustainability.

If for any reason we are not able to comply with the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox commitment, we will explain why to the public, trying to give a roadmap as to how we will manage to solve the problem.

We trust that Greenpeace will not damage VAUDE´s or any of our partners´ reputations as long as we really give our best to “Detox”. Sustainability is a team sport, and we are all in this together.

How will we manage the new MRSL?

The MRSL we are committing to is a real challenge as it covers usage bans and extremely strict limits for many substances in incoming water, waste water, sludge and finished articles.


We realize that testing based on this MRSL, interpreting the results, and deciding on what measures to take for improvement is a huge task. It will need strong partnership and trustful cooperation with each supplier, expert knowledge, and financial resources.


We have been working with our suppliers to minimize environmental impact in relationships based on partnership. In a new Environmental Stewardship Pilot Program, we specifically support material suppliers to introduce systematic environmental protection applying a clean factory approach.


The MRSL is a consequent step within this project. We will publicly report all test results and all actions taken in order to share best practice approaches and to enhance the discussion about unsolved problems within the industry and our stakeholders.

What is the timeline?

This commitment reflects a long term vision. It contains several milestones, e.g.:


31.12.2016

publish results of investigation and full testing evidence on elimination of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs, surfactants critical to the environment)

15.02.2017

publish full MRSL testing results of at least 80% of our global wet process facilities, by volume of materials (main fabrics and linings)

31.12.2017

initiate or expand 2 global new ownership systems such as lending, sharing, renting, 2nd hand platforms, upcycling, recycling, repurposing

31.12.2018

eliminate poly- and per-fluorinated chemicals (PFC) from all VAUDE products (hardware latest 2020)

01.01.2020

zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals