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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

ECG Index


General Information

Company Name:
VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG

Legal form:
GmbH & Co. KG

Ownership and legal form:
GmbH & Co. KG

Website:
www.vaude.com

Branch:
Outdoor branch

Company headquarters:
Tettnang, Obereisenbach

Total number of employees:
VAUDE employs 529 people.

Full-time equivalents:
410 employees

Seasonal or part-time employees:
16

Sales and net income:
For competitive reasons, we do not disclose our sales and net income for the year.

Subsidiaries / affiliated companies:
VAUDE Franchise GmbH, a sales office in Spain, an office in Shanghai and a production site in China.

Reporting period:
Data basis: 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2016, VAUDE Sustainability Report 2016
Report year 2016/2017

Auditor: Manfred Kofranek

 
 

A1 Human dignity in the supply chain

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See A1.1 Working conditions and social impact in the supply chain

 
 

A2 Solidarity and social justice in the supply chain

 
 

A3 Environmental impact throughout the supply chain

 
 

A4 Transparency and co-determination in the supply chain

 
 

B1 Ethical position in relation to financial resources

  • VAUDE objective: Strengthening of equity capital and thus gradual independence from external financing.
  • Increase in the equity ratio from 18 % in 2008 to 47 % in 2016.
  • The shareholder agreements are structured in such a way that withdrawals from the shareholder accounts are possible with a maximum of 12 % of the respective annual net income


  • VAUDE uses mezzanine funds to strengthen its equity capital, among other things from the promotional loan from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the silent participation of Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden Württemberg MBG and the profit participation certificates.
  • Participation certificates were introduced as a further means of independent and "clean" financing. At the same time, this is a means of enabling employees to participate more in the company's success financially. The shareholders of VAUDE have agreed that VAUDE will offer its employees an annual total amount (tranche) of €100,000 in the form of profit participation certificates with a fixed interest rate of 2 % and a profit participation of 2 %, a loss participation was excluded, the term of the profit participation certificates is 5 years in each case. This can then be used tax-free by the employees up to an annual amount of 360, - € as a salary conversion, for example by converting 30, - € per month in the salary conversion. In addition, employees also have the option of investing higher amounts in order to take advantage of the interest / profit sharing - all together up to an annual maximum of € 100,000. As the participation certificates have a subordinated clause, VAUDE strengthens its equity capital.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

  • Our debt ratio is 52.5 %.
  • VAUDE strives for a broadly diversified and sustainable corporate financing. VAUDE's partner banks include Sparkasse Bodensee, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, DZ Bank, Volksbank Allgäu-West, Commerzbank Friedrichshafen, Südwestbank and Sparkasse Esslingen. All of them deal with ecological and social issues and have already published sustainability reports. Savings banks and cooperative banks have a municipal mandate and are committed to the public interest. In the course of our efforts to implement "green financing" at VAUDE, we regularly talk to all banks about their understanding of sustainability and demand proof of our activities.
  • The decisions of the bank consortium are taken by a majority of the lenders. The lender majority consists of those lenders whose shares in the credit lines together reach or exceed 66 per cent of the credit lines.
  • As part of the "Green Financing" project, VAUDE plans to add further banks with an explicitly sustainable orientation to its bank portfolio. VAUDE has already started financing negotiations with "green" banks. Due to the large financial volume of the banks' need for external financing, these banks have not yet cooperated.
  • VAUDE does not engage in speculative transactions with futures and options. Due to international business activities, currency swaps are only used to reduce the risk of exchange rate fluctuations. Loans are financed exclusively in euros and not in foreign currencies.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

See B1.2 Common Good-orientated borrowing


Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

 
 

B2 Social position in relation to financial resources

  • Most of profits are invested directly in the company's sustainable corporate strategy. VAUDE therefore hardly forms reserves or financial assets which are invested. VAUDE creates approx. 30 % reserves from the surplus funds. The remaining 70% will be distributed to the shareholder accounts, shareholders are members of the founding family von Dewitz, to strengthen the equity capital. Withdrawal from shareholder accounts is possible with 12 % of the respective annual net income.
  • Our principle in the use of funds is to finance our corporate strategy geared towards the common good within the profits generated and to further increase the equity ratio.
  • We have concluded syndicated financing with a term of 5 years (until the end of 2018) and a volume of EUR 40 million for strategic investments in order to achieve our goals. The continuation of syndicated financing is currently being negotiated with our partner banks.
  • The following are examples of investments in a corporate strategy geared to the common good. We cannot express all public interest investments in monetary terms, as many are part of our core business and cannot be quantified separately.
  1. Investments in sustainability
  2. Financing of personnel and financial additional expenditure for fair and environmentally friendly products (e. g. membership in the Fair Wear Foundation, training sessions for material suppliers, use of eco-friendly materials,…)
  3. Financing of personnel and financial expenditure for Work-Life Balance (e.g.. company health management, flexible working hours, mobile work, …)
  4. Voluntary financial support of employees: Voluntary contribution as an employer to the pension funds, subsidies for employees at weddings, births of children and work anniversaries
  5. Reconstruction and renovation of the company headquarters
  6. Promotion of public interest oriented projects (e. g. VAUDE as operator of the Kinderhaus childcare center and of the local outdoor swimming pool, publicly accessible organic canteen and climbing wall, integration of refugees, Development of a Repair Café, …)
  7. Commitment to initiatives and associations
  8. We are also frequently present at events such as discussion rounds and are happy to use personnel, time and knowledge.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See B2.1 Solidarity and Common Good-orientated use of funds

 
 

B3 Use of funds in relation to social and environmental impacts

  • See B2.1 for Investments in Common Good-oriented business strategies

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE has very little investments. Most of the profits are invested directly in the company's sustainable corporate strategy (see B2.1).


Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

 
 

B4 Ownership and co-determination


Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See B4.1 Common Good-orientated ownership structure
Securing financial independence

 
 

C1 Human dignity in the workplace and working environment

  • Minorities and other diversity factors are not recorded separately at VAUDE. Ages were not recorded separately, therefore only senior executives are represented.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See C1.3 Diversity and equal opportunities

 
 

C2 Structuring of employment contracts

  • The salary differentiation for VAUDE is 8.5. Wage earners are not included in the evaluation.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

  • Overtime and how to avoid it is also an issue at VAUDE. In order to act preventively against the accumulation of overtime, we follow an approach that is not just focused on employees’ presence at work but that includes goal achievement. See Culture of Trust At VAUDE, overtime is settled via a flex-time account and consumed as a time balance. Because a large part of our employees work in trusted working hours, we cannot collect accurate data. Full-time employees work 40 hours a week at VAUDE. Anything less than this is classified as part-time work and paid 1:1, as in full-time work; only calculated on the basis of a few hours. 37 percent of employees work part-time. 

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail


Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See C2.1 Structure of earnings, C2.2 Structure of working hours and C2.3 Structure of employment relationship and work-life balance

 
 

C3 Environmentally friendly behavior of staff

  • We continuously develop our processes with regard to ecological and social aspects. In 2017, for example, we conducted a training course on Ecodesign in 2017.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See C3.3 Organizational culture, cultivating awareness for an environmentally-friendly approach

 
 

C4 Co-determination and transparency within the organization

  • Cross-company and strategically important topics and decisions of the management are communicated to the employees via the quarterly exchange and published in the intranet camp. Specialist and operational decisions are made in various committees in which both employees and managers are represented and then communicated to the company. We are currently working on visualizations of the committee structure and information flow to make internally transparent which decisions are made where and how they are communicated. In addition, we are introducing a system and various modes for making decisions.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

  • The planning of new posts is ensured as part of the annual budgeting process. Among other things, personnel requirements of all managers are collected here, compared with the ideas of the respective department heads and presented to the HR department. In this way, all managers have a say and can contribute their input to a bottom-up process.
  • The fact that the direct manager is always present at job interviews means that he or she has a veto on the final decision taken. The recruitment of new employees is carried out in consultation with the relevant team. We always strive to reach a consensus with all parties involved. Future managers and their most important colleagues are involved in the interviews.
  • The recruitment process is transparent. Vacancies are first advertised within the company. Internal applicants are always considered in the application round.
  • We have developed a corporate culture in which it is possible to switch between hierarchies. The handing over of a management task takes place without loss of face. This results in an optimal fit of the executives with regard to their cultural and professional suitability for their managerial tasks. In 2017, three executives at VAUDE gave up their management responsibilities on their own initiative and continue to work for VAUDE.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

  • See C4.1 Internal Transparency and C4.2 Legitimation of the management

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See C4.1 Internal Transparency and C4.2 Legitimation of the management

 
 

D1 Ethical customer relations

  • End customers find low prices in the outlets in Obereisenbach, Metzingen and Wadgassen. Here VAUDE products (2nd choice, samples, older collections etc.) are offered at greatly reduced prices.
  • Second hand & donations: Through the cooperation with the non-profit organization FairWertung and eBay, VAUDE products are also offered as second-hand clothing at low prices or passed on to the needy.
  • Customer structure VAUDE: We are in solidarity with the specialist trade, we do not have our own online shop and stationary shops, except for factory sales. Our online shop sends orders to the specialist trade via the online platform Arendicom. The VAUDE stores are franchise stores. Our factory sales are an important basis for the management and exchange of goods for the specialized trade.
  • In principle, it is not customary in the market for customers who only order small quantities to grant the same conditions as large customers. These demand better conditions due to the large order volume. 
  • Our digital services help small stationary customers in particular not to miss the connection to digitalization. These include for example:
  1. VAUDEpedia: App for product information and repair and care instructions for our products
  2. Extended counter: ability to order VAUDE's complete assortment
  3. Comprehensive product information can over Loadbee be recorded directly on the dealer's homepage
  4. Our tent consultant enables customers without tent space to sell tents
  5. Access to Commerce Connector, creating stationary demand via vaude.com
  • As far as services are concerned, we have to weigh the needs of our customers. Customers who only order small quantities, for example, do not need an integrated IT service or a shop-in-shop concept such as buyers of large quantities do.
  • Our complete assortment of goods is available to all our customers. In addition to pre-ordering, we also offer the option of ordering additional products if required. This is an advantage for smaller customers who do not write large pre-orders.
    We offer training courses on our products to all our customers.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See D1.1 Respect for human dignity in communication with customers

 
 

D2 Cooperation and solidarity with other companies

  • See D.2.1
  • We do not provide financial means that go far beyond the usual membership fees.
  • We are in informal exchange with many companies on sustainable business practices and share our know-how and expertise.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See D2.1 Cooperation with other companies

 
 

D3 Impact on the environment of the use and disposal of products and services

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See D3.1 Environmental cost-benefit ratio of products and services (efficiency and consistency)

 
 

D4 Customer participation and product transparency

  • Prices are negotiated between VAUDE and the production company. They depend on many factors, first and foremost on the materials specified by VAUDE, which are to be used, but of course also on the quality of workmanship, the agreed delivery times, production quantities, etc. End user prices are determined by the specialist trade. Our ability to influence trading margins is limited.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See D4.2 Product transparency  

 
 

E1 The purpose of products and services and their effect on society

  • We develop sustainable outdoor products and services that enable people to enjoy nature and exercise in nature.
  • In addition to meaningful, fair and environmentally friendly products and production processes, we also want to establish and pass on social and ecological thinking and actions. VAUDE's sustainable orientation offers both employees and end customers a high, meaningful identification potential that fits into the current zeitgeist.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
See D3 Impact on the environment of the use and disposal of products and services and A1 Human dignity in the supply chain

 
 

E2 Contribution to the community

  • The state participates through taxes and social security contributions.
  • VAUDE receives the following subsidies:
  1. 2016-2017: 165,000€ from Deutschen Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) for environmental management in the supply chain
  2. 2017: 23.000€ Subsidies from the Employment Agency for the Integration of refugees into the labor market
  3. 2017-2018: 70,000€ from the Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt for upcycling
  4. 2017 -2019: 140,000€ from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) for the TextileMission project

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

  • VAUDE supported WWF nature conservation projects financially in 2016 in the amount of approx. 135,000 Euro. We supported the DAV with 189.000€ in 2016. In 2016 and 2017, we raised €6,000 for Save the Children through our communication channels with customers and partners.

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.
No other companies are included in the VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG financial statement. Subsidiaries, the VAUDE Franchise GmbH, a sales office in Spain, and an office in Shanghai are listed as equity investments, but are not contained within the report. We also have a Vietnamese quality control office which is not included in the report.

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.

  • VAUDE does not support political parties with donations.
 
 

E3 Reduction of environmental impact

VAUDE does not violate this negative aspect.

Legal Compliance

 
 

E4 Transparency and co-determination

 
 

Outlook

Improvement potential / Goals:
Our goals in detail

 
 

Description of the process of drawing up the public interest balance sheet:

The reporting was coordinated by Lisa Fiedler, business developer and personal consultant to the management in coordination with the CEO Antje von Dewitz. Nicolas Bleicher and Mathilde Krügel, apprentice industrial clerk, were responsible for reporting. You answered the report questions in an exchange with the relevant colleagues responsible.


The public interest balance sheet is based on the contents of the VAUDE Sustainability Report according to the Global Reporting Initiative standard.


The following employees have created the report

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