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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

Economy for the Common Good: Business activities for the benefit of all

We want to use both the work that we engage in and our products to create value – for you and for the planet. That is why we were the first company in the outdoor industry to be a pioneer in the Economy for the Common Good (ECG) and to measure the contributions we are making. We are now publishing our second audited Economy for the Common Good balance sheet.

Why are we members of the ECG?

Economy for the Common Good statement from Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE CEO:

 
 

How did VAUDE perform in the ECG Balance Sheet?

VAUDE is publishing its second balance sheet in accordance with the new ECG Standard 5.0 which is now even more comprehensive and rigorous. VAUDE achieved a balance sheet total of 631 points on a scale of -3600 to +1000.

 
 

»VAUDE can therefore rightly be described as a model company in terms of embodying the essence of the ECG.«

Manfred Kofranek, ECG auditor (extract from the VAUDE audit report)
 
 

Extract from the VAUDE audit report:

Overall, VAUDE achieved high results – even better than those for its preliminary report, despite adjusting to the new, more rigorous ECG Matrix 5.0.


Particularly noteworthy:


  • The corporate philosophy and positioning, which are strongly focused on sustainability.
  • Exemplary supplier management with strict ecological and social criteria and a review by external auditors, despite VAUDE’s lower level of market power. VAUDE achieved Leader Status.
  • Investments and ongoing expenditure in environmental improvements and other sustainability issues.
  • The established corporate culture, which is based on appreciation and openness and in which ecological issues are also firmly rooted.
  • Ongoing efforts in product development in order to cease dependency on harmful chemicals that to date have seemed unavoidable in the outdoor industry.
  • Assuming social responsibility through regional job creation, good cooperation with NGOs and the political engagement of the company.
 
 

What does the Economy for the Common Good Balance Sheet tell us?

The Common Good Balance Sheet measures entrepreneurial success not only in terms of financial gain, but also in terms of its contribution to the common good. This includes human dignity, solidarity, ecological sustainability, social justice, democratic participation and transparency. The objective is a verifiable and credible assessment of a company’s position in relation to the common good. Unlike other sustainability standards such as GRI or EMAS, an ECG Balance Sheet not only provides transparency through all areas of corporate social responsibility, but is also a qualitative and quantitative assessment.

We fundamentally agree with the vision of the Economy for the Common Good. However, there are some indicators, which here at VAUDE, we have chosen not to action. One such example is indicator C4.2 Leadership Legitimacy. Our leadership is not democratically elected as the Economy for the Common Good proposes.

 
 

»The Economy for the Common Good is a key component of corporate governance and CSR reporting at VAUDE. Internally it serves as a value gauge and clearly demonstrates to our customers VAUDE's contribution to the wellbeing of people and the environment.«

Lisa Fiedler, Corporate Development
 
 

How is the ECG Balance Sheet created and audited?

The balance sheet is initially created as a self-assessment for the ECG report. This information is then examined and evaluated by an external ECG auditor. By using a points system, the company’s self-assessment and the external ECG auditor’s assessment are directly compared. The results are recorded in an Audit Report. The balance sheet total is published in the corresponding certificate. This makes the contribution of companies to the common good directly comparable.

 
 

»With this second Balance Sheet, VAUDE is demonstrating its continuous focus on a value-based strategy in a wide range of fields. This is exemplary, especially in light of the textile industry’s ongoing practice of the maxim of 'cheap, careless and short-living fashion trends'.«

Christian Felber, ECG founder (Photo: Robert Gortana)

Antje von Dewitz elected spokesperson for the ECG

In May 2017, VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz was elected ECG spokesperson at the 5th International Delegates’ Assembly, making her an official ambassador for the ECG.


The ECG Balance Sheet as a standard for the implementation of the EU CSR Directive 2014/95 in Germany

On December 31, 2016, the EU Directive on the Disclosure of Non-financial and Diversity-related Information came into effect in Germany. Together with other ECG companies, VAUDE supports the recognition of the ECG Balance Sheet as one of the legally binding standards for the implementation of the EU CSR Directive 2014/95 in Germany.

GWÖ
Links
Additional information on the ECG
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ECG explained – a video (German)
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