VAUDE has been a climate neutral company since January 1, 2022. In concrete terms, this means that we fully offset our global greenhouse gas emissions. You can find more information and how climate neutrality works here.
This page summarizes the most important key figures and correlations from our climate footprint assessment. The full document can be downloaded here.
At the company headquarters in Tettnang, VAUDE has already been completely climate neutral since 2012 (Scopes 1, 2 and 3). The system boundary of our climate footprint was the entire VAUDE operation in Tettnang until 2019.
Since 2019, we have also been determining the upstream emissions from our supply chain and include them in the climate footprint. 2019 forms the base year for VAUDE's science-based climate targets.
The focus of the VAUDE climate strategy is clearly on reducing emissions. We consider the compensation of unavoidable emissions as a stopgap measure to contribute more to climate protection using "money" than we can currently manage with our own products, processes and supply chains, because emissions-free materials are not yet available or technologies are not yet mature, or because suppliers have to make huge investments, for example, in fossil-free hot water generation, which they need to implement over several years.
» Climate neutrality is an important element in our overall commitment to sustainability. Our climate footprint helps us identify our reduction potential. «
At VAUDE, we have had over ten years of experience with climate accounting. Since 2019 we have created a reliable database in order to include not only all emissions "at home" at our company headquarters, but also the two largest emitters from the upstream supply chain:
Why this is important is clear from the following graphic:
All materials that VAUDE uses to make its products are a source of emissions during their extraction and refinement. The exact amount of emissions depends on several factors, such as whether it is a renewable resource that requires accounting for emissions from agriculture and forestry, the type of plastic used, and whether it is recycled.
We have defined the system boundary for calculating emissions from material consumption as including the manufacturing processes up to yarn production for textile materials, and all process steps up to polymer production (granules) for hard plastic components. At VAUDE, we measure material consumption through our product development database and the quantities produced.
You can read about the materials VAUDE consumes and what we are doing emissions from them here
In addition to material consumption, energy consumption in the processing of raw materials plays the major role in VAUDE's climate footprint. Electricity and heat derived from fossil fuels are significant drivers of climate-harming emissions, not only in Germany but also throughout the supply chains of the products we use on a daily basis.
We include all process steps involved in manufacturing the textile fabric when considering energy consumption during material production; in the case of hard plastic components, injection molding or comparable manufacturing processes.
The following graph shows the development of emissions at VAUDE since 2019.
After a slight decrease in 2020, emissions increased significantly in 2021 (by 17% compared to the base year, by 18% compared to the previous year). The reason for this is the strong growth of the company. This is where the rebound effect becomes visible: we can still use high efficiency improvements - but when we manufacture more and more products at the same time,we will, of course, produce greater emissions. More on the issue of "decoupling" below.
We are really pleased about the 5 percent reduction in emissions in 2022 compared to 2021! The graph shows that this was achieved in particular through fewer emissions from energy consumption in material production. This shows the first successes of the industry project to decarbonize the supply chain, in which VAUDE is working with several other outdoor brands. More on this here.
The second major emissions-generating area, raw material/material consumption, has not yet been reduced, although we already use a great many recycled materials. We expect this effect to become visible with next year's climate footprint. In the Summer 2024 collection, 71% of all VAUDE products already consist of more than 50% recycled or biobased materials. Read more here.
Details on the other parts of this graphic below.
In addition to material consumption, energy consumption in the processing of raw materials plays the major role in VAUDE's climate footprint. In the case of textile materials, this means the production of the textile surface; in the case of hard plastic components, injection molding or comparable manufacturing processes.
What are scopes again? You can find the explanations here.
Both material consumption and energy consumption for material production belong to Scope 3 emissions. At VAUDE, these emissions are distributed as is typical for the textile industry. A large part (well over 90 percent) of these emissions occur in the upstream processes of the supply chain and thus belong to Scope 3.
Scope 2 emissions do not relate to the supply chain, but to the company's own site. Since VAUDE uses completely renewable energy for its power supply at the company headquarters, there are no Scope 2 emissions. More about the power supply at VAUDE here.
Scope 1 emissions also relate to the company's own location: They come directly from the chimney of the heating system for the company's own buildings (more on heating energy here) as well as from the exhaust of the company vehicle fleet (more on this here).
In addition to the emissions calculated from data collected directly in our climate footprint, other emissions arise from business operations that are only estimated due to the lack of available measured data. According to the GHG Protocol, this procedure is called "Scope 3 Screening".
At VAUDE, another 2,105 metric tons of CO2e were generated in 2022 in scope 3 screening from rented premises (category 3.8), franchise stores (category 3.14) and the disposal of products at the end of their life cycle (category 3.12).
The following graphs show the targets and target achievement:
SBT 1. VAUDE commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2026, starting from the base year 2019.
Scope 1 emissions are generated at VAUDE by the gas heating system and the company vehicle fleet. More about our savings from heating can be found here. Details on emissions from employee mobility here.
More about mobility management at VAUDE here.
SBT 2. VAUDE commits to continue sourcing 100% electricity from renewable sources annually until 2030.
SBT 3. VAUDE commits to reduce absolute Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for purchased goods and services by 50% by 2030, starting from a base year of 2019.
Emissions cannot be completely avoided as long as our global economy is based on fossil raw materials. It is already a small success if emissions are "decoupled"(don't grow at the same rate as the company) even if this is, of course, not enough to combat climate change. We all have to reduce emissions in absolute terms, not just in relative terms in relation to company growth. Nevertheless, a look at the relative development is interesting.
VAUDE has grown tremendously in recent years - more employees, more space, more products, more sales - but also more material consumption, more energy consumption, more company cars, etc.
Reducing emissions as the company grows remains a real challenge. The key here is the global energy transition. We need to switch as quickly as possible to renewable energy sources that produce no emissions, not only in Germany, but also in the countries where all the products we use every day are manufactured. The second major source of leverage lies in continuing the transition to recycled plastics, which , as a rough estimate, is responsible for about half of emissions.
Read more about VAUDE's sales development here
At the company headquarters in Tettnang, the distribution by scope is similar to that for the entire company including the supply chain. However, the share of Scope 1 emissions is somewhat higher, since for this view, only the material quantities that are processed on site in the VAUDE Manufaktur are taken into account for the material consumption and energy consumption for the production of the materials.
As of 2019, we have slightly changed the methodology for determining emissions, as 2019 forms the base year for VAUDE's science-based climate targets and we have followed the current systematics of the Green House Gas Protocol.
Some emission factors have increased over time, for example for flights. In 2019 we began taking all packaging materials fully into account. Therefore, the annual values in the following graph above are not comparable one-to-one. Nevertheless, this graphic provides a general overview of the development of emissions at VAUDE in Tettnang.
In 2020, the "Corona effect" also made itself felt: Lockdowns, production and delivery bottlenecks, many employees in home offices and hardly any business trips led to savings in energy and materials, and thus to fewer emissions.
In contrast, VAUDE generated significantly higher emissions in 2021 and 2022. The reasons for this lie primarily in the strong growth of the company – in particular, in the growth of the VAUDE Manufaktur. This production facility had an increase of 13 percent in output, so naturally, a much larger amount of material was needed. The transition to climate-friendly recycled and biobased materials was not been noticeable.
Associated with the growth of VAUDE Manufaktur is also an increase in residual waste from production. More on this here.
Other explanations can be found above under "Decoupling emissions from corporate success" as well as in the following graphics.
The biggest opportunities for reducing emissions are material consumption in our production facility. We want to exert even more influence here by increasing material efficiency, i.e. making better use of the material width for the individual cut parts, and by transition to biobased and recycled materials. More about our Made in Germany production here.
Emissions from business travel comprise emissions from company vehicles, air, rail and long-distance bus travel, and overnight hotel stays. We have included packaging in the climate footprint since 2019.
At VAUDE, the areas of business travel and employee commuting regularly rank second in terms of emissions. More on the issue of the "VAUDE Transportation Revolution” here
Employee mobility is a hard nut to crack. Although VAUDE has a Mobility Concept that is often praised as ‘best practice’, emissions from business travel and commuting at our company headquarters in Tettnang make up a major proportion every year.
We achieved our goal of reducing emissions from employee mobility by 10 % by 2020 compared to 2015 for the first time in 2018. Now we have to reduce emissions even further despite higher sales. As a new target, we have agreed to reduce emissions from employee mobility by an additional 25 % by 2024 compared with 2019 as well as the science-based climate target: reduce Scope 1 emissions (which includes the company vehicle fleet) by 45% by 2026.
When it comes to mobility, the effects of the Corona pandemic are clearly evident: On the one hand, there was significantly less business travel during the pandemic – especially less air travel to VAUDE production countries and less car traffic with company vehicles. This enabled us to save emissions.
On the other hand, many employees preferred to drive alone instead of taking the train or carpooling for health reasons. We were only partially able to reverse this trend once the pandemic ended. More on the issue of commuting to work at VAUDE here.
Business travel also includes the VAUDE company fleet, which we are fully converting to e-vehicles, and this is now starting to show up in the climate footprint. Emissions have not risen to pre-Corona levels despite a return to "normality". More about this issue here.
VAUDE has been working exclusively with green electricity and biogas for many years, so emissions from this are relatively low. We really took the call to conserve energy seriously after the Russian attack on Ukraine and reduced our energy use by quite a bit, especially heating energy! More about energy management at VAUDE here.
Two more key figures are of interest when considering emissions at the company headquarters in Tettnang. Both have remained constant despite company growth.
Of course, packaging material also contributes to the consumption of resources and causes climate-damaging emissions.
You can find out what VAUDE is doing to reduce these as much as possible here
“Sales packaging” is everything that ends up in private households and is disposed of there, for example shoe boxes or foil bags. Transport packaging is usually disposed of in retail stores and includes things such as cardboard packaging.
Here you can find out more about the emissions caused by VAUDE from merchandise goods logistics.
Calculation of emissions follows these myclimate principles: