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2022 Sustainability Report
published 2023/08/01

Focus Wastewater Management

Unfiltered industrial wastewater in rivers and streams pollutes the environment and the food chain. That is why we carry out wastewater tests at our suppliers.

Toxic wastewater threatens the entire planet

Wastewater from textile manufacturing is currently the focus of the Greenpeace Detox Campaign. Greenpeace has accused the textile industry (and thus also VAUDE) of being responsible for polluting China’s waters with dangerous chemicals.
There, toxic waste and toxic wastewater cause serious health problems in the local population. In addition, toxic substances spread throughout the planet via the global waterways.

VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment

Wastewater is an important environmental aspect for VAUDE because it is generated in many upstream processes required for the manufacturing of VAUDE products. In some cases, wastewater even has to be classified as potentially harmful to the environment and health.

In the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment, we have made a commitment to preventing any release of harmful chemicals into the environment.

To achieve this, we have decided on a whole package of measures. You can find more info here.

ZDHC - Roadmap to zero

The ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with over 170 members (as of March 2022) from across the textile industry, including brands, producers and chemical suppliers. The initiative was created as a joint response by major textile brands to the requirements of the Greenpeace Detox Commitment.

The ZDHC's Roadmap to Zero program aims to support the textile industry in eliminating harmful chemicals from the global supply chain by laying the foundation for more sustainable production to protect workers, consumers and the planet's ecosystems. VAUDE works with various ZDHC guidance documents and tools such as the Chemical Audit Protocol, the M/RSL and the Waste Water Guideline. We also use the Waste Water Gateway of the ZDHC, a platform for waste water reports of all ZDHC suppliers including country specific, aggregated presentation per substance group.


VAUDE has been working with bluesign® since 2001 to monitor and continuously optimize all energy, water and raw material consumption throughout the entire supply chain. bluesign® focuses on controlled input stream management according to the principle of "no toxins in - no toxins out." This means that if no harmful chemicals enter the processes right from the start, no polluted wastewater comes out at the end.

Clean and transparent supply chain as a target

Wastewater management is a key theme in our supplier management system. The challenges lie in raising awareness in the supply chain and creating data transparency in order to derive concrete measures for improvement.

Our approach to finding solutions

We are pursuing various strategic approaches in this regard: the expansion of the bluesign® standard, cooperation with the ZDHC and, via the Higg Index, the establishment of a database to record all environmentally relevant data.

In addition, VAUDE has been a "Friend of ZDHC" since 2019, which means that we have taken on the MRSL of the ZDHC and perform wastewater testing in our deeper supply chain with wet processes in accordance with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines and upload them on the ZDHC platform. Read more here.

It is important to us that our supply chain is not left on their own for these challenging tasks. As part of our Vendor Clubs, suppliers receive regular training on dealing with wastewater – see "Suppliers as Partners".

No process water for the Made in Germany production

Our production facility in Tettnang-Obereisenbach does not require process water and industrial wastewater is not produced. The only wastewater at this site comes from sanitary facilities and the laboratory where waterproofing tests are carried out. Read more here.

GRI:   306-1
Water discharge by quality and destination
GRI:   306-2
Waste by type and disposal method
GRI:   306-3
Significant spills
GRI:   306-4
Transport of hazardous waste
GRI:   306-5
Water bodies affected by water discharges and/or runoff
GRI:   103
Management Approach
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