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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

Environmental credentials you can count on

Your health and wellbeing are important to us, as is your conscience. That is why we set ourselves the highest standards and view quality management as a top priority.

We only make products that we would use ourselves.

VAUDE’s origins are in mountain sports and our customers have high expectations for the quality and performance of our products. Whether it’s product reliability for mountain or bike sports or the chemical finishes we apply – we use all of our expertise and the latest technologies to deliver maximum safety and performance.


»Many VAUDE colleagues are themselves enthusiastic mountaineers or cyclists. Like our customers, they demand the highest quality and exceptional functionality of their products. These should provide reliable protection from the wind, rain and sun, facilitate athletic performance, and be dependable companions, day in and day out, for years to come. «

Bettina Roth Head of Quality and Chemicalmanagement

High standards for quality

We have VAUDE Quality Teams in both Germany and Asia that monitor compliance with our high standards in all of our production facilities.

VAUDE QM Team

Our employees at our headquarters in Tettnang along with our colleagues in Asia, who make direct visits to our production facilities, monitor quality standards as well as support our suppliers and producers in implementing our quality, environmental and social guidelines.

They are our experts on site. Together with our suppliers and producers, they implement the measures we’ve agreed upon – whether they involve processing issues, environmental issues or occupational safety aspects such as regular fire alarm exercises.


This gives us not only an accurate picture of the quality standards of our suppliers and producers, but also of all sustainability issues and their degree of implementation. This important information is incorporated into our supplier and manufacturer evaluations so that we can provide targeted training for our partners.

 
 
VAUDE Management Training

The Quality Teams in our countries of production regularly update our Product Managers and the Quality Management Department on quality-relevant topics and news.

This information is an essential part of our continuous improvement process.

 
 

Chemical management and product safety are top priorities

Chemical management and product safety are top priorities within the framework of our quality management system. We work closely with the executive board regarding quality management.


Bild Antje

As a VAUDE customer, you expect a product that is manufactured in a high-quality, safe, harmless to health, environmentally friendly and socially compatible manner. Ensuring all this in an extremely complex supply chain is a major challenge.


Therefore, we don’t wait for new legal requirements before taking action, but tackle these issues voluntarily and proactively at an earlier stage. In this way we create a comprehensive quality management system that will meet your expectations.


 
 

Consistently eliminating harmful substances

As a responsible company, VAUDE sets the highest standards for product functionality and environmentally friendly production. For this reason, we have been working together with bluesign® technologies ag for more than ten years.

The bluesign® system is the strictest production standard in the textile industry, which consistently eliminates harmful substances along the entire production chain by using the best possible technologies. Quite often, the bluesign® system limits are more stringent than legal limits.

In addition, VAUDE signed the Greenpeace Detox Commitment in 2016 and committed itself to transparency, greater responsibility and substituting of harmful substances with alternatives.

 

Bild Greenpeace/VAUDE Messe

Working together to fight harmful chemicals: Greenpeace employee Mirjam Koop, Chiara Campione, Manfred Santen, VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE Head of Quality Management Bettina Roth, VAUDE Head of Sales and CSR Jan Lorch, VAUDE Senior CSR Manager Hilke Patzwall

 
 

Specials tests when it comes to your safety

All safety-related products such as child carriers or personal protective equipment such as UV-protection T-shirts or reflective cuffs are subjected to a detailed risk assessment. This includes the design, the system and the manufacturing process.


These risk assessments are prepared and evaluated by a team with members from the departments of design, product management, production and quality management. The goal is to identify possible weaknesses and risks with regard to consumer safety during the development phase and to take corrective and preventive action.


A CE Declaration of Conformity is required for certain products. These products are marked with the CE label:


VAUDE CE label

Tracking down potential for improvement

We obtain further information from evaluations at our product services department regarding potential improvements for our products.

Monitoring, analysis and corrective action for resulting discrepancies are important instruments in ensuring or increasing product and consumer safety. Instructions for use or special warnings are made for many of our products that provide additional protections from misuse.


Testing by independent third parties

Testing by independent third parties
Products such as child carriers are tested by independent third parties such as TÜV Süd. These products are labeled appropriately, such as with a GS seal.

 
 

Working together on improvements

»Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success. «

Henry Ford

It usually takes about two years to manufacture a product before it hits the stores. This means current problems can’t always be addressed immediately. If you bought a VAUDE product in a shop in the summer of 2017, the Winter 17/18 collection was already in production or almost ready for delivery to our logistics center. Changes in material and construction can therefore only be changed again for the Summer Collection 2018.


Legislation in countries of production is often not as strict as that in European countries. This is why we are consistently working to train those involved in the supply chain and making them aware of the usefulness of high quality, environmental and social standards.



Continued progress with strategic partners

A family-owned company like VAUDE can only hope to bring about change by working together with strategic partners and its competition. To do this we are collaborating with the Textile Alliance, bluesign® technologies ag, the BSI, the EOG (European Outdoor Group) and the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), an association of international textile industry members for controlling the use of chemicals at suppliers of the textile industry.

  

QC-Team Asien

Only by working together with other, larger companies can we achieve sustainable change.

Revision of the Green Shape criteria

Green Shape

To improve the sustainability and safety of our products, we regularly review our Green Shape criteria. In this process, the entire product lifecycle is reviewed and evaluated. Read more here.


Intensive dialog with suppliers

Our frequent random sampling for hazardous substances is an indicator of the quality of our suppliers. The results from these tests are incorporated directly in supplier assessments and into our supplier strategy. Any anomalies are reflected back to our supply chain and corrective and preventative action is taken.


We are aware of our responsibility for the conditions under which VAUDE products are manufactured worldwide. We consciously accept this responsibility as a permanent challenge in a globalized market.



Training for producers and suppliers

 
 
Bild Schulung Lieferanten

We believe that accepting responsibility also means not leaving our partners to deal with these challenges on their own. In the first step, we evaluate our producers with regard to their level of knowledge and development in the areas of environmental management and hazardous substances management, and then develop and consistently implement appropriate training and support programs for each of them.


The companies that supply materials to our producers also receive individualized training and support. This is based on the results of the pilot project in cooperation with the develoPPP.de funding program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which took place from 2015 to autumn 2017. Read more about it here.


Raising our producers and suppliers' awareness of hazardous substances in the supply chain and consistently deepening the knowledge of all those involved is an essential factor for us when it comes to consumer health and safety.


Many VAUDE goods are produced by longtime partners. VAUDE has a long tradition of partnership-based, responsible and personal business relationships in Europe as well as in many other countries.

GRI:   103
Management Approach
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