German and EU environmental laws are democratically legitimized and therefore enjoy widespread acceptance by the general population and commercial enterprises. Violating these regulations not only involves a large financial risk but is also a risk to a company's reputation.
In some of our production countries, far-reaching environmental legislation is often either lacking or compliance with legislation is not sufficiently demanded and monitored (such as in China).
Even when we, as the contracting authority, cannot be held directly liable in these countries, we bear responsibility for our supply chain and we would be exposed to a high risks to our reputation if our suppliers violated national regulations in the countries of production. An example of this is the Detox Campaign of the environmental organization Greenpeace
»We cannot afford to violate applicable regulations. We often go far beyond legal requirements when it comes to environmental protection and social responsibility.«
For us at VAUDE, noncompliance with environmental laws and regulations is out of the question. At the company headquarters in Tettnang, compliance is reviewed annually by the EMAS and ISO 14001 certification process. These audits ensure our legal compliance.
We have been working with an index of legal provisions that list environmental regulations in the area of environmental management for years. This index is audited annually in the EMAS verification process. A comprehensive index which includes the areas of environmental management, companies, products and workplace safety, is currently being drafted.
In the supply chain, the verification of compliance with all environmental legislation and labor standards, laws and regulations is nearly impossible – especially since we work almost exclusively with independent producers. Nevertheless, we take this issue very seriously and rely on the information provided by our suppliers and bluesign® system monitoring with regard to environmental regulations.
As a Friend of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Association, we adhere to their guidelines for testing wastewater and sewage sludge in textile production. In this way, we can hopefully soon achieve the common goal of completely eliminating harmful chemicals from production.
Many of our suppliers are bluesign® system partners. The bluesign® system checks compliance with all applicable environmental legislation in the respective country of production. We are not aware of any cases in which our suppliers or their subcontractors have violated environmental laws that led to a fine or non-monetary sanctions. More info – bluesign® system.
We depend on our supply chain’s Fair Wear audits with regard to labor standards, laws and regulations. As a member of Fair Wear, we are committed to the implementation of minimum standards based on the "International Labor Organization" (ILO) in all production facilities around the world. 100 percent of our production facilities in high-risk countries are audited by Fair Wear. Read more here
With regard to product conformity, we observe many different laws, regulations and standards, including textile labeling, product safety (such as the drawcord standard for children's clothing), REACH, and the EU Chemicals Ordinance. For this purpose, we are involved in various associations and working groups in order to be informed of all changes at an early stage and to incorporate them into our products and product specifications.
Some products require a CE Declaration of Conformity, such as those that are considered personal protective equipment, T-shirts with UV protection or toys. These VAUDE products are labelled with the CE mark, and corresponding proof and documentation is available to us and can be downloaded by consumers or retailers from our website. Read more here
We see ourselves as a socially active company, which is also reflected in our corporate philosophy. This means that we not only adhere to legal requirements for our product range and environmental standards, but also meet labor standards, laws and regulations. Read more here
To establish legal certainty we use various external sources and depend upon the advice of outside experts in different areas and fields. These include memberships in associations such as GermanFashion, Federal German Working Group on Environmentally Friendly Management BAUM e.V., Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikel-Industrie e.V., Dialog Textil Bekleidung, European Outdoor Group, etc. and partnerships such as the bluesign® system partnership.
From these sources we obtain current information on legislative changes or amendments to other rules. This also includes information about legal requirements in our production countries. In labor law issues, we work with a law firm that specializes in employment law.