Search Report
2019 Sustainability Report
published 2020/08/01

In constructive and active dialog

Dialog with our stakeholders provides us with ideas on how we can continue to improve our company and gives us the opportunity to involve our stakeholders in the value-oriented VAUDE community.

Working together to find the best solutions

We at VAUDE are open and interested in partner-based dialog with our stakeholders. We believe that by working together, we can make a bigger difference than working alone. Therefore, we address important issues and concerns in dialogs with our stakeholders.

»We want to use active dialog with our stakeholders in order to learn and actively involve them in the value-oriented community of VAUDE.«

Hilke Patzwall, VAUDE Sustainability Manager

We have drawn valuable insights about how we can improve our company from discussions with these stakeholders – an example:

VAUDE has made a clear commitment for itself: We only use down that comes from sources with high standards of animal welfare.

Triggered by a campaign by the Four Paws organization against the practices of live plucking and force feeding geese, we reviewed our down supply chain and found that we could not guarantee 100 % control over the conditions at the time. We entered into an intensive exchange with Four Paws, our suppliers and competitors to understand exactly what we needed to do better. This led to the development of the the Responsible Down Standard, a new industry standard. Since its inception, we have had all the down we use certified. More about down here

Want to know whom we’re talking with and what structures for dialog we have? Then read further...

Exchanges and further development with internal stakeholders

Our employees are our most important resource. This is why we have implemented a variety of systematic events for dialog on different levels.
  • We discuss strategic issues and planning with our management team in quarterly meetings.
  • We survey our employees regularly regarding issues that personally move them personally – more at "Satisfied employees are motivated". 
  • Once a year we organize an interactive company event during which we learn about and discuss current issues at VAUDE. 
  • Our employee representation consists of five elected employees from commercial and industrial company divisions. They are an active link between the employees and the management and exchange information as required.
  • Together with our employees, we are continuing to develop our organization. Restructuring doesn’t take place from the top down, but with the involvement of those affected. More at "Culture of trust". 
  • In 2017 we implemented an interactive workshop with interested employees on the development of our personnel strategy. We will continue the format in 2018.
  • We hold an annual interactive workshop with interested employees on the development of our personnel strategy in which we gain inspiration and direction for the prioritization of areas of action.
  • Twice a year a strategic exchange with shareholders during the shareholder meeting takes place – more at “Antje von Dewitz at the summit”.

Interactive dialog with retailers

Our customers, sporting goods retailers, are our most important multipliers and our best link to our end customers. With the Green Shape Campus we have set up a systematic opportunity for exchanging information with retailers.

In 2019 we provided training on sustainability issues for 80 salespeople at our Green Shape Campus and discussed sustainability management at VAUDE. The results of these discussions were incorporated in the company through our sustainability team. 

Green Shape Campus topics:

Sustainable products and their significance for retail trade

  • Complex products, global supply chain 
  • Green materials and technologies such as recycled materials, fluorocarbon-free DWR, down
  • Good working conditions in Asia – what’s involved? 
  • The Fair Wear Foundation and the principle of shared responsibility
  • The bluesign® system
  • Climate change and climate protection – what does it have to do with us... and how do we communicate this to our customers? 

VAUDE – the environmentally friendly outdoor outfitter

  • The “green thread” at VAUDE: sustainability as a business model 
  • VAUDE Green Shape: eco-friendly, functional products made from sustainable materials 
  • Quality with system and labor 
  • Durability of VAUDE products: product design, maintenance and care, 2nd hand and repair services 
  • Made in Germany: the VAUDE Manufaktur product facility

Dialog Workshop

  • How can we successfully and authentically communicate the issue of sustainability in stores? 
  • How do you value the sustainability management at VAUDE and what expectations do you have regarding the issue at VAUDE? 

The desires and needs of consumers are extremely valuable for our development. Therefore, we value direct contact with them. We offer you various channels to contact us directly. Here you can find out which possibilities you have and how we evaluate the feedback.

E-Mail and telephone available for all

You can contact the VAUDE Service Department directly by e-mail, at or by phone. The telephone number is: + 49 (0) 7542 5306-0.

If any questions, uncertainties or complaints arise here or in the stores that can’t be answered immediately, the issue will be forwarded to the VAUDE CSR team and then directed to an expert at VAUDE who will either answer directly or give the information back to the original sales representative to answer.

Feedback on the Sustainability Report

We have surveyed the readers of our report (report year 2013, 2014, 2015) three times now. We have incorporated their insights into this report (report year 2017).

We could incorporate a total of 50 complete surveys. About 96 % of the respondents evaluated our sustainability report as good or very good.

What do you think of the Sustainability Report?

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Which issues are you most interested in?

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Your assessment of the design elements of our report

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Respondents made the following suggestions for improvement: 

  • shorter texts
  • more graphics and videos 
  • clearer structure and organization

Dialog on equal footing with producers and suppliers

  • We work closely with our producers and suppliers on social and environmental issues.
  • Once a year we invite all partners to a Supplier Day at our company. At this event, we come together to discuss strategic issues, focal points and goals. This both gives our partners insight into our strategies and philosophy and allows them to actively participate as well.
  • We have created VAUDE Vendor Clubs in Taiwan and Vietnam. They serve as a platform for exchanging ideas, gaining new inspiration from external experts and using case studies and workshops to learn how to implement issues strategically and operationally.
  • Another platform we use for dialog is the VAUDE RUNDER TISCH (Round Table). In 2019 this took place in Taiwan. We brought together material suppliers and the chemical industry to discuss the challenges of the substitution of hazardous chemicals such as PFCs and to define future action.
  • We are very proud of these platforms. They bring us into direct and close contact with our supply chain. The active participation of our supply chain in these events shows both how much interest there is in a joint approach and that we have a good relationship of trust within our supply chain thanks to long-standing partnerships.

In the supply chain, we have so far only established systematic findings procedure for social issues - read more about the "Findings Procedure". Environmental issues can also be addressed through this channel, but the awareness of employees in the supply chain has so far not been very pronounced.

We still need to take action in this area: in the supply chain, the awareness of both the management and the employees of the individual companies on environmental issues is of paramount importance. For us, it would be valuable and helpful to directly identify possible complaints from the manufacturing companies of local residents, employees of companies or even NGOs.

In 2018, we introduced an even more comprehensive and strict system of cooperation and dialog with our producers and suppliers in the form of Vendor Management – read more here

Constructive dialog with experts, politicians, banks and initiatives

In recent years, we established systematic dialog with external stakeholders. Biodiversity and climate protection were central themes for us in 2019. We became a member of Entrepreneurs For Future and took part in global climate strikes.

The petition for a referendum on the protection of species – "Save the bees"– sent shock waves throughout Baden-Württemberg and led to many discussions. In order to increase understanding for the various positions, we invited representatives of agriculture, both conventional and organic, and the initiators of the petition for a referendum to our office in July 2019 and held an open exchange of opinions – more about this here.

  • Exchange on political issues - more at Involvement on a political level and Stronger together.
  • Over the past few years, we have established a strong network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and initiatives with which we maintain a lively exchange. For example with Greenpeace on the topic of chemical-free clothing. Of course, this doesn’t protect us from being criticized publicly. While this is not particularly enjoyable, most NGOs have legitimate concerns. We try to sit down and jointly explore where VAUDE should start in order to achieve improvements. We achieved a great milestone with the VAUDE Greenpeace Detox Commitment 2016.
  • In 2016, we organized a Dialogue Workshop with representatives from our environmental stakeholder groups on environmental management in the supply chain and evaluated our pilot project with the experts. Representatives of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), the European Outdoor Group and the Federation of German Sports Goods Industry (BSI) were all included. The results flow into the continued development of the project – more at "Suppliers as partners".
  • VAUDE's management board meets with the Tettnang Municipal Council annually to talk about VAUDE’s influence in the region – see Creating value through commitment
  • The management board meets regularly with VAUDE’s banks to discuss strategic issues.

Comprehensive stakeholder analysis as a basis for dialog

We prepared a comprehensive stakeholder analysis for the preparation of our first GRI Report 2013 which we update annually as part of our GRI reporting.. An interdisciplinary team with members from other companies in the industry identified our stakeholder groups, their key concerns and how they are included – "Who are our stakeholders?".

GRI:   102-42
Identifying and selecting stakeholders
GRI:   102-43
Approach to stakeholder engagement
GRI:   102-44
Key topics and concerns raised
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