Search Report
2021 Sustainability Report
published 2022/08/01

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. In recent years, we have established systematic communication with external 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 talks with Four Paws, our suppliers and competitors to understand exactly what we needed to do better. This led to the development of the Responsible Down Standard, a new industry standard. Since its inception, we have had all the down we use certified. More about down here

Feedback on the Sustainability Report

This VAUDE Sustainability Report is also a result of the extensive dialog that we at VAUDE have with all of our various stakeholders. It has been met with broad interest and serves as a model for many companies. Our aspiration is to provide our stakeholders with factually sound, self-critical and honest information and to invite them to engage in critical dialog. We are therefore particularly pleased to have been awarded 1st prize in a nationwide ranking of sustainability reports, which was carried out by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research IÖW and future e.V. in 2019! Read more here.

Constructive dialog with experts on the VAUDE Green Shape Standard

One of our most important tools for the development of VAUDE products is the VAUDE Green Shape Standard, our proprietary standard for greener outdoor products. Green Shape is now reaching its next milestone. The 2022 Summer Collection will be subject to even stricter and more demanding criteria. Read more here

In preparation for this, we have been in contact with a number of experts and important stakeholders. We have held interesting discussions and received a number of important tips on technical criteria and the decision-making process for whether a product may be labeled with Green Shape, achieving even greater credibility and resilience.

When looking at the VAUDE Repair Index, for example, we involved the Repair Round Table initiative and iFixit. We worked on the complex issue of material efficiency together with experts from the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences. The criteria for recyclability of VAUDE products are based on a RASUM project with Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. We have been in close contact with preeminent experts, practitioners and associations in the entire industry for years on the strict specifications regarding material selection and material certifications.

Political Work

2021 was shaped by discussions on the Due Diligence Act, which the German Federal Ministries for Labor and for Economic Cooperation would like to introduce. VAUDE is in intensive discussions with various stakeholders, both supporters and opponents, and is actively campaigning for ambitious legal regulation. Read more here

In addition, stakeholder dialog continues to focus primarily on the issues of biodiversity and climate protection. We have become a member of Entrepreneurs For Future and participated in the global climate strike. The petition for a referendum on the protection of species - "Save the Bees" - sent shock waves throughout Baden-Württemberg and led to many discussions. To create understanding for the various positions, we invited representatives of agriculture, both conventional and organic, and the initiators of the referendum to our headquarters in July 2019 and had an open exchange of opinions.

Find out more about VAUDE's political dialog here, and the initiatives that we are actively involved here.

Exchanges and further continued 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 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. 
  • 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 leading the way.

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 exchange format with specialist retailers – a great success story!!

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. Unfortunately, no events could take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the Corona pandemic.

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, goose 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? 

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.

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.

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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