Search Report
2022 Sustainability Report
published 2023/08/01

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 – here are a few example:

Sustainable and climate-neutral energy supply in Obereisenbach.

Due to climate change and the Russian attack on Ukraine, which led to a significant increase in energy costs, the pressure to act has increased tremendously to become fully independent from fossil fuels. We are committed to promoting local solutions for transitioning to renewable energy sources at our company headquarters.

In December 2022, on the initiative of VAUDE, the kickoff event for an innovative project took place. Participants included Dorothea Hose-Groeneveld, Climate Protection Manager in the Bodenseekreis district, the managing director of BUND Ravensburg, Ulfried Miller, Walter Göppel, Managing Director of the Energy Agency Ravensburg-Oberschwaben, Alexander Henzler, Managing Director of Kirchner Energie GmbH from Weingarten, and Andrea Fuchs, the Head of Planning and Construction of the city of Tettnang. During the event, the current situation was discussed, and possibilities were explored to utilize existing untapped potentials.

All participants welcomed VAUDE's initiative to consolidate efforts in the field of energy supply and move forward consistently. The group agreed to organize in-depth workshops in spring 2023, focusing on involving the citizens of Obereisenbach, utilization of photovoltaics, and climate-friendly mobility.

Chemical Management in the Supply Chain.

In 2022, we achieved 2nd place as the "Best Supply Chain Communicator" in the LIFE AskREACH project! It's a fantastic recognition of our transparent communication regarding chemical management throughout the entire supply chain.

"We are proud that through clear communication with all partners in the supply chain, we are ensuring compliance with our high standards and the absence of concerning chemicals in our products. This is a true team effort!"

For over a decade, we have been dedicated to comprehensive pollutant management and have a clear strategy for chemical management:

  • We prioritize the highest level of safety for our customers.
  • We refrain from using environmentally harmful and hazardous chemicals.
  • We proactively substitute hazardous substances even without legal regulations.
  • We take full responsibility for human health and the environment within our supply chain.
  • We train and empower our partners in the supply chain.

This excellent collaboration with our suppliers is instrumental in our successful and transparent communication. You can read more about it 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

Green Shape Advisory Board

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 has reached another milestone: to further strengthen credibility, we have established a Green Shape Advisory Board. Through the work of the Advisory Board, we will ensure that the Green Shape criteria meet industry best practices from an environmental perspective and are credible, transparent, ambitious and relevant. The next step is for Green Shape to receive external accreditation.

The first meeting of the Green Shape Advisory Board took place online on May 13, 2022.

The advisory board consists of six independent experts who represent the most important stakeholder groups around environmentally friendly outdoor products:

  • Anna Rodewald / Greenroomvoice (Publicity, Media, Consumers)
  • Marco Weichert / Weichert Agencies (Suppliers)
  • Fabian Nendza / Globetrotter (Specialized Trade)
  • Dr. Maximilian Hempel / Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (Environmental Sciences, Circular Economy)
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Führ / Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Environmental Sciences, Law)
  • Rebecca Tauer / WWF (Civil Society Environmental Protection, Climate Protection, Circular Economy)

Project "New Pay"

In a project team consisting of VAUDE employees, executives, and the human resources department, we collectively sought solutions to offset the high inflation. In addition to increasing shift allowances, inflation bonuses, and a general salary increase, the "Givve Card" was developed as a targeted relief solution for employees, which is tax-free and social security-free. The increased cost of living and food prices pose significant challenges for many people. Following the benchmark set by the federal government for average incomes, over 50% of employees will have access to the card.

The Givve Card is a voluntary non-cash benefit in the form of a rechargeable shopping card for "daily needs." It can be used at regional stores, supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, and other establishments that accept MasterCard. The card can also be used for services such as visiting hairdressers, provided they also accept MasterCard.

Political Work

We are also committed to the issues that are close to our hearts at the political level or are active in initiatives and associations.

You can read about the issues we support here, and about the initiatives we are actively involved in 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!!

About 80 of us regularly train retail sales staff in sustainability issues at the Green Shape Campus and exchange information about VAUDE's commitment to sustainability. The results of the dialog are brought into the company via the sustainability team and processed.

Green Shape Campus issues:

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 (this took place virtually during the pandemic). 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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