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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

Success with strong corporate values

At VAUDE, authenticity and transparency are central corporate values. In our Guiding Principles and our Code of Conduct, The VAUDE Wegweiser, we make our values transparent and describe how we want to live in concrete terms.

Our corporate philosophy

We understand engaging in business as a responsibility for contributing to the public good. We take on responsibility in everything that we do: for our employees and partners around the world, the environment and for following generations. As a company that acts sustainably, we align ourselves with longterm, future oriented, ecological, social and economic goals.


»We full-heartedly accept our social and environmental responsibility.«

Antje von Dewitz, CEO

We are aware that our company activity involves a burden on the environment. We accept responsibility for this and are constantly working to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible.


To this end, we rely on the best available technology in an ecological sense. In addition, we are passionate about innovative and sustainable solutions so that we can blaze a sustainable trail for others to follow. Read more at VAUDE Ecosystem.


The strength of our brand and the value of our products are our most valuable resources. Therefore, we at VAUDE focus on our guiding principles – and not on short-term profit maximization. In order to be able to continue along this path autonomously over the long term, we are maintaining our financial independence. See "Sustainable business is worthwhile"

 
 

Our Guiding Principles

Our Guiding Principles describe what we stand for as a company while providing us with motivation and setting our direction.


Our Guiding Principles

Link to our guiding principles as PDF

1 OUR ROOTS: “THE MOUNTAIN”

THE MOUNTAIN. The exhilaration of the ascent, the peace at the top, the far-sighted view and the
joy of the descent are what drive us.
 

 
THE MOUNTAIN stands for the high, clearly defined standards of our products
and, at the same time, for experiencing nature passionately.
We accept the challenges that THE MOUNTAIN presents to us as people and to our
products.


“Our Roots” describes where we come from as a company and the origin of our company’s purpose. It’s also the most important point of reference for everything we do: THE MOUNTAIN – a reference to typical mountain sports activities and a symbol of our oneness with nature and the high functional requirements of our products. THE MOUNTAIN inspires our conduct – both in the mountains and in our everyday lives.


2 VALUE “WE”

Mountain. Nature. Team. Partnership. Fun. Family. We.


VAUDE stands for partner-based interaction with nature and with people.


This value describes the central idea of how we see ourselves as a company, what kind of culture we want to create, and how we want to treat each other. A key factor in the understanding of our values is “team spirit”. The team spirit that is embodied in a roped team in mountain sports as well as in a partnership, in a family, in the (family-owned) company and also in harmony with nature.


3 DRIVER “FORWARD”

Trends change as fast as the weather in the mountains. Sustainability endures.


We set off on the path becoming Europe’s most sustainable outdoor outfitter so that the people of tomorrow can enjoy nature to the fullest.

We are pioneers along this path, questioning conventions and the limits of what is possible – creating future-oriented products and solutions with sustainable innovations.


Forward to nature! “Driver of innovation” describes how we do business and what guides us. We are open for new technologies and new types of sports. We are optimistically looking for solution-oriented opportunities for the manufacturing of innovative, sustainable products.

 
 

Our "Wegweiser" Code of Conduct

In 2016 we engaged in a participatory project to put our values and how we embody them into concrete terms in a code of conduct, the VAUDE Wegweiser.

The Code of Conduct is intended to serve as a guide for all employees in unclear situations, to provide support for appropriate behavior and to make our culture of trust tangible. The guide is about how we can avoid conflicts of interest, deal with gifts properly and deal with trust-based working hours. It also provides support for employees who have to deal with violations of the guide.


Our Code of Conduct consists of the following chapters:


1. Scope


This chapter is about for whom and in which situations the guide is valid and how we deal with laws and ethical principles at VAUDE.

Table of Contents:

  • Scope
  • Law abidance and ethical conduct


2. The sustainability track 


In this chapter, we address our corporate responsibility for achieving sustainable success: we take responsibility for our actions and economic activity, both in dealing with others as well as in dealing with our environment.


3. On the track together


This section addresses the question: "How do we deal with each other?" with the goal of strengthening our culture of trust and making our interaction positive for everyone.

Table of Contents:

  • Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Equal Treatment
  • Culture of Trust 
  1. Trust-based working hours
  2. Home Office
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Conduct while traveling


4. Equipment, mine, yours, ours? 

 
This is about questions concerning VAUDE property, the extent to which it must be protected by all employees and in what context it can be used.

Table of Contents:

  • Representing our corporate values
  • Use of company property for private purposes
  • Handling of intellectual property
  • Use of IT systems
  • Privacy policy


5. On the track with others


This chapter is about how we deal with our business partners and what expectations we have of working together.

Table of Contents:

  • Dress code
  • Dealing with gifts
  • Dealing with special conditions from other companies
  • Use of accommodation vouchers
  • Business relationships 
  1. Private interests
  2. Selection and handling of business partners
  3. Together toward success
  • Business relations with military organizations


6. Staying on the right track


In this chapter, our employees will find help with how they can implement this guide and explanations on how it can provide them with concrete guidance in difficult situations.
Table of Contents

  • Information
  • Questions
  • What to do if someone violates the guidelines
  • Assistance: am I behaving appropriately? 
  • Dealing with violations
  • Adjustments to the Code of Conduct


In addition, many issues are regulated by specific guidelines, based on our understanding of values, such as:


  • Travel Policy: business travel as eco-friendly as possible – see Reduced emissions from business travel.
  • VAUDE guidelines for eco-friendly supply purchases for office, computer, tradeshows and sanitary facilities.
  • Leadership at VAUDE: responsible leadership – management roles and management philosophy.
  • VAUDE guidelines for filming (no filming from helicopters, cyclists stay on paths, etc.) – see Eco-friendly communication
  • Guidelines for VAUDE drivers: Code of Ethics for drivers and thinkers.
  • “Code of Conduct” of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), which is included in supplier agreements.
  • Statement of responsible paper purchasing – see 99 percent recycled paper
  • Material Policy: regulation of the use of materials in product development – see VAUDE Material Policy
GRI:   102-16
Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior
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