Degrowth is a term that describes concepts that contribute to the development of our economic system with the goal of enabling a good life for all and preserving the ecological foundation for life. Degrowth advocates see the current level of economic growth as a major cause of our prevailing socio-ecological problems.
The following concepts are seen as solutions for degrowth:
Cooperation, thinking and acting in partnership.
Want to find out more about degrowth? Here’s a list of books on the topic (in german).
For VAUDE, degrowth means taking a critical look at the growth of our own company. We are working to leave as small an ecological footprint as possible with our business methods in order to conserve the earth's resources.
In our work, we see the solutions to degrowth as a valuable addition to our understanding of sustainability.
In 2019, the management and the sustainability team, accompanied by Andri König, PhD student for Corporate and Environmental Ethics at the Munich College for Ethics in Practice, LMU Munich, dealt with the issue of degrowth and defined where VAUDE has already implemented degrowth approaches and which approaches will be pursued in the future.
In principle, we want to continue to grow organically. This means that we are striving for growth along our own path and largely from our own resources. Why not simply forego growth? The main reason for this is the strong concentration processes taking place in the outdoor and sporting goods industry. Both our competitors and our major customers are becoming ever larger by means of takeovers and acquisitions. In order to remain economically independent as a family-owned business and to be able to continue to operate on an equal footing with our customers and our producers in the market, we are dependent upon continued growth – read more
Our primary sales markets are in Europe. We are a family-run company and the company headquarters with the Manufaktur production facility in Tettnang-Obereisenbach where 70 employees work demonstrates our local heritage. We are constantly checking which products can and should be produced in Germany or the EU. Why this is not an easy task is discussed here
We want to contribute to the development of our economy in a direction that is oriented towards the common good and that is value-based. That is why we value commitment.
The Economy for the Common Good analyzes the issue of collaborative partnership in depth in its Balance Sheet. You can see how we have performed here.
As we follow this path of sustainability, we have repeatedly come up against barriers in the economic system and have learned that there are aspects of the system that need to change in order to make doing business within our planet’s limits possible. One such aspect is that in today's economic system, the measurement of entrepreneurial success is purely in terms of financial indicators such as sales and profits; there is a competitive disadvantage for companies that operate in an environmentally friendly and fair manner. These companies have significantly higher costs, whereas conventionally operating companies often act at the expense of society and nature in order to cut costs. This is why in politics, associations and initiatives we are committed to an economic system oriented towards the common good, which creates fair, competitive conditions and also measures entrepreneurial success using social and ecological aspects – read more
We want our way of doing business to make a positive impact. Our goal is to continuously improve our impact on society and the environment and, as a pioneer in sustainability, to inspire others. In the VAUDE Academy for sustainable business, we support and accompany other companies in their own sustainable business activities as well as offer educational activities for schools, universities, associations and initiatives – read more
*Source: Global Footprint Network