Mankind is overburdening the planet. According to the Global Footprint Network*, humanity used natural resources 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems could regenerate in 2022. In Germany, our resource consumption currently exceeds 3 times what can be regenerated**. In order to ensure the long-term survival of humanity on Earth, we, as individuals, companies, and governments, need to find ways to enable a good life with lower resource consumption. This makes considerations and actions towards a new understanding of growth a necessity - for VAUDE as well.
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
We see achieving absolute decoupling (reducing resource consumption while increasing revenue) of our growth from resource consumption and strengthening the circular economy as key factors for a climate-friendly future. Therefore, we are investing more in the quality and recyclability of our products, as well as in resource-efficient and circular business models. Through services like the VAUDE Academy for Sustainable Business, we aim to support and accompany companies, partners, and customers in their transformation process. With our circular business models of renting, reselling, repairing, and upcycling, we promote extended material and product usage.
In the context of business, growth is equated with success and is usually related to sales growth in conjunction with profit maximization. The most important measure of a country is the gross domestic product (GDP) – the value of all goods and services produced within a year. When GDP increases, it is commonly referred to as economic growth. GDP is usually one of the most important measures used to evaluate the prosperity of a country.
We consider this perspective on economic and corporate growth as too one-sided, as it often neglects the negative ecological and social consequences of uncontrolled growth.
VAUDE stands for responsible growth with consideration for people and nature. In order to increase the quality of life and keep the ecological footprint created by our business activities as small as possible, we are increasingly decoupling our growth from resource consumption. Investments flow into the quality and recyclability of our products, as well as into resource-efficient and circular business models.
*Source: Global Footprint Network