Search Report
2021 Sustainability Report
published 2022/08/01

Are there alternatives to growth?

Mankind is overburdening the planet. According to the Global Footprint Network*, humanity used natural resources 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems could regenerate in 2021. In order to enable people to continue enjoying living on our planet, we as individuals, companies and politicians will be required to succeed in enabling a good life with less resource consumption. It will take a great deal of thought and action to achieve a new understanding of growth – for VAUDE as well.

We are taking a critical look at the issue of corporate growth

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

What does corporate growth mean for VAUDE and what growth targets are VAUDE pursuing?

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 see this view of economic and business growth as too one-sided; it encourages overconsumption, for example, and often excludes the negative environmental and social consequences of uncontrolled growth.

Our understanding of growth:

We see the increasing decoupling of our growth from resource consumption and the strengthening of the circular economy as the key to a climate-friendly future. That is why we are increasingly investing in the quality of our products as well as in sustainable business models, such as our VAUDE Academy for sustainable business as well as in services that promote extending product life such as rentals, resale or repair.

It is important to us that growth should not stimulate overconsumption. For this reason, too, we strive to achieve organic growth through our own efforts, shaping our growth in line with demand and geared to sustainable consumer behavior.

We use our sustainably designed corporate growth to maintain an appropriate company size as a family business that allows us to survive in a market driven by a strong growth mindset and enormous concentration processes by large corporations.

The production of our sustainable products involves high additional costs, which we are usually unable to pass on directly to the customer. In order to be able to absorb these financially, our company growth also plays an important role. At the same time, we use our growing company size to exert more influence on a sustainable transformation of our products and supply chains in the outdoor and textile industries.

If market shares shift in our direction because our products are more sustainable, less resource-intensive and fairer than comparable competitor products, we see this growth as positive.

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. We invest in the quality of our products and in sustainable business models that strengthen the circular economy.
GRI:   103
Management Approach
GRI:   201‑1
Direct economic value generated and distributed
GRI:   203-2
Substantial indirect economic impacts
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