This report contains relevant information on issues during the reporting period (fiscal year 2017) and an outlook on effects and issues of future material aspects. We selected issues based on our experience and our level of knowledge; we have not deliberately omitted any information that could be important to our stakeholders.
We focused on the following principles for the selection of report content:
The material aspects of this report were identified in a company-wide report team. Team members are employees in key positions who are concerned with sustainability issues and have contact with our stakeholder groups (e.g. human resources, environmental management officer, sustainability communicators, product line implementation).
We defined three evaluation areas that each had various subordinate aspects.
1. "Influence on the assessments and decisions of stakeholders"
2. "The importance of economic, environmental and social / societal impact"
These areas were rated per aspect and subsection numbers (3 = low, 2 = medium, 1 = high).
3. “Are stakeholders with Priority 1 affected by this aspect?”
First we classified our stakeholders (more at "These are Our Stakeholders") as Priority 1, 2 and 3 and then re-examined whether one, two, or more stakeholders with Priority 1 were affected by each aspect.
This third area was also given a numerical rating per aspect and subsection:
(3 = none, 2 = one, 1 = several Priority 1 stakeholders were affected.)
This resulted in a grouping of issues:
The estimates are based largely on the experience of the person responsible, as well as the team’s discussions. We verified individual aspects on the basis of figures, for example, spending on locally based suppliers. For each aspect we also assessed whether the effects occurred within or outside of the organization.
Finally, the results were discussed with the Executive Board (of which Jan Lorch, Chief Officer of Sales and CSR is also a member) and the aspects were once again rechecked.
The results of our materiality analysis can be found here
In defining the material aspects that determined the content of this report, we addressed issues that stakeholders raised. One example of this is the increased emphasis on transportation as an aspect, as this is an issue that plays a greater role in public perception than the actual impact we believe would be justified.
We have highlighted the most important future challenges for the outdoor industry, resulting from our work in industry associations. In addition, we took into account relevant laws and voluntary agreements, such as the Fair Wear Foundation’s "Code of Labor Practices" and sustainability impacts that were identified by professional reviews, such as biodiversity at our company location in Obereisenbach.
We surveyed the readers of our sustainability report (report year 2015). The feedback on the relevance of individual aspects was incorporated into our materiality analysis and the preparation of this report (report year 2016).
The survey showed that readers also viewed those aspects which we identified as material as either very important or important. The question as to whether material aspects were lacking in our report revealed that while we covered all-important aspects, we should take some issues on more fully. We have implemented these suggestions in this report.
For example, we have expanded the “Materials” section and are reporting comprehensively about the origin of our materials and compliance with environmental standards when selecting materials. In the new section “What you can do”, we show options for using VAUDE products sustainably and how we can provide support for this goal.
The detailed survey results can be found here
In "Our Goals in Detail", we have documented in detail which aspects we have assigned to each company goal. Thus, the direct connection with the company's strategy is visible. We report on what we have accomplished for each goal in the past year, and where we are still working on improvements.
In the section "Our Sustainability Strategy", we represent our understanding of sustainable development on each subject and what long-term strategy we are pursuing as a company in the field of sustainability. Furthermore, we report on the challenges we are facing at our site in Tettnang-Obereisenbach and what issues are particularly relevant in the supply chain.
We have also taken into account issues in this report that arise from our corporate values, our strategy, risks and opportunities for us and our goals and that reflect the interests and expectations of our closest stakeholders such as our employees, shareholders and producers.