VAUDE’s roots and its headquarters are set in a very rural area. Our company is based in Obereisenbach near Tettnang which is home to some 1,000 residents. Doing business in this community doesn't just mean providing jobs; it also involves inconveniences for the local population such as loud delivery trucks, construction noise and more.
This is the source of our special sense of responsibility and commitment to the region and the local community. We value being a good neighbor.
The lack of infrastructure that existed up until recently motivated us to search for improvements. In addition, VAUDE deliberately worked toward strengthening local business by building a new factory on the premises for our Made in Germany products in 2016. Find out more about the Manufaktur here
In the past, pregnancy often meant that an employee had to leave the company for at least three years because there were insufficient childcare facilities in the area. In 2001, we established a childcare center. Today, up to 31 children between six months and ten years of age are cared for in a crèche group and in mixed-age groups at the center.
VAUDE Kinderhaus Childcare Center
The VAUDE Kinderhaus is open to all children, regardless of whether their parents work for the company or not.
Our VAUDE childcare center was created in cooperation with the City of Tettnang. VAUDE made facilities available and took over the bulk of the investment. Sixty percent of operating costs (personnel, electricity, heating, etc.) are covered by the city of Tettnang, VAUDE finances the rest.
Women who work at VAUDE can return to work after having children. Combined with the introduction of flexible working hours, we were able to increase the rate of female managers to 43 percent in 2019 (2018: 42 %, 2017: 41 %, 2016: 42 %, 2015: 39 %, 2014: 37 %).
In addition, we have a high birth rate at the company. In 2019, 44 employees took parental leave (2018: 44 employees, 2017: 39 employees, 2016: 52 employees, 2015: 36 employees). While the birth rate in Germany is 8.6 births per 1,000 (source Central Intelligence Agency), we had 27 births with a little over 500 VAUDE employees in 2019 – far above the German average.
»The conditions that VAUDE created with childcare and flexible working hours make it possible for me to have a good balance between work and family. In addition, they really make it easier to come back to work after parental leave.«
Summer fun in "Bädle"
VAUDE has continued on as tenant of the local outdoor pool, idyllically situated between green meadows and forests. Otherwise, it would have needed to close.
Because it was unclear how long the technology would last, the Bädle would have been threatened with closure in the long term. Due to the high renovation costs and other investments by the city of Tettnang, the future of the Bädle was discussed intensively in the local council.
After almost two years the anxiety is over. The final vote took place in March 2019. A tightly contested decision made it possible to renovate the building starting in autumn 2019. The Bädle is to be reopened in June 2020.
Since we’ve been involved as operators, we have managed to make the Bädle very attractive for families and children with a variety of measures – and despite the fact that it is getting on in years. We were able to increase revenues and halve the costs that we were responsible for.
The main contributing factor was that we could make use of many VAUDE services – from website maintenance to marketing and accounting – at net cost. Finding entrepreneurial solutions for many of the challenges the facilities faced has been a very successful.
In addition to this, members of the Förderverein, an association that supports the keeping of the pool, have provided valuable voluntary work and repeatedly assumed purchases (such as trees, for example). In collaboration with various dedicated patrons, we want to ensure that the pool continues to serve the public in the future as well.
Tettnang's mayor, Bruno Walter, approves of VAUDE’s activism. “With the attractive family and children’s swimming pool, the company is making a significant contribution to a special program.” And more: “We have the successful three-pillar model between business, community and the city – that came about in talks about the city’s finances – to thank for that the outdoor pool in Obereisenbach is still in operation today.”
Good connections with the Bähnle bus
Since Autumn 2013, our remote location in Obereisenbach near Tettnang has been connected to the public transport network.
As co-initiator, we fought for the creation of this bus route which significantly improved the infrastructure not only for VAUDE employees, but also for the residents of this idyllic and remote setting.
For some time now we have been working on the further development of the concept in order to make bus travel even more attractive for all employees and to further improve the energy balance at VAUDE together.
As a result, a number of changes were implemented starting in April 2018. In order to reduce waiting times and thus make the use of public transport even more pleasant and practical, an hourly interval and two new bus stops were introduced in the city of Tettnang. In addition, there is a new ticket concept with the e-card, which makes payment 100 % paper-free even easier.
Our organic company canteen opened in 2015 (read more here) giving employees and visitors the option of a healthy and inexpensive lunch in organic quality. Advance booking for lunch can be done online here
Organic food at the kiosk
Even the kiosk is certified organic: fries and sausages at the VAUDE kiosk are organic. The ingredients are sourced locally.