CO2 emissions must be reduced quickly and drastically, otherwise we will lose our chance to achieve the 1.5 target – with dramatic consequences for humanity and for future generations. This is the alarming conclusion of scientists in the recently published IPCC report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "This is an urgent wake-up call. We must take action – for our climate, for our future, for our children! Climate protection must be given the highest priority to keep our planet healthy!" appealed Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE Managing Director. The outdoor company has been actively committed to climate protection for years – the company headquarters in Tettnang has already been climate neutral since 2012. Now VAUDE has set everything in motion to reach another major milestone. Since January 1, 2022, VAUDE has been climate neutral with all products manufactured worldwide!
How did VAUDE accomplish this? The outdoor outfitter has been demonstrating for many years that it is feasible to systematically reduce emissions to counteract climate change. Since 2012, the company has been climate neutral at its headquarters in Tettnang including all production located there. In 2019, VAUDE set itself the goal of expanding its climate neutrality to a global scale. With a great deal of effort and in close cooperation with suppliers, all emissions from the upstream global supply chain were recorded. Based on the foundation of this data, VAUDE decided that from 2022 onward, all products would be climate neutral.
What does this mean in concrete terms? VAUDE has committed itself to ambitious climate targets in order to reduce global emissions to a high degree as quickly as possible. With these science based targets, VAUDE is continuously reducing its ecological footprint and making a measurable contribution to mitigating climate change while complying with the 1.5 degree target.
Since VAUDE cannot eliminate all emissions immediately, all (as yet) unavoidable CO2 emissions are compensated via a myclimate Gold Standard climate protection project in Vietnam in which small farms produce biogas from organic waste. This means that VAUDE is investing in climate protection projects through which the same proportion of emissions that the company still emits is saved elsewhere. "At the moment, we're taking two approaches. We're reducing our emissions as much as we can and, at the same time, we're compensating. This makes us climate neutral worldwide. This is a huge step, but it doesn't mean we're now sitting back and taking it easy. We're continuing to make such radical reductions that we have to compensate less and less," clarifies Antje von Dewitz. That is why VAUDE is also investing the same amount that goes into compensation each year into the further reduction of emissions.
Our biggest challenge is in the global supply chain
The largest share of our emissions is generated in our global supply chain, especially in the manufacturing of materials. Functional outdoor products are predominantly made of synthetic fibers and their production requires a high level of energy consumption. To reduce this, VAUDE has set itself two major goals in the global supply chain.
The first goal: By 2024, 90% of its products will be made primarily from recycled or biobased materials. VAUDE is committed to the principles of a circular economy. The use of renewable raw and recycled materials conserves fossil resources and reduces CO2 emissions by about 50% (depending on the material) compared to virgin materials. In our 2022 Apparel Collection, we have already achieved this for half of all products.
The second goal: By 2030, emissions from the supply chain, especially from material manufacturers, shall be reduced by 50%. "An energy revolution in our countries of manufacturing is urgently needed in order to be able to reduce emissions on a large scale," said Hilke Patzwall, VAUDE CSR Manager. VAUDE is working hard to support its global production partners switch to renewable energy sources. Back in 2015, VAUDE launched a pilot project with textile material suppliers which, among other things, saved more than 18 million kilowatt hours of energy annually in production – roughly equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of a small town.
VAUDE – a long-standing commitment to climate protection
• 2008: VAUDE introduces the European EMAS certification for its environmental management and starts to record and reduce emissions and consumption at its German headquarters.
• Since 2009, VAUDE has been using 100% green electricity at its headquarters in Tettnang, including solar energy from its own installation.
• The company headquarters and all products manufactured there have been climate neutral since 2012.
• 2019: VAUDE decides to become climate neutral worldwide and make its contribution to the 1.5 degree target using science based targets
• Since 2021, all VAUDE products are transported and shipped climate neutrally – from the production facility to the customer.
• 2022: 50% of the collection is made with materials featuring a lower carbon footprint (recycled or biobased)
• 2022: VAUDE is climate neutral worldwide with all products
Read more in our sustainability report, on our homepage and on our VAUDE Experience Blog: