For the 25th time, the auditing and consulting firm EY honored the best owner-managed medium-sized companies. The business award was presented to entrepreneurs in the categories Family Business, Innovation, Sustainability and Young Company. There were also two honorary awards and an audience award. The festive awards ceremony at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin was hosted by news anchor Judith Rakers.
New: Sustainability Category
The fact that a new category, Sustainability, was introduced for the first time this year underscores the urgency of the issue. "I am delighted to receive this award, which makes it clear that sustainability and business belong together. We need all companies to master global challenges such as climate change," said Antje von Dewitz. At the award ceremony, which took place concurrently with the climate summit in Glasgow, attention was also drawn to the urgent need for decarbonisation and its associated energy revolution in the business world. VAUDE is demonstrating that it is possible: the company will be climate neutral on a global scale starting in 2022 – something that’s already been true of their German company location since 2012.
Successful sustainability transformation at VAUDE
For Antje von Dewitz as an entrepreneur, taking on responsibility for people and the planet is a given. After taking over the management from her father in 2009, she transformed VAUDE into a company that is totally focused on sustainability. "Antje von Dewitz has consistently developed VAUDE into a brand that puts the claim of sustainable business into practice like hardly any other," praised the jury of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. To pass on this knowledge, the VAUDE Academy for Sustainable Business was founded to advise and support other companies in their own transformation.
The family-owned business implements sustainability in all areas of the company, including product development, its mobility concept and innovative business models for long-term product use. With the VAUDE Green Shape label based on the strictest ecological and social standards, VAUDE offers functional, environmentally friendly products made from sustainable materials and fair manufacturing. More than 90 percent of the apparel collection now meets the Green Shape criteria. For the majority of the VAUDE product range, the Grüner Knopf (Green Button) also applies – a state-regulated seal that identifies socially and ecologically produced textiles.
Antje von Dewitz is passionate about ecological and social responsibility in the global supply chain – not just at VAUDE, but also on a national and international level. And Antje von Dewitz impressively demonstrates that a sustainably oriented company can also be economically successful.