The experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree: Climate change is not only a man-made reality, it is also progressing faster than previously assumed. If we continue as before, the 1.5 degree target set in the Paris Climate Agreement could be exceeded in just over a decade – with dramatic consequences in some cases, as they became apparent in Germany this summer. “Time is pressing. Climate protection must have top priority and we must act now with all our might, the facts from climate science tell us that very clearly,” says Antje von Dewitz, CEO of Vaude.
The company, which has already been committed to sustainability and climate protection, has therefore decided to become climate neutral with all products manufactured worldwide from 1 January 2022. To achieve this, Vaude will fully offset its global greenhouse gas emissions and additionally invest in their continuous reduction. Since the willingness to accept higher prices is just as limited among retailers as it is among end customers, the additional costs for sustainably manufactured products and climate compensation can only be met by savings elsewhere. Therefore, Vaude is now clearly setting priorities and taking the necessary budget from the marketing budget. “In order to be able to invest even more in climate protection,” the company informs us, “we are doing without expensive advertising.” “Climate protection instead of advertising. In order to achieve complete climate neutrality much sooner than originally planned, we are courageously cutting our marketing budget. In view of the global climate crisis, we would be happy to see imitators,” says Antje von Dewitz.
Since 2009, Vaude has been working at its German headquarters with 100% green electricity, including from self-generated solar energy. Since 2012, the company headquarters and all products manufactured in the factory have been climate-neutral. In 2019, the company joined the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and committed to reducing its emissions according to science-based climate targets. According to Vaude, the main share of emissions is generated in the global supply chain. Functional outdoor products are mainly made of synthetic fibres, which require a lot of energy to produce. In the spirit of a circular economy, 90% of products should therefore be made predominantly from recycled or bio-based materials by 2024. “There are still some big chunks ahead of us,” says Hilke Patzwall, Senior Manager Sustainability at Vaude. We know that the majority of our greenhouse gas emissions are generated by our suppliers in the production of the materials for our products. An energy turnaround in the manufacturing countries is urgently needed to be able to reduce emissions on a large scale.”
More on ndion:
ndion Design Podcast Episode 14: Antje von Dewitz from VAUDE: “Sustainability is a modern business discipline” (in german)
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