The outdoor outfitter VAUDE from Tettnang in southern Germany is the recipient of this year’s German Business Ethics Network (DNWE) Award for corporate ethics.
On February 22, Dr. Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE CEO, accepted the honors during an award ceremony at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach. The company will receive 10,000 euro for its diverse initiatives towards sustainable business.
"VAUDE has shown that a commitment to sustainability and economic success are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, the one is a catalyst for the other,” stated the DNWE jury.
The German Business Ethics Network bestows this biennial award for corporate ethics to companies or other institutions that organize and align their operations and actions to the promotion of sustainable economic and social policies.
"As a company, we want to orient ourselves not only to economic indicators, but also to values and to take holistic corporate responsibility for our actions. We are pursuing this course, even though it is associated with higher costs and efforts. The DNWE Award is wonderful tribute and we are really pleased about it,” said Dr. Antje von Dewitz.
The award money will benefit both VAUDE employees and the public good. VAUDE will invest some of it in its occupational health management program which includes sports, outdoor recreation and yoga classes, lectures etc. in which all VAUDE employees can participate free of charge. VAUDE will use the rest for its internally established Refugee Helpers Circle, which it supports with company resources and organizational structures. About 30 VAUDE employees are involved in integration projects which will be funded by the award.
VAUDE Sustainability Strategy: A Green Approach
VAUDE follows a comprehensive sustainability strategy which links all divisions of the company. "It is important to produce a balance between environmental, social and economic responsibility," said Dr. Antje von Dewitz. "We implement our values universally, in product development as well as in logistics and human resources. The corresponding expenses are enormous. But we are convinced that doing so is useful and worthwhile in the long term." VAUDE’s sales performance has been above the industry average for years and it proves that sustainability can also be a factor of economic success.
The DNWE Award for Corporate Ethics
This award focuses on developmental activities, as formulated, for example, in the criteria of the UN Global Compact or the OECD guidelines. Other criteria include processuality and sustainability, which are manifested in company projects or its corporate policy. The award cannot be applied for; the German Business Ethics Network selects nominees and the winner of the award. Winners of the past years have been well-known companies and organizations such as Novatis, Faber Castell, Puma, Otto, Ristic and BSCI.
The German Business Ethics Network
The German Business Ethics Network is a non-profit organization with the goal of strengthening the role of ethics in business – by means of exchange between representatives of companies, associations and academia. DNWE participates in public discourse, working together with other organizations and identifies and encourages business practices that serve as a role model. DNWE is a national association of the European Business Ethics Network (EBEN), which was founded in 1987 in Brussels and is committed to the promotion of intercultural dialogue on issues of economic and business ethics. EBEN currently has over 1100 members in 20 countries. EBEN maintains contact with all major international associations in the field of business ethics.
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