5th February 2023
The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast
EPISODE 321: Sustainability in action: In conversation with Vaude CEO Antje von Dewitz.
SPONSOR: Tern Bicycles
HOST: Carlton Reid
GUEST: Antje von Dewitz, Managing Director, Vaude, Germany
TOPICS: Vaude was on the road to being green long before Antje von Dewitz took over the running of the company but she significantly ramped up its corporate sustainability.
Carlton Reid 0:12
Welcome to Episode 321 of the spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was engineered on Sunday, fifth to February 2023.
David Bernstein 0:27
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Tern Bicycles. The good people at Tern are committed to building bikes that are useful enough to ride every day and dependable enough to carry the people you love. In other words, they make the kind of bikes that they want to ride. Tern has e bikes for every type of rider whether you’re commuting, taking your kids to school or even carrying another adult, visit www.ternbicycles.com That’s t e r n bicycles.com to learn more.
Carlton Reid 1:13
I’m Carlton Reid and welcome to the 300 and 21st episode of The spokesmen podcast in which I chat with Antje von Dewitz, Managing Director of German hiking and biking company Vaude or as you will soon find out how it should be pronounced, “Faudi.”Anyway, in this 40 minute conversation, we talk about Vaude’s stellar green credentials and how sustainability is now baked into the Vaude way of doing things. Can you please tell me that the correct German pronunciation of your company name because I’m pretty sure that we get it wrong here. But just tell us how you pronounce it.
Antje von Dewitz 1:51
Okay, the correct pronouncing is “Faudi” and Vaude is the pronunciation of the two first letters of my last name von Dewitz V and D and in German, you would say Vaude? Yeah, and I’m not necessarily we don’t know how to pronounce it, because that’s a very current problem. People say also Vode and Vouder and Fouder, but the correct pronunciation is “Faudi”.
Carlton Reid 2:18
yes, thank you for that. Now now. We definitely pronounced I’m saying we hear the North American market, certainly the UK market will be pronouncing that with a with a hard v. So it’s not that so we can now pronounce your company name correctly.
Antje von Dewitz 2:37
I’m glad to hear that.
Carlton Reid 2:38
You make a tonne of stuff. So you make outdoor kit, basically. But bikes. So tell me about your bike kit and how long you’ve been making bike kit, whether it’s been you know, from from when the company was founded?
Antje von Dewitz 2:54
No, it was not when the company was founded. The company was founded in 1974. And we started out with backpacks. That was the first product backpack and climbing gear. And about 10 years later, we started with bike first product was bike pioneers, because coming from the main competence in back making backpacks, the switch to bike pioneers what’s not so far we require the same sort of competence. And we started with, with waterproof, backpacks, waterproof, on machines, so we have live production here also, in Germany, where our headquarter is for making bike pioneers, how big
Carlton Reid 3:40
is bike in the company, how bigger share is bike in amongst all of your, your outdoor range.
Antje von Dewitz 3:49
So we have a turnover at totally 150 million euro from this year from last year on and bike is is about 45% of that. So it grew really heavily in the last years. Especially so because we started out as being an outdoor company so 10 years later, we started with bike products and and especially during the last three years, the bike segment was was growing very strongly because of a new mobility, the urge of people going out outdoors also with a bike during Corona so so we are almost up to 50/50 outdoor and bike
Carlton Reid 4:30
and is that is that where it’s going? It’s that’s the growth part of your business.
Antje von Dewitz 4:35
When I said the last three years, I was not really correct because the last year especially was not so good of a bike here because I was probably in the UK also like this. There were a lot of bikes in the market and and at the same time the bikes couldn’t be sent out so there’s a lot of liquidity problem in the with the bike dealers. So and as as having bike apparel and bike pioneers and bike backpacks, this is the last, the last product and a big change. So if the bikes are not being sold, the other products are also not being sold. But I think last year was a very special year. In general, I think outdoor and bike will now grow at the same pace. Because we are in times of, of, of almost crisis every year. And in times of crisis, people go outdoors, and people tend to look for their little escapes. This is why I think bike and other people look for that at the same time plus bike is also what people are looking for in terms of a new new mobility, a new greener and more sustainable mobility. So I think both both segments will know this at the same pace.
Carlton Reid 5:57
Hmm. I have looked at your your company’s CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility report where you do say you’ve got a mobility plan. So I’ll get onto that shortly. But first of all, I’d like I mean, I have been very close to wear your bass because Jo Beckendorf, the journalist when I used to get left with him on going to and from bike, the bike shows in Friedrichshafen, he would often point out where your bass so I know you’re very rural. So you’re you’re basically you’re not far from Friedrichschafen, you’re you’re you’re near Lake Constance or Bodensee. But you’re in a very, very small village. So just describe where you are.
Antje von Dewitz 6:43
We’re close to the Lake Constance, which is this Swiss Austrian German border. So we’re in the very deep south of Germany. And when I look out of my window, which I do right now, I see the little church of our little village, where we are, we’re in in the middle of the, on the countryside, close to the Lake Constance, which is a good side, which is a bad side for a company who needs insert infrastructure. But which is a good site for a company with employees that are outdoor and bike freaks, because that’s a really beautiful part of Germany, where you have great outdoor experiences by bike where you can greatly go biking in the mountains or at the lake.
Carlton Reid 7:23
So it was founded by your father it basically in a hops barn on a farm. And then you grew from that.
Antje von Dewitz 7:32
That’s, that’s true. So we are now at Oba Eisenbahn. And 50 years ago, he founded the company, one smaller village, little close to here, Otter eyes and bath. And indeed, in a farmhouse, in summertime, when the hop came in, we had to take all the all the work yet the warehouse had to be cleared for the hub possible to be to be stored there. And two months later, all the products could return to the warehouse within this farm farmhouse, so that was a very special founding story that God has there.
Carlton Reid 8:12
So you’ve grown up with this company? Quite, quite literally, you’ve grown up with this company.
Antje von Dewitz 8:17
That’s true as I was two years old when the company started.
Carlton Reid 8:21
Yes, now, so let’s talk about you. So you’ve managed the company, since 2009. But describe your career before that, because you have a doctorate. And then you have a member of all of these incredible German sustainable business associations are all that the sustainability stuff that we’re going to be talking about, is very much embedded in your corporate DNA for you personally. So tell us a little bit about you and where you’ve come from, from that two year old girl who saw the company founded and how you’ve, you’ve grown into the company.
Antje von Dewitz 8:58
Yeah, I think part of the story and part of understanding my my way of life is growing up here at the village site. We were kind of an outsider, or I felt like it’s growing up, because it’s very rural countryside. And the farmers here don’t at that time, they looked quite critical at entrepreneurs. So growing up to be not a farmer’s daughter but a daughter of an entrepreneur. Was was strange, the people to me and in the class were saying, oh, probably he exploits people, he exploited probably children to grow his business. And I grew up to know that confidence. That trust is something you have to earn trust you can earn by transparency, and to lead a company you have to earn trust in order to feel good. And in order to earn trust, everything has to be alright. Word wild. And this is something that that never left my mind. And when I grew up and I didn’t want to overtake the company I firstly, I wanted to work in NGOs like Greenpeace or WWF. To take, take responsibility in keeping this planet a livable planet. And so it was a surprise for me when my last traineeship that I did, after a lot of traineeships within NGOs and media and in all sorts of organisations, and my last traineeship, during my studies was at Foudy and it hit me like a surprise that if I wanted to overtake responsibility for a livable planet, then I I’m here at the right spot, with a broad set of responsibilities not only in making the products but also in caring for the working conditions about worldwide and caring for the working conditions here at the headquarter in overtaking responsibility in the whole supply chain and in also politically as an enterprise. So, so that’s, that’s why that’s why I ended up in the country in the company of my father, which also benefited me very, very well because I’m a very enthusiastic outdoor lover.
Carlton Reid 11:26
What kind of stuff What what are you what are you doing outdoors?
Antje von Dewitz 11:30
I, I bike, and I hike, I love long distance. So for example, last last year, when I turned 50, my birthday present to myself was a three year three month a three month hike through the Alps, with with my backpack and going from heart to heart every day, 1000 metres height and 15 kilometres distance for so total, I was I walked 4100 kilometre and 60,000 metres in height. So that’s, that’s something I love.
Carlton Reid 12:13
And use it obviously all of your own products.
Antje von Dewitz 12:17
Yes, I use not all of them, but I really love to use them. I love to have them in. In practice, yes.
Carlton Reid 12:25
Okay, now, so 2009 When you came in and started managing the company, and then did you start straight away at making the company climate neutral. So it took until 2012. When when you got there, and then you’ve been a Climate Neutral worldwide since 2022. Last year. But describe how what you had to do when you joined the company to make that switch.
Antje von Dewitz 12:54
When I joined the company that was directly after my studies in 1998, I first worked in marketing and I firstly i i was the product manager for for new bags for modern bags and packs. So that’s the part where I started it. And when I overtook the company, that was in 2009, as you just mentioned, so that was much later. And I already knew a lot about Saudi and the way of our day. And so I was not the one that introduced sustainability to God, we had a long history already. And we had the history that we had and great, great singular proud projects. For example, we had a whole collection made out of mono material, and a whole network of industry partners that could first of all, take the returned one goods of this mono material collection, and then turn it into new products. So we had a closed loop recycling. But when when we looked at it when I overtook the company, and my my biggest goal was to turn this company totally into a green direction. We said okay, this way was not successful. The singular products had a lot of effort for us produce a lot of effort for us producers, a lot of work a lot of cost, but we didn’t get back so many use products. So the closed loop never really closed. And for me, I was very convinced that if we want to go a greenway if we want to overtake responsibility holistically, it would not be the answer to do this in one project and another project but we would have to do this totally entirely. So we started out with analysing Where is where we have responsibility and where should we where should we act? And we found out that we have two different ways. Two different points where we should overtake responsibility One is here at the headquarter at Foday, here at the South in Germany, and the other one is in the entire product cycle. So when we started out here at the headquarter so where we were our business unity is where meanwhile 650 employees work. And that was at a time in 2009 when the consciousness for sustainability was not very high, very high neither at our with our dealers or clients, or customers nor here at the headquarter with our employees, they were very sceptical because they saw the more work bureaucracy that would that was growing with sustainable work and, and they were not sure if this was more than a marketing idea. So there was a lot of scepticism. So we started out by a few things in the beginning, turning the coffee to fair trade coffee, or finally get a grip on on the real, the garbled, how to collect the garbage here, and stuff like that. And at the same time, we started out with emails, emails as the European management team, how to how to collect and measure all the emissions that you have all the emissions and consumptions that you use at the headquarter, so all electricity, oil, stuff like that, and, and we measure this day by day by day for the entire year. And then we were able to find out, okay, where do we have the greatest emissions at the headquarter and then we began programmes to cut them down. So we changed our energy to, to renewable energy we had, we have the whole roof of full with photos with solar panels. We cut down on our catalogue with the paper catalogue at that time was the most important marketing tool that we had. And but we saw that this is also the second biggest source of emissions. So we cut we cut that turned only to digital versions. And every use of paper was from then on in 100% recycled paper. And we found out that mobility is the third biggest cause here of emissions. So we created a whole mobility programme, where the best parking lots are not for the people of the management. But for the people that share their car, for example, we got ourselves a pattern, a whole bunch of E bikes to lend out to our employees so that they could use the bike to come to work and created showers so that they get a shower and they come with a bike and stuff like that, to get people to make people consider a choice not to come with a single car but to come by bike to come by bus to share cars. And so we cut down dramatically on these emissions from from ability to and in 2012. When we cut down I think by 70% of all emissions at the whole headquarter. We decided okay, from that point on, we will still work on emissions but at the same time, we will also compensate so that that means that since 2012, we are Climate Neutral at our headquarter.
Carlton Reid 18:19
You pay for offsetting?
Antje von Dewitz 18:22
Yeah, that’s right. We pay for offsetting we, we have a partner my climate and that means that all the emissions that at the headquarter we cannot, we cannot prevent. They are. They are turned into into monies. And we spent money on projects or climate friendly projects. But this is only the headquarter and then the biggest part was in the product cycle.
Carlton Reid 18:49
That’s good. Because the product cycle isn’t, you know, you make some stuff in southern Germany, but the bulk of your stuff is made in mostly in Vietnam. So, right, how tough is it to green, the supply side of your business? So?
Antje von Dewitz 19:07
Yeah, it’s, it’s a huge task. It was it was an even huger task in 2009. That was why it was so important also, to have the whole team behind this idea. It was very important for us to show it at our headquarter that we really mean it seriously and that it’s good that it feels like live quality to support sustainability. So stuff like the green mobility concept at our headquarter was strategically important to get our team on track and to fight for this idea of sustainability worldwide. Because this was a real big transformation process that we had to start on. We even though at that time in 2009, we were a rather small company with 50 million euro turnover. We still had a huge complexity. We had about 65 production sites we work with, we had about 150 materials suppliers we work with, and our task force, our self chosen task was to transform all of them, we created an own label, green shape. And that is until today, like metal label, that means only in terms of materials, only certified materials and the highest standards can approve to be green shape. And in order to get to the certifications, like blue sign, for example, we had to ask our all of our suppliers to please audit in terms of blue sign, which is quite expensive when audit costs 20,000 euros per year, and then you have to act on all the findings. And we were a rather small, small brand, that means they didn’t make the big business with us. So in the beginning, it seemed like to be a really, really big task. And many of the production side sets etc. once said to us, that they wouldn’t do this for us this was too much work, or they said okay, we do this for you, you pay the money. So we and so it was a difficult task on that one cent and one hand to turn them to to convince them and the outside and it was a difficult task on the inside. Because for our product manager, the task of Product Management totally changed. Before that time, they could just choose any material and they can just choose any design. Now, in order to follow green shape, they have to start the design by showing that the design they have chosen is recyclable is is able to be repaired, then they have to choose the material. And in the beginning, they said okay, but we only have three materials that are anthracite fabric, do you want to make us You want us to make products from just three different fabrics? That’s not impossible, it’s impossible. And they said, it’s the sales team says very clearly to us, it cannot cost more because the consumer is not willing to pay more for sustainable, but it costs so much more. How can we ever solve this. So it was very, very difficult to get a grip on how to deal with these existential conflicting targets. But we made it step by step.
Carlton Reid 22:22
No change in that consumers, it’s now a selling point. So this this green shape, your label is now something you can use to actually earn more money because you can sell more products because you are a greener company. Is that something that you now see consumers coming to you
Antje von Dewitz 22:40
for? Yes, I see two points I’ll come to the consumer in a second. First is that that the start was very difficult and it’s still difficult, but in the beginning it felt like okay, we will never be innovative because we have such a huge mountain of work to go step by step and this has changed completely our our very strong focus on sustainability has become an innovation pusher. We now make pipe pioneers from from a plastic garbage we make functional apparel, from recycled tires and so on and so on. We really this this has has been an enormous pusher on innovation innovation for us. And for the consumer. In the beginning, we always heard the consumer doesn’t ask for that. And it was slowly slowly changing step by step it was changing. And now especially in the especially when the Friday’s for future where we coming something of a thing, the conscious the global, the European consciousness was rising very highly in the end the the will to overtake responsibility as a consumer was was you can you could feel it that there was no more interest. And and now in terms of Corona again. So and and the more the global crisis, different global crisis are being evident for consumers out there, the more the the willingness to, to first of all overtake responsibility for themselves in their consumption. And secondly, also to pay a little bit more for that is rising, you can really feel it. So it helps us a lot to be recognised as a very sustainable brand and to picture have a have a credibility as a sustainability, T brand. That helps us a lot to to to always grow stronger than the rest of the market.
Carlton Reid 24:43
I’m gonna interrupt Antje there and go across to my colleague David for a quick commercial break.
David Bernstein 24:48
Hello, everyone. This is David from the Fredcast, and of course, the spokesmen. And I’m here once again to tell you that this podcast is brought to you by Tern Bicycles, the good people at Tern build bikes that make it easier for you to replace car trips with bike trips. Part of that is being committed to designing useful bikes that are also fun to ride. But an even greater priority for Tern is to make sure that your ride is safe, and worryfree. And that’s why Tern works with industry leading third party testing labs like EFBE, and builds it bikes around Bosch ebike systems which are UL certified for both electric and fire safety. So, before you even zip off on your Tern, fully loaded and perhaps with the loved ones behind, you can be sure that the bike has been tested to handle the extra stresses on the frame and the rigours of the road. For more information, visit www.ternbicycles.com to learn more. And now back to the spokesmen.
Carlton Reid 25:58
Thanks, David. And let’s get back to Antje of Vaude. So green shape is your own certification label that you use. But then yes. If then you go green button, which is a that’s a national scheme. Yes, fabrics, the National diamond scheme for fabrics then you’ve got when you’ve mentioned my climate before, which is a Swiss certification scheme. And then you’re also a member or you get certification from fair wear. So that’s like, you know, fair trade almost making sure that the your your supply chain is the practices are, are good practices. So just describe how those certification schemes fit into your business.
Antje von Dewitz 26:51
Okay, as you just mentioned, green shape is our own, it’s like a metal label, which is, which is, I think the highest standard that is any certification out there any standard out there, because it’s very broad and very, very deep. What in order to become a green shape product, and almost 90% of our whole product is in green shape, in has green shape label. And when three years ago, the German government said they want to also make a metal label the green button, we got green shape recognised as, as, as being. So every product that we have that has the green shape label automatically gets the green button label of the German government because our it’s stricter than, than the green button. So that does that. And you mentioned fair aware, fair wear is also included in green shave. So all of our products are farewell products, that means all of our productions 100% Our audit are being audited by by in terms of green affair where so that’s that’s that’s the very strictest labour or standard for working conditions worldwide in the textile industry. So if you look for fair products, you have to look for fair wear
Carlton Reid 28:28
textile production, no, no sweatshops, that kind of thing.
Antje von Dewitz 28:31
No sweatshops? No, no, don’t children, no work of children. They are in fair where you have to fight for existential wages, that means wages that that, that you can not only minimum wages, but living wages, wages that help people to really survive with the family and not to send the children to work but send the children to school, that that make it possible to have a lot of real life with a family. So that’s much higher than just minimum wages. And that’s something that every every brand that is part of fair wear has to work for to really reach this. So it’s a very strict and and good standard, because it’s a continuous work in progress that you have to prove year by year through the out audits and other also through the audit for your own company. So we are audited every year. You have to prove that you really give the best and you really put a lot of effort and in supporting all the companies the production sites to make to create good working conditions to you can
Carlton Reid 29:47
be more profitable if you didn’t aspire to the standards if you didn’t have the fair wear. If you didn’t have to meet those, those those criteria. You could in more money.
Antje von Dewitz 30:02
Yes, that’s that’s rather strange, isn’t it, it’s much more difficult and much more expensive to overtake responsibility than not to do it. That’s a strange road we’re in. But it’s true. But from an economical point of view, it’s still it’s still worth to, to follow this sustainable path. Because it helps your brand image, it helps to really focus on a good way. It convinces your own team that they’re working for purpose. So it helps you to get to get good team members of your own team, it helps you to sell your products more and more. So it helped, it helped us to grow stronger to be a really strong brand and a strong company. And but at the same time, we needed this growth in order to finance the transformation, which costs so much. So.
Carlton Reid 31:06
So going back to your your, your very, very beautiful rural location, on your online on your website, on four, you’ve got a specialist website, just on your CSR, your corporate social responsibility. It says I’m quoting here, due to our rural location, most employees have to commute longer distances to work. Now, we can’t force anyone to give up their car. But we can provide incentives. So what are those incentives?
Antje von Dewitz 31:40
The incentives is I mentioned that before a little bit. The incentives are not fun of a financial thought. But they are the best parking spots for people who share their cars, for example. So we, in eight years ago, we just sort of made 60 parking spots disappear. And made in the inner circle of our of our campus here, where we have our company, there is now a green area with a climbing wall and No, no 60 parking spots. So we have not so many parking spots here. So park a parking spot something really valuable, you have to walk a long distance from from another place to here, if you come late in the in the day, so a close close to the company parking spot is something very valuable, the best parking spots are for the people that share their car. So that is an incentive. And an incentive not to take your own car is when you come by you can you can without cost you can lend the bike here from us with with E motor so you can get over the hills, it’s very hilly region and get here then you can shower here, you can you have a parking spot, close to the company under the roof to park your own bike. And we have also you can also acquire a bike very, very cheaply. Because we have connections and you can use the connections together to to own a bike by yourself. So we help people to get good bikes, and to ride the bike. And it’s become some sort of a social incentive to because here are a lot of bikers. And it’s sort of the status of your bike here. And not so much the office status if you have a big car. And we also have some sort of mobility lotto, so every week with the help of a coincidence generator, somebody is chosen. And he is he or she is asked Oh, so how did you come to work today. And then if if it’s in a sustainable way by bike or by bus or whatsoever, he gets a nice price and a nice award. And is and it’s shown in our intranet with a nice picture in a winning pose. So it helps to keep the the topic of green mobility in everybody’s mind. And it helps to get get out little incentives to to make people think about or change their way of coming to work.
Carlton Reid 34:26
Because that’s slightly easier. If you were in an urban location you you’d have lots of bike paths, you’d have lots of buses and trams and all sorts of you know what Europeans come to expect, but you’re not in an urban location. You’re out in the farmland. So that must be tougher for you than it would be for if you were in in a large city.
Antje von Dewitz 34:47
You know, that is true because in the beginning, we didn’t even have a bus stop here. So no buses were were coming to our countryside. So we also had to lobby and to cooperate with The local bus provider and the city and the country to to make it possible that we have a bus that is coming here to the company. So I guess you have other tasks or tasks in first of infrastructural nature, if you’re a company that is sustainable in the countryside, because there is not often not a lot of infrastructure here, we have to provide
Carlton Reid 35:22
infrastructure, you had to have bike paths close to your place.
Antje von Dewitz 35:25
And now since I think five years, we have bypassed Yes.
Carlton Reid 35:31
And was that because where you’re situated, so the municipality or the locality put these bike paths in? Because you were lobbying for this? Or they’re just putting these in? In general? No,
Antje von Dewitz 35:44
that was part of a bigger plan. So we were just very happy that we finally got them.
Carlton Reid 35:51
Right. Okay. Now, so that’s, that’s, that’s the travel that you can, you can sort of almost control but business travel is much more difficult to control because obviously, if you’ve got to, you know, plants, you’re having to fly to Vietnam, etc. But talk about your, your policy, because on the CSA report, it talks about how, you know, car travel, you know, cannot be made by car, if it’s over 400 kilometres, and then if it’s, you know, 600 kilometres, and, you know, you’re not going to fly, you’re gonna go by train, especially within Germany, Switzerland, or Austria. So how do you police that
Antje von Dewitz 36:36
it’s, it’s a, it has become a rule that we won’t take a plane within Germany, or the German speaking countries, we all take the train, and how, how did we manage everybody to go on this check, by taking this route very seriously, for the whole management team, so I don’t take the plane, I take the I take the train to Berlin, and that’s, that’s the travel of about eight hours from here. And we just got very used to use this time very efficiently, we work in the in the train, we have very normal business meetings in the train, and it has become, it has become sort of a normal situation for for all of us, you have to understand that for us. Since since last year, we are climate neutral in the, for the whole for everything worldwide that we do, that doesn’t mean that we have with that we managed to get all emissions down to zero, but we are working on this very, very heavily according to the science based targets, and the rest that we cannot prevent, we compensate. But that means that every emission counts for us and and we take this so seriously, because we understand we understand the serious situation of the climate change. And we we the whole team is very often talking about it, we talk about the crisis that is out there, of the of the very serious situation, we are really dedicated to keep this planet alive for our children and in the coming generations. So every time we can overtake responsibility, it is clear that we do this, it’s it’s just become normal. And it’s sort of observed that we would take a plane if we can take a train. So so with the same with the same with the same responsible approach, it is very clear that that we have a canteen here that serves vegetarian food, okay, we have one day left where we where we eat meat, but the rest of the days are a vegetarian, because this is something where we can act where we can to overtake responsibility to not to cut down on emissions. And I think it’s still it’s still I make it probably sound too easy because this has been a transformation process for us to in mobility and in eating. But it’s for our day and for the whole team of our day. Everybody understands it that it’s clear a clear step of our day because it makes so much sense because we’re dedicated to sustainability but dedicated to keeping this workplace this world a wonderful place. So everybody is like okay, we understand it’s still not easy. We still sometimes hate it, but we understand. So that makes transformation process within the company easier.
Carlton Reid 39:39
Because you’re you have very strict policies that appears on on a business travel trip. You should only get a taxi for instance, if there’s a few of you and there’s only a certain distance you can go in and a taxi and then you’re meant to be using Bike Share, Scooter share whatever in cities, so that’s embedded in your mobility policy, the fact that when you go somewhere on business travel, you’ve still got to travel in a sustainable fashion.
Antje von Dewitz 40:12
Yes, that’s true. Yeah. And I never take a taxi, I always take the subway or walk. When I when I get into town, that is the end that also has become normal. Because it’s a normal for you.
Carlton Reid 40:30
But what about people coming into the company that where they get, you know, expense accounts where they will track fly everywhere, they’ll get taxes everywhere? Is that strange for other people? Are you changing people? How do people who are coming into your company, look at your policies,
Antje von Dewitz 40:50
and it was more difficult for the people who who already have been at the company because for them, it has been a trend transformation process they had to do. There was a lot of discussion why they should now not take plane anymore, or why they shouldn’t take a taxi or whatever. For people that come into Fody that come newly into voting for them. It’s they have chosen Foudy as their favourite employer because we follow values that they support. So it’s much easier with new employees that have chosen us very consciously than it was in the beginning to change policy for the people that already worked here.
Carlton Reid 41:28
Thanks to Anjou von Dewitz of Vaude there and thanks to you for listening to episode 321 of the Spokesmen podcast, brought to you in association with Tern Bicycles. Show notes and more can be found at the-spokesmen.com. The next episode will be a chat with another inspirational business woman but meanwhile get out there and ride.