Sustainability is the key

For companies as well as for private use: painters and do-it-yourselfers enjoy paints, varnishes and wood protection products. Although the Tyrolean paint factory ADLER supplies its customers throughout Europe, production takes place exclusively at the Schwaz site.


And so the soon 90-year-old family business wants to take responsibility – for people, the earth, the environment, the region and society. Ten percent of the annual turnover is invested in the development of new or improved products and innovative technologies. The result is a product range of around 10,000 articles on a water-dilutable basis and, at the same time, the avoidance of solvents in the manufacturing process.

Günther Berghofer, ADLER’s second-generation managing director, had the idea of producing more environmentally friendly paints as early as the 1980s. Water-based paints, which were a new and young technology at the time, became established over the years, and today around two-thirds of production consists of water-based paints. The company has always worked on its environmentally conscious orientation. ‚And so,‘ says Andrea Berghofer, ADLER’s third-generation managing director, ‚sustainability is now firmly anchored in the company’s DNA. Sustainability goals have the same importance as economic goals.


Based on renewable raw materials
In addition to classic environmental protection, the correct handling of waste water and the avoidance of emissions, the materials used in the products have become an issue over time. In short: more paints should be produced on the basis of renewable raw materials. With the ‚Cradle to Cradle‘ seal of quality for the circular economy, ADLER found an answer to this and at the same time set the bar at the highest level. Dr. Albert Rössler, Head of Research & Development at ADLER, explains: ‚With ‚Cradle to Cradle‘, all products are designed according to the principle of a potentially infinite circular economy. When a product reaches the end of its life cycle, it is returned to the natural or technical cycle by being composted or recycled. In this way, ‚Cradle to Cradle‘ is applied to the entire creation and recycling process: from the processing of renewable raw materials to production with environmentally friendly and resource-saving processes to recyclability – in this way, mountains of waste can be reduced and valuable resources conserved‚.


Commitment to active environmental protection
It is now three years since the company achieved climate neutrality. This was the result of a long chain of decisions that started with the desire to limit energy consumption. First of all, the Schwaz site was equipped with thermal insulation and a new factory and energy plant were built. In order to cover part of the electricity demand itself, a photovoltaic system was then installed on the roofs of the buildings. Then it was possible to switch to green electricity, and for three years now the company has been climate-neutral. The numerous positive feedbacks from the entire environment encouraged ADLER to stay the course. The Tyrolean paint factory published its first comprehensive environmental and sustainability declaration 20 years ago. In addition, the company has been certified by TÜV Austria according to the ISO standard for the environment since 1997 and is part of EMAS, the strictest environmental management system in the world. The company’s vehicle fleet is also clean: wherever possible, rail is used for transporting goods and, since 2017, only trucks that meet the Euro 5 or Euro 6 standards have been used.


Adler ‚for furture‘
In order to steer step by step towards an even more sustainable and healthier future, the Company has formulated a number of milestones. One of ADLER’s medium-term goals is to reduce production waste to less than six percent of total production volume by the end of the year. But the expansion of ‚Cradle to Cradle‘ paints to the entire product range is also planned: according to this, the motto is to ensure an environmentally friendly alternative in every area.


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The ADLER paint factory is a Tyrolean success story. Lebensraum Tirol Holding, in cooperation with its subsidiaries (Tirol Tourist Board, Standortagentur Tirol and Agrarmarketing Tirol), brings special companies, projects, initiatives and people before the curtain. What they all have in common is that they play a pioneering role and act as role models for sustainability and responsible business. They contribute to the sustainability of the Tyrolean economy, society and environment and encourage the dissemination of sustainable change concepts. You can find more success stories here (in German only).