Kohla takes a clear line
The producer of mountain sports articles takes the path of sustainability to protect the Tyrolean mountains in several steps. One of them is the focus on domestic production. In the end, it should be called 'Made in Tirol'.
In the end, it should be called ‘Made in Tirol’. Kohla also manages to produce in a resource- and energy-saving way with innovative ideas. With the ‘Green Line’, the company has developed its own series of environmentally conscious and sustainable skin care products for ski tourers.
The way to the (mountain) top
Ever since the company was founded in 1932, Kohla has been all about mountain sports products. This is obvious, since the headquarters are located in the heart of the Alps in Innsbruck. The core of the company has not changed since the takeover of the Span brothers in 2003. The newly formed Ibex Sportartikel GmbH has merely reduced the portfolio and since then has concentrated on the essentials in production. These include above all backpacks and climbing skins.
The backpack collections offer everything you need for ski touring, climbing or other mountain activities or for the ‘urban lifestyle’. Kohla’s multi-award-winning climbing skins are suitable for both beginners and professionals and are exported to more than 30 countries worldwide. The range also includes hiking poles, gaiters and hunting equipment. 80% of the products are developed, tested and manufactured in the Tyrolean mountains, which clearly shows the strong connection to the homeland. Kohla has already received two ISPO awards for this.
‘Brutally Local’ – brutally sustainable
For the Tyrolean company, cooperation with local businesses is particularly important. The products should not only have Tirol on them, but also Tirol inside – ‘Made in Tirol’ is the motto. Kohla has therefore established its own label, ‘Brutal Local’, which focuses on cooperation with regional companies. The label covers articles that have a value added of at least 90 % in Austria and a 100 % traceable supply chain in Tirol. They must also have the highest production standards and guarantee full-time, year-round jobs. Ultimately, sustainability also goes hand in hand with acting locally. ‘By cooperating with companies from the region, our decision-making and transport routes are short, which in turn benefits the environment,‘ says Managing Director Alexandra Span.
With modern technologies into a sustainable future
In the production process, among other things, a new laser technology is used that shortens production times and saves energy and resources. In addition to production, Kohla is also designing sustainable packaging. The ‘Kohla Fellbox’, for example, is made from recycled cardboard. The company reduces the packaging dimensions to a minimum in order to be even more resource-friendly. By using recycled paper, Kohla saves 8000 plastic packages per year. The paper is used for the packaging of spare parts. In fact, the Tyrolean company promises a multi-year spare parts guarantee so that customers can use the products for years to come. ‘Protecting the Tyrolean mountains is very important to us. For this reason, we try to make everything in our company sustainable from A to Z,‘ says Span.
Kohla Green Line
Another label is the ‘Green Line’. For this, Kohla researched the project and the products together with the University of Innsbruck and finally launched a new line. The environmentally conscious and sustainable product range includes coat care products made of purely biodegradable materials. In terms of performance, the ‘Green Line’ is very close to conventional products and is also harmless to the environment. ‘Our awareness of regionality guarantees local production, value-added ideas and sustainable products. That is why our ski touring skins are equipped with an environmentally friendly impregnation‘, explains Managing Director Thomas Span.
The ‘Green Line’ includes four different products. The Skin Impregnation care product is an ideal wax for all ski touring skins and skin skis. The ski wax makes the skins faster and prevents clogging. The Skin & Ski Base Cleaner is a universal cleaner for ski skins and bases. The Anti Snow Spray can be applied to the ski surface and the ski touring boot. This reduces snow adhesion and prevents snow from sticking to the ski surface. The fourth product is Skin wax. It is rubbed on over the entire surface to prevent tarnishing.
Whether it’s resource-saving production, recycled packaging or new environmentally conscious lines – Kohla’s corporate philosophy shows its love for mountain sports and the Tyrolean mountains.
Kohla 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).