'Creative design with colour is the best form of sustainability.'

Dear customers, partners and fans,

as managing director of the fourth generation of the family, I am proud of our company. A family business that can act independently and in a value-oriented spirit. That has employees who contribute on a daily basis to the fact that we recognise our responsibility in the world. Recognise because we systematically make our decisions in accordance with the sustainable aspects. And because we can say 'no' when it does not fit economically, ecologically or socially.

Our company headquarters and only location is Hallerndorf near Forchheim, in the middle of greenery, in the middle of the beautiful Franconia. This is my, our home.
Here we look out of the window and enjoy the view of the Franconian Switzerland. Here we are a part of a community and we bear the responsibility for the region. Here is the place where our employees and our local partners live. We know it, we appreciate it and we promote it.

KREUL is the oldest artist's paint factory in Germany. But we are modern in thinking and acting, and we deal with the challenges of the future. Traditional market rules are broken. Digitalisation is shaping the economy. The usage of resources is changing rapidly. And acting sustainably is the core task for us and the future generations.
We need to choose other ways to make the world more viable, liveable and fairer. In doing so, it would not help us to think in black and white.
More importantly, it's about showing your colours.

Dr. Florian Hawranek

'The right balance of sustainability and quality.'

In product development and production, we are not driven by costs, but by quality. Our laboratory determines the purchase. The following applies: sustainability: yes - quality compromises: no. The claim is understandable: because the longer our colours can be used, the longer the environment and the users will be happy. High quality containers also ensure that the colours remain stable for a long time. 

Raw materials from sustainable resource-conserving extraction are opted for white developing new products and improving old recipes as long as it guarantees a high-quality experience in handling our colours.
 

'Sustainable raw materials of natural origin'

Our internal programme 'Feel good' aims to produce new products of at least 60% of sustainable raw materials of natural origin. We also constantly work together with suppliers to find better alternatives for the existing recipes. Some examples:

  • 98,5% of our paints are already being produced on water basis.
  • The basis of the solvent of the KREUL Transfer Marker is a by-product of beet-processing.
  • The basis for the building agent of the KREUL Glass and Porcelain paints is a by-product of a French fries production in the Netherlands.
  • We have replaced standard ethanol with bioethanol. This comes from German rye cultivation that cannot be used for food production.

'Proximity is a decisive factor in purchasing raw materials.'

KREUL is developing and producing almost all paints in Hallerndorf. In order to guarantee short distances in purchasing raw materials, we always look for suppliers in the region - and prefer those who also think and act sustainably. Ideally, the supplier is located in the neighbouring village. Only then we extend our search radius to Germany and then Europe. 

The narrow geographic focus enables us to better secure the high-quality level of our products and avoid long transportation across the continent. Moreover, proximity enables us to better communicate with the suppliers - and to jointly consider how production can be made even more sustainable and reasonable.

'Wood from certified cultivation.'

They are indispensable for artists and creatives - stretched frames, easels, various wooden backgrounds for decoration as well as drawing and sketch blocks. But also, when we do not produce the accessories ourselves, we make sure that the wood and cellulose used comes from FSC®-certified cultivation.

The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible forest management worldwide. FSC® defines standards for responsible forest management according to defined principles which are developed and supported by stakeholders from the environmental, social and economic sectors. For further information, please visit www.fsc.org.

'Modular production for efficient use of raw materials.'

KREUL annually fills more than 5.000.000 containers with paint in glasses, bottles, doses or pens. We have improved our internal production process to such an extent that we only have to use few basic paints, but in large quantities, as semi-finished products every day. This is used to produce the various colour shades of different product ranges, which is done with the colour pigments. That's how we reduce energy consumption and optimize the use of raw materials.

In some cases, we also used pre-mixed raw materials in order to additionally minimize the number of deliveries. Through regular coordination with the sales department, we try to significantly reduce costly post-production for small quantities at short notice. This also saves resources.
 

'Less waste due to optimised processes.'

Where raw materials are delivered, processed and shipped, a lot of waste would be created. But not if the processes have been improved over decades.

  • By using large quantities of paint to fill small quantities of different products, we not only reduce the use of raw materials, but also the use of transport drums.
  • We have purchased large IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) for storage, processing and transport once and can use them again and again.
  • We use blue reusable folding boxes throughout our premises - for internal logistics and often even as transport packaging for trade.
  • We attach great importance to a high recycling rate for necessary cardboard packaging and order over 98% of packaging regionally within a radius of less than 100 km.
  • For our labels we use standard templates which are individualized with Low Migration Color depending on the product.
  • By giving up shrink films, we have been able to reduce our film packaging by 80 % since 2013.
  • Since our sales packaging is fed into the recycling system, we saved 31,7 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2017 alone.
  • Solvent-containing ink wastes are considered hazardous waste. Through numerous optimization measures or consistent product deletions, we have been able to reduce the disposal costs of these inks by more than 80 % over the past 20 years.
  • Safety and stability have priority when choosing the paint containers. Nevertheless, we also continuously optimise these and are currently testing innovative or alternative packaging materials.
  • The internal document management avoids the unnecessary use of paper in administration, purchasing and production. This has enabled us to reduce paper usage by 60% since 2017.

'It's clear that we treat our own sewage.'


We are not legally obliged to do so, but we have decided to relieve the burden on the community's sewage treatment plant. In this way we purify the wastewater from bottling, production and laboratory before feeding it into the local sewage system in a clear and pH-neutral manner. This means that we invest around €2 in water protection per 100 litres of paint produced.

'Using natural energy resources.'

In Germany's oldest artist's paint factory, there are by no means machines that are 180 years old. We continuously optimize our production machines with regard to energy consumption. The advantage of this is that the colours are not produced by energy-intensive heating, but by mechanical stirring. 

In the large KREUL production hall, we use daylight that shines from several sides through large windows. This not only saves electricity, but also creates a pleasant working environment for our employees. 

'Paradise for bees, birds and butterflies.'

Those who visit KREUL in Hallerndorf will always be amazed at the large green areas - especially the wild growth. We care for the meadows: as a member of the Bavarian Environmental Pact, we have undertaken to mow the meadows on our company premises only once a year and to observe flowering and seed ripening times. In addition, there is a 750 qm2 biotope on our property, where bees, butterflies and rare bird species feel at home.

We have been a member of the Bavarian Environmental Pact for over twelve years and we renew our membership on a regular basis. In order to remain a member, we must be regularly certified according to ISO 14001.

The Bavarian Environmental Pact is an agreement between the Bavarian State Government and Bavarian industry. Since its first signing in 1995, voluntary action, recognition of personal responsibility for environmental protection and cooperative action have been parts of the basic understanding of the character of projects and declarations in the Environmental Pact.

'Long-term relationships instead of short-term contracts.'

We have known many of our suppliers of raw materials or packaging for many years. They know what matters for us and, together with us, they always find alternative, sustainable solutions. By focusing on quality instead of cost advantages when selecting our partners, we create a deep mutual trust.

For example, for more than 15 years we have been working continuously with a counselling company in the field of packaging - with orders going far beyond the benefitted quantity of non-employment of the severely disabled people. This enables counselling to plan long-term. Our employees identify strongly with our products. This dedication is reflected in an extremely low rate of complaints. 

'Communication that arrives and stays.'

When we produce advertising material, we pay attention to a long service life. Thus our main catalogue has a running time of three years. Our exhibition stands are also designed in such a way that furniture and basic scaffolding are reused year after year. 

The KREUL commercial product presentations are made of metal and can easily be adapted to current assortments - without creating a lot of waste.


 

'From person to person. From young to old.'

Designing with KREUL colours is a creative hobby for many people of all ages - and gives many relaxed, happy hours. 
We have been working together with selected regional kindergartens for many years and value mutual learning and exchange: The children get exciting insights into a business enterprise, learn where the colours they paint with actually come from and why painting is so important. Our employees try out new ideas and products with the little artists and experience the endurance test on our paints up close. 

Whether raw materials, packaging, processes, recipes or applications - we are moving step by step into the future. We tinker and evaluate, question and analyse. The good feeling always firmly in sight as the first German artists' paint factory. For the children, artists and creatives of future generations.