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Marabu Environmental Report

Protecting the environment has been a priority for Marabu since its foundation in 1859. However, over time the issues have changed. In the 1990s, waste management and recycling, air pollution concentrations, and ground contamination were major topics. Today, our main focus is improving energy and resource efficiency.

As a manufacturer of inks and paints, Marabu is a chemicals company. The way we apply raw materials while safeguarding users and the natural environment – particularly soil, air and water – is an ever-present concern. We are committed to offering products of the highest quality – while minimising the use of substances that pose health risks.

The future will see a greener economy. This means transitioning to sustainable manufacturing and consumption to conserve the natural resources that we depend on.

Marabu’s international subsidiaries uphold the enterprise’s commitment to environmental protection. No matter where they are located, they are bound by the same principles of our corporate philosophy – enshrined in our environmental policy, which mandates efforts to reduce emissions and waste across the entire Marabu group.

Marabu has implemented a number of projects to promote sustainable use of feedstocks, utilities and other materials, as well as energy, which are outlined in the Enviromental Report. For more details please take a look at the report.

 

Chronology of "green" milestones

Knowing your origins is the foundation – knowing your destination is the spur!

 

Our long-term, sustainable approach to business and our global competitiveness ensure the success of our multinational company. Marabu offers premium-quality, user-friendly products across all business units. We are a leader in both inks for specialist printing processes and paints for crafts and hobbies. We employ 520 staff worldwide, have a portfolio comprising more than 20,000 products, and generate annual sales revenues of over 100 million euros.

As an ink manufacturer, our decision-makers addressed ecological issues at a very early stage.
A look at our company’s history reveals, for instance, that we had to comply with regulations imposed by government agencies as early as 1888.


Our green milestones:

Carl Albert Martz opened a paint and materials business in Stuttgart in 1859, with a portfolio of high-quality paints and inks. In addition to trading in these products, he was interested in their in-house development and production.

In 1888, Albert Martz Junior assumed responsibility for the business and, on the eve of the 20th century, introduced new items, including watercolours and pastels for artists. The construction of a new building brought in new regulatory requirements regarding waste water – which had to be directed to a special mud collector and not simply discharged onto an unpaved city pathway.

In 1919, the company relocated to its current site in Tamm, allowing further growth. Here, the enterprise made a casein emulsion paint, known as Tamma, and oil paints. Again, strict regulatory requirements were imposed to protect water resources, and energy supply issues needed to be addressed. At the time, the company had to secure its own power. Until 1940, electricity was generated by a portable engine fuelled by coal.

Later, Marabu extended production to drawing implements, which created a high volume of wood waste. As a result, Dr Eduard Martz, the head of the company and the third generation of the founding family, converted electricity generation to wood gas. This remained the source behind the power supply until 1953.

1952 marked the beginning of the era of screen-printing inks: in 1961, manufacture of the MARAPID ink range was modified to make use of non-hazardous solvents, without compromising product attributes.  1985 saw the launch of the non-hazardous LIBRA product portfolio, followed by the first 100% solvent-free UV-curable screen-printing inks in 1985. In 2008, Marabu cooperated with the EPEA, an international research and consulting institute, to present UVGCC, a 100% biodegradable ink for glass substrates, designed around the cradle-to-cradle principle. In 2012, the company unveiled Maqua®Jet, a water-based ink for digital printing methods, and pad printing ink Tampa®Tex TPX (which received certification to the OEKO-Tex® Standard 100 in 2013).

We are also committed to safeguarding the health and safety of users of our paints and inks for professional and amateur artists. 80% of our Creative Colours are water-based, and for children we offer two products for finger painting and handicrafts that comply with the EU Toy Safety Directive .

The product offering has been expanded over the years, and there has been an increase in the volume of manufacturing and storage needs, leading to growing demand for space.

Despite new buildings and extensions in Tamm, the site reached its limits. To resolve the issue, Marabu constructed a state-of-the-art building in Bietigheim-Bissingen, three kilometres away, in 2004. Today, it houses our Creative Colours operations.

Our long-established efforts to improve environmental protection and safeguard employee health and safety have garnered many prizes and awards. We have, for instance, received the SGIA Award on multiple occasions, and the Responsible Care Award from the European chemicals industry.

To enlarge the timeline please click on the image. (March 2022)