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Environmental protection and sustainability at Schmincke

Schmincke is making big changes to their processes to be more environmentally friendly and more sustainable. Find out what exactly their doing to make a difference

Environmental protection and sustainability at Schmincke

For 140 years, Schmincke has been producing high-quality artists' colours "100% Made in Germany". The primary goal of our company, which is geared towards the long term and sustainability, is not only economic success, but also a strong consideration of ecological and social aspects.

True to our company philosophy "Meliora Cogito - I strive for the best", we are constantly optimizing both the quality of our products and the production processes required for their manufacture.

Irrespective of the fact that production is as gentle as possible and that many natural or renewable raw materials are used, there are some special products with a direct focus on environmental and sustainability aspects:

4 tubes of liquid charcoal


Norma Random Grey 2021: With this limited special annual edition, Schmincke launches a unique range of "random grey" shades for oil painting. The idea is that every year a unique annual edition is formulated from surplus pigments, the shade of which is created "randomly", so to speak, by mixing different pigments and cannot be reproduced. This is how special Norma® Professional grey shades are created over the years.

Liquid, vegan charcoal: A new addition to the Schmincke range is a liquid, vegan charcoal with no less than three different shades, whose natural origin - the pigment core black Pbk8 - as well as the unusual production process are unique.  The pigment is produced by charring fruit pits, in this case, peach, cherry and grape pits. The liquid charcoal, which has immediately found a large following among painters, enables a new and clean way of preliminary drawing and underpainting with charcoal.

Thin black line

Raw materials and production

In addition, sustainability and environmental protection have been extended to all areas of the production process and the associated infrastructure: We procure the raw materials required to produce artists' colours exclusively from carefully selected reliable producers and suppliers with a strong focus on "sustainability" aspects. We prefer to use renewable raw materials such as linseed oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil.

Our laboratory always strives to develop formulations without hazardous substances. Many series are formulated cadmium-free (e.g. the AKADEMIE® series) or contain pollutant-free colour replacements, recognizable by the suffix "...-tone" (e.g. cobalt blue tone). If necessary, products are of course labelled according to valid chemical legislation, so that safe handling is guaranteed for the consumer.

Photograph of solar panels, bike and electric charger

Electricity and water

Since 2010, a large photovoltaic system (solar panels) on the company roof in Erkrath has been providing environmentally friendly energy generation and feed-in. The share of energy fed into the grid by Schmincke corresponds to approx. 70% of the total consumption, which is now 100% covered by green electricity and green gas. In addition, we are constantly working on improving energy efficiency.

By providing many e-charging stations, Schmincke creates an incentive for employees to switch to electric-powered vehicles. Most company cars are already electric or hybrid models. Furthermore, Schmincke supports the mobility and fitness of its employees by participating in the job bike program. Here, employees are provided with (electric) bicycles for professional and private use for a minimal contribution.

The company has also been contributing to the responsible use of water since the 1980s through a wastewater pre-treatment plant and various technical facilities for reducing wastewater.

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Packaging and logistics

We are also always looking for environmentally conscious solutions for our packaging: For example, a large proportion of our containers and cardboard boxes are recyclable or already made from recycled material. The wood for our durable, high-quality painting boxes comes 100% from sustainable forestry.

The production of our artists' colours exclusively at one production site without intermediate storage also has an immense advantage for the environment: the products ready for sale reach our customers by the shortest route without energy-consuming and environmentally damaging detours. Finally, by sending the parcels throughout Europe with GLS and their Klima protect program, we increase our share of climate-neutral shipping.  The freight company uses a whole bunch of targeted activities to compensate, reduce and avoid CO2 emissions ( ).

Thin black line

Safety and responsibility

We are happy to share our expertise with end users. Our instructors impart interesting information concerning all aspects of painting to make the best possible use of the products at numerous workshops and presentations. On our website,, you will also find details relating to product safety, e.g. in the form of safety data sheets (see under Download/Safety Data Sheets).

Should you have any questions regarding Schmincke products and their use, the advisory service of the Schmincke laboratory will be glad to help. You can contact the laboratory by email at:

As a member company of the German Chemical Industry Association, Schmincke joined the voluntary “responsible care” initiative of the chemical industry from its inception. This initiative has campaigned for taking responsibility in the areas of the environment, safety, and health for decades. 

Through this bundle of measures and the conscious focus on environmental aspects, Schmincke now and in the future has the declared intention of setting new and its own standards regarding environmental protection, sustainability, and climate neutrality.

Liquid Charcoal essentials to get you started...