Innovation in Sustainability Medium Co.: Miller Paint Co.
By Andy Giegerich, Business Journal Staff Writer
Business Journal Staff Writer
When Miller Paint Co. introduced its solvent-free Arco Pure paint line in 1994, it may have been a little ahead of its time.
"Demand wasn't quite as high as it is today," said Dan Saunders, Miller's marketing and advertising manager.
Yet being ahead of the game is part of the Miller culture, said Saunders, who, along with CEO and President Steve Dearborn, point to several areas — paint recycling, low-energy retail operations, zero-waste manufacturing — in which Miller outpaces its building supply industry rivals.
Today, Miller is right on time, by heading programs that encourage consumers to recycle their coatings and collaborating with Metro regional government as the agency expands its recycled paint distribution.
And its Acro Pure line is not only safe, it’s known among contractors as a top-quality paint.
“While we do have the background of moving toward sustainability early, our customers are also demanding it,” Saunders said. “We have architects who are specifying paint based on whether they can earn (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. On the retail side, customers want ultra-low odor and low-VOC paints.”
Miller Paint practices sustainability tenets in each of its 34 stores and instills it in its 250 employee-owners. Thanks to its early foray into solvent-free coatings, the company is an industry trail blazer that eagerly helps its customers and other business partners play sustainability catch-up.
“The industry is absolutely starting to get it,” said Dearborn. “At first, there was a resistance to sustainability because people didn’t want to change the way they do things. Then, it started to trickle into the market in the 1990s. Now, the industry is taking the ball and running with it.”
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.