The “treasure chest” with sustainable effect

Emmaus St. Poelten produce paint boxes for the Department of Rural Development

Since 2007, Emmaus St. Poelten have produced the “soil colour painting box” for the Department of Rural Development of the Province of Lower Austria, more precisely for the division of soil protection. The Manager of the soil campaign, Dr. Erwin Szlezak, then devised this project together with KOMUNITAS OG, and addressed Emmaus St. Poelten for production. “We intended to achieve a good result, and this implies implementation in a social enterprise”, states Principal Erwin Szlezak.

Connection between arts and natural sciences

The soil colour painting boxes have been devised with much consideration for sustainability. The mentioned soil colours are extracted directly from soils, therefore they are a purely natural product. The case is produced of Austrian cottonwood, and the colours are filled into glasses, which can be refilled. “The exciting feature about this painting box is the connection between natural sciences and arts”, emphasizes Erwin Szlezak. “For my department, it is the central medium in order to convey to the public the topics of soil and soil protection. Mainly we address school boys and girls, who use the painting box in competitions and workshops.”

Production of painting box as a gain for Emmaus St. Poelten

The carpenter’s of Emmaus St. Poelten, where mainly long-term unemployed persons are working, have produced approx. 800 painting boxes upon recurring orders since 2007. “This product is a gain“, according to the opinion of the Works Manager of the Viehofen workshops, Andreas Kvarda. “It is a product with character, and our male and female clients are able to identify well with these painting boxes.” The male and female workers in the workshop are responsible for production, assembly and pasting of the case, filling and labeling the glasses, as well as adding to the painting box information material and DVD.

“The production of these painting boxes is quite challenging”, explains Adreas Kvarda. The production of the case requires fitting accuracy, and labeling requires precision. “The male and female clients work very accurately, because it gives pleasure to cooperate on such a beautiful product. And finally, our workers are also proud to produce something for the Province of Lower Austria”, reports Andreas Kvarda.

Good communication as a precondition for positive cooperation

“Good communication and the common formulating of milestones are crucial for successful cooperation”, according to the opinion of Andreas Kvarda. Erwin Szlezak regards as central to clarify early the possibilities of social enterprises, so that there is no excessive demand and deterioration of quality. He mentions the media-related usability and an easier access towards the general public as positive: “The events in connection with the presentation of the painting box have been the climax of this project, as the press come in voluntarily, and this leads to a broad effect.”