In times of climate change, for some the buzzword sustainability simply means window dressing. However, this is not the case with Banner.  Even in 1937 when the company was founded and virtually no one used the term sustainability, the battery manufacturer set itself stringent environmental standards and today it recycles virtually all of the materials found in used batteries. In addition, the electricity utilised for production at Banner’s headquarters in Linz-Leonding derives from renewable sources and water comes from the company well. Accordingly, environmental protection constitutes a managerial leitmotif.


Leonding, 23 February 2021. Banner’s lead-acid batteries constitute a model resource-protective, sustainable product. And as Andreas Bawart, Banner’s Commercial CEO, explains, “Our trendsetting recycling loop in which 99.9 per cent of the materials from used batteries are reemployed, sets benchmarks for both environmental protection and sustainability.” Indeed, Banner sends out a clear signal for the future with a collection ratio that is the highest amongst all recyclable goods and even exceeds those of glass and paper.

Environmental protection with buffalo power 

Banner has integrated used batteries into an organised recycling loop ever since its foundation as a company and as a result valuable raw materials are returned to the production cycle. Banner is also a founder member of the Austrian Starter Battery Environmental Forum (UFS), which in the past 25 years has collected some twenty million used vehicle batteries and thus approximately 210,000 t of lead for recycling.

Andreas Bawart quantifies the extent to which Banner actively embodies sustainability as follows,  “In our production process we employ between 95 and 98 per cent recycled lead. Our battery boxes contain 80 per cent polypropylene recyclate and in addition, the sulphuric acid recovered from the used batteries is processed into sodium sulphate for use in detergents and glass.”


Sustainability is (not) expensive

Out of a sense of social responsibility, Banner is also prepared to accept the additional costs emanating from sustainable manufacturing. Indeed, it actually sees cheap production as being more expensive in the long-term. Andreas Bawart, “We employ environmental safeguards not merely because we are the “good guys”, but because intelligent sustainability also provides economic advantages. Furthermore, by cutting our raw material consumption we also contribute to climate protection.” 

In particular, since the development of start-stop technology, with its absorbent glass mat (AGM) and enhanced flood battery (EFB) batteries, the company helps to save roughly 100 million litres of fuel annually and thus prevent around 250,000 t of CO2 emissions.



Image: The Banner recycling loop

Photo credit: Banner GmbH, reprints free of charge. Specimen copy requested.

Banner is facing the challenges of next generation batteries

Global warming and the increasing shortage of fossil fuels have resulted in environmental legislation and other consequences. For example, the average volume of CO2 emitted by new vehicles has to amount to 95g CO2/km and therefore manufacturers have turned to micro-hybrid drive systems in which the conventional lead-acid battery plays a decisive role. Moreover, with a share of around 90 per cent, this standard type also makes up the bulk of the global battery market and this situation is unlikely to change quickly. Branch estimates point to an annual growth rate of two to three percentage points because e-vehicles remain unable to operate without a lead-acid battery for the supply of their electrical systems.  All 12 V consumers in cars are stabilised by this power pack and therefore Banner is involved in intensive research into the next generation of traditional starter batteries.  Andreas Bawart, “With our new battery systems for cars and commercial vehicles, we will continue our systematic and successful endeavours regarding future mobility, while placing environmental protection, energy savings and the well-being of humankind at the top of our agenda.”

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