Sustainability Summary – Part 2

Sustainability Summary – Part 2

Rose City Label Sustainability – Part 2

We love being a GREEN company.  Our customers can feel good about partnering with a leader in this area.  Rose City Label Sustainability is woven into each part of our business and we live this out on a daily basis.  Call us if you have any questions.  We love helping others with their sustainability journey.

Free Pallets – Upcycling for Good

We generate excess pallets each month. Typically we buy material in large bulk rolls and sell small, custom label orders shipped via courier or UPS.  Even with our staff projects, we can’t use up all these pallets internally.  We shared this on social media, and now all our pallets are given away to neighbors for reuse.  Read more by clicking here.

Reuse Trash as Shipment Padding

Waxed paper sheets separate rolls of adhesive label stock. This ‘slip sheet’ prevents rolls from sticking together.  Wax coating makes these hard to recycle, so we use the sheets to pack our boxes going out to customers.  The label rolls are clean and protected.  Our customers are happy we can reuse this packaging to save money and the earth.  Read more by clicking here.

Local Vendors and Courier Service

Whenever possible, we use small, local vendors for parts and supplies.  This personal touch helps us stay up and running with responsive service for customers.  And, we are supporting the local economy. Read more by clicking here. We also use a local delivery service for most shipments in the Portland area.  Again, we are supporting a local company, but we also get faster deliveries to our customers.  And, having our labels delivered by small, private auto is always better than a large industrial truck taking the labels back to a central hub to sort and deliver the following day.  Our local courier partner is Direct Transport – learn more about them by clicking here.

Rose City Label Sustainability Summary – A Way of Life and Business

This is only part ONE! Hopefully this commitment is as important to you and your company as it is to us.  If you have questions, please contact us.  We are happy to help our customers and friends on their green journey.  Rose City Label Sustainability matters.  We work hard to make our company better in many ways.  Balancing people, profit and planet – that is how we roll!

Sustainability Summary – Part 1

Sustainability Summary – Part 1

Rose City Label Sustainability

Rose City Label Sustainability is a key part of our company culture.  Everything we do has an eye toward sustainability and reducing our environmental impact.  You can feel good partnering with a company that takes positive steps each day to make a smaller impact on our earth.  Where you buy your labels is a reflection of YOUR sustainability focus, so please consider the environmental impact of your vendor selection along with price, quality and delivery time.  Rose City Label Sustainability isn’t a program or a fad – it has been a core element of our philosophy from the beginning.  These are just a few examples of how we are living out these values.

100% Wind Power!

100% wind sources power all our equipment.  We had the option to purchase a fraction of our power, but like most things related to Rose City Label Sustainability, we went all in!  Having 100% wind power is a visible statement to our employees and customers that we are all in – the earth matters to us.  Read more by clicking here.

Water Wash Printing Plates

We were pioneers in this new printing plate technology.  We etch our printing plates with soap and water.  No more solvents in the process! The machine uses a very light detergent that increases the pH of the warm water slightly, but it is odor and chemical free.  Plates are made faster and the print resolution is higher.  It has been a great upgrade for us.  Read more by clicking here.

Employee Projects to Reuse Pallets

Each quarter, we meet with our entire team to review our progress on our sustainability scorecard.  We celebrate individual employee accomplishments like bicycle commuting, recycling at home, and reusing our excess pallets.  In this post, we highlight a staff member that used old pallets to make garden planter boxes. Read more by clicking here.

Recycle Pallet Wrap with Local Grocery Store

Our label stock comes in on large pallets – plastic wrap protects the material on each delivery.  This plastic is not recyclable using conventional methods like plastic, metal or glass.  Since the composition of this plastic is similar to plastic grocery bags, we reached out to our local grocery store.  Fred Meyer was happy to partner with us.  We delivery bags of clear plastic film each week to be included with their plastic recycling program.  This is diverting tons (literally) of plastic from the landfill! Read more by clicking here.

Summary – A Way of Life and Business

This is only part ONE! Hopefully this commitment is as important to you and your company as it is to us.  If you have questions, please contact us.  We are happy to help our customers and friends on their green journey.  Rose City Label Sustainability matters.  We work hard to make our company better in many ways.  Balancing people, profit and planet – that is how we roll!

 

Sustainability Summary – Part 1

Sustainability Summary – Part 1

Rose City Label Sustainability

Rose City Label Sustainability is a key part of our company culture.  Everything we do has an eye toward sustainability and reducing our environmental impact.  You can feel good partnering with a company that takes positive steps each day to make a smaller impact on our earth.  Where you buy your labels is a reflection of YOUR sustainability focus, so please consider the environmental impact of your vendor selection along with price, quality and delivery time.  Rose City Label Sustainability isn’t a program or a fad – it has been a core element of our philosophy from the beginning.  These are just a few examples of how we are living out these values.

100% Wind Power!

100% wind sources power all our equipment.  We had the option to purchase a fraction of our power, but like most things related to Rose City Label Sustainability, we went all in!  Having 100% wind power is a visible statement to our employees and customers that we are all in – the earth matters to us.  Read more by clicking here.

Water Wash Printing Plates

We were pioneers in this new printing plate technology.  We etch our printing plates with soap and water.  No more solvents in the process! The machine uses a very light detergent that increases the pH of the warm water slightly, but it is odor and chemical free.  Plates are made faster and the print resolution is higher.  It has been a great upgrade for us.  Read more by clicking here.

Employee Projects to Reuse Pallets

Each quarter, we meet with our entire team to review our progress on our sustainability scorecard.  We celebrate individual employee accomplishments like bicycle commuting, recycling at home, and reusing our excess pallets.  In this post, we highlight a staff member that used old pallets to make garden planter boxes. Read more by clicking here.

Recycle Pallet Wrap with Local Grocery Store

Our label stock comes in on large pallets – plastic wrap protects the material on each delivery.  This plastic is not recyclable using conventional methods like plastic, metal or glass.  Since the composition of this plastic is similar to plastic grocery bags, we reached out to our local grocery store.  Fred Meyer was happy to partner with us.  We delivery bags of clear plastic film each week to be included with their plastic recycling program.  This is diverting tons (literally) of plastic from the landfill! Read more by clicking here.

Summary – A Way of Life and Business

This is only part ONE! Hopefully this commitment is as important to you and your company as it is to us.  If you have questions, please contact us.  We are happy to help our customers and friends on their green journey.  Rose City Label Sustainability matters.  We work hard to make our company better in many ways.  Balancing people, profit and planet – that is how we roll!

Plastic Film Recycling

Plastic Film Recycling

Plastic Film Recycling

Rose City Label partners with a local grocery store to provide plastic film recycling.  Each week we get roll stock in on pallets wrapped with plastic, but we had no good way to recycle the plastic film.  We don’t have enough to interest our trash hauler, so much of it was going to the landfill.

Thank You Fred Meyer Stores

Because our local Fred Meyer stores collect plastic grocery bags at their store Fred Meyer Good Neighbor Pallet Film Recyclingentrance, we contacted them about our pallet film recycling problem.  They have the volume and infrastructure to recycle very large quantities of this film.  They were happy to add our plastic film into their recycle mix.  Thank you!  They consolidate plastic bags and film from several stores and divert it to reuse projects like plastic totes and park benches.  Our plastic film is just one small drop in the very large bucket of recycling that was already in place.

Ask Your Neighbors

Sometimes your best solutions are right next door.  This Fred Meyer is a great local store that I have shopped at my whole life.  The location where we drop off is only 6 blocks from our shop, and it is very easy to drop off a few bags of plastic pallet film every week.  You never know what resources you have right in your neighborhood.Recycle Plastic Pallet Film Eco Friendly Rose City Label

Be Creative

This solution didn’t come from a recycling manual or a seminar, just a crazy idea to ask the question.  You never know if you don’t ask, so don’t be afraid to think of new solutions.  As long as you are respectful and have a good intent, we have generally found that the partner companies you contact are open to your ideas.

Small Things Add Up

We have made many small changes in our business since we were first eco-certified by Clackamas County in 2008.  Not all of them have worked, but they all add up over time.  Here are a few of our eco wins over the past 10 years:

  • Full kitchen with real plates, cups and utensils
  • Bike friendly for employee transit
  • Low flow toilet valves
  • Electronic meeting handouts
  • Battery, bulb, cartridge recycling
  • Plastic pallet wrap recycling
  • Pallet give away to employees for home projects
  • Pallet give away to neighbors and schools
  • 100% wind power
  • Many more!

Not all of these have worked out for us, but we are always trying new things.  Our entire team is engaged and they frequently come up with our best ideas for waste reduction.  Try some of these yourself and see how they work in your business. And, as always, if you have questions, please call us today.  We love helping other companies on their green journey.

 

 

100% Wind Power!

100% Wind Power!

Presses Powered by 100% Wind

100% wind energy powers the presses, computers, and all services.  We are doubling down on our environmental commitment.  No more coal, hydro, or other electric power sources – 100% WIND powers everything.  We briefly considered solar panels, but for now, being powered by 100% wind is right for us.

We Went All In on Green Energypowered by 100% wind

Our local power company offers partial wind power – essentially allowing companies to ease into this new power source.  We went all in!  Since we are making the commitment, and the power is still as reliable and safe as other sources, we went all the way.  Last year we used 193,000 kwH. This year all of that will come from local wind generation in the Pacific Northwest.  The cost difference isn’t much, and we wanted to make a bold statement to our customers, staff, and vendors.  Rose City Label is all in!

We have written before about our OBRC partnership to reuse beer bottles, our pioneering use of water wash printing plates, and pallet recycling.  We have been GREEN for a long time, and being powered by 100% wind is a natural extension of this effort.

You Should Join Us – It’s Easy!

We attended the 10th Annual Go Green! Conference back in October (click here for more info).  At the conference, we met vendors that showed us how easy it is to convert to 100% wind power.  We evaluated two different vendor proposal, but at the end of the day, the switch was very easy.  We pay extra on our electric bill, and that money is used to purchase RECs (renewable energy credits).  These RECs are used to subsidize the additional cost of clean power generation and to fund additional R&D for future green energy sources.  There was no interruption in service, no change in reliability or safety, and the whole process took only about 30 days to complete.  And, if something changes in the future (it won’t!), we can always opt out of green power – there is no long term commitment.  It is easy to be powered by 100% wind!

Your local electric utility can help with the transition – for PGE customers, click here to learn about green power in Portland.

Our Program is Real

powered by 100% windGreen-e certification is an independent, audited program to make sure that the power we are paying for is, in fact, from the sources claimed.  PGE has partnered with the right people to make sure everything is up to standard – no ‘greenwashing’ here.  Learn more about the Green-e certification by clicking here.  If you have questions about the program, feel free to call us for more information – we are happy to share.PGE Green powered by 100% wind

 

 

Partner with a Leader – Call us Today

If you want to work with a truly green printer, please call us today.  We work hard to recycle, buy green products, and publicize our eco-friendly efforts to be an example for other businesses.

Free Pallets – Reuse and Recycle!

Free Pallets – Reuse and Recycle!

Free Pallets – Come and Get Them!

Each week, Rose City Label generates excess wooden pallets.  We would love to give them away to a business or individual that can use them.  There are so many of them that they are tough for us to manage. The pile of pallets seems to grow and grow.  A few times each year we have to do a major cleanup of our pallet area.  We have free pallets – come and get them!

Buy by the Mile – Sell by the Foot

We generate all these pallets because we buy our raw materials in large, bulk pallet loads.  We turn each pallet into 10-30 different custom label orders. These small printing orders usually go out via Direct Transport courier or UPS and some are even picked up by the customer in our office.  Because we buy in large quantities (the mile) and sell in small, specialized batches (the foot), we don’t send out nearly as many pallets as we take in.

Odd Size = Hard to Recycle

We buy over 50 different materials from four main vendors.  These materials come from all over the USA, but most come from Seattle, Vancouver, WA and California.  Because of these different sources, products and shipping locations, we get lots of different sized pallets.  Odd sized pallets are tougher to recycle – most recyclers only want one large pile of identical pallets.  Unfortunately, we can’t offer that on a regular basis.  Think about this when you select your vendors and products – when you have odd sizes of containers or pallets, it is harder to find a home to reuse these items.

Recycle at McFarlanes Bark

Because we can’t find a reliable source to reuse our pallets, the next best option is to recycle.  Our neighbor McFarlane Bark takes our pallets and grinds them up for residential and commercial bark chips and ground cover.  They have a process to remove all nails and other contamination so the finished product is clean, beautiful landscaping material.  This is a great option for our odd collection of pallets and we are lucky to have them as a neighbor.  Learn more McFarlanes Bark by clicking here.

Reuse is Better

Even though we have a good, eco-friendly solution to the pallet problem, we still have Free Pallets!  Re-use without any grinding or shredding is a better, less impactful way to use the pallets.  If you have a need for a few or for lots of pallets, we have them.

Call us Today!

This is just one example of the eco-friendly systems we have in our business.  We work hard to reduce our environmental footprint in all areas of sales, office, production and shipping.  If you have a good suggestion for us, or have questions about how you can improve your eco-friendliness, please call us today.  We are happy to help.