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.

Reuse and Recycle at Home and Work – Rose City Label is GREEN

Reuse and Recycle at Home and Work – Rose City Label is GREEN

Rose City Label GREEN!

We constantly tries to find ways to reduce waste, resource consumption, and our overall environmental impact.  Even before our first certification from Clackamas County in 2009, we have had an eye toward green business practices.  This photo shows one of our many reuse projects – a friend of Rose City Label used surplus pallets to build beautiful cages for his garden.  We are very proud of this type of reuse project – we have had several other items like this featured on the blog in the past.  Here are some tips to help you on your GREEN journey.

Begin with the End in Mind

The easiest way to get rid of excess material is to not buy or create it in the first place.  If you can buy from a more local source, or choose a product with less packaging, you will have less clean up to do on the back end.  Rose City Label is GREEN – we always consider the eco-impact of our purchases so we can minimize the impact before it is created.

Negotiate with Vendors

Often, if you work closely with your supplier partners, you can return boxes or pallets for reuse.  We do this with our core boxes – we buy many, many thousands of cardboard cores each month.  These are delivered in large corrugated boxes.  When the boxes are empty, our vendor picks them up when they are delivering our next delivery of cores.  This marriage helps save the supplier (and us) money, but also gets more life out of that one corrugated box.  Since Rose City Label is GREEN, we try to ask these questions as we make supplier selections.  Not everyone can accomodate your needs, but you will never know if you don’t ask.

Get the Word Out

The only way we were able to give away the pallets in the photo above is that we let people know – Rose City Label is GREEN!  They ask us about recycling and our friends, employees, vendors and customers know that we are into recycling.  Because we have been doing this – and because we brag about it – people ask for surplus materials.  We are happy to share!  Spread the word.

Sell Your Old Stuff

As we have upgraded our equipment, we have sold off old equipment through used equipment dealers.  Often you can get rid of general use items on Craigslist or Ebay, but for more specialized equipment, you need to network with specific resellers in your industry.  Get to know these people so you always have a ready buyer for your surplus equipment.  Even though a particular item is no use to us anymore due to the quality of label we are producing, there are always smaller startup companies that can use your old equipment.

Finally, Recycle

Because Rose City Label is GREEN, recycling is always the last option.  It is much better than landfill, but recycling consumes many resources. If you have to, by all means please recycle all your paper, metal, wood, and any other commodity.  Try the other things first, but if they don’t work, find a good recycler to dispose of your surplus equipment.

We Can Help!

Rose City Label is GREEN.  A big part of that is helping customers, suppliers and friends on their green journey.  If you need help or have questions, please call us today. We can help.

RCL Partnership – OBRC Beer Bottle Recycling

RCL Partnership – OBRC Beer Bottle Recycling

Rose City Label is collaborating with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) on a new eco-friendly project.  If successful, this will bring Oregon recycling to a whole new level. Rather than crushing and recycling the glass bottles, this innovative new approach is trying to reuse bottles from selected breweries.

Beer Bottle Recycling

Here is a part of the text of the press release:

As a national leader in environmental initiatives and craft brewing, Oregon represents an ideal setting to create a refillable beer bottle system. Such a system would take beverage industry stewardship well beyond the success of Oregon’s iconic bottle bill program.

This program has technical challenges, so the OBRC has enlisted the help of industry experts including Rose City Label.  Similar programs have been successful in Europe and we are trying to build on this success to make a world class program here in Oregon.  Heavier bottles are being tested to ensure they are durable enough to be used multiple times after washing, and the label adhesive is also a crucial component that we are working on with the program coordinator.

Stay Tuned – This is a Work in Progress

We have several systemic and technical challenges to overcome in order to make this program a success.  With the hard work of the advisory partners and the OBRC, we are confident that we will make steady, meaningful progress toward a more sustainable program for container reuse.  Please check back often as we make progress toward this important goal.

Check out the Refill Program website by clicking here

Thank you to the OBRC and Our Amazing Customers

We were only included in this program because of a very kind recommendation from one of our customers.  We will continue to work hard to earn your trust and stay on the cutting edge of eco-friendly business ideas.

Eco Friendly Water Wash Printing Plates

Eco Friendly Water Wash Printing Plates

Water Not Solvent

For many years, one of the last remaining chemicals in our shop has been plate making solvent. In order to make high quality photo polymer printing plates, the plate material must be etched away to remove the non-printing area and leave the raised print impression area.  In the past this was done with a solvent and a brush, but not anymore.

New Technology – No Chemicals

This week Rose City Label became one of the first shops in the country to install a high quality Water Wash Printing Plate system.  This system uses a different type of printing plate than can be etched with just soap and water – no solvent required.  This is revolutionary technology that we have been waiting for for many years.

Faster Processing TimesWater Wash Printing Plates

An additional benefit of this new system is a 60% reduction in plate processing times.  This means plates are on press faster, with less downtime.  This is important for all jobs, but especially new, complex jobs that may require an adjustment on press.  Now we can be back up in running in less than one hour!  With no solvent to absorb into the plate, there is no need to wait for this solvent to evaporate.

Processing time is cut from 2.5 hours to 55 minutes!

Better Print Quality, too!

Quality Water Wash Printing PlateOne final, very important benefit of this new system is a better quality printing plate.  The detail and the image quality from these plates is superior to any previous plate we have seen.  We tried several different technologies before we selected this system, and I am confident that these are the best printing plates that any label company has to offer.


Best Quality – Faster Processing – Earth Friendly

Thank you to all our customers that continue to trust us with their very important label printing jobs.  Because of all of you, we are able to invest in the latest technology to grow and build our business.  We appreciate everyone that has been with us on this amazing journey.  We will continue to grow and innovate as we move forward into the future.

What can we do to help you?  Please call us today with any label project – we are here to help.

Oregon Wines: Red, White and Green

Oregon Wines: Red, White and Green

Oregon businesses often lead the way when it comes to eco-friendly practices. We at Rose City Label are always on the lookout for new ways to reduce our impact on the local ecology. We’re also pretty enthusiastic about recognizing other local businesses that demonstrate their concern for the environment.

In some cases, those fellow Oregon businesses also happen to be Rose City Label clients. In recent years, the Pacific Northwest wine industry has seen a real shift towards sustainable business practices. From vineyard to bottling, we’ve seen a number of initiatives to “green up” our local wineries.

We Love Sustainable Oregon Wine Producers

Happily, sustainable Oregon wineries are getting due recognition for their efforts. Various news articles, online and in print, are giving praise to our state’s wine industry for its shift toward sustainable practices.

Of particular note is Rose City Label client Soter Vineyards. Their sustainability initiatives include multiple green certifications, in addition to the use of energy from renewable sources to produce their Willamette Valley varietals. In the Columbia River Gorge, Cerulean Wines is another of our clients who share our enthusiasm for sustainable business practices.

Salmon-Safe Vineyards

Several other Rose City Label clients have earned some well-deserved recognition for an array of sustainable practices. Over 200 Oregon and Washington vineyards carry a Salmon-Safe certification, and that number is sure to grow as awareness among farmers increases. Kudos to our clients who have led the way in Salmon-Safe grape cultivation:

If you’re interested in Salmon-Safe Certification for your vineyard, look for more information here.

Red, White, Rosé … and Green!

Looking for a more extensive list of “green” wine producers—or want to make sure your winery gets the eco-conscious recognition it deserves? You can find a detailed directory here, at one of our favorite wine-centric sites.

Happy tasting!