Rose City Label Recognized with TLMI Environmental Leadership Award for 2018
Rose City Label won the Environmental Leadership Award at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the top label printers in America. This Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to one printer and one supplier based on judging the association environmental community. The award recognizes specific programs, demonstrated results, and a cultural commitment to the environment. We are very honored to join the list of past winners and we will never stop on our eco-friendly journey. This year, the awards were renamed in honor of Calvin Frost – a true environmental leader in the printing industry. There is nothing better than a cold frosty beer from our customer in the commemorative ‘Frosty 2018’ mug.
Trying hard and having commitment are important, but for the TLMI Environmental Leadership Award, results matter:
- Five Year Water Reduction of 47%
- Five Year Natural Gas Reduction of 43%
- Small reductions in Garbage and Electricity as well
All measures are indexed to manufacturing output as our business has grown considerably in the past 5 years. Complete details and annual graphs of these measures can be found in this blog post.
Small Things that Every Business Can Apply
Besides these dramatic results, the committee was impressed with the programs and projects the company has championed. These include:
- Encouraging employee bicycle commuting
- Providing excess pallets for employee home garden projects
- Recycling pallet wrap at the local supermarket
- Giving away excess pallets on Craigslist for local projects
- Shipping via direct courier service whenever possible
- Reusing items in the press room during production runs
More about these innovative programs can be found at these two blog posts click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.
Make Conscious Choices
The final area called out by the judges in this award was a leadership commitment to the environment. This philosophy is baked into the business so deeply that an employee recently lobbied for an electric car charging station – she knew it would align with our values (and with her new car), but also would provide marketing value and would contribute to this award criteria. All team members know we are focused on the environment. Some additional major indicators:
- Conversion to 100% wind power – read more here
- Water wash printing plates – among the first on the West Coast to adopt this system – read more here
- Monthly review of eco-metrics along with financial performance
Honoring the Label Eco-Legend – Calvin Frost
This award was particularly important to us since it was renamed in honor of our longtime friend and vendor, Calvin Frost. Calvin has been the voice of the sustainability movement for decades and his message is finally being heard far and wide in the industry. Calvin’s company, Channelled Resources, is basically one big recycling business. For over 40 years, the company has inspected and salvaged potentially damaged product. This stock would be destined for the landfill if his company didn’t take the time to sort and save the (large percentage) of this material.
Winning this award any year would be great, but to the first ever ‘Frosty’ award winner is even better!
Thank You – Call Us Today
We are ready to help others become more ‘green’. Any success we have is a team effort and we want to help you on your journey. Are you just getting started? Or need some pro-level tips? Please call us today. If you buy labels, that is fantastic, but we will help any business with a true desire to learn and grow in their eco-journey. Cheers!
We are very proud of the good work we do to be an eco-friendly company. Our people care about the earth we share and they are proud to be a part of a company that considers the environment. Not all projects we start end up with dramatic results, but our eco-efforts certainly do. Over time, as we have measured and worked, the gains have piled up in all areas. Please contact us if you have questions.
Results – The Numbers Don’t Lie!
Once we were committed to the green business, we knew we needed to measure our results. Each month we measure these four eco-measures. These are indexed to our production – resources consumed per unit of production. Over the past five years, our business has grown considerably, so our absolute consumption has increased, but on a per unit of production basis, we have made fantastic gains. Check out these graphs!
Electricity – Down 3% since 2013
Water – Down 47% since 2013
Garbage – Down 7% since 2013
Natural Gas – Down 43% since 2013
Thank You! We appreciate all your support
We do this all for you, our amazing customers. Thank you for pushing us to do better every single day. We aren’t done yet – we will continue to work hard to make our company more and more eco friendly into the future. Are you on the same journey? Anything we can do to help? Please call us today, we would love to share more about our programs and the results we have achieved.
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!
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.
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.
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.