Hub Labels, Inc., in Hagerstown Maryland, received the Going Green Award during the 15th annual Washington County Business Awards at the Hager Hall Conference and Event Center on Wednesday, February 26th.
Hub Labels was recognized for the steps they have taken to integrate environmentally friendly operating practices and procedures into their business. These steps focus on reducing waste stream, recycling and education.
In 2012, Hub Labels became Project L.I.F.E. certified. Project L.I.F.E. is a program developed to enable Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute, Inc. (TLMI) members to find cost effective ways to help reduce their environmental footprint. As a result of the certification process, Hub Labels created a Project L.I.F.E. team that is charged with managing as well as implementing environmental projects and efforts.
In an effort to reduce waste and energy consumption, Hub Labels created Environmental Management Programs, which specifically target these areas. The programs have established standard operating procedures focused on reducing materials going to landfill and reducing electrical consumption. In addition, continuous improvement goals are established and tracked annually.
Hub Labels began tracking waste, recycling, electricity usage and water usage in 2010. Since then, with environmental programs in place, improvements have been made based on the following:
- Recycled materials have equaled 348,663lbs for 2013.
- Ink/toner/cell phone recycling began in 2013 through Evolve Recycling, which is zero landfill.
- Starting in 2012, more than 17,990lbs of plate material has been diverted from landfill through DuPont TR3 plate recycling.
- Solid waste based on paper usage was reduced from .493% to .382% from 2010 to 2012, which means more is recycled and less waste is being generated at press reducing materials going to landfill.
- Electrical consumption went from 80.05 feet per kilowatt hour to 82.10 feet per kilowatt hour, or, overall reduced by 3% in 2012, which means electricity is being used efficiently by being able to get more throughput each kilowatt hour.
- Water usage from 2010 to 2012 went from .001416201 gallons per foot to .001305688 gallons per foot overall, which means less water is being used in production. With the implementation of the After Rinse Water Recirculation system in 2012, 14,495.7 gallons of pure water was saved for the year. As of September 2013, 13,348 gallons of pure water has been saved and more than 1,000 bottles of water saved with the implementation of a water bottle filling station on the shop fountain.
Hub Labels also promotes its Linerless product, which is better for the environment because there is no liner which equates to no waste sent to landfills. These innovative labels do not incorporate a separate release liner (backing material) and are designed for high-volume manufacturing and processing line applications such as meat, poultry and seafood packs and trays, bottle wraps, cases and other retail packaging. Without a liner, the Linerless Labels are able to create a more cost effective solution that eliminates the environmental waste that thousands of tons of throwaway liner paper create when they are disposed of in landfills. Sleeving or full-wrap applications are effective at reducing the typical material weight of traditional sleeves while speeding up efficiencies.
The other two finalists for the award were Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Hempen Hill BBQ Bar & Grill. The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Department of Business Development hosted the event.
There were about 152 businesses and people considered for the awards, which were narrowed down to 21 finalists. Over 530 people attended the black-tie optional event.