Meet Random Acts of Green Business Members, Hub Labels!
Located in Hagerstown, Maryland, Hub Labels prints labels for various industries including food, beverage, health, beauty, and household goods. Hub Labels has a large array of flexographic presses and two digital presses with extended color gamut capabilities. As a G7 and GMI certified print facility, Hub Labels has demonstrated their mastery of print and color matching capabilities.
Founded in 1978, Hub has established ongoing working relationships with some of the most prestigious companies in the world, some of whom they’ve worked with for nearly 40 years: a testament to their phenomenal services and quality of products.
Every customer is valued at Hub, both big and small. Label partners receive superior quality service and minimal delivery times.
Hub Labels has supported Random Acts of Green in our mission for collective climate action for over a year, and they’ve done so through business membership and sponsorship of our quarterly eco challenges. We’re forever grateful to the Hub Labels team for championing our efforts, and for being a fantastic group of folks to work with in eco-partnership!
Here are just a few reasons why Hub Labels are one of RAOG’s valued Green Act Business Members:
Most businesses generate BILLIONS of tons of industrial solid waste each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Much of it gets DUMPED in landfills that emit large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
Hub Labels is helping to change this distressing fact by:
- tracking waste data,
- defining what zero waste is,
- prioritizing waste reduction,
- building sustainability as a culture,
- strengthening supplier partnerships, and
- resolving regulatory challenges.
Hub Labels became 100% Landfill Free in September 2019. This step eliminated over 750,000 lbs. that would otherwise end up in landfill annually.
The Hub team also found an alternative solution to bubble wrap used for shipping by taking waste cardboard and shredding it! This is eliminating 91,200 feet of bubble wrap each year.
Let’s not forget lighting! Sixty-five percent of the lighting in their 110,000 square-foot facility in Hagerstown has been switched to LEDs.
The Hub company car? A Chevy Bolt. This fully electric car was purchased in 2021 to replace a Hybrid Chevy Volt the company had purchased in 2014. The Bolt gets an EPA-estimated 259 miles with a fully charged battery and charges in about 9.5 hours.
Through creative labeling solutions, food waste is being reduced, too: Hub Labels was the first company in the United States to offer liner-less labels. By switching to this innovative technology, non-recyclable Styrofoam is replaced with a recyclable plastic tray. In the process, liner waste is completely eliminated while also adding to product shelf life and reducing food waste. The company recently added banding labels to their product offerings which uses much of the same technology as linerless but without adhesive. Banding uses heat during the application process to seal the band around products and can be used for bulk packaging, as well.
Most recently (like, just last week!), Hub was awarded the 2021 Elevation Award from the TLMI association (a member-powered association for experts in the labeling industry that’s dedicated to decreasing environmental impact and carbon footprint in areas such as clean production, energy, greenhouse gases, product design, and management practices).
Hub Labels have previously won the TLMI: Sustainability Award, too!
We’re excited to chat today with Thomas Dahbura, Hub Labels’ President and Owner (and Hub Labels’ Marketing Manager, Janice Baudassi, helped fill in some information, too).
What do you enjoy the most about a day at your HQ in Hagerstown?
I love the people and the work our team does every day. It’s always a surprise what I see coming off our presses—like a Cracker Jack prize, all the time!
How does the design and print of a label impact a business’ environmental footprint?
People outside the print industry are often surprised at the complexity of labels. Every detail can impact sustainability. A label’s design is only one element and is often hard for us to influence, but we can impact the buyer’s choice of material. We make the buyer aware of what is available and how those impacts will help a business achieve their sustainability goals.
If sustainability is part of their belief system, change will happen as people want to do the responsible thing.
Hub Labels operate with sustainability at their core. What environmental initiative are you most proud of?
It’s hard to point to one single initiative and say that that’s the one I’m most proud of. But the things that stand out most to me are the initiatives that create engagement. I love seeing people get involved. It’s contagious, and contagious is sticky. It’s something people will take home with them and share with their friends and family. That’s awesome!
You engage your employees in your sustainable initiatives. You’ve participated in RAOG Challenges and we saw the team planted trees for the United Way Day of Caring! Why is engaging your team in sustainability important to you as a company?
Engagement is the hardest part! To solve this problem, we created a committee called the Sustainable Green Partnership, or SGP committee, which is run by employees.
This does two things for me as the business owner:
1) It gets people involved beyond leadership. The programs have more impact when they are employee-organized.
2) By allowing any employee to join the SGP committee, we are empowering them to use their voice and bring ideas to the table. As a result, sustainability becomes engrained into everything we do because our employees actually care that these programs succeed. We still have challenges, such as getting new faces on the committee, but the SGP committee has been a real win for the company. When people understand that the little changes they make as individuals will add up to a big impact, most people want to do the right thing—and they do.
In the past, Hub Labels has partnered with local breweries, wineries and distilleries to support an array of projects for a cause. We’d love to hear about your most recent partnership.
When a client approaches us with a community project, we are eager to help. Just like sustainability, being engaged in the community is a core value we hold here at Hub. As an organization, we organize fundraisers throughout the year for a variety of causes that our employees have voted to support for the year!
We especially love when our customers approach us with their own initiatives. Recently, we had a request to support Cushwa Brewing Company, and their effort to raise money for a local skate park in the Hagerstown community.
“As a business owner,” said Marcus Thomas, co-owner of Cushwa Brewing Company, “we’ve held two fundraising events at our brewery, and it’s really brought the community together — and I’ve seen firsthand how many kids enjoy skating and could benefit from a park in the community.”
We designed and printed the stickers for them to sell: All proceeds go directly to the Hagerstown Skatepark.
If you would like to support Deena, please consider donating to her Go Fund Me ➡️
A big thank you(!) to Thomas and Janice for taking the time to chat with us and for telling us a bit more about their sustainable and community initiatives.