We are Hub Labels, a pressure sensitive label converter located in Hagerstown, and we are proud to have well-defined sustainability goals that coincide with thoughtful strategies that make us a leader in our industry. We want to be a member of Random Acts of Green because we feel that it will help us continue to play a part in accelerating our green mission. In April 2020, we were awarded a Sustainable Green Printing Partnership Certification which requires participating companies to complete continuous improvement projects related to sustainability. To achieve our certification, we undertook a number of projects in 2019 including:
(1 – Waste/Byproduct Reduction) In September 2019, we became 100% Landfill Free, which eliminated over 750,000 lbs. of waste to landfills annually.
(2 – Recycling) We found an alternative solution to bubble wrap used for shipping by repurposing waste cardboard and shredding it to serve as a replacement. This eliminated 91,200 feet of bubble wrap annually.
(3 – Energy Use) 65% of the lighting in the facility has switched to LED lighting.
(4 – Community Engagement) By sharing our landfill free story, a supplier we work with took the concept and applied it to their business, allowing them to become a 90% landfill free company and eliminating another 1,352,000 lbs. of waste from landfills.
Our journey to be a sustainable label converter started more than 10 years ago. We were an early member of TLMI Project L.I.F.E., a membership group dedicated to decreasing environmental impact and carbon footprint in areas such as clean production, energy, greenhouse gases, product design, and management practices. We also invested in a Chevy Volt to serve as the company car. Unlike traditional hybrid cars, it drives on pure electricity for the everyday commute and it seamlessly switches to gasoline for longer trips. The Volt gets an EPA-estimated 38 miles gas-free and it averages 900 miles between fill-ups. With the standard 120V charging unit, the battery will charge in about 10 to 16 hours.
At Hub Labels, we are dedicated to providing sustainable packaging solutions to our customers. Hub Labels was the first company in the United States to offer linerless labels, an ideal labeling solution for skin pack trays and a smarter way to package meat. By switching to this innovative technology, non-recyclable Styrofoam is replaced with a recyclable plastic tray. Liner waste is completely eliminated, while also adding to the product’s shelf life and reducing food waste.
Through our partnership with UPM Raflatac, we are able to provide a lifecycle assessment called Label Life to analyze the environmental impacts of materials and calculate the impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and water consumption. A simple change in material used in packaging can greatly reduce a product’s carbon footprint. Hub Labels is dedicated to helping our customers meet their sustainability goals and contribute to the circular economy. We also have access to other sustainable packaging solutions through our partnership with Raflatac. This includes their Forest Film label material, which is the first wood-based PP film label material, their RAFNXT+ material, which is the world’s first label material verified by the Carbon Trust to enable carbon reduction, and their wash-off adhesives which ensure the clean removal of labels and optimize recycling.
For our efforts, Hub Labels has won several awards including the TLMI Environmental Leadership Award, the Washington County Business Going Green Award and a spot on the Green Registry Leadership Circle. At Hub Labels, sustainability is a business model and a pillar of our success. We will continue to be dedicated to labeling products that lead to a smarter future.