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Flexo Sustainable : Earth Day 2014
The world of sustainable programs is still a developing one, Jeff notes, with some aspects offering promise and others still evolving to become more approachable to businesses. “ What we do best is ask our customers what is important to them and we ask our suppliers what they can do to help us,” he says. “ While we’ve been encouraged by what we’ve uncovered in terms of eco friendly materials and end of life options for our waste streams, we’ve been discouraged by the availability and feasibility of these options. Unfortunately the biggest question has been one of economics and logistics. That said, we partic- ipate in committees and organizations in an effort to both learn more and to push our suppliers to help make more sustainable options both available and affordable. ” One of the most important sustainability initiatives at Label Impressions involves improving the company ’s efficiency. “Since raw material waste is our biggest concern, we focus most on this one. We’ve reduced our setup and run waste sig- nificantly in recent years, which has made us more competi- tive and eco friendly at the same time. Adding a butt splicer to our widest web press has significantly reduced waste and we plan to install a facility wide trim removal system by the end of this year,” Jeff reveals. Sustainability has also become a part of Label Impression’s overall company culture: The company ’s president and CEO says conservation and recycling is automatic and all team members have embraced it since they started being more aware in 2006. THE CONSUMER SIDE Enacting a sustainability program can bring with it, among other benefits, cost savings down the road. But the upfront costs of things like replacing inefficient machinery or inks that are not environmentally friendly can create a financial strain. Unfortunately, not all printers are able to find assistance with these monetary hurdles. “Our clients certainly care about sustainability—though as you’ll hear from every label company, none will pay for it,” Salisbury admits. “ The expectation is that we’ll provide sustainability at neutral cost. “ We do have the tough conversation with these clients and we ask them to participate in the effort. Some embrace this and ask what they can do, which is refreshing, while others do not,” he says. Salisbury also notes that in the beginning, only smaller companies asked about sustainability. As the idea of a busi- ness’ environmental impact has become a more frequently discussed topic, however, more of Label Impressions’ custom- ers bring it up. “ Though we find that it is still only the smaller companies who press for information and results in this area consistently,” he notes. Why should a company with a sustainability program be sought out? Salisbury says that a company looking to mini- mize its impact on the environment is evidence of a company that is focused on being forward thinking and modern. Traits like these make a company attractive to do business with. “I think that a consumer or brand should want to work with a progressive company, because such a company has the consumer ’s/brand’s best interests at heart. People want to know that their suppliers are on the cutting edge, which translates to higher value; a higher quality/lower cost relation- ship,” he states. “Sustainability is merely an extension of this and a company focused on sustainability represents one that is progressive, looking toward improvement and adding value to the customer.” n Learn more about Label Impressions’ history and sustain- ability efforts at www.labelimpressions.com. Jeff Salisbury, president and CEO of Label Impressions, Inc. in Orange, CA, stands press side on the pressroom floor. EARTH DAY 2014 | Sustainable FLEXO 7