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The Label Printers Wins Environmental Awards

imageThe Label Printers has won two prestigious awards for their efforts in making the company’s operations more environmentally sound and sustainable.  The company has won TLMI’s (Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute) Environmental Leadership Award for the second time in a row (the first time a company has done so), and the State of Illinois’ Governor’s Sustainability Award - also for the second time in a row.

Bill Kane, Chief Executive of The Label Printers discussed the importance of the company’s sustainability efforts.  “Generally speaking – businesses should do their part to improve their company’s “ecological footprint”.  Number 1 - it’s just plain good for us and our planet to reduce and reuse resources.  Number 2 – if you look at it from a business standpoint and ask yourself, can we save money?  Possibly – maybe even probably.  But that’s not the point.  Customers demand that their suppliers find ways to conserve resources, to use more efficient and cost effective packaging.  And we need to be responsive to that.”

TLMI explains that their “prestigious Environmental Leadership Awards recognize member companies that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to progressive environmental practices across a range of areas including solid waste reduction, recycling, waste or energy recovery, the implementation of new ‘clean’ technology and/or processes, and the implementation of an education program.” “This is TLMI’s 11th year in presenting these awards and recognizing leaders in the implementation of environmental awareness and best sustainability practices in our industry," commented Calvin Frost, chair of TLMI's Environmental Committee. "Sustainability is a central issue in our marketplace and I applaud all the companies who submitted award entries for consideration this year.” The Converter Award for Environmental Leadership was given to The Label Printers, a company that continues to build an environmental culture throughout their entire organization. This is the company’s second year in winning the award and once again demonstrating a reduction in waste and energy consumption year over year. It has also established best practices that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainability. The company’s “Go Green Save Green and Earn Green” program positions it as a true leader in the industry.

The Governor’s Sustainability Award is presented to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices that will also save money and help the economy.”  Said David Thomas, ISTC [Illinois Sustainable Technology Center] Interim Director, “In working for a greener tomorrow, these businesses and organizations not only preserve our resources, protect our environment, reduce their costs and increase their competitiveness, they also help develop more sustainable technologies and become our greatest allies in the diffusion of new ideas and new attitudes about how business is done in Illinois.”

Twenty-seven Illinois companies and organizations were honored for their significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. The Governor’s Sustainability Awards were presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) during a ceremony in Peoria. ISTC is a unit of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

Since 1987, ISTC has presented Governors awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. Any Illinois public or private organization is eligible to apply for the award. Winners are selected through a rigorous process of review and examination by ISTC technical assistance experts. This year 27 organizations received Governor’s Awards and 14 received honorable mention awards.

The “Go Green, Save Green, and Earn Green”/L.I.F.E. Team is proud of what they and the company have accomplished in just three years. George Tommasi (Director of Human Resources, The Label Printer’s Illinois EPA Compliance Representative, and the L.I.F.E. team leader) says that he was very impressed that TLP won the TLMI award two years in a row, which is the first time that has happened.  He said “It made me feel like we really had a significant impact.”  Tommasi and his team members Gina Ries, Quality Assurance Supervisor and Dawn Tesch, Purchasing Expediter, all agreed that both of the awards were a testament to the hard work of TLP’s employees. 

Tesch spoke about the company’s “Take Stock for Education” program (which was included in the submission materials for both awards) saying, “I thought it was nice that [TSfE] stood out to the people deciding about the awards.  We’re very proud of that program.”  Ries was particularly pleased about their experiences at the Governor’s Award this year.  “There were more people at the awards, more displays – and more people stopped by our display table.  They were impressed with what we had done – and that recognition was nice.  I was especially pleased with the remarks of one gentleman who said, ‘You guys really get it.’ That was special.”

The team’s pleasure at these awards is matched by their commitment to sustainability and their focus on the customer.  Says Ries, “We’re always looking for continuous improvement.  A good example of that would be our VOCs [volatile organic compound emissions] – reducing that is a long term process.  But we’ve been continuously reducing it since we put our stake in the ground in 2010, and we’ll keep finding ways to reduce it further.”  Adds Tesch, “We also continue to add goals and categories [products].  We hit our solid waste goal in the first year of the program.” 

Lori Campbell, Chief of Operations, points out “I’m very proud of the L.I.F.E. team and our company.  The “Go Green” program just gets better every year.  It’s really become an important program with a great deal of substance, in a very short time.”  Campbell feels that winning both awards has set the company apart in a very positive way.  “Lots of companies talk about being “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” – but these awards demonstrate that our people walk the talk.  And that means something to us and to our customers.”

The Label Printers is a Certified Member of TLMI’s L.I.F.E. program. 

The Label Printers Sustainability Policy and current Dashboard may be found on the company’s web site at:


The Label Printers, Aurora, IL, started in business in 1967, manufacturing simple label constructions in a 1,000 square foot space, with 1 employee, serving the local Chicago market.

Today, the company has evolved into one of the 100 largest converters in the United States.  The Label Printers owns and operates two facilities in Aurora, Illinois, manufacturing and distributing labels and packaging products to thousands of customers in 25 countries around the world. The company’s packaging products are certified to ISO 9001 standards, and their quality is backed up by their 99.6% Quality Acceptance Rating.

The Label Printers is a member of NASPO (North American Security Products Organization), CACP (Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy), TLMI (Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute) and the FTA (Flexographic Technical Association).

About the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute, Inc.:

TLMI, located in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is a member-driven association strongly committed to providing business solutions that enhance the prosperity of its members and the narrow web tag, label, and packaging industries. The organization’s vision is to be the premier member-driven association for the label and packaging industry.

TLMI's goal in creating the L.I.F.E. Program was to offer an audited certification process tailored specifically to the narrow web printing and converting industry. Examples of elements that companies address in undergoing the L.I.F.E. certification process include the recycle-compatibility of adhesives; the source and destination of liner materials and how narrow web companies are driving recycling programs for these materials; and material construction light-weighting (adopting thinner constructions that generate less waste). Front office issues are also addressed such as total energy utilization, where that energy is coming from and what a business is doing to actively reduce its overall carbon footprint.

In addition to the L.I.F.E. program, TLMI offers their members a wide range of reports that focus on key industry indices, real-time economic analysis, and benchmarking metrics – these include a Financial Benchmarking/Ratio Analysis, Compensation Analysis, and Quarterly Trends.

TLMI has grown from an original group of 19 founding members to hundreds of supplier and converter members.  The organization celebrated their Diamond Anniversary in 2008.

About the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center/Prairie Research Institute:

The Prairie Research Institute, (originally The Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability), was created in July of 2008 to house four state scientific surveys — Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) — as a group under the auspices of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Then in 2010, the Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program (ITARP) became the fifth division under the new name of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, further expanding the Institute's research and service capabilities. The Institute's mission and vision statement reflect the importance of sustaining our state's natural resources.