In this episode of our podcast, we spoke with John Crosby, Vice President of Operations at Grand Rapids Label (GR Label). We discussed GR Label’s journey toward zero-landfill, including the impetus, measures of success, reactions of suppliers and potential employees, and mentorship from other companies.
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John Crosby is Vice President of Operations at Grand Rapids Label, where he has worked for 28 years. He is a part owner of this fourth-generation company.
GR Label believes in sustainability but was at only a 10% recycling rate in 2012.
The owners met and agreed that they wanted sustainability to be their legacy for the company’s fifth generation.
Striving for zero landfill is the most tangible, sustainable initiative for customers and employees because it’s measurable.
GR Label didn’t know how long it would take to achieve zero-landfill or how to get there, so Crosby contacted fellow Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute, Inc. (TLMI) members for advice and help.
TLMI member John McDermott advised him about achieving zero landfill so that the company didn’t have to start from scratch.
GR Label also started recording atmosphere emissions of the coater as well as electricity, gas, and water use.
The company started by measuring volumes rather than dollars.
GR Label is now cost-neutral based on what they used to send to the landfill and what goes in now.
For the landfill, they track both volume and dollars.
TLMI members are always open and willing to help with sustainability initiatives.