Materials Management

Materials Management

Sustainable products start with sustainable sourcing. Wherever possible, we responsibly source sustainable materials that improve environmental health. 

By 2030 we plan to have 100% of our paper FSC certified and have already made significant strides. Globally, over 89% of our paper is certified through FSC and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification claims, with 45% of all paper certified using the “gold standard” FSC-certification. We’re also increasingly sourcing renewable energy to power our operations.

We’re aiming to manufacture our RFID inlays more sustainably as well, and in 2020, we advanced several efforts to reduce the amount of material used to make them. We developed our SmartMaterialsTM RFID label constructions, which arrive to converters ready to use and reduce the amount of materials involved by streamlining the manufacturing process. We also began making improvements to our manufacturing processes and product constructions to reduce waste, including replacing transfer tapes with in-line adhesive application and making our RFID antennas without PET plastic.

Auditing Direct Materials Suppliers

In 2016, our businesses launched a Sustainability Procurement Program. This collaborative evaluation platform provides sustainability ratings and performance improvement tools for our global supply chain. As part of the program, each year, with our partner, EcoVadis, we review suppliers representing more than 80% of our direct spend on materials. EcoVadis audits a company’s environmental practices, fair business practices, working conditions, and supply chain. Supplier audit scores and corrective actions are available in EcoVadis’ online system for any competitor or customer who requests the information. Our work with EcoVadis received a Label Industry Global Award in 2018.

"We have a bottle that properly reflects the quality of our water and one that gives our customers in restaurants and hotels the image they need. The sustainability gains we have made are tremendous. This is a solution that gives us everything we were looking for. " Urs Grütter, Lokales Wasser’s CEO
Apparel Solutions

Balancing Innovation and Responsibility with RAEBURN®

Christopher Raeburn’s fashion brand RAEBURN is known for re-appropriating military fabrics and especially for creating iconic outerwear from decommissioned parachutes. Its RÆMADE ethos guides and influences every aspect of the brand’s design and development. We worked with Christopher Raeburn to develop woven patches made from 100% recycled yarn, helping him achieve his vision of both innovative and responsible design.

Intelligent Labels

Creating Chemical-Free RFID Tags

One way to produce RFID tags is to use chemicals to etch the antennas. But doing so requires potentially dangerous chemicals, such as phosphoric acid, acetic acid, and nitric acid. We’ve innovated new manufacturing methods including cutting the antenna material with dies and lasers rather than through chemical etching. This avoids the use of harmful chemicals and makes it possible to recycle the matrix from our RFID rolls—some 127,000 pounds to date.

Graphics Solutions

New PVC-Free Digitally Printable Film

We recently launched a premium high-gloss polyurethane film designed for vehicle wrapping and outdoor architectural applications that require a PVC-free solution. It’s manufactured using PVC-and phthalate-free film technology, along with a solvent-free adhesive. It contains no PVCs or monomeric plasticizers, eliminating halogen-related disposal concerns.

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