Labels specialist first to become carbon neutral

Label One, the Belfast-based manufacturer of adhesive and other labels for a range of industries including food processing, has become one of the first in its sector in the UK to achieve Carbon Neutral status. The company has signed up with the Carbon Neutral Company following an extensive programme of initiatives with the Carbon Trust and Invest Northern Ireland.

The company has slashed waste costs and is reviewing its current list of suppliers to favour those with a low carbon footprint. It has already switched its electricity supplier to one using a higher proportion of power from renewable sources.

Label One, formed in a management buy-out from Avery Dennison in 2005, currently supplies around 60 per cent of its output to food processing companies in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It also supplies pharmaceutical companies.  The company offers a range of adhesive labels from design-led and multi-coloured to basic white. It also provides an expert design service.

Managing Director Michael McGarry says the tie-up with the Carbon Neutral Company is an outcome of the company’s focus on its social responsibility commitments and measures to ensure its continuing competitiveness.

“Many of our clients are facing increasing pressure on costs and on their environmental policies particularly from major food retailers. We decided to approach Invest NI for advice about how we could become more environmentally friendly and were introduced to the Carbon Trust.

“The trust carried out a comprehensive audit of carbon emissions from all our operations and put forward a series of very useful recommendations especially in areas such as waste elimination. These have since been implemented and we are looking at other initiatives to reduce costs further,” he adds.

The measures implemented have focused on waste segregation to reduce landfill and to increase recycling across the business.

The agreement with the Carbon Neutral Company enables the company to offset its remaining carbon emissions to fund the development of renewable energy schemes, such as windmills, particularly in developing nations.

“The steps that we have taken within the company and through our offsetting arrangement with the Carbon Neutral Company means that we have achieved carbon neutral status. It has been a learning process for us, and we are applying the experience gained. Every aspect of our business is being reviewed continuously to identify savings,” Mr McGarry adds.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Director of Food, praising Label One’s success in addressing environmental issues, says: “This is a very progressive company which has been quick to recognise that tackling carbon exposure is more than good environmental stewardship, it can also create sustainable long term competitive advantage in virtually every international market. Environmental issues are an important feature of the work we do with local companies to help them to sharpen their competitive edge.

“Practical support for companies in areas such as waste minimisation and recycling is an essential part of the broad range of highly professional assistance that is now readily available from Invest NI for companies in food processing and other industries,” he adds.

Label One was also the first company in Ireland to achieve the British Retail Consortium accreditation and is also ISO accredited