Amherst Label earns certification

MILFORD – Amherst Label has achieved a certification that only 32 other companies in North America have attained. In late October, the Milford manufacturer of custom labels, tags and flexible packaging completed the rigorous audit process required for LIFE certification from TLMI, the professional association for tag and label manufacturers and suppliers. LIFE, or Label Initiative For the Environment, encourages applicants to measure and reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing. The certification program was introduced in 2009 as an audited process tailored to the narrow web printing and converting industry. By examining all aspects of the member business, LIFE shifts the focus from the bottom line to what is best for the business and the environment. The program provides a framework for education and continuous improvement, from turning off excess lights to using thinner, lighter materials to changing chemicals in use – either through reduction, elimination or replacement with a greener, safer alternative. Nick Calvetti, Amherst Label owner and president described the benefits of LIFE in a nutshell: "It’s good for the environment and it’s good for us." Although the process was arduous, Calvetti said, "Employees feel good about it. Less waste is a good thing and leads to saving money, which is a win-win situation." Nye Hornor, vice president of operations and sales, said LIFE certification has been "a threeyear journey of setting annual goals and accomplishing them." He described the process in one word – "challenging" – and elaborated: "It has made us better in many different ways. We now do more documentation, tracking things that help us manage our business better. This has made us more efficient. But it also gets us to think outside the box. For example, could we use run-off water from the roof for an internal process or for our landscaping irrigation?" Reusing "gray" water is one aspect of the reuse, reduce and recycle theme promoted by the LIFE program. Calvetti and Hornor credit Jim Cutler, manager of purchasing and facilities, for carrying the ball and reaching the LIFE goal. Cutler did most of the prep work, data collection and analysis. His tracking and recommendations for improvement were acknowledged by the LIFE auditor who spent a full day at the Milford plant in October. "I hope we are helping to change the culture to be more LIFE-conscious not only in our business, but in our homes and communities," Hornor said. "We are showing that as a company we care about being responsible to the environment and to future generations occupying