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  • 04 Feb 2020

TLMI hosts ‘disruption tour'

Gabriel Ramirez and Luis Ricardo Marquez Gete from Multi Color Corporation Mexico at the TLMI Annual Meeting

TLMI’s annual meeting welcomed around 450 label industry leaders to what the association called its ‘disruption tour.’ The theme of the two-day meeting of the North American label industry was evident in the keynote addresses, many of which focused on a major disruptor particularly for those in the label industry: sustainability. 

‘One main disruptor in our industry is sustainability and in order to tackle it we need to bring the tag and label industry together. We need to break down barriers and anticipated legislation, and outside forces that are shaking up the status quo,’ said Nick Tucci of Avery Dennison, the host of this year’s annual meeting.

Keynote speakers

Back by popular demand was economist Alan Beaulieu, of ITR Economics, who spoke about business management in an uncertain economy. Beaulieu said that the economy is showing signs of a slowdown headed into 2020 and he predicts at least three recessions in the next decade. Beaulieu said that will be a good time to sell or buy a business, noting that ‘companies that prepare for a recession pull ahead during and after it.’

Beaulieu discussed many factors affecting the global and North American economy, including sustainability. He noted that world carbon dioxide emissions are getting better but added that the Green New Deal and other legislation aimed at tackling climate change ‘has the potential for inflationary pressures and more federal debt.’ ‘If you want to go green, somebody’s got to pay for that,’ he said.

"There have been very few converter members who are as dedicated to TLMI as Lori Campbell has been over the past decade"

However, the contrasts of this much-discussed topic were driven home when the speaker immediately following Beaulieu addressed what the economists said. Dr John Izzo respectfully disagreed with Beauileu’s comments, saying climate change is the preeminent challenge facing the 21st century. It effects the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, he said. 

‘We have to reconcile that Millennials are a generation that see things differently. They prioritize sustainability. Sustainability is not a micro trend. And it’s not just a metric to be studied by economists. This trend is not going away. You will either be in the way or be a leader in it.’

A third speaker, Daniel Esty, author of ‘Green to Gold’, focused his talk on sustainability and corporate responsibility. Esty detailed how companies can obtain what he called an ‘eco-advantage’ in the market. He said that operating a sustainability-focused business is not only good for the earth, but there can be process efficiencies and financial benefits too, particularly on social media and with investor and customer perceptions of one’s company. 

Terry Jones, the final speaker, calls himself a ‘digital disruptor’ as the founder of five start-ups, including Kayak and Travelocity. Jones told the audience that in order to be successful, they need to be on the front edge of change, whether they like it or not. ‘If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less,’ he said.

The TLMI Annual meeting also featured a product showcase exhibition where suppliers could showcase their latest technology, an awards dinner, committee meetings and a slate of networking events, including a beach clean-up.

Label converters and suppliers honored

Lori Campbell of The Label Printers was named converter of year at TLMI’s annual meeting, where Patrick Potter for Flexo Wash was named supplier of the year.

The converter of the year award recognizes a member of the North American package printing industry who has made an extensive contribution to the greater market and demonstrated a commitment to TLMI. The supplier of the year award honors an individual for their ongoing volunteer service and dedication to TLMI and to the greater industry.

"The main disruptor is sustainability and in order to tackle it we need to bring the tag and label industry together"

Campbell has been with the Label Printers for 37 years and recently was named the company’s president. She is on the TLMI board and will serve as its chairwoman in October 2020.

TLMI president Dan Muenzer said: ‘There have been very few converter members who are as dedicated to TLMI as Lori Campbell has been over the past decade. She has been instrumental in building up and co-chairing the PrintThink Summit and has long been one of our hardest working board members. Lori is an exceptional collaborator and like many of the association’s members, I feel extremely fortunate that I get to call her a business associate, a fellow industry member, and a friend.’

Patrick Potter has spent nearly seven years in the North American printing industry, following a career in the insurance and banking sectors. In early 2013, he joined Flexo Wash as the company’s president. Flexo Wash is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and has over 4,000 installations in over 95 countries.

Outlook Group received the Calvin Frost Environmental Achievement Award and Diversified Labeling Solutions was honored for its sustainability efforts.

Outlook Group has achieved nearly 100 percent landfill avoidance and is committed to using suppliers that offer more sustainable products. Outlook offers a microliner product, which the company offers to help their customers with their own sustainability goals. The product enables Outlook’s customers to decrease release liner waste by 80 percent and increases label volumes on rolls by 30-100 percent resulting in warehouse space reduction and lower transportation costs.

Diversified Labeling Solutions was given a special award for the company’s excellence in recycling and landfill avoidance. The company’s internal program requires all production personnel to change how they process waste within the plant. Previously, the company’s waste was channeled to a large compactor. In the new program, all waste is separated and all matrix waste is compacted and rechanneled toward energy generation, replacing coal. The company’s recyclable materials such as paper, plastics, metal, packaging film, pallets and corrugated are collected, separated and recycled in different recycling streams. The company’s efforts have removed two million pounds of waste per year from landfills.


Chelsea McDougall is North America editor for Labels & Labeling.

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