Focused Sustainability Actions

In 1889, Fredman Bag began cleaning, repairing, and reselling burlap sacks, and proceeded to add mesh and cotton bags and closing materials (wire ties, twines, sewing threads) over the years. To feed growing consumer demand, the company eventually found its way to custom bag making using polyethylene and other flexible materials.

Today, Fredman Bag’s business has evolved to include sustainability efforts centered on a combination of our mission and our environmental policy

Fredman Bag Mission
To share positive experiences with customers by proactively supporting their needs and consistently creating value in custom packaging solutions and promotional materials.

Fredman Bag Environmental Policy
Fredman Bag recognizes and accepts its responsibility to be a good steward of the environment and to help achieve a state of sustainable development.

At the center of both policies are Fredman Bag’s stakeholders: customers, vendors, employees, investors, communities, and regulators. Our sustainability program is driven by focused sustainability actions aligned with the issues that are most important to these stakeholders.

Environment, People and Business

Sustainability is about providing for today’s needs without sacrificing the opportunity for future generations to address their needs. Fredman Bag has accepted this challenge with the same approach that has driven successful change in each iteration of the business. Our actions occur at the intersection of the environment, the natural world; people, both customers and employees; and business, management’s adaptations to economically survive and thrive over 130 years.

Key attributes of hard work, ingenuity, and a focus on customers have always served—and continue to serve—as foundational to our sustainability actions. When combined with the desire to collaborate, the positive effects are only amplified.


Fredman Bag has been a member of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources Green Tier 1 program since 2012. Green Tier empowers companies who are engaged in sustainability to use a systematic approach to minimize environmental risk. The program helps align business objectives with environmental stewardship. Commitments to maintain status in the program include annual internal audits, conducting 3rd-party audits every three years, and submitting an annual report. Green Tier program membership has driven, and continues to drive, many of the environmental sustainability actions at Fredman Bag.

Green Tier

Waste Reduction

Landfill Diversion: Fredman Bag has diverted 100% of its waste away from landfills for over 5 years and counting, due to specific processes and training, plus engaged people. We partner with recyclers who take our byproducts and use them as feedstock to make other things. Read more about our landfill free status.

Internal Waste Reduction: We continuously watch our waste as a key performance indicator. Less waste means less material needed to fulfill orders, and less material to recycle. Our waste reduction efforts are tied to our continuous improvement incentive plan, whereby employees are rewarded when waste reductions meet established goals.

Internal Energy Use: Waste reduction also equates to less energy used in production. Additionally, 98% of light bulbs in the manufacturing facility are LED, with the transition to all LED to be complete by 2025.

Sustainable Material Options

Post Industrial Recycled (PIR) Content Material: Scrap from our internal extrusion process is collected and then re-pelletized to make new material. At the end of its life, the material is recyclable.

Closed Loop Material: Scrap material is pooled from all our manufacturing facilities (in Mississippi, New York, and Wisconsin) to be re-pelletized and create new material, which is recyclable at the end of its life. This bag-to-bag recycling avoids downcycling.

Fredman Bag supports the closure of packaging loops in other organizations by accepting their return of existing plastic for re-pelletizing as well.

Certified PCR: Certified post-consumer recycled content resin (PCR) is blended with virgin resins to create a PCR option that is recyclable at the end of its life.

Downgauging: Reducing material thickness is an effective way to decrease both costs and environmental impact.

Biobased: Material is made 50% from plants (renewable resources), recyclable at the end of its life.

Certified Compostable: Material is certified compostable at the end of its life in an industrial compost facility. Material is certified to ASTM D6400 standard.

Closed Loop Systems

Closed Loop Water System: Five bag machines at Fredman Bag have closed loop water systems in place. The closed-loop cooling systems eliminate the need to change water in large containers as temperature rises. These systems also limit discharges of wastewater and reduce the amount of water used.

Closed Loop Air Lines: All compressed air lines at Fredman Bag are on a closed loop system.

Closed Loop Material: We offer closed loop, or “bag to bag,” material, made from customer or internal scrap that has been re-pelletized into new material. Fredman Bag also collaborates with customers who would like to send back cores or wickets for re-use, creating a circular flow of support items.

Employee & Community Focus

Internet Security Training: Employees train quarterly through a 3rd-party provider to raise awareness of email- and internet-related scams.

Safety Training: Fredman Bag partners with a 3rd-party provider to offer annual safety training for all employees.

Recycling Training: In collaboration with a 3rd-party provider, Fredman Bag annually re-trains employees regarding our internal recycling system. The training assists in keeping our facility landfill-free.

Regular Meal Events: Held quarterly, these events keep employees informed of company happenings and also weave in some games and prizes.

Health Benefits: All full-time employees have access to health, dental, and vision insurance.

Employee Bonuses: Continuous Improvement Incentive Program (CIIP) is paid out quarterly to all employees and is based on productivity plus scrap and quality metrics.

Community Giving: Volunteers from Fredman Bag participate annually in the Havenwoods Community Clean Up.

Governance of Efforts

Green Tier: Membership in the Green Tier program, described above, includes audits and direction for our environmental efforts.

Board-Level Oversight: Sustainability is an agenda item at every Board meeting to chart progress, minimize risk, and seek out new opportunities.

Our blog offers a continuous feed of information in the sustainability space. From material options to sustainability terms to employee focus articles, the blog provides a means to communicate our actions and spark ideas for future collaborations with others. Learn More