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Flexo Sustainable : Summer 2012
company ’s desire to minimize its environmental footprint and to build on its commitment to sustainability through many dif- ferent facets of the business. These green aspects include product design, where Fred- man works with customers to downsize material thickness and package dimensions therefore maximizing the overall cost reduction for the customer and Fredman itself; in manu- facturing, as the firm utilizes a regenerative thermal oxidizer to destroy volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by blasting exhaust with extremely hot air; in processing, by recapturing and recycling unconsumed solvents, reducing cooling water usage through recycling and reconditioning, as well as recy- cling industrial paper, cardboard, and spent oil; in packaging by shipping finished products on recycled pallets and reused roll cores; and in energy reduction, by upgrading to vari- able speed motors over single speed motors on equipment exhaust systems, replacing production and office lighting with high efficiency lighting and using motion detectors and setback thermostats to help conserve energy. While these initiatives may seem somewhat time and cost intensive, the reality is that by spending more capital on these technologies now, Fredman will see significant cost savings in the future. “ We value this opportunity to work with the DNR,” said Tim Fredman, president and owner, Fredman Bag. “ The ability to partner with the DNR is greatly appreciated and we value the added help and resources a collaborative relationship brings. Our results show that being environmentally conscious does not have to be a burden to a business. These efforts make sense, not only from an environmental impact standpoint, but because they are also generally advantageous from both a safety and cost savings perspective.” In May 2012, Fredman, in an effort to increase total em- ployee involvement in the recycling efforts, added an audit program into its quarterly bonus program. The program veri- fies recyclable materials are in the recycling waste streams and not in the landfill waste streams. From a process waste standpoint, the majority of the firm’s plastic scrap stream has always been captured and recycled. But, it keeps working to include additional items to be recycled. In the last year, Fredman added plastic spools received from zipper suppliers and several additional categories of poly material. This increased the amount of material recycled by 4 percent. But even with these items added into the calculations, the company has reduced the total amount of scrap produced and sent to the recycler by 67 percent in the last six years. Furthermore, when looking at the landfill shipments, the total material sent to the landfill has been reduced by 40 percent in the same six-year period. Fredman Bag also has big plans for the future. This includes converting industrial cleaning agents to environmen- tally friendly water based systems, replacing the facility ’s hot water heater with a higher efficiency unit, continuing to im- prove lighting efficiency, recycling additional waste products, and continuing to significantly reduce solvent usage. With the help of the Green Tier, Fredman Bag will be able to continue to reduce its environmental footprint. And, with Fredman added to the list of the firms within the Green Tier, Wisconsin businesses will be able to continue to develop new and inno- vative ways to continue environmental conservation. As a unique program in the nation, Green Tier provides a range of tools to create a powerful, sustainable force for economic growth and environmental health. Green Tier participation has grown throughout Wisconsin’s business community in recent years, as more companies have found business value through greater environmental performance. For more information on Green Tier and Fred- man Bag’s involvement, visit DNR’s Green Tier web page at: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/GreenTier/ Participants/FredmanBag.html n The latest data shows FBC has reduced its VOCs by over 40 percent in the last 5 years. www.flexomag.com summer 2012 Sustainable FLEXO 9 Fredman Bag has witnessed sustainaBility in... Product design; work with customers to downsize mate- rial thickness and package dimensions. Manufacturing; utilize regenerative thermal oxidizer to destroy VOCs. Processing; recapture and recycle unconsumed solvents. Reduce cooling water usage by recycling and reconditioning. Recycle industrial paper, cardboard, and spent oil. Packaging; ship product on recycled pallets and re-use roll cores. Energy reduction; upgrade to variable speed motors versus single speed motors on equipment exhaust sys- tems. Replace production and office lighting with high efficiency lighting. Utilize motion detectors and setback thermostats to help conserve energy. 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 %MaxPermit Year Fredman Bag VOC Trend Photo of the firm’s original plant location