This is Greif’s 13th annual sustainability report, based on our fiscal year, November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021.

Greif 2021 sustainability report cover stacked

Report Overview

GRI 102-50 | 102-52 | 102-53 | 102-54
Reporting period
Reporting cycle
Contact point for questions regarding the report
Claims of reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards

Welcome to Greif’s 13th annual sustainability report, based on our fiscal year, November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. In February 2019, Greif completed the acquisition of Caraustar Industries, Inc., a leading vertically-integrated paperboard manufacturer in North America (“Caraustar”). In 2021, we continued integrating some management practices and data systems from Caraustar with the rest of Greif’s operations, creating alignment of Caraustar’s sustainability data and practices with Greif’s pre-existing programs unless otherwise noted. This report is prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option, SASB Application Guidance and fulfills the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) annual Communication on Progress (COP). We also align our climate-related disclosures with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). For questions on this report, please contact Aysu Katun, VP of Sustainability at Aysu.Katun@Greif.com.

A Letter From Our Chairman

GRI 102-14
Statement from senior decision-maker


Peter G. Watson
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors

In 2021, we at Greif continued on our journey to make remarkable progress toward our sustainability goals and initiatives. We advanced our strategic priorities: cultivating an engaged workforce, providing industry-leading customer service and striving for performance excellence, while navigating and overcoming significant external challenges.

Despite ongoing obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we delivered on our purpose to meet the needs of our stakeholders as an essential business and our vision to be the best performing customer service company in the world. We overcame considerable external challenges and reinforced our commitment to customer service and product quality, achieving Greif’s highest annual Customer Service Index score of 93.2 in 2021. We also continued to prioritize our colleagues by taking active measures to maintain colleague health, safety and well-being.

We further elevated our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors throughout 2021 to enhance our business performance. We are proud to share this progress in our 13th annual sustainability report. Our Leadership Council, a group comprised of Greif’s top leaders from around the world, focused on accelerating our ESG performance across five key areas—Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Waste Reduction, Energy Reduction, Environmental Compliance, and Circularity and Innovation—through quarterly meetings and by developing and implementing strategic action plans.


Attracting and retaining top talent remains a priority for Greif, and motivated and engaged colleagues are the foundation of our success. We are dedicated to cultivating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion where every colleague feels engaged and valued. In 2021, we expanded our Colleague Resource Groups (CRG) to provide support in personal and career development and to foster a more inclusive culture. In addition, we conducted our fourth annual colleague survey to assess the state of our workforce’s engagement and motivation. Results were exceptional – our colleague engagement survey received a 91 percent response rate, and Greif ranked in the 90th percentile of all companies measured in Gallup’s global manufacturing database.

Following our Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) gap analysis and the announcement of our goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2030, we gathered leaders from across our business to conduct our climate risk workshop. This workshopa first for Greifculminated in the identification of key climate-related risks and opportunities to the business which will be further shared and considered in our enterprise strategy in the year ahead. Findings from the workshops were presented to the CEO, CFO and General Counsel. The Executive Leadership Team will determine how we integrate these risks into our Enterprise Risk Management Process and our business strategies in 2022.

Strong governance ensures we follow a transparent decision-making process that takes the interest of all stakeholders into account. This year, we strengthened our ESG strategy governance structure by implementing quarterly ESG steering committee reviews and integrating ESG data, measurement and tracking into the Greif Business System, capital approval process and enterprise scorecard. Beginning in 2022, we will include ESG data in monthly performance reviews with our Leadership Council.

Our sustainability and ESG initiatives continue to receive external recognition. We were awarded a gold rating from EcoVadis for our fourth consecutive year and earned a B rating on CDP Climate in 2021. Greif was included in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. We were also featured in Newsweek’s Most Loved Workplaces list for 2021, ranking number 59 among the top 100 companies, highlighting that our commitment to foster an environment where colleagues can learn, contribute, succeed and perform at their best while doing things The Greif Way is well recognized.

I am immensely proud of all that Greif has accomplished as an organization over my twenty-two-year career with the Company and I am grateful to all Greif colleagues for their excellence and dedication. As I retire, I look forward to my successor and Greif’s next Chief Executive Officer, Ole Rosgaard, growing the value of our company while advancing our sustainability initiatives even further. I know his strategic guidance, passion for team building and extensive experience will prove invaluable to the Company and I am excited for the future of Greif under his committed leadership.

Our report, prepared in full accordance with the GRI Standards Core guidelines and SASB Containers and Packaging standards, serves as our annual Communication on Progress to the United Nations Global Compact.

Best Regards,


Peter G. Watson

Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors



Recognition from EcoVadis

Received for our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, placing us in the top four percent of all assessed suppliers.


CSI Score

Our highest scores ever, demonstrating our commitment to serving our customers better.