Governance, Policies & Partnerships

Governance

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102-20
Executive-level responsibility for economic, environmental, and social topics
We integrate sustainability principles into all levels of our organization. The Board of Directors receives annual updates from the Vice President, Chief of Marketing and Sustainability Officer on behalf of our 17-member Sustainability Steering Committee. The Committee, which includes ten representatives from Greif’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and seven representatives from the Sustainability Management Team (SMT), is tasked with further integrating sustainability into our strategy and operations, reviewing our sustainability progress and priorities quarterly and ensuring accountability at all levels of our organization. The Board holds the Sustainability Committee accountable for reaching annual goals and determines the level of funding for Greif’s sustainability programs. The Steering Committee guides the activities of our Sustainability Management Team, which works with topic teams consisting of representatives from each region and business unit to drive facility level projects and priorities. The Leadership Council, comprised of the top leaders of the Company, prioritized and focused on ESG in 2021. The Council took ownership of ESG initiatives and steps to further integrate sustainability into the organization and determined action items to advance and accelerate sustainability initiatives. In 2021, we integrated ESG KPIs into different performance review systems. The KPIs were included in the monthly Greif Business Systems (GBS) book, the Must Win Battle (MWB) scorecard and in the CEO’s enterprise scorecard. We also included the ESG KPIs in our monthly and quarterly slide decks which managers use to keep their teams accountable. By linking ESG KPIs to performance we aim to encourage sustainability principles at all levels of the organization.

SUSTAINABILITY GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

Corporate Policies

GRI 102-16
102-16
Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior
We believe that behavior influences culture and culture determines performance. Our culture—and ethics and compliance expectations—are based on the principles set forth in The Greif Way. We practice these principles every day through the policies that govern our organization.

Partnerships

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102-12
External initiatives
To increase the reach of our sustainability efforts, Greif seeks to actively engage with organizations that share our values. Some of our key partnerships include:

Alliance to End Plastic Waste

In 2021, Greif joined the board of Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) to expand our commitment to reduce waste and promote a circular economy. Since 2019, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has rallied around 90 member companies, project partners, allies and supporters who are committed to ending plastic waste in the environment. Through this partnership, Greif will participate in a variety of work streams including Design for Circularity and Advanced Recovery & Recycling. We aim to bring the industrial packaging perspective to the group and partner with customers and other organizations to bolster our circular economy strategy. For more information about this partnership, please visit the Waste section of our sustainability report.

Operation Clean Sweep

To expand our commitment to reducing waste, in 2017, Greif became a signatory to Operation Clean Sweep (OCS). OCS is an international program originally designed by the plastics industry and supported by The British Plastics Federation and PlasticsEurope to prevent pellet, flake and powder loss and the potential introduction of pellets to the marine environment which creates litter and threatens sea life and wildlife. OCS helps each segment of the plastics industry, including resin producers, transporters, bulk terminal operators and plastics processors, implement good housekeeping and pellet, flake and powder containment practices towards achieving zero pellet, flake and powder loss.

For more information on our partnership with OCS, please visit our Waste page.

Pollinator Partnership

In 2009, our Soterra operations embarked on a multi-year study with the Pollinator Partnership and NAPCC, the world's foremost experts on pollination issues, to learn how pollinators impact wildlife food availability on timber landscapes, the added value of hosting honey bees and beekeepers on the landscape and to discover the best management practice for ecosystem services on forest landscapes. For more information, please visit our Biodiversity page.

SmartWay

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is an innovative collaboration between the freight industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). It is a market-driven partnership aimed at helping businesses move goods in the cleanest, most efficient way possible. Its purpose is to accelerate the availability, adoption and market penetration of advanced fuel-efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain, while helping companies save fuel, lower costs and reduce adverse environmental impacts.

To improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicle fleet, Greif joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership in 2009. For more information about our partnership, please see our Climate Strategy page.

UN Global Compact

Integrity and respect for people are Core Values at Greif, and we believe that social and environmental responsibility are aligned and essential for long-term sustainability. The United Nations Global Compact is a voluntary strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally-accepted Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

We consider these Principles to be a natural extension of our Code of Conduct, which outlines our commitment to be open, honest and trustworthy in all dealings with all stakeholders. Our policies and procedures incorporate our commitment to human rights, freedom of association, environmental excellence and health and safety.

In April 2016, Greif became a signatory to the UN Global Compact, confirming our commitment to these Principles. Each year, we publish our Communication on Progress on the Ten Principles of the compact.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Greif has been a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) since 2008, a CEO-led global association of approximately 200 of the most environmentally-responsible companies in the world. Member companies are committed to providing business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development. Members are drawn from more than 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. We signed on to the organization's Manifesto for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB). Additionally, we partnered with WBCSD to publish From Cradle to Grave: Greif's Life Cycle Analysis, a case study on how we implement Life Cycle Analysis in our business. We also participate in WBCSD working groups:

  • Factor 10 – focused on tackling the systemic and value-chain specific barriers towards a circular economy
  • Plastics and Packaging Circularity (Co-Chairs) – focused on developing a transition roadmap to circularity for the industrial packaging sector
In 2021, we began serving as a co-chair for the Plastics and Packaging work stream. We identified the barriers and opportunities companies encounter to implement circular solutions in the industrial packaging sector. We collaborated to develop recommendations to overcome the identified obstacles.

Trade Associations

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102-13
Memberships of associations
 

As a global leader in industrial packaging, Greif participates in a variety of trade associations to discuss relevant issues and opportunities and to continue to advance the industry in a positive direction. Please review our Trade Associations for more information.

SUSTAINABILITY HIGHLIGHTS

~16,000

Colleagues

Our people—principled, intelligent and reliable—reaffirm our reputation for integrity every day with their every action.

145

Years of Experience

For the past 145 years, the world’s most important products have travelled around the world in Greif industrial packaging.