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Blog, Circularity 101

Regenerating Nature Through Circularity

Enhancing biodiversity through regenerating nature

Regenerating nature is about adding positive impacts to our natural environment rather than trying to avoid the negative impacts. For example, we often discuss avoiding or reducing greenhouse gas emissions or eliminating waste, which refers to decreasing our negative environmental impacts. On the other hand, a concept like regenerating nature refers to enhancing our positive impacts on the environment and society.

When a leaf falls from a tree, it dies and feeds the soil with its nutrients, which helps grow more trees. This example of the biological cycle is seen across nature. However, modern farming and mineral extraction practices pull these organic materials from the earth and are often not fed back into the biological cycle after usage.

Greif ag
A farm is framed by nature in the early part of the fall season

Modern farming practices, characterized by intensive monocultures, heavy chemical inputs, and extensive land use, often hinder nature’s regeneration by degrading soil health, reducing biodiversity, and depleting natural resources. 

Implementing agroforestry systems, practicing rotational grazing, and adopting organic farming methods, on the other hand, are practices that promote nature regeneration by restoring biodiversity, improving soil health, and reducing environmental impact and, therefore, positively impacting the environment.

Many of the raw materials for our products initially come from the earth:

  • petroleum in our plastics
  • elements in our steel
  • The fiber in our paper


When we keep these man-made materials in the circular economy and support regenerative practices, we allow natural resources to regenerate over time. 

Greif Soterra land mgmt
A well-managed forest

An illustration of this at Greif is our Soterra business, where timber is a significant component of their products. Soterra ensures the soil and forests they manage are replenished and nurtured, creating a thriving ecosystem. By prioritizing the soil’s health and the forests’ well-being, they play a vital role in sustaining biodiversity and supporting the natural balance of the environment.

Greif can further support biodiversity practices by working closely with our supply chain. For example, we can hold our suppliers accountable through stringent sustainability standards, encouraging responsible sourcing practices, and promoting conversation efforts throughout their supply chains. 

Conversely, our customers in the agricultural industry hold Greif accountable for implementing more sustainable practices, such as keeping their products safe and fresh for more extended periods to reduce food waste and manufacture recyclable and reusable packaging products.

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