2021 Sustainability Report
Committed to using financial, natural and human resources wisely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Greif Completes Refreshed Materiality Assessment
In 2017, Greif conducted our first materiality assessment to identify and prioritize our material sustainability topics. In 2021, we finalized a refreshed materiality assessment to ensure our sustainability strategy addresses current and emerging stakeholder expectations. As part of the materiality refresh process, we engaged our internal and external stakeholders to identify and provide specific evidence to reveal topics that posed impact, risk and/or opportunity for Greif.
Through this process we prioritized 17 material issues and added Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as a new material topic. The results of the assessment were reviewed and validated with Greif’s leadership during a third party-led validation workshop and serve as the basis for our reporting. Please visit our Stakeholder Engagement & Materiality page for additional information.
Greif Announces New Science-Aligned Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target
In 2021, Greif set a new goal to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 28% by 2030. This target aligns to the prevailing climate science limit of keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. We will also further investigate our Scope 3 GHG emissions and make a determination about pursuing a net-zero carbon aspiration by the end of 2023. Our new goal builds upon our near 15-year commitment to sustainability and an 11% emissions reduction per unit of production achieved in 2020.
Greif Named One of America’s Most Responsible Companies for the Second Consecutive Year
In February 2021, Greif was recognized as one of America’s most responsible companies for the second consecutive year by Newsweek. The list of nearly 400 companies was compiled from detailed analysis of more than 2,000 public companies, honoring businesses that give back to the communities in which they operate and excel in corporate social responsibility efforts. This latest recognition is in addition to the other recent awards for our leadership in corporate social responsibility.
Investing in Solar in Israel
As part of Greif's continued efforts to increase our use of renewable energy, in 2020 we installed solar panels on the roof of our Israel facility. These panels provide emissions savings of 748 tons of CO2 annually, converting 12 percent of the facility’s annual energy consumption to clean solar energy and supporting reduced heating and cooling costs.
Sustainable Solutions for IBCs Using PCR
In 2019, Greif’s Castenedolo, Italy facility began producing multi-layer GCUBE IBCs made with up to 60 percent PCR. The IBCs use PCR from the facility’s IBC collection service and are extruded at its on-site recycling center to manufacture the product. The inner layer of this sustainable bottle remains 100 percent virgin high density polyethylene (HDPE), while the two external layers are made from a blend of PCR. It offers all the same features as the standard IBC bottle including transparency. In addition to reducing the need for virgin resin, the new product reduces the carbon footprint of the IBC bottle by up to 38 percent and up to 11 percent for the entire IBC. Throughout 2020, production of this product expanded to facilities in Russia, Spain, and the USA. In total, Greif facilities produced 10 tons of transparent PCR for use in IBCs during 2020. In 2021, we anticipate expanding to Germany and China. These new IBCs are particularly suited to customers already taking advantage of our empty IBC collection service.
Greif Receives A- from CDP
Greif scored an A- in its sixth year of reporting to CDP (formerly named the Carbon Disclosure Project), outperforming both the overall and North American average of D, on a scale from A to F. 2020 was Greif's third year in a row achieving CDP Leadership-level, recognizing excellence in carbon management, governance, strategy and best practices.
Sultanbeyli Facility Receives 98 percent on TfS Audit
Greif’s Sultanbeyli facility located in Turkey received a score of 98 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best-in-class sustainability practices in place.
Greif Receives Gold from EcoVadis for Third Consecutive Year
Greif’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) received Gold Recognition from Ecovadis, which operates the first collaborative platform enabling companies to monitor the sustainability performance of their suppliers, across 150 sectors. Greif is in the top three percent of all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis.
Greif Received Prime Status from ISS ESG
In September 2020 Greif received Prime Status from ISS ESG for Corporate ESG Performance. ISS ESG awards Prime Status to companies that fulfil ambitious ESG performace requirements above sector-specifc thresholds.
Greif Expands Cradle to Cradle Services
In 2020, Greif made investments and established multiple joint ventures in order to expand the scale and capabilities of the reuse, recycling and reconditioning services we provide. In April, Greif acquired a minority stake in Centurion Container LLC, expanding our intermediate bulk container (IBC) reconditioning network in North America. In August, Greif established a joint venture with Delta Plastics, the leading independent supplier of reconditioned IBCs in the United Kingdom. Finally, in December, Greif acquired a minority stake in LAF s.r.l., expanding IBC reconditioning services for our Italy-based customers. We look forward to working with our partners to continue to reduce our environmental impact through cradle to cradle solutions.
Cologne Facility Receives 98 percent on TfS Audit
Greif’s Cologne facility located in Germany received a score of 98 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best-in-class sustainability practices in place.
Greif & Soterra Earn Environmental Stewardship Award
Greif and Soterra received the Environmental Stewardship Award for donating 200 new 55 gallon plastic drums that will be used to collect rain water in southern Alabama. We are helping outfit and install the drums as part of the initiative. The collected rain water will be used for irrigation purposes to support local farmers, homeowners, and businesses.
Greif Receives A- from CDP
Greif scored an A- in its fifth year of reporting to CDP (formerly named the Carbon Disclosure Project), outperforming both the overall and North American average of C, on a scale from A to F. We achieved this CDP Leadership-level score by demonstrating excellence in carbon management, governance, strategy and best practices.
Greif Receives Gold from EcoVadis for Second Consecutive Year
Greif’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) received Gold Recognition from Ecovadis, which operates the first collaborative platform enabling companies to monitor the sustainability performance of their suppliers, across 150 sectors. Greif is in the top four percent of all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis and part of EcoVadis' Advanced category.
Greif Receives Achievement in Waste Reduction Award
Greif’s facility in Lavonia, Georgia was recently recognized for its high level of achievement in reducing solid waste in 2018. Lavonia, which manufactures IBCs and plastic drums, received an “Achievement in Waste Reduction” award from AbsorbTech, an industrial laundry service. Greif's participation in the program helped lead to over 5,000 pounds of waste savings
Greif PPS Facility Receives Energy Award from Consumers Energy
In April 2019, Greif's CorrChoice-Mason PPS facility was awarded Project of the Year by Consumers Energy – Business Energy Efficiency Programs. In order to qualify as a finalist for this award businesses must have completed an energy related project that reduced overall electrical consumption with a strong return on investment. The project consisted of replacing 350 T5 fixtures with new, high-efficiency LED fixtures which resulted in a reduction of 868,000 kWh annually and $90,000 savings.
Greif Receives Supplier Sustainability Award from Customer
Greif was recently awarded the “Supplier Sustainability Award” by Solvay for its achievements in sustainability and its ability to help customers achieve their sustainability goals. Solvay specifically cited that its partnership with Greif has helped the company improve its conservation efforts. With help from Greif, Solvay implemented the use of rebottled IBCs in 2018, a practice it is working to expand within its facilities. Solvay also noted Greif’s sustainability achievements, namely the Gold Recognition Level from EcoVadis in 2018 and 2019, for its high score in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) evaluation.
Greif Named on America's Most Responsible Companies 2020 List
In December 2019 Newsweek recognized Greif on its premiere list of America's Most Responsible Companies 2020. The list of 300 companies was compiled from a detailed analysis of more than 2,000 public companies, honoring businesses that give back to the communities in which they operate and excel in corporate social responsibility and citizenship efforts.
Greif Receives Gold from EcoVadis
Greif’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) received Gold Recognition from Ecovadis, which operates the first collaborative platform enabling companies to monitor the sustainability performance of their suppliers, across 150 sectors. Greif is in the top five percent of all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis.
Greif Joins Operation Clean Sweep
Greif became a signatory to Operation Clean Sweep, 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 where they create both a litter problem and a threat to sea life and wild life.
Greif Joins WBCSD’s Factor10 Working Group
To continue to advance circular economy principles within our organization, across our value chain and within global trade, Greif joined WBCSD’s Factor10 working group. With additional members of the group, Greif works to help identify and remove barriers to creating scalable circular economy solutions that will help achieve a 2050 vision of improving materials eco-efficiency by a factor of 10.
Tri-Sure® Amsterdam and Araucaria passes SMETA 4‑pillar audit
Tri-Sure®’s Amsterdam and Araucaria facilities completed a Sedex SMETA 4-pillar audit, including assessments of the facilities’ Labour Standards, Health & Safety, Environment and Business Ethics. The audit followed SMETA Best Practice Methodology v.5.0 Dec 2014 and assessed all on-site colleagues, service providers and contractors.
Campana Facility Receives 83 Percent on TfS Audit
Greif’s Campana facility located in Argentina received a score of 83 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best-in-class sustainability practices in place.
ISO 9001 Certifications
n 2018, 87 percent of Greif’s facilities were certified to ISO 9001 standards, an increase of three percent over 2017. We leverage our ISO certifications and our quality standards to ensure compliance with applicable specifications for each of our products.
Michael J. Gasser Award Winner
Greif RIPS EMEA received the 2018 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for reducing total fuel costs and CO2 emissions by revising the company car policy in the region. Through their efforts, the program reduced fuels costs by $228,000 and reduced CO2 emissions by 35 percent.
Greif Lavonia Donates Barrels for Rain Collection
Greif’s facility in Lavonia, Georgia donated GP55 drums to Soterra and the Mobile Bay – National Estuary Program. Through their joint efforts, the team in the Mobile converted the drums into rain barrels. The rainwater collected in these barrels will help local farmers irrigate their crops, minimizing costs and water usage.
Soterra Plants Trees in Alabama
Soterra, our land management subsidiary, planted nearly 10 acres of grassland back into a stand of native trees in the Graham Creek Nature Preserve in Alabama. The preserve offers visitors with hiking trails, biking trails and disc-golf courses.
Usti Facility Receives 95 Percent on TfS Audit
Greif’s Usti facility located in the Czech Republic received an outstanding score of 95 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best-in-class sustainability practices in place.
packH2O and Partners for Care
From 2010 through 2016, Greif distributed approximately 224,000 packH2O water backpacks, positively impacting an estimated 1.1 million individuals across 42 countries. In 2017, Partners for Care began distributing packH2O and providing training to the local communities on sanitation and the use of packH2O water backpacks. Greif will move from a manufacturer to licensor to bring about more direct involvement from the organizations we support.
Greif Divests Earthminded Consumer Services
In 2017 Greif sold EarthMinded Consumer Products. The business manufactured rain barrel and DIY rain barrel kits that provided responsible rain management systems for consumers.
Greif Conducts First Materiality Assessment
Greif partners with a third-party to conduct a materiality assessment in order to prioritize sustainability impacts, risks and opportunities.
Greif Establishes 2025 Sustainability Goals
2025 sustainability goals are established based on Greif’s 2017 materiality assessment.
Greif Scores “B” on 2017 CDP Climate Report
Greif scored a B in its fourth year of reporting to CDP (formerly named the Carbon Disclosure Project). Greif outperformed the container and packaging industry average score of C, on a scale from A to F. We achieved this CDP Management-level score by demonstrating excellence in carbon management, governance, strategy and best practices.
Naperville Facility Receives 100 Percent on TfS Audit
Greif’s Naperville, Illinois facility located in the United States received an outstanding score of 100 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best-in-class sustainability practices in place.
Greif Creates Sustainability Organization
Greif’s Sustainability Steering Committee is tasked with further embedding sustainability into our thinking and operations, reviewing our sustainability progress and priorities biannually and ensuring accountability at all levels of our organization. The Steering Committee guides the activities of our six-member Sustainability Management Team and individual material topic teams.
Lockport Facility Receives 98 Percent on TfS Audit
Greif's Lockport facility in Illinois received an outstanding score of 98 out of 100 from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best in class CSR practices in place.
Greif Scores “A-” on 2016 CDP Climate Change
Greif was awarded an A- for environmental leadership, management and best practices by the independent non-profit organization CDP as part of CDP's renowned annual assessment of more than 20,000 companies. With an overall score of A-, Greif outperforms the container and packaging industry with its leadership, governance and strategy, and environmental best practices. The container and packaging industry average CDP score is a C, on a scale from A to F.
RIPS Receives Eastman Chemical Awards
Eastman Chemical Company awarded Greif’s rigid industrial products and services North America team with the Innovation and Sustainability Awards for delivering value-added contributions and improving Eastman's supply chain sustainability. As a recognized supplier of NexDrums, Greif earned the status assigned by Eastman to their most valued suppliers for providing consistent performance in furnishing Eastman with high quality materials and services and working on Eastman's behalf to improve their efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness. Eastman also recognized Greif's Delta Chemical team with the Supplier Excellence Award for delivering innovations and value-added services.
Greif Receives Silver from EcoVadis
Greif’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) received Silver Recognition from Ecovadis, which operates the first collaborative platform enabling companies to monitor the sustainability performance of their suppliers, across 150 sectors. Greif is in the top nine percent of suppliers assessed by EcoVadis in its category.
Greif Joins UN Global Compact
Greif has become a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative. Greif pledges to support and promote the compact’s 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. The UNGC is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate policies and practices. Launched in 2000, the UNGC is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with over 8,000 companies and 4,000 non-business signatories based in 160 countries.
Attendorn Facility Receives 96 Percent on TfS Audit
Greif’s Attendorn facility located in Germany received an excellent score of 96 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best in class sustainability practices in place.
Greif Receives Premio Eco Brasil 2015 Award
Greif received the prestigious Premio Eco Brasil 2015 Award in the Sustainability Practices – Products or Services category for packH2O, a product that incorporates sustainable attributes across its entire lifecycle—design, development, distribution, use and reuse. Premio Eco is the first Brazilian initiative recognizing companies that adopt socially responsible practices. It was created by Amcham-Brasil (American Chamber of Commerce) in 1982 and has generated a rich reflection on sustainable business development in Brazil.
Greif Scores “92B” on 2015 Carbon Disclosure Project
Greif was recognized for the second year in a row for its commitment to reduce its environmental impact by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). For transparency in climate change reporting, Greif received a score of 92 out of 100, higher than the CDP program average of 84. For efforts in energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction, Greif earned a “B” topping the industry and CDP program average “C” grade.
Europoort Receives 97 Percent on TfS Audit
Greif Europoort facility located in the Netherlands received an excellent score of 97 percent from the Together for Sustainability audit proving to have best in class sustainability practices in place. This success was made possible by all the Europoort colleagues who work hard to integrate sustainability to their work every day and to the safety-first culture at the facility that serves as the backbone of its operations.
Sultanbeyli Receives 100 Percent on Sedex Audit
Greif Sultanbeyli facility located in Turkey received a perfect score of 100 percent from the Sedex Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) audit proving to have best in class CSR practices in place.
Greif Receives Silver from EcoVadis
Greif’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) received silver recognition from Ecovadis, which operates the 1st collaborative platform enabling companies to monitor the sustainability performance of their suppliers, across 150 sectors and 99 countries.
Greif Scores 87 on 2014 Carbon Disclosure Project
Greif’s commitment to sustainability received public recognition. For the transparency of its climate change reporting, Greif received 87 out of 100 possible points on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2014 Climate Change Report. In addition, its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions enabled Greif to reach performance band B, the second highest performance band.
First Latin America Sustainability Meeting
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, 30 global Greif customers, including representatives from Dow, Syngenta, Bayer and Dupont, gathered for the 1st Greif Latin America Sustainability Meeting. The event featured key thought leaders who discussed moving from sustainability policies to actions and how this positively affects business, the path toward more sustainability in industrial packaging and key updates on Greif’s sustainability journey and what the future holds for the company and its customers. The event helped to strengthen Greif’s position as a sustainability leader with its customers and demonstrate its commitment to improving sustainability across the company.
Greif Receives 2014 IAIR Sustainability Award
The DoubleGreen COEX 10-liter plastic jerry can was recognized with the 2014 IAIR Sustainability Award in recognition of Greif's long-standing commitment to developing innovations in industrial packaging and services that help global companies meet their measurable sustainability goals.
EarthMinded Life Cycle Services Expands to Northeastern US
arthMinded Life Cycle Services (LCS) industrial container reconditioning has expanded its market reach by adding Kearny Steel Container to its network.
DoubleGreen Receives Frost & Sullivan Award
The DoubleGreen COEX 10-liter plastic jerry can was recognized with Frost & Sullivan’s 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Sustainability Award.
Greif Recognized by Forbes in Trust Rating
Greif was named one of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies by Forbes, in partnership with GMI Ratings.
Greif Receives 2014 PackTheFuture Award
Greif's packH2O backpack was recognized with the PackTheFuture 2014 Award and honored with the special jury prize.
packH2O Receives People’s Design Award
packH2O water backpack garnered the most votes by the public to receive the 2013 People’s Design Award in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Award Competition.
100,000+ packH2O Backpacks Delivered
By the end of 2013, this life-altering backpack could be found in 24 countries on five continents. By working through non-governmental organizations such as Habitat for Humanity International, Operation Blessing, Partners In Health and Partners for Care, Greif has ensured delivery of more than 100,000 water backpacks to regions where water must be transported by foot from source to home.
Soterra Receives Conservation Award
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) recognized Soterra and Pollinator Partnership with its coveted Conservation Leadership Award for their research of pollinator habitat in a managed forest ecosystem.
Greif Hosts Third WBCSD Midwest Conference
Greif hosted the third WBCSD Midwest Conference.
80 Percent Use of SmartWay Carriers
Greif achieved 80 percent use of SmartWay carriers.
EarthMinded Life Cycle Services Expands
EarthMinded Life Cycle Services (LCS), Greif’s joint venture business that reconditions and remanufactures industrial containers, expanded its network of services in Latin America and the United States. EarthMinded LCS added Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and the Southeast United States to its footprint, which allows it to serve more customers and increase its capacity to meet the needs of current customers.
Greif Introduces Chromium-3 Passivation
Greif Netherlands Tri-Sure Closures team developed a new plating process, Chromium-3 passivation. This process improves product performance, is better for the environment and safer for our colleagues than the old process.
EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Kit Honored
The EarthMinded Consumer Products DIY diverter kit was awarded honorable mention in the Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Innovation Awards.
Greif Brazil Develops DoubleGreen Jerry Cans
Our team in Brazil developed DoubleGreen COEX 10 liter and DoubleGreen MONO 20 liter jerry cans that use fewer raw materials, reduce waste and are made from a renewable resource, sugarcane, with a stackable design that eliminates the need for a carton during transport.
packH2O Recognized for Public Interest Design
packH2O was recognized with a 2013 SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design®) Honorable Mention for Excellence in Public Interest Design.
packH2O Receives Best of What’s New Award
packH2O was honored with a Best of What’s New Award in the Green category by Popular Science Magazine.
packH2O Receives Industrial Design Award
The packH2O received Global Green USA’s Industrial Design Award.
Greif Hosts Second WBCSD Midwest Conference
Greif hosted the second WBCSD Midwest Conference. More than 80 organizations participated.
EarthMinded Consumer Products Expands
EarthMinded Consumer Products expanded its product offering to include a 45-gallon version of the rain barrel and DIY rain barrel kits to provide a responsible rain management system for consumers.
Greif introduced the NexDRUM plastic drum to the market. It is manufactured through a process that provides excellent durability maximizing consistency in diameter, wall thickness and weight using less resin. Despite its lighter weight, it is sturdier and handles the rigors of stacking better than traditional plastic drums.
Greif Expands Flexible Product Portfolio
LiquiBag, Smart drum and Ocra BOC Containers are reusable foldable containers with solid side walls suitable to transport liquids and pastes.
Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project
Greif future leaders participated in Habitat for Humanity’s 2012 Carter Work Project in Léogâne, Haiti, which was at the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake. They worked side-by-side with 600 other volunteers and 100 Haitian families to build homes for the displaced families.
Greif Brazil Receives DuPont Award
Greif was honored as a Gold winner in the 23rd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.
Greif Hosts First WBCSD Midwest Conference
Greif hosted the first WBCSD Midwest Conference.
Greif Creates World’s Largest Reconditioning Service
Greif created the world's largest industrial container reconditioning service through its subsidiary EarthMinded Life Cycle Services (LCS). EarthMinded LCS collects, cleans, reshapes, reconditions or remanufactures and tests industrial containers for reuse and recycling, extending the life of the products and responsibly recycling their component raw materials at the end of their life cycles.
Greif Designs packH2O
Greif committed to addressing pressing humanitarian issues such as safe water transport. Greif leveraged its expertise in flexible industrial packaging and designed the first for-purpose water transport product that is also economically viable. Collapsible and sanitary, the packH20.
Greif Announces Zero Waste-to-Landfill Goal
Greif announced goal of zero landfill waste by 2020.
Soterra achieves SFI Certification
Our Soterra land management business in the United States passed its third Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) surveillance audit and maintains approximately 232,700 SFI-certified acres of timberland in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
Massillion Mill SFI/FSC/PEFC Certified
Our Massillon Mill in Ohio was re-certified for the SFI/FSC/PEFC (Forest Stewardship Council/Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).
Riverville Re-certifies SFI Certificate
Our Riverville, Virginia Mill re-certified its Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) sourcing certificate for wood procurement under the new 2010-14 standards in June. The mill's triple Chain of Custody certification issued by the SFI, FSC and PEFC organizations for using 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber has been renewed under the latest revision of each of those standards.
Greif Forms Global Energy Team
Greif formed the Greif Global Energy Team, comprising engineering representatives from all our business segments. The team guides energy-related decisions made at factories around the world.
EarthMinded Life Cycle Services Established
Greif established its new subsidiary, EarthMinded Life Cycle Services (LCS), a company dedicated to developing environmentally responsible products.
Greif Develops Green Tool
Greif developed the proprietary Greif Green Tool that helps us counsel our customers on selecting the right container for their needs while reducing their carbon footprints.
Greif Establishes SmartWay Partnership
Greif joined the SmartWay® Transport Partnership.
Soterra Collaborates with Pollinator Partnership
Soterra, our subsidiary engaged in Land Management, started working with the Pollinator Partnership and embarked on a three-year study to learn how pollinators impact wildlife food availability on timber landscapes.
Michael J. Gasser Award Introduced
The Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award recognizes the environmentally-focused activities of Greif colleagues and superior effort in creating sustainable value across our supply chain. Visit our Michael J Gasser Sustainability Award page for more information, including past award winners.
Greif Announces New Sustainability Targets
Established new goals for the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
10/2 Initiative Is Declared a Success
In December 2009 we declared the "10/2" initiative a success with a reduction of energy consumption of 10.1 percent, which is equivalent to energy savings of 259 MWh.
Customer Service Excellence Award Winners
Honoring our facilities that demonstrated best-in-class customer service performance throughout 2020.
Average Customer Satisfaction Index Score
Our highest scores ever, demonstrating our commitment to serving our customers better.