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Greif’s CorrChoice facilities, part of our Paper Packaging & Services (PPS) business, have implemented tools that enable us to monitor and correct potential quality issues in real-time. The tools establish alerts for various factors that may impact quality, such as temperature and material storage capacity, and correct any deviations before they fall out of specification. This ability allows us to reduce waste, track potential recurring deviations and avoid long runs of products that would not meet customer expectations. As part of our Zero Defect System, our production lines are lined with ultrasonic sensors capable of detecting any separation or variation during the manufacturing process, such as differences in caliper spacing and paperweights. The system tracks defects as they move down the production line, removing defective products and recycling scrap.

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In 2014, our CAR data indicated that leaks were customers’ most common quality complaints. In response, we initiated a Zero-Leak Program to eliminate leaks from our products. In 2020 we kicked off a new global quality task force specifically to look at our most prominent customer issues related to product quality. We focused on analyzing external and internal factors to determine common trends. Through this, we determined that our most prominent internal issues also correlated with our most significant external issues. The largest customer issue continues to be product integrity. The group developed various action plans to resolve these internal issues to reduce our largest customer issues. New metrics were created to keep track of the progress of these initiatives.

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CorrChoice GreenGuard provides customers with a recyclable, repulpable and FDA-compliant coated paper solution. A key customer was purchasing a triple wall corrugated container to maintain food quality. Greif worked with the customer to replace the plastic liner with our GreenGuard 200 paper coating. This change eliminated the need for the plastic liner – saving the customer time and labor costs – and made the shipping container 100 percent recyclable and repulpable.
In LATAM, we introduced PerforMAXXI, a web solution for tracking customer deliveries and monitoring real-time performance. PerforMAXXI is a mobile app on the delivery driver’s phone that updates customers on where their package is in the delivery process. The app utilizes Waze or Google Maps to assist the driver and will be updated to include digital road toll payments in the second phase. The app also enables communication with the driver throughout the trip, accurate measurement of on-time delivery and electronic proof of delivery via a photo of the invoice signed by the customer. The app significantly streamlines the communication and delivery process.
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Greif is pleased to be awarded the 2021 Supplier of the Year award from Nouryon for providing excellent support during the pandemic. We were recognized for our proactive business continuity planning for the Ekabox, a customized plastic container only produced in Falkenberg, Sweden. We experienced an equipment failure; however, due to our risk management and business continuity planning, we were able to move Ekabox production to a third-party manufacturer. As a result, we safeguarded Nouryon and its end customers’ business without disruptions. Photo: Hans Vanwynsberghe (left), Greif’s Director of Global Key Accounts and Philippe Marty (right), Greif’s Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Global Commercial Excellence, receive the award from Nouryon’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Shaver (middle).
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The Greif facility in Houston saw marked improvement in its ability to divert waste from landfill during 2021. The facility installed a de-chimer, a device designed to safely and efficiently remove the metal chimes used to secure the top and bottom of fiber drums. Once the chimes are removed, the fiber and metal can be directed to separate waste streams for recycling. Since the de-chimer’s installation in July 2021, the facility has diverted more than 90 percent of its waste from landfills. The facility sends the fiber to our PPS Recycling Group, reducing waste disposal costs.
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In September 2021, Greif joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. Since 2019, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has rallied around 90 member companies, project partners, allies and supporters committed to ending plastic waste in the environment. Greif joined this mission to partner with our customers and other organizations to bolster our circular economy strategy. We are the first industrial packaging firm to become a member to provide expertise from our unique perspective and be a leader in our industry. Membership requirements include investing in innovative projects to promote circular solutions.

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Greif is committed to using water-based exterior paints in our operations where possible, rather than high volatile organic compound (VOC) exterior paints. In Global Industrial Packaging (GIP) North America, eight of our nine steel plants use water-based paints. In GIP China, the Greif Zhuhai plant has converted to over 65 percent water-based paints, and it began testing the use of water-based regular drum liners in our products to further reduce the VOC impact of our products. The Greif Shanghai plant has converted to over 58 percent water-based paints. In EMEA, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and Poland use water-based paints alongside solvent-based paints.
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Greif’s Pudahuel steel plant in Chile was our first facility in Latin America to operate on 100 percent renewable power. Through a two-year project in partnership with energy provider IMELSA ENERGIA, the facility moved its entire electricity supply to 100 percent renewable sources. The facility produces large steel drums, conical drums and water bottles for the chemicals, lube oil and food and beverage markets. This switch advances our sustainability strategy, supports our 2030 GHG emissions reduction goal and helps support our customers’ Scope 3 emissions reduction goals.
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At Greif’s Austell mill in Georgia, we began a wastewater residual dewatering project to turn waste into biofuel. The circular economy practice sweeps thickened solids from a floating sediment blanket onto a dewatering press. The flowable solids are dehydrated until they can be transported to a location to air dry, mixed with other materials and consumed as supplemental boiler fuel. This process not only allows materials to be repurposed to gain the most benefit from start to finish but also saves the facility landfill disposal fees.
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In late 2019, Greif’s Florence, Kentucky facility installed a wastewater treatment facility to reduce our hazardous waste load and recycle water back to the city. The process works by introducing water into the system, removing nearly 100% of the pollutants from the painting process and sending the cleaned water to the local treatment plant. The treatment plant then recycles the water for redistribution to the community. The material left over from the process is disposed of via trash instead of hazardous waste. As the equipment came fully online in mid-2020, the process has not only significantly lowered the facility’s hazardous waste generated and reduced the cost of waste by $40,000 a month. For more, please see our article in Bee Culture Magazine.
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In 2007, Greif established a scholarship program to assist our colleagues’ children who plan to continue education in college or vocational school programs. Scholarship recipients are selected based on financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, honors, statement of educational aspirations and goals, unusual personal and family circumstances and an outside appraisal. The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. Scholarship Management Services is the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin. Scholarship Management Services make the selection of recipients. In no circumstance does any officer or colleague of Greif play a part in the selection. In 2022, we supported 63 scholarships. Since 2007, 276 students from around the world have received Greif-sponsored scholarships.
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In 2021, we launched Greif University, our training platform with over 100 different strategic learning offerings. Greif University serves as a unified place where all employees can go for development. We currently offer over 600 courses and learning modules in different categories, including Customer Service Excellence, Environmental Health & Safety and Leadership & Professional Development. Each module is available in English and Spanish to train employees in their local language. Since launching Greif University, there has been a significant increase in the use of development materials and higher training completion rates. We also upgraded Greif University at the beginning of FY2023, expanding colleagues’ access to LinkedIn Learning courses.
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All Greif colleagues in Canada and the United States have access to an employee assistance program (EAP). Greif’s EAP is a confidential work-based intervention program offering colleagues and their families informational services designed to enhance emotional, mental and general psychological well-being. The program provides preventive and proactive interventions for the early detection, identification and/or resolution of work and personal problems that may adversely affect performance and well-being. These problems and issues may include but are not limited to relationships, health, trauma, substance abuse, gambling and other addictions, financial problems, depression, anxiety disorders, psychiatric disorders, communication problems and coping with change.

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Greif’s long-term health and safety aspiration is to achieve zero accidents at all our facilities worldwide. While we recognize the challenge of this aspiration, 20 of our Global Industrial Packaging (GIP) facilities, including the following sites, have achieved ten or more years of accident-free operations:

  • Amaititlan, Guatemala – 15 years
  • Beloyarsky, Russia – 14 years
  • Chino, USA – 14 years
  • Midland Warehouse – 13 years
  • Delta Cincinnati, USA – 13 years
  • Volgograd, Russia – 12 years
  • Vung Tau, Vietnam – 12 years

These achievements, as well as other zero injury facilities in 2022, provide strong models in support of our aspiration of zero accidents at all our facilities worldwide.

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Chairman’s Safety Excellence Award

Each facility that achieves an MCR of zero wins the Chairman’s Safety Excellence Award. Globally, 120 of our production facilities received the award in 2022 and were recognized at a virtual ceremony.
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Inclusive Leadership Training

The Inclusive Leadership Journey teaches people managers and senior leaders at Greif about inclusive leadership. The program covers the foundations of inclusive leadership for global leaders to develop and exhibit inclusive behaviors in the workplace. The training goes in-depth about defining and discussing the impact of unconscious and implicit bias, best practices for inclusion and actionable steps and examining the impact of inclusion. The learning journey includes a confidential assessment of each participant’s current level of inclusive behavior and a personalized action plan for implementing key topics. The first iteration of sessions began in October 2021 and will continue through April 2022. Plans to resume these sessions and unconscious bias training in 2023 are in place.
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The Greif Women’s Network (GWN) celebrated its ongoing commitment toward progressing our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Journey. The GWN reinforced its mission to foster DE&I by encouraging our colleagues to nominate coworkers as Diversity Champions because they demonstrate an appreciation of DE&I. We featured each Diversity Champion winner in Greif News and on the GWN InsideGreif page. Colleagues also participated by giving back through charitable donations. We sold diversity t-shirts through our online store and donated the proceeds to Dress for Success Columbus, a global non-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and life. Through these efforts, the GWN progressed its mission by encouraging diversity in our community.
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Laser Markings on IBCs

Greif Sweden/Nordic is the first in the market to replace ink jet markings with laser markings on Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), reducing the use of solvent-based ink during production. By eliminating the use of solvents and ink, the production environment is cleaner. We also can reduce the weight of the IBC by one kilogram by removing the plate traditionally used for laser marking. We believe this innovation will set a new standard for markings on IBCs.
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Knock Down Drums (KDD) for Remote Locations

Greif’s Knock Down Drums (KDD) offer the optimal sustainable solution for transporting steel drums to remote locations. Semi-finished drum parts are shipped and assembled locally on-site with minimum people and equipment. The unique concept allows transportation of up to 1,176 KDDs in a 20’ sea container compared to 80 full finished drums, saving valuable space, optimizing transport costs and minimizing our customers’ carbon footprint during longer transit times. Drums are delivered directly to our customers’ filling stations, helping to improve efficiencies with minimum stock and less manual handling.
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Greif manufactured our first lighter-weight 20 and 25-liter jerrycan models in 2015. This design is 15 percent lighter than the previous model while maintaining the performance specifications of the previous design. Due to the reduced weight, the new jerrycans reduce materials and energy used in production by up to 15 percent and have a reduced emissions impact. In 2019, we expanded this product line to include sizes 16 and 18 liters. We now produce lighter jerrycans in Italy, Israel, Sweden and Singapore.
COEX multilayer plastic packaging combines several layers of different plastic materials into a single structure and offers many barrier performance benefits, particularly for agrochemical and food packaging applications. However, when reground, COEX plastics can only be used in low-performance applications. In response to our customers’ need for recyclable packaging with superior barrier performance, we created our ECOEX line of jerrycans. The ECOEX technology enables Greif to produce an innovative, multilayer jerrycan that can be recycled through regrinding processes to produce high-performing, UN Certified jerrycans and bottles. ECOEX also reduces costs for customers who typically pay an increased collection fee for COEX packaging collection after use. We continue to drive innovation that supports our circular economy strategy and meets our customers’ needs. The LATAM GIP team was awarded the 2021 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for their contribution toward our circular economy strategy while meeting the needs of our customers.
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To respond to customer demands to remove weight and optimize transportation costs, our Greif Latin America colleagues designed a novel plastic drum innovation using a never seen before facetted side-wall approach for large plastic drums. This improvement removed up to 14 percent of the resin in the drum while maintaining performance. The design reduces raw material usage and optimizes pallet utilization due to its unique configuration, allowing more drums to be transported in the same space as the legacy design. The faceted drum is a more sustainable solution for reducing natural resource consumption and lowering fossil fuel-based raw material usage and CO2 emissions during transportation.
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We can now print high-resolution images directly onto steel drums at Greif using the latest print technologies. This capability is the direct result of an investment designed to meet customers’ needs looking for ways to differentiate their products and generate impactful packaging design to support the price point of high-value products. In addition to adding value for our customers, this process eliminated the need for a standard gas oven, using LED-based UV curing during production. This new process saves 0.5 kilograms of CO2 per drum. Greif strategically placed the new Drum 360 technology in plants close to customers who use this new technology in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Poland.
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Greif’s GCUBE Connect solution, launched at LogiChem virtual conference, gives real-time tracking information about a customer’s IBC through the application of an Internet of Things-based device. A customer-based dashboard displays where an IBC is sited in real-time, the level of the filled product and the environmental temperature. This dashboard allows customers to plan for deliveries of filled products and the arrival of new IBCs and schedule collections of empty IBCs. GCUBE Connect also supports better management of residue in the IBCs. Each IBC entering the facility is automatically weighed to determine how much residue is in the container and how it will be treated. This innovation pairs well with Greif France’s ability to pick up and drop off reconditioned IBCs from any site along a customer’s supply chain, instead of one location. Together, they simplify the logistics for the customer and increase transparency.
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Greif’s Tri-Sure facility in Carol Stream collaborated with GIP North America purchasing, GIP Italy and four GIP NA plants to source 800,000 pounds of recycled plastic resins to produce IBC rear/corner feet and corner protectors. This internal sourcing strategy reduced costs by $100,000. The team also reused empty corrugated bulk boxes to ship the recycled products they manufacture, reducing corrugated bulk box purchases by 84 percent. The project created company value and established environmental and financial benefits while closing two internal loop systems and contributing to circular economy principles by diverting waste from landfills and finding a new purpose for them. Due to the outstanding sustainability impact of the project and its ability to be scaled to other molding and injection molding facilities, the project and Tri-Sure Carol Stream team were awarded the Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award.
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Our Dalton, Georgia, Recycling Facility worked with the floor covering manufacturers in the Dalton area to process recovered fiber and create a “closed loop” for paperboard cores. Each year, the Dalton Recycling team recovers tens of thousands of tons of core waste from these manufacturers and recovers this waste fiber. Greif’s paper mills use this same fiber to manufacture 100 percent recycled new paperboard, which is then converted into new tubes and cores in Greif’s Industrial Products Group (IPG). This initiative helps not only sustain the recycling programs in Dalton but also maintains our level of excellent customer service with IPG customers. Annually, this program helps recycle 25,000 tons of cores, 10,000 tons of cardboard, 5,000 tons of boxboard and 2,000 tons of plastic film from the flooring industry in north Georgia.
In 2020, Greif made investments and established multiple joint ventures to expand the scale and capabilities of our reuse, recycling and reconditioning services. In April 2020, Greif acquired a minority stake in Centurion Container LLC, expanding our intermediate bulk container (IBC) reconditioning network in North America. In August 2020, Greif established a joint venture with Delta Plastics, the leading independent supplier of reconditioned IBCs in the United Kingdom. Finally, in December 2020, 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.
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Greif’s LCS facility in Lille, France, has taken significant steps to innovate the logistics of offering our customers reconditioning services. Traditionally, empty IBCs were picked up from and delivered to a single location for a single customer. LCS Lille has begun picking up from locations along our customer’s supply chain, then delivering reconditioned IBCs back to our customers, simplifying logistics. Lille has also implemented Datamatrix, a traceability system that allows us to record all production steps from reception to delivery, have visibility into the origins of an IBC and provide a real-time view of our inventory in support of overall enhanced customer service. Datamatrix also supports better management of residue in the IBCs they collect. Each IBC that enters the facility is automatically weighed to determine how much residue is in the container and inform how it is treated. With Datamatrix, this information can be sent directly back to customers to improve how they manage IBCs ready for pick-up. Lille uses a closed-loop water system for water that is used to clean IBCs, recycling 100 percent of the water they use, and collecting, treating and shredding plastic used to manufacture new IBCs and plastic drums.
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The CorrChoice GreenGuard® product line provides our customers with a food-safe, recyclable and repulpable alternative to supplemental materials, such as plastic liners. Our GreenGuard® line of paper coatings are safe for direct contact with most food types and feature oil, grease, water, moisture and abrasion resistance and an innovative wax replacement technology. By applying the coating to corrugated containers, we eliminate the need for supplemental materials used in many food applications. We work with our customers to ensure our products meet their needs for safe and secure food handling while providing packaging products that are 100% recyclable and repulpable, advancing our circular economy strategy while enabling our customers to meet their sustainability objectives.
In 2022, Greif earned an AA rating from MSCI. This recognizes us as industry leaders in managing the most significant ESG risks and opportunities. This score is the highest received by any company in the containers and packaging industry and establishes Greif’s position in the top 25 percent of all companies.
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In 2022, we focused on our Colleagues Engagement Days, an initiative to raise awareness and funds for a cause. As part of this focus, we hold a Greif Goes Pink day, where we donate $25 to the American Cancer Society on behalf of each colleague that submits a photo of themselves wearing pink. In 2022, over 1,700 colleagues participated, and we raised $42,000, far exceeding our previous year’s total of $25,000. We are proud to not only stand behind our colleagues who have been personally impacted by cancer but also help with global cancer research.
Growth Board Process
Greif utilizes an idea portal on the company’s intranet to enhance and accelerate the ideation process. When an idea is generated and posted on the portal, our Innovation Team will vet it, meet with the idea’s owner and offer them the opportunity to serve as an in-house entrepreneur at Greif. If agreed, the entrepreneur pitches the idea to a startup board and goes through a validated learning process. This process allows the entrepreneur and board to try the idea and measure the result to validate the potential effect. If the idea shows promise in the validated learning process, the entrepreneur works with the board to refine the concept through an iterative process. Boards work with ideas until the idea reaches commercial launch or it is agreed to abandon the idea.
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World Cleanup Day is an annual global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris. It is coordinated by the global organization Let’s Do It! On September 17, 2022, Greif participated in World Cleanup Day and donated $1500 for the top three groups. Additionally, teams from our Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and North Carolina facilities participated in cleanups in their local communities. Greif looks forward to participating in future World Cleanup Days.
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Greif’s Lead to Last Program, launched in 2022 as part of our Global Leadership Development Framework, provides all global leaders with a unified model of leadership expectations. This training is offered through Greif University and conducted in 12-week cycles in which participants learn about inclusive, safety and values-drive leadership. Lead to Last focuses on equipping participants with the ability to:
  • Develop a Leader’s Mindset
  • Hold Regular 1-on-1s
  • Set Up Your Team to Get Results
  • Create a Culture of Feedback
  • Lead Your Team Through Change
  • Manage Your Time and Energy
Greif will introduce Lead to Last sessions in Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese over 2023.
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Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs) are composed of Greif teammates who share characteristics or are an ally for people identifying with a defining characteristic, such as gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, generational or other common interests. In 2022, we expanded our CRGs by adding two additional groups, EDGE and PRIDE, bringing our total to six. EDGE is focused on building a confident and outspoken Asian community within Greif and aims to provide a platform for members in Asia to achieve their full potential. PRIDE provides a supportive network for our LGBTQIA+ colleagues and seeks to strengthen our diverse, engaged and inclusive workplace to deliver on Build to Last missions.
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In 2022, Greif’s Pioneer facility in Singapore was audited for the second time by the Singapore Environmental Council and received the second-highest rating of Champion for demonstrating excellence in accordance with their Eco Manufacturing assessment framework. We will be audited again in 2023.
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Since 2011, Greif has been participating in Demand Response (DR) with Enel X, a division of the Enel Group Worldwide, a multinational power company and leading integrated player in the world’s power and gas markets, Enel X’s DR and real-time energy monitoring allows a company access to market opportunities to monetize flexibility, increase operational reliability and highlight advancements in sustainability. Greif has accumulated over $3.5 million in DR earnings, with $385,000 in 2021 alone. There are approximately 54 Greif sites currently eligible for DR and free real-time energy monitoring not currently enrolled with Enel X. We are assessing to determine if sites are eligible and suitable candidates for participation in DR to expand our participation in the program.
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Greif’s LATAM Tigre location conducted a multi-disciplinary evaluation of all Latin American plants to implement a 6% reduction in energy consumption per unit produced by 2025 compared to a 2019 baseline. All machines, peripherals parts, general equipment and elements consuming electricity were identified and assessed, finding 447 energy focus areas across LATAM. From these focus areas, 70 strategic energy projects were identified. As of November 2022, 14 projects have been completed, resulting in an energy cost savings of $72,500 per year and an energy use reduction of 573,000 kilowatt-hours per year. This energy study was one of five impactful projects across the LATAM region, earning Greif’s Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award, showing how well sustainability is integrated into all aspects of their business.
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For the past 20 years Greif’s RIPS facility in Iberia, Portugal has been supplying customers with reconditioned conical drums, having reconditioned over 10 million drums and saving 50,000 tons of steel, 197,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions, 2,600,000 gigajoules of energy and 343,200 cubic meters of water in the process. The project was initially started as a way to help address our customers’ wish to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint and overall improve customer satisfaction. The team collaborated with customers to understand their needs, including volume, specification requirements and safety, developed a reconditioning process and ultimately installed a reconditioning line to begin serving customers. Today, the facility serves a multitude of customers, reconditioning 500,000 conical drums and saving 5,200 tons of steel each year.