Internal Awards

Recognizing 2022 Commitments to Build to Last Strategy

Annually, Greif recognizes its colleagues for their performance and commitment to our Build to Last strategy. Each award represents teams who went above and beyond to Deliver Legendary Service, Protect Our Future, and Create Thriving Communities.

2022 Dempsey Award for Customer Service Excellence Winners

Greif’s 2022 Dempsey Award for Customer Service Excellence was awarded to seven teams across our operations for their work delivering best-in-class customer services as measured by our Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores and Net Promoter Scores (NPS). From our GIP business unit, we congratulate our teams from Algeria, Egypt, Sweden and the Shanghai LSD plant. Additionally, from PPS, we commend the CorrChoice Concord team and the Recovered Fiber Group in Tallahassee. We congratulate our Global Finance, Data and Analytics Center of Excellence.

2022 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award Winners

GIP LATAM Region:  The GIP LATAM Region completed five impactful projects in 2022 that demonstrate the integration of sustainability into their business success.
  • LATAM Tigre completed a project to evaluate all Latin American plants to implement a 6% reduction in energy consumption per unit produced compared to the fiscal year 2019 by 2025. The project identified 447 energy focus areas and are now focused on implementing 70 LATAM strategic energy projects. 
  • LATAM Brazil reduced carbon emissions and raw material usage by producing plastic bags with the composition of 10% PCR. The use of PCR does not impact the performance of the plastic bags. 
  • GIP LATAM Brazil’s weight reduction innovation project was created to reduce the thickness of steel drums without affecting the mechanical performance. As a result, the team developed a high-performing, lighter steel packaging that reduce CO2 emission by up to 12%. 
  • GIP LATAM Brazil also completed a project that eliminates the need for stretch film without affecting the drum palletizing performance. The Drumclip is used to hold and secure drums to pallets to safely transport our products in place stretch film.
  • GIP LATAM Columbia developed a 20L jerrycan composed of 100% PCR resin. This is the first 100% PCR packaging product that meets the quality and performance needs of the lubricants and sanitizing market.
PPS Recovered Fiber Group and the Austell Mill: The team identified multiple additional industries that can make use of mill byproducts through high-value and reuse applications that support our circularity strategy. The project reduces our emissions footprint, the amount of waste we send to landfill and landfill disposal costs.
PPS Industrial Products GroupAs part of our circularity strategy, our Kernersville Adhesive facility returns its used IBCs for cleaning and re-use. One of the primary adhesives coagulates with other adhesives when sent to the city sewer due to its pH level. To ensure city sewer lines are not plugged, the facility cannot drain into sewer lines when cleaning these IBCs. Instead, the plant sent the adhesive waste and wash water to a landfill for safe disposal. In 2022, the team began a more efficient cleaning process, recycling and reusing the adhesive and washing water internally. It also established a system to neutralize pH so the IBC can recycle its metal and plastic using the standard end-of-life process.

2022 Watson Award for Servant Leadership Winners

In its inaugural year, Greif recognized three managers and their team members for their principled actions in serving the needs of others first as measured by achieving the highest marks on the annual Colleague Engagement survey. This recognition award honors Greif’s former President and CEO, Pete Watson. The award winners all achieved a Grand Mean of 5 on the 2022 Colleague Engagement Survey. 

Past Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award Winners

2021 Global Environmental Sustainability Award Winners

North America Paper & Packaging Services (PPS) Circular Solutions Project:  The PPS team developed a 100 percent recycled beverage carrier board, EnviroBev, for packaging bottles and cans that replaces virgin paperboard and an aqueous coating for the inner ply of EasyPour® Concrete Forming Tubes made by Industrial Products Group which eliminates the polyethylene (PE) extrusion and allows the tubes to be recycled. Recycled materials and aqueous coating technologies were combined to deliver new products for single-use food packaging items like cups, plates, and bowls, making the packaging more readily composted or recycled. Combined, these three innovations will replace 14,000 tons of virgin-based material with recycled material, providing customers with improved end-of-life solutions and advancing Greif’s circular economy strategy.
Greif LATAM Brazil Global Industrial Packaging (GIP): In response to our customers’ needs for recyclable packaging with superior barrier performance, the team developed an innovative, multi-barrier technology, EcoEx. EcoEx is fully recyclable and replaces the COEX multilayer plastic packaging, which can only be used in low-performance applications after it is reground. EcoEx technology enables the production of an innovative, multilayer jerrycan that can be recycled through regrinding processes to produce high-performing, UN-certified jerrycans and bottles. The recyclability of multi-barrier products supports our circular economy strategy and, being less expensive to recycle, creates value for customers in the agrochemical and food packaging sectors. 

2020 Global Environmental Sustainability Award Winners

Argentina Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services (RIPS): The colleagues at the Tigre plant applied an innovative and sustainable mindset to develop a more environmentally friendly light-weight geometric design plastic drum. The project solved a customer need; can potentially be scaled elsewhere in our portfolio; will generate cost savings from reduced raw material usage; and reduces CO2 emissions and energy use.

Dalton (PPS) Recycling Group: The colleagues at the Dalton facility initiated a project with existing customers to educate them on the benefits of reducing waste to landfill and evolving recycling economics. The project involved creating a closed loop with two PPS customers to collect and recycle their waste and turn this waste into new products within the PPS network to sell back to the same customers. The project developed stronger customer partnerships; improved financial results; enhanced PPS’ continuity of fiber supply; and will divert more than 40,000 tons of customer waste from landfills.

2020 Global Social Sustainability Award Winner

PPS Mill Group & Recycling: The colleagues at our Mobile recycling facility and mill demonstrated outstanding servant leadership and community outreach. When a powerful storm severely impacted the community surrounding one of their customers, these colleagues responded quickly to assist. The team gathered much needed essential supplies and donated them to local relief agencies for distribution. Their unselfish and voluntary action demonstrates true commitment to The Greif Way.

2019 – RIPS and Tri-Sure Businesses

Greif’s Tri-Sure facility in Carol Stream collaborated with RIPS North America purchasing, RIPS Italy and four RIPS NA plants to source 800,000 pounds of recycled plastic resins to use in the production of 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 our circular economy 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 was awarded the 2019 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award.

2018 – RIPS EMEA

In 2018, we awarded the Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award to a regional team consisting of HR and GSSC representatives from Greif’s Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) business in our Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region for their successful efforts in reducing total fuel costs and overall CO2 emissions. RIPS EMEA modified the company car policy to standardize the types of cars available for use in the region. The updated policy applies to all colleagues in EMEA who renewed their company car. In total, the policy impacted 296 users during the project. The program achieved:

  • A $228,000 reduction in fuel costs
  • 35 percent reduction in total CO2 emissions

The RIPS EMEA project truly demonstrates the wide array of possibilities that exist across the business, beyond the operational arena. This year’s project helps Greif work towards its sustainability goals.

2017 – Greif RIPS and Tri-Sure Businesses in Brazil

Greif’s Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) and Tri-Sure businesses in Brazil were awarded the 2017 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for their successful efforts to reduce energy costs and environmental impact by migrating to renewable energy.

Greif’s Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) and Tri-Sure businesses in Brazil were awarded the 2017 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for their successful efforts to reduce energy costs and environmental impact by migrating to renewable energy.

In 2016, a multifunctional team representing engineering, supply chain and operations from multiple plants collaborated with the objective to transition the plants’ energy contracts from a captive to free market energy platform, improve the efficiency and profitability of operations and reduce their environmental footprint. The team leveraged new legislation encouraging renewable energy sources, offering lower energy transmission costs and lower tax rates. By implementing biomass, hydro-electric, wind and solar energy sources, the team far surpassed their goal to reduce energy costs by 10 percent annually. After one year, the team achieved:

  • A 30 percent reduction of energy costs
  • A cost savings of more than $1.4 million USD
  • A 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions

In addition to the environmental and financial benefits for Greif, the changes help us create shared value with our customers.  We congratulate our colleagues in Brazil for their success in demonstrating how we can take care of our facilities, benefit the environment, realize costs savings and improve operating results at the same time.

2016 – Greif RIPS Castenedolo Plant in Italy

The Greif Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) division’s Castenedolo plant colleagues in Italy won the 2016 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award by fully embracing sustainable innovation principles to manufacture products that utilize methods, such as the use of recycled materials and dematerialization, that have a reduced negative impact on the environment while maintaining Greif’s commitment to only produce products of the highest quality.

The Castenedolo plant colleagues worked on two separate sustainable innovation projects. The first project involved the reduction of the weight of our GCube bottles from 14kg to 13kg while maintaining product integrity. This resulted in a seven percent reduction in natural resources consumed to manufacture the product in addition to a reduction of 312 tons of carbon emissions and 432 MWh of electricity consumption per year.

The second project was the development of new manufacturing techniques over a six-month period to increase the percentage of Post-Consumer Resin (PCR) content in the production of plastic drums that can now be made with 75 percent PCR. PCR is produced from recollected plastics packaging products through a process of crashing, flaking, washing, melting and granulation. Through this development, the Castenedolo team replaced 500 tons of virgin raw materials with recycled plastic and reduced their carbon emissions by 750 tons per year.

The RIPS Italy colleagues from different departments came together and worked as one team to utilize sustainability as a catalyst to drive and inspire innovation beyond the usual parameters and boundaries. In doing so, they saved precious natural resources that not only improve Greif’s overall environmental performance but also create value for our customers.

2015 – Greif Tri-Sure Business Unit

Greif’s global packaging accessories business unit, Tri-Sure, won the 2015 Michael Gasser Sustainability Award. Tri-Sure has been investing in many aspects of sustainability including resource consumption reduction, colleagues health and safety, waste reduction and innovation for the last five years.

Tri-Sure led all the Greif business units by reducing their energy consumption by 37 percent, saving over four million dollars over the past five years and far exceeding the global corporate target of a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption.

Tri-Sure also invested in innovation to create a safer work environment, ahead of government regulations, by developing a passivation method called Chromium-3 Passivation that eliminated the risk of colleagues exposure to toxic materials while also decreasing toxicity of wastewater. This innovation made Tri-Sure the first in the market with such a product.

Moreover, Tri-Sure invested in sustainable product development to create a new venting screw cap system, Plasticap 60™ MPV3 Screwcap, that not only meets customer requirements but also requires fewer raw materials to make and reduces production waste. With this innovation, Tri-Sure grew the business of the screw caps market by 220 percent. By collaborating with their customers and integrating sustainability criteria to their innovation process, Tri-Sure grew their business, profitability and market reach.

The total economic benefit achieved from all 2015 nominations, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was approximately $21 million. The total energy saved was close to two million kilowatt-hours, equivalent to carbon sequestered from 1,038 acres of U.S. forests in one year. Carbon emissions reduction equaled 20,501 tons, equivalent to 4,316 passenger vehicles driven for one year and the total reduction in waste equaled 6,067 tons.

2014 – President of RIPS EMEA and APAC; Green Tool Team

Ivan Signorelli, Group President for Greif Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) in EMEA and APAC, and the Green Tool team received the 2014 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for their visionary work with life cycle assessments (LCA) and the practical application of this science at Greif with The Greif Green Tool.

Under the leadership of Ivan Signorelli, a team of Greif colleagues and Prof. Dr. Holger Buxel from the University of Applied Sciences Münster, worked with independent life cycle assessment specialists from the IFEU institute, located in Germany, to conduct life cycle assessments on Greif’s industrial packaging products with the aim of discovering sustainability-related opportunities and threats in the market.

This information was used to develop the proprietary “Greif Green Tool”, which helps companies of all sizes to reduce their carbon footprint by understanding the environmental impact of different containers and shipping solutions.

The Greif Green Tool is a flexible calculator that uses independent life cycle data of Greif products. It allows Greif’s customers to see their carbon footprint data, review and compare the effects of different packaging application decisions and see possible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This enables them to choose the right packaging products that will keep their products safe while helping them meet their sustainability goals.

The team members were also recognized for their commercial leadership in utilizing this powerful tool with Greif’s customers. More than 50 Greif customers have requested Green Tool demonstrations and analysis since the tool’s development.

The Green Tool has been recognized by the Harvard Business Review in the article Making the Consensus Sale. The article highlights Greif’s Green Tool as a method for building consensus across an organization while showing the sustainability benefits of Greif products. The Greif Green Tool was also featured in other publications such as the MITSloan Management Review and case studies published by the WBCSD and The Corporate Executive Board Company.

2013 – Greif PPS Riverville Mill Team

The PPS Riverville Mill team won the 2013 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award for their energy reduction project that began approximately five years ago. The team succeeded in reducing Riverville Mill’s energy consumption by more than 7 percent while increasing throughput by almost 5 percent compared to FY 2008. They accomplished this through continuous improvement projects to modify operating strategies through process optimization and colleagues education and engagement; through a series of capital investments to utilize technology to improve controls; and through the involvement of all colleagues.

In addition to reducing the plant’s specific energy consumption and cost, the team’s work has also directly resulted in a reduction in carbon emissions through their efforts to reducing reliance on fossil fuel. The team has applied technologies including Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) in 40 applications since 2009 and seven in 2013 that were identified by internal auditing to be candidates for significant energy reduction.

The team’s work has reduced site energy consumption by 300 million KWh/year since 2009.

2012 – Greif Subsidiary CorrChoice

Greif subsidiary CorrChoice won the 2012 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award for developing the game-changing product LeaderCorr™. LeaderCorr replaces foam board used by the retail industry and others for printed signs and in-store displays.

LeaderCorr is a double-walled corrugated sheet that, unlike foam board, is completely recyclable. This means it can be put into the OCC (old corrugated containers, i.e., used cardboard) waste stream, which is an income source for the retailer.

The production of LeaderCorr is also environmentally responsible and, because it is an income source, sustainable. In its manufacture, the product uses less energy, less water and less starch than traditional paper-based corrugated materials. Because of the technology that uses less water, the LeaderCorr sheets are flatter than other corrugated sheets, and when overlaid with a high quality white liner, provide an ideal surface for high-impact printing. Its thickness can also be tailored for specific applications.

In 2012, the total energy saved from all nominations of the Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award equaled to 66 million KWH and a carbon emissions reduction of 12,000 metric tons, which is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 9,595 passenger vehicles or the electricity use of 6,967 homes for one year.

2011 – Greif Subsidiary Delta Companies Group

For their work in developing more sustainable engine lubricants and automotive fluids for the future, Greif subsidiary Delta Companies Group won Greif’s 2011 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award.
The team collaborated to create high performing yet sustainable oil, lube and automotive fluid products for consumers. By using alternative renewable resources, packaging and recycled materials, and then conducting a life cycle assessment on the products, Delta was able to:
  • Achieve a carbon footprint reduction of 29 to 50 percent in improved bar and chain, automotive and small engine oils, and a 38 to 51 percent lower abiotic resource depletion than conventional alternatives. The cumulative environmental impact demonstrated a 10 to 28 percent improvement over conventional products
  • Realize a 71 percent reduction in landfill waste with alternative packaging
  • Reduce landfill waste by 977,000 gallons, energy consumption of oil products by 90 percent and CO2 emissions by 64 percent with the use of re-refined base oils, methanol and glycols

The total economic benefit achieved from all nominations in 2011, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was over $14 million dollars.

2010 – Greif’s Latin America Business Unit

The first recipient of the Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award was Greif’s entire Latin America strategic business unit. The organization tackled the reduction of their energy use, embracing energy excellence to the extent of taking their commitment home with them. They developed training and delivered it to all workers, and in the process effected a cultural change and generated a passion for conservation.

Consistent with their commitment, this award is not the capstone of their efforts. They have continued to reduce their energy consumption, began to work on reducing their water consumption and institutionalized Greif’s zero waste initiative.

The total economic benefit achieved from all nominations in 2010, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was over $17 million. We also documented an environmental impact of:

  • 118 million pounds of CO2 averted
  • 6 million pounds of waste eliminated
  • 5 million gallons of water saved