Climate Strategy

Greif’s climate responsibility extends throughout our products’ entire lifecycle, ensuring we are fully conscious of our carbon footprint.


  • Greif’s climate strategy, embedded across our entire operations, is vital to minimizing Greif’s impact on the environment and partnering effectively with our customers as we work to enable their climate-related goals.
  • Tackling climate impacts requires operational-wide, holistic solutions, including our extensive waste reduction initiatives.
  • Through the development and rollout of our Build to Last strategy, we increased Board oversight on our climate strategy through education and awareness of climate risks and emerging trends that could impact the long-term success of our business.
  • In 2022, we completed a more robust inventory of our energy use and associated emissions across our organization allowing us to better understand our greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. Our FY2022 combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions totaled 1,321,500 metric tons. The more complete coverage of our inventory led to a year-over-year increase in total energy consumption and associated emissions. 

Why Climate Strategy Matters

GRI 3-3 | 302-1 | 302-2 | 302-3 | 302-4 | 302-5 | 305-1 | 305-2 | 305-3 | 305-4 | 305-5 | 305-6 | 305-7
Management of material topics
Energy consumption within the organization
Energy consumption outside of the organization
Energy intensity
Reduction of energy consumption
Reductions in energy requirements of products and services
Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions
GHG emissions intensity
Reduction of GHG emissions
Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and other significant air emissions

Greif’s climate strategy, embedded into all operations, is paramount to an effective partnership with the environment and our customers. Our top global key customers have demonstrated that climate action is a top priority, with nearly half setting ambitious decarbonization targets. We aim to be an essential partner for achieving these targets. Across our value chain, we implement energy and emissions reduction programs, embracing a low-carbon future through improved energy efficiency, raw material minimization and renewable energy. A strong climate strategy has proved essential in attracting talent. Greif’s role as a global manufacturer imparts considerable responsibility but presents many opportunities to make a climate-positive impact, providing a competitive advantage.


Greif has a responsibility to minimize our carbon footprint. This responsibility extends throughout the lifecycle of our products, from the extraction of raw materials to their end of life. Since 2010, Greif has maintained a Global Climate Team1, comprising representatives from all business units and regions, responsible for providing support, guidance and direction to facilities to identify energy and emissions reduction projects. The team is also responsible for helping facilities develop roadmaps and track progress toward our 2030 target to reduce energy use and absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions. For example, as part of our recent Supply Chain initiatives and related roadmaps, we are working to reduce emissions from our vehicles and forklifts. Additionally, a significant portion of our Scope 3 emissions are associated with our raw materials and the end-of-life handling of our products. Our efforts to drive sustainable Innovation and Circular Manufacturing support our climate strategy and enable our ability to reduce GHG emissions in partnership with our suppliers and customers.

Strengthening our climate governance has been a priority area in the Protecting Our Future pillar of our Build to Last Strategy. As such, we increased Board oversight through climate engagement and education to bolster our governance practices. This engagement raised awareness of the importance of climate risks and emerging trends that could impact the future of the packaging sector. These conversations help us create more connections between climate and emissions within our operational segments.

To further advance our climate management practices following the results of a gap analysis against the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, we again held a series of internal climate risk workshops to better understand the climate-related risks and opportunities our business faces. Through the workshops, colleagues from cross-functional departments and across our global footprint collaborated to identify, rank and evaluate regulatory, market and physical climate-related risks and opportunities. Results from these workshops are shared throughout the organization to give a better understanding and explanation of our risks. Additionally, findings are integrated into our risk management processes and surveys, reinforcing strategies already in place, such as our circular economy initiatives. In 2022, we completed a third-party scenario risk-based assessment and transition risk analysis, aligned with TCFD guidelines, to further understand our climate-based risks and opportunities. We also began a third-party evaluation of our physical risks to determine how they impact our business financially, which is still ongoing, and we plan to share our findings in 2023. Please visit this report’s Risk Management  section to learn more about our enterprise risk management process.

Risk / Opportunity




Natural catastrophe

Large flood/hurricane/earthquake/windstorm, etc. leading to loss of key or valuable production facility (one or multiple).


Carbon pricing mechanisms

Carbon pricing regulations, such as cap-and-trade systems and carbon taxes, are impacting Greif in some markets (Europe and North America) and may emerge in other regions. This manifests as a substantial and growing expense.


Inefficient investments / capital planning

A lack of resources to fully understand regulatory changes’ impact on strategic decisions and investments may lead to a sub-optimal capital allocation. This includes facilities becoming obsolete more quickly than expected and a lower-than-expected ROI.


Resilience / production continuity

Exceptional organizational capabilities, associated business resilience, preparedness and agility will allow Greif to resume production levels more rapidly and better support colleagues, customers and communities over time should disruptions and catastrophes become more common.  


Direct environmental catastrophe
Major climate/weather-related events at key facilities such as Delta, Vreeland and Paper Mill operations leading to a major environmental event, financial event and potentially leading to public relations/image issues.
Risk and Opportunity Shift in customer preferences The demand for sustainable products is increasing. The risk that Greif is not moving fast enough to respond to the increasing use of recycled materials in production processes could reduce demand for Greif’s products and services. Additionally, climate-related regulations that limit the end markets of Greif products, such as the oil and gas industry, can limit Greif’s business by decreasing demand for its products and services in key markets. Greif can capitalize on this opportunity by growing our sustainable product portfolio quickly.
Opportunity Impact on Greif's Recycling Business Higher ambition climate scenarios rely on increasing steel and plastic recycling rates. If positioned appropriately, Greif may be able to increase the scale of its current reconditioning practice.


Exceptional organizational capabilities associated with business resilience, preparedness and agility will allow Greif to resume production levels more rapidly and better support colleagues, customers and communities over time should disruptions and catastrophes become more common.
advancing renewable energy resized

Advancing Renewable Energy

Renewables, such as biomass, solar and wind energy, will play a major role in addressing the challenges of climate change over the long term. We are committed to testing and expanding renewable energy technologies across our global operations when doing so is economically viable and in the best interest of our stakeholders. In total, we have installed over 11,500 solar panels capable of 3.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar production. Since 2016 we have been increasing the amount of renewable energy we source from onsite and offsite locations across our global footprint. Greif locations in North America, Brazil, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Israel and the Netherlands source renewable energy to date. Renewables now account for 14 percent of Greif’s energy use through our continued investment. We continue to evaluate opportunities to procure additional renewable energy. For example, we conducted a study to assess and rank the best Greif locations for onsite solar installations in North America.

Over the past few years, our total energy consumption has increased. We are looking deeper into our investments in energy efficiency projects and exploring different funding mechanisms and models to reduce our energy use and have a dedicated budget set for energy and emissions management. Energy efficiency is a key consideration in capital deployment and vital to meeting energy usage goals. We include ESG in the criteria for capital requests as part of our capital allocation system and screen for ESG benefits. Benefits include cost-savings, reduced energy consumption, reduced raw material usage and increased health and safety of people and products.

In 2022, we implemented 45 energy efficiency projects, resulting in an annual savings of nearly 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and approximately $750,000 across our organization. These projects include replacing equipment and updating processes that reduce energy demand, such as solar shading, waste heat recovery and implementing energy efficiency practices like lighting and HVAC replacements. Our colleagues continuously look for opportunities to improve and upgrade technology and equipment for energy efficiency. To better identify energy efficiency opportunities, we conducted audits of all our Latin American (LATAM) facilities, including a preliminary energy study across all sites. The study identified 447 focus areas, the top five accounting for 85 percent of our total energy reduction opportunities within the LATAM region. We are developing roadmaps to reduce energy consumption based on our findings from this study. For more information about our energy efficiency projects, please see sections C4.3, C4.3a and C4.3b of our 2022 CDP Climate Response.

energy efficiency in production resized

Energy Efficiency in Production

Greif recently invested in a new blow molding machine to manufacture Greif’s plastic jerrycans at our Casablanca, Morocco, plant. The new engine uses up to 30 percent less energy than older machines while delivering significantly higher productivity. The new equipment increases production capacity by up to 25 percent for our one- to five-liter bottles and is designed to optimize and reduce raw material usage, extending the environmental benefit of the machine beyond energy use.

The team in Morocco also implemented other energy efficiency projects such as eliminating air leakages in our plastic and steel plants, replacing hydraulic extruders with electric ones on four machines, upgrading old equipment and replacing DC motors with AC motors on several blow molding machines that help to significantly reduce our energy consumption.

Greif recognizes that tackling climate impacts takes operational-wide, holistic solutions. Thus, managing waste is a broader part of our sustainability strategy that impacts emissions. By reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, we can reduce emissions associated with waste transportation, sorting and processing. Additionally, our waste reduction efforts prevent landfill gas production, a particularly potent mix of greenhouse gases generated as waste breaks down. Currently, we divert 85 percent of our waste from landfills and continually work to reduce the remaining 15 percent of waste sent to landfills. In 2022, we diverted more than 1.5 million tons of recycled paper from landfills.

*Please see Greif’s 2022 CDP Climate Change Response for additional information

[1] Formerly the Global Energy Team

Goals, Progress & Performance

In 2020, we conducted a detailed analysis and evaluation with a third party of our ability to commit to a goal that would be approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). We then announced our commitment to reducing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 28 percent by 2030 from a 2019 baseline. This target aligns with prevailing climate science to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. By the end of next year, 2023, Greif will also complete an assessment of its Scope 3 emissions and determine the feasibility of a long-term net zero emissions aspiration in alignment with the Science Based Targets Initiative.

In 2022, we began investigating and pursuing renewable alternatives to replace our current electricity and natural gas consumption. We also announced our commitment to reducing our energy use by 10 percent for every unit of production from a 2019 baseline. Additionally, we focused on improving our investigation into virtual power purchase agreements (VPPA) and conducted an onsite solar study for North America sites. In 2023, we will conduct energy audits and develop energy efficiency roadmaps at our mill facilities.

2030 Goal:

  • Reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions 28 percent from a 2019 baseline.
  • Reduce our energy use by 10 percent for every unit of production from a 2019 baseline.


FY 2017

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022


Total Energy Consumption (MWh)1



5,832,000 6,145,000

Energy Reduction per Unit of Production2



-0.3% -2.3%

GHG Emissions (Thousands of Metric Tons)

Scope 1


Scope 2 (Location-based)3


Scope 3

4,357 5,019


5,611 6,340

Emissions Reduction per Unit of Production4



4.1% 0.4%


  1. Total Energy and GHG Emissions experienced significant increases in 2019 due to Greif’s acquisition of Caraustar. Our FY2022 inventory provides more complete coverage of our operations and, for the first time, includes the following: diesel & LPG consumption for global facilities, global propane usage, co-generation at the Los Angeles facility, global rental car usage, electricity consumption at warehouse and office facilities. This has led to a large increase in total energy consumption and associated emissions.
  2. Energy use per unit of production only includes energy use at PPS Mills, PPS CorrChoice, PPS IPG, PPS RFG, GIP EMEA, GIP APAC, GIP North America, GIP Latin America, and LCS NA. This provides a more accurate year-over-year comparison in line with previous years' calculations.
  3. FY2019 Scope 2 emissions have been restated since 2021 because of Greif’s revised energy use data.
  4. Emissions per unit of production only includes emissions associated with energy use at PPS Mills, PPS CorrChoice, PPS IPG, PPS RFG, GIP EMEA, GIP APAC, GIP North America, GIP Latin America, and LCS NA. This provides a more accurate year-over-year comparison in line with previous years' calculations.
  5. 2022 GHG Verification Statement
Highlight Stories

Greif Pudahuel in Chile Achieves 100% Renewable Energy

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 was able to move 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 reductions goals.

Greif Pudahuel
Highlight Stories

Enel X Demand Response

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.

Enel X Demand Response
Highlight Stories

LATAM Tigre Energy Study

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.

LATAM Tigre Energy
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