Working toward a zero waste to landfill organization.


  • Greif has a responsibility to reduce our operational waste and support the transition to a circular economy. As part of our Build to Last strategy, we are working to advance closed-loop and zero-waste processes both in our operations and for our products.
  • We include a waste key performance indicator in Greif’s monthly reports shared with managers and above.
  • In 2022, 43 facilities achieved zero waste to landfill. We continue to make considerable progress across our remaining facilities as our teams collaborate globally to manage difficult-to-divert waste streams.

Why Waste Matters

GRI 3-3 | 301-1 | 301-3 | 306-1 | 306-2 | 306-3 | 306-4 | 306-5
Management of material topics
Materials used by weight or volume
Reclaimed products and their packaging materials
Waste generation and significant waste-related impacts
Management of significant waste-related impacts
Waste generated
Waste diverted from disposal
Waste directed to disposal

Greif has a responsibility to reduce our waste and support a transition to a circular economy as part of our Build to Last Strategy. Focusing on closed-loop and zero-waste processes enables us to reduce our operational packaging and landfill waste. Internally, reducing waste has positive environmental impacts, reduces costs, mitigates risks and supports our health and safety goals. We also pursue opportunities to decrease raw material use and resource conservation in our value chain. We deliver on our customers’ needs by providing lighter-weight, more cost-effective products. Reducing waste positively impacts the communities in which we operate by mitigating adverse health outcomes. We will continue to address global environmental waste challenges by advancing waste reduction efforts and developing product lines with minimal waste.


Greif’s Global Waste Team oversees our waste program and reviews our waste report monthly. We also include a waste key performance indicator in Greif’s enterprise scorecard and monthly reports shared with managers and tracked via the Greif Business System 2.0 (GBS 2.0) and Must Win Battle (MWB) scorecard. The Global Waste Team, comprising Greif colleagues from each business unit and region, meets monthly to discuss our waste reduction initiatives and challenges. The Waste Team and regional business unit leaders hold facility management accountable for managing and reducing waste and collaborate with teams to find unique, specified opportunities at each facility. We empower our production colleagues to participate and advance our waste strategy with their work through training and internal communications. Additionally, we have realized engagement benefits from the success of our waste management programs that our production colleagues see first-hand. Greif’s Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) policies, hazard communication program and hazardous waste management training, given to all colleagues interacting with hazardous waste, govern the labeling, handling, storage, sorting and transportation of hazardous waste.

Greif’s Compliance Management System (CMS) allows us to collect data, monitor performance and measure progress accurately and efficiently. As part of our CMS, we require all facilities to report monthly waste data and submit invoices for verification. Facility waste roadmaps are also created, stored and reviewed in our CMS. In 2022, we took additional steps to improve our data governance processes by assuring waste data and implementing other controls to facilitate more prompt and accurate data collection.

Each GIP facility has developed a detailed waste matrix that identifies each of the facility’s waste streams and associated disposal methods (recycling, reuse, landfilling, etc.). We leverage the matrices to understand each facility’s waste management performance, identify difficult-to-divert waste streams and build waste diversion roadmaps. Our subject matter experts work with facility managers, other Greif colleagues and partners to develop and implement processes to divert landfill waste to more circular options such as reuse or recycling. The waste matrices also serve as a collaboration tool to compare the management of standard waste streams across facilities. We have shared these waste matrices with other business units to reduce global waste further.

Adhesive tank PPS

PPS Industrial Products Group Waste

As 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.

In recent years, we introduced waste diversion roadmaps related to our previous 2025 waste diversion target. For facilities not meeting our goal of 90% diversion of landfills, the waste roadmaps provide insight into our facilities’ waste management and play a critical role in improving facility performance year over year so that we may achieve our 2030 goals. We also utilize colleague waste training to continue improving strategy and goals.

Goals, Progress & Performance

In 2022, we made considerable progress toward our 2025 goal to divert 90 percent of waste from landfills and our circular economy objectives. For example, in 2022, we eliminated PET usage in our construction tubes’ production. This innovation reduced waste from both our tubes’ manufacturing operations and end-of-life.

2025 Goal:

  • Divert 90 percent of waste from landfills from all Greif production facilities globally by the end of fiscal year 2025.
2030 Goal:
  • Reach zero waste to landfill at 97 percent of our production facilities.

 FY 2022*

Facilities With 90%+ Diversion

Facilities With 99%+ Diversion

Facilities With Zero Waste to Landfill





North America








Latin America




Asia Pacific




*Data accounts for production facilities globally and offices from our Soterra land management business only.
**In April 2022, Greif finalized its divestment of the Flexible Packaging joint venture (FPS) to Gulf Refined Packaging, resulting in a lower number of overall facilities across Europe. The significant decrease in number of facilities achieving waste metrics in our European geographies is a result of this divestment.
Highlight Stories

Greif Houston Facility

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 which are used to secure the top and bottom of fibre drums. Once the chimes are removed, the fibre 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 fibre to our PPS Recycling Group, further reducing the waste disposal cost.

Greif Houston Facility
Highlight Stories

Reducing VOC’s Through Use of Water-Based Exterior Paints

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.

Water-Based Exterior Paints
Highlight Stories

Greif Joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste

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.

hs alliance
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