Human Rights & Fair Labor Practices

Upholding fundamental rights in our operations and throughout our supply chain.


Why Human Rights & Fair Labor Practices Matters

GRI 2-23 | 3-3 | 402-1 | 406-1 | 407-1 | 408-1 | 409-1
Policy commitments

Management of material topics

Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes

Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken

Operations and suppliers in which the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining may be at risk

Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor

Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor

Greif, as a manufacturing company, relies heavily on labor. We are committed to upholding international human rights and fair labor practices as we adhere to The Greif Way of being ethical by doing what is right. This commitment creates a foundation worldwide to treat our people fairly and promotes thriving communities as part of the Build to Last Strategy. Greif upholds these standards and expectations throughout our supply chain by working with responsible supply partners to inspire customer confidence in our sourcing and labor practices.


Greif maintains human rights and fair labor practices in accordance with the UN Global Compact Principles and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We have committed to enforcing these Principles beyond our operations and across our supply chain. We address these impacts through policies concerning Anti-harassment, Child Labor, Code of Conduct, Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity, Fair Treatment of Others, Human Rights and Supplier Code of Conduct, and Indigenous Peoples’ Policy.

Greif’s local Human Resources Teams have several methods to protect human rights, including conducting risk assessments, age and legal working status verifications, and awareness training. We recognize that specific areas of the world are at a heightened risk of human rights violations, and local teams allow us to monitor and manage unique and local risks. In 2023, all colleagues will be trained in human rights. Throughout our operations, we empower colleagues to speak out through localized gender equity and whistleblower procedures. We publicly post our global Ethics Hotline in all facilities and include Ethics Hotline details in the Code of Conduct to ensure colleagues feel comfortable to anonymously report potential human rights violations at any time. The Ethics Hotline also tracks potential violations of discrimination. We instantly categorize and direct each complaint to a regional vice president or director to address it appropriately. We investigated 207 reports (100 percent) and resolved 99.5 percent of the complaints from our Ethics Hotline in 2022. Outstanding complaints are under investigation. 

In 2022, 38 percent of Greif’s colleagues engaged in collective bargaining agreements (CBA). Our divestment of the Flexible Products and Services (FPS) division accounts for the reduction of colleagues engaged in CBAs from 2021 to 2022. Each CBA is independently managed in each region, with our Human Resources and Legal Teams providing oversight. CBAs in each region align with local regulations and include specifics on employees’ health and safety, working conditions, training and career management, diversity and discrimination and other workers’ rights topics. For further information on Greif’s approach to labor relations, please see the Business Continuity, Automation & Digitization section.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa’s Regional Human Resources Director leads our Human Rights and Labor Practices team with support from the human resources community members who represent every region and business unit. We uphold a pragmatic, consistent program to identify human rights and labor risks in all our facilities, enabling us to mitigate risks and implement best-practice measures in line with our commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, UN Global Compact, ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights frameworks.

Goals, Progress & Performance

2025 Goals:
  • 100 percent of our operations will be subject to internal human rights reviews, measured on a rolling cycle, by the end of fiscal year 2025.
  • 100 percent of colleagues will be trained in human rights policies and procedures by the end of fiscal year 2025.
  • Using fiscal year 2017 baseline, increase the proportion of women in management positions by 25 percent by the end of fiscal year 2025.


of Greif’s production facilities have undergone a human rights review


In 2021, we continued our Human Rights Reviews by conducting audits at 35 facilities. 38 percent of our production facilities have now undergone a human rights review. Another round of reviews will take place in 2023 and 2024. Facilities will also be re-audited on a rolling basis. In 2023, we will begin to deliver training on human rights and fair treatment policies and procedures. We have created a training module globally through Greif University for all Professional, Clerical and Production colleagues.

We are on track to reach our target of training 100 percent of colleagues by the end of fiscal year 2025.