Governance, Policies & Partnerships


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Delegation of responsibility for managing impacts

Sustainability is incorporated in every aspect of our business and is fundamental to achieving our Build to Last Strategy. Our commitment to sustainability contributes to delivering lasting value to customers, shareholders, colleagues and other stakeholders. We build lasting value through our purpose-driven culture, legendary customer service, operational excellence and industry-leading sustainability performance.

The Board of Directors receives annual updates from the Vice President, Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer on behalf of our 22-member Sustainability Steering Committee. The Committee, which includes 11 representatives from Greif’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and 11 representatives from the Sustainability Management Team (SMT), integrates sustainability into our strategy and operations, determines the level of funding for Greif’s sustainability programs and reviews our sustainability progress and priorities quarterly ensuring accountability throughout our organization. The Board holds the Sustainability Committee accountable for reaching annual goals. The Steering Committee guides the activities of our SMT, which works with topic teams consisting of representatives from each region and business unit to drive facility-level projects and priorities. Additionally, the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee assists the Board with oversight and reviewing environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

ESG matters remain a crucial focus for Greif’s Leadership Council, comprising the company’s top leaders. The Council oversees Greif’s ESG initiatives to integrate sustainability into the organization and ensure accountability for ESG performance and the associated key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs are included in the monthly Greif Business System 2.0 (GBS 2.0) enterprise scorecard and the Must Win Battle (MWB) scorecard. Environmental and social KPIs are also included in our monthly and quarterly business performance slide decks, which managers use to keep their teams accountable. By linking sustainability-related KPIs to performance, we aim to encourage sustainability principles at all levels of the organization.

In 2023, our Leadership Council focused on the four pillars of our Build to Last Strategy, actively raising awareness of these missions among colleagues throughout Greif. Dedicated mission teams were formed for each pillar and tasked with supporting initiatives, building awareness and overall success for each pillar across Greif. The four mission teams provided quarterly updates to the Leadership Council. For more information on our Build to Last Strategy, please see the Strategic Integration section of this report. 



Corporate Policies

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Policy commitments

We believe behavior influences culture and culture determines performance. Our culture is captured in The Greif Way, which also spells out the principles that guide our ethics and compliance expectations. The following policies are another way we make clear our expectations and help govern our organization:


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Membership associations

Greif seeks to actively engage with organizations that share our values to increase the reach of our sustainability efforts. Some of our key partnerships include:


The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a collaboration between the freight industry and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  A market-driven partnership, SmartWay is aimed at helping businesses move goods in the cleanest, most efficient way possible. Its purpose is to accelerate the availability, adoption and market penetration of advanced fuel-efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain while helping companies save fuel, lower costs and reduce adverse environmental impacts.

To improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicle fleet, Greif joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership in 2009. For more information about our partnership, please see our Global Supply Chain Management page.

United Nations Global Compact

Integrity and respect for people are Core Values at Greif and we believe that social and environmental responsibility are essential for long-term sustainability.

In April 2016, Greif became a signatory to the UN Global Compact, confirming our commitment to its Ten Principles. This Sustainability Report serves as our annual Communication on Progress each year as part of this commitment.

We consider these Principles to be a natural extension of our Code of Conduct, which outlines our commitment to being open, honest and trustworthy in all dealings with all stakeholders. Our policies and procedures incorporate our commitment to human rights, freedom of association, environmental excellence and health and safety.

ESG & CSR Board

Greif has been an active member of the ESG & CSR Board since 2022. The ESG & CSR Board is a vendor-free, peer-to-peer community for leaders of ESG, social impact and sustainability at more than 160 of the world’s largest companies. The organization serves to build a community that enables senior decision-makers with a common mission to help each other, share insights, challenges and best practices in order to achieve their companies’ ESG goals and improve sustainability practices.

Trade Associations

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Membership associations

As a global leader in industrial packaging, we prioritize collaboration across our industry. Greif actively engages in trade associations to stay informed on evolving industry trends and best practices, discuss relevant issues and opportunities and to help positively advance our industry overall. Please review our Trade Associations for more information.