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Quality Management
Greif’s CorrChoice facilities, part of our Paper Packaging & Services (PPS) business, have implemented a set of tools that enable us to monitor and correct for potential quality issues in real-time. The tools establish alerts for a variety of factors that may impact quality, such as temperature and material storage capacity, and correct any deviations before they fall out of specification. This ability allows us to reduce waste, track potential recurring deviations and avoid long runs of products that would not meet customer expectations. As part of our Zero Defect System, our production lines are lined with ultrasonic sensors capable of detecting any separation or variation that may occur during the manufacturing process, such as differences in caliper spacing and paper weights. The system tracks defects as they move down the production line, removing defective products and recycling scrap.
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CorrChoice GreenGuard provides customers a recyclable, repulpable and FDA compliant coated paper solution. A key customer was purchasing a triple wall corrugated container to maintain food quality. Greif worked with the customer to replace the plastic liner with our GreenGuard 200 paper coating. This change eliminated the need for the plastic liner – saving the customer time and labor costs – and made the shipping container 100 percent recyclable and repulpable.
In LATAM, we introduced PerforMAXXI, a web solution used for tracking deliveries to customers and monitoring real-time performance. PerforMAXXI is a mobile app on the delivery driver’s phone that provides customers updates on where their package is in the delivery process. The app utilizes Waze or Google Maps to assist the driver and will be updated to include digital road toll payments in the second phase. The app also enables communication with the driver throughout the trip, accurate measurement of on time delivery, and electronic proof of delivery via photo of the invoice signed by the customer. The app significantly streamlines the communication and delivery process.
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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 fiber drums. Once the chimes are removed, the fiber 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 fiber to our PPS Recycling Group, further reducing the waste disposal cost.
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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 our Asia Pacific (APAC) facilities, there’s ongoing transition to water-based paints, which includes our facilities in Zhuhai, Shanghai and Taicang, with 81 percent, 84 percent and 41 percent, respectively, of their paint usage being water-based in 2023. 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.
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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.
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 $4.4 million in DR earnings, including $1.3 million in the last three years. There are approximately 17 Greif plants enrolled in DR 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.
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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 2023, 6 energy efficiency projects have been completed in LATAM, resulting in an energy cost savings of $29,300 per year and an energy use reduction of 63,000 kilowatt-hours per year.
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At Greif’s Austell mill in Georgia, we began a wastewater residuals dewatering project to turn waste into biofuel. The circular economy practice sweeps thickened solids from a floating sediment blanket on to a dewatering press. The flowable solids are dehydrated until they can be transported to a location to air dry, mixed with other materials, and consumed as a supplemental boiler fuel. This process not only allows materials to be repurposed to gain the most benefit from start to finish, but it also saves the facility landfill disposal fees.
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In late 2019, Greif’s Florence, Kentucky facility installed a wastewater treatment facility to reduce our hazardous waste load and recycle water back to the city. The process works by introducing water into the system, removing close to 100% of the pollutants from the paint process and sends the cleaned water to the local treatment plant. The water is then recycled by the treatment plant for redistribution to the community. The material leftover from the process is disposed via trash instead of hazardous waste. As the equipment came fully online in mid-2020, the process has not only significantly lowered hazardous waste generated by the facility, but also reduced the cost of waste by $40,000 a month.
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In 2022, Greif implemented a maintenance program to advance the longevity of our regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) that control volatile organic carbon (VOC) emissions at 10 of our GIPNA sites across North America. Continuing our shift to a corporate-driven management system, we work with a third-party partner to manage the recently implemented devices. Our third-party partners assist us in assuring that our RTOs are maintained in compliance with all relevant regulations and in avoiding or solving any maintenance-related issues. We hold quarterly, semi-annual- and annual maintenance evaluations and track this program within our CMS. We continue to install new RTOs at our facilities and anticipate leveraging the program at all applicable facilities, leading to improved efficiency and reduced emissions.
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In 2007, Greif established a scholarship program to assist our colleagues’ children who plan to continue education in college or vocational school programs. Scholarship recipients are selected based on financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, honors, statement of educational aspirations and goals, unusual personal and family circumstances and an outside appraisal.

The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. Scholarship Management Services is the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin. Scholarship Management Services make the selection of recipients. In no circumstance does any officer or colleague of Greif play a part in the selection. In 2023, we supported 60 scholarships. Since 2007, 336 students from around the world have received Greif-sponsored scholarships.

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In 2021, we launched Greif University, our training platform with different strategic learning offerings. Greif University serves as a unified place where all employees can go for development. We currently offer over 20,000 courses and learning modules from internal and external sources in different categories, including Customer Service Excellence, Environmental Health & Safety and Leadership & Professional Development. Each module is available in English and Spanish to train employees in their local language. Since launching Greif University, there has been a significant increase in the use of development materials and higher training completion rates. We also upgraded Greif University at the beginning of FY2023, expanding colleagues’ access to LinkedIn Learning courses.
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Greif’s Lead to Last Program, launched in 2022 as part of our Global Leadership Development Framework, provides all global leaders with a unified model of leadership expectations. This training is offered through Greif University and conducted in 12-week cycles in which participants learn about inclusive, safety and values-drive leadership. Lead to Last focuses on equipping participants with the ability to:

  • Develop a Leader’s Mindset
  • Hold Regular 1-on-1s
  • Set Up Your Team to Get Results
  • Create a Culture of Feedback
  • Lead Your Team Through Change
  • Manage Your Time and Energy

Greif introduced Lead to Last sessions in Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese in addition to English in 2023. Since program inception, 686 colleagues have participated in the program.

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All Greif colleagues in Canada and the United States have access to an employee assistance program (EAP). Greif’s EAP is a confidential work-based intervention program offering colleagues and their families informational services designed to enhance emotional, mental and general psychological well-being. The program provides preventive and proactive interventions for the early detection, identification and/or resolution of both work and personal problems that may adversely affect performance and well-being. These problems and issues may include but are not limited to, relationships, health, trauma, substance abuse, gambling and other addictions, financial problems, depression, anxiety disorders, psychiatric disorders, communication problems and coping with change.
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Each facility that achieves an MCR of zero wins the Chairman’s Safety Excellence Award. Globally, 97 of our production facilities received the award in 2023 and were recognized at a virtual ceremony.

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Greif’s long-term health and safety aspiration is to achieve zero accidents at all our facilities worldwide. While we recognize the challenge of this aspiration, 10 of our Global Industrial Packaging (GIP) facilities, including the following sites, have achieved ten or more years of accident-free operations:

  • Amaititlan, Guatemala – 16 years
  • Beloyarsky, Russia – 15 years
  • Omsk, Russia – 15 years
  • Delta Cincinnati, USA – 14 years
  • Volgograd, Russia – 15 years
  • Vung Tau, Vietnam – 12 years
  • Tri-Sure Vreeland/Vreeland Paint, Netherlands – 10 years
  • Kazan, Russia – 15 years
  • Vologda, Russia – 15 years
  • Mobeni, South Africa – 10 years

These achievements, as well as other zero injury facilities in 2023, provide strong models in support of our aspiration of zero accidents at all our facilities worldwide.

Unconscious bias is how our brains work to compensate for overload which cna inhibit performance and lead to poor decision making. Our Unconscious Bias: Understanding Bias to unleash Potential offering aims to counteract that negative impact. The interactive course helps our leaders and colleagues address bias and helps them thrive, increasing performance in their areas and across the business. This course has been offered to a small number of teams and is launching this year as a core development offering for the entire business, facilitated by our own internal certified facilitators. This adds to our deep library of content to address and educate our business around the world of DEI.
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Greif Sweden/Nordic is the first in the market to replace ink jet markings with laser markings on Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), reducing the use of solvent-based ink during production. By eliminating the use of solvents and ink, the production environment is cleaner. We also are able to reduce the weight of the IBC by one kilogram by removing the plate traditionally used for laser marking. We believe this innovation will set a new standard for markings on IBCs.
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Greif’s Knock Down Drums (KDD) offer the optimal sustainable solution for transporting steel drums to remote locations. Semi-finished drum parts are shipped and assembled locally on site with minimum people and equipment. The unique concept allows transportation of up to 1,176 KDDs in a 20’ sea container compared to 80 full finished drums, saving valuable space, optimizing transport costs and minimizing our customers’ carbon footprint during longer transit times. Drums are delivered directly to our customers’ filling station helping to improve efficiencies with minimum stock and less manual handling.
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Greif manufactured our first lighter weight 20 and 25-liter jerrycan models in 2015. This design is 15 percent lighter than the previous model while maintaining performance specifications of the previous design. Due to the reduced weight, the new jerrycans reduce materials and energy used in production by up to 15 percent and have a reduced emissions impact. In 2019, we expanded this product line to include sizes 16 and 18 liters. We now produce our lighter jerrycans in Italy, Israel, Sweden and Singapore.
COEX multilayer plastic packaging combines several layers of different plastics materials into a single structure and offers many barrier performance benefits, particularly for agrochemical and food packaging applications. However, when reground, COEX plastics can only be used in low performance applications. In response to our customers’ need for recyclable packaging with superior barrier performance, we created our ECOEX line of jerrycans. The ECOEX technology enables Greif to produce an innovative, multilayer jerrycan that can be recycled through regrinding processes to produce high performing, UN Certified jerrycans and bottles. ECOEX also reduces costs for our customers who typically pay an increased collection fee for COEX packaging collection after use. We continue to drive innovation that supports our circular economy strategy and meets our customers’ needs. The LATAM GIP team was awarded the 2021 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for their contribution towards our circular economy strategy while meeting the needs of our customers.
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In order to respond to customer demands to remove weight and optimize transportation costs, our Greif Latin America colleagues designed a novel plastic drum innovation using a never seen before facetted side-wall approach for large plastic drums. This improvement removed up to 14 percent of the resin in the drum while maintaining performance. Not only does the design reduce raw material usage, it also optimized pallet utilization due to its unique configuration which allows more drums to be transported in the same space as the legacy design. The faceted drum is a more sustainable solution both in reducing natural resource consumption and lowering fossil fuel-based raw material usage and CO2 emissions during transportation.
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At Greif, we now have the ability to print high-resolution images directly onto steel drums using the latest print technologies. This capability is the direct result of an investment designed to meet the needs of customers who are looking for ways to differentiate their products and generate impactful packaging design to support the price point of high value products. In addition to adding value for our customers, this process eliminated the need for a standard gas oven, using LED-based UV curing during the production process. This new process saves 0.5 kilograms CO2 per drum. Greif strategically placed the new Drum 360 technology in plants close to customers who use this new technology, in the Belgium, France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Poland.
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Greif’s GCUBE Connect solution, launched at LogiChem virtual conference, gives real time tracking information about a customer’s IBC through the application of an Internet of Things-based device. A customer-based dashboard displays in real time where an IBC is sited, the level of the filled product and the environmental temperature. This dashboard allows customers to plan in advance for deliveries of filled product and the arrival of new IBCs, as well as schedule collections of empty IBCs. GCUBE Connect also supports better management of residue in the IBCs. Each IBC that enters the facility is automatically weighed to determine how much residue is in the container to determine how it will be treated. This innovation pairs well with Greif France’s ability to pick up and drop off reconditioned IBCs from any site along a customer’s supply chain, as opposed to one single location. Together, they simplify the logistics for the customer and increase transparency.
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Greif’s Tri-Sure facility in Carol Stream collaborated with GIP North America purchasing, GIP Italy and four GIP 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 circular economy principles 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 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award.
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For the past 20 years Greif’s RIPS facility in Iberia, Portugal has been supplying customers with reconditioned conical drums, having reconditioned over 10 million drums and saving 50,000 tons of steel, 197,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions, 2,600,000 gigajoules of energy and 343,200 cubic meters of water in the process. The project was initially started as a way to help address our customers’ wish to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint and overall improve customer satisfaction. The team collaborated with customers to understand their needs, including volume, specification requirements and safety, developed a reconditioning process and ultimately installed a reconditioning line to begin serving customers. Today, the facility serves a multitude of customers, reconditioning 500,000 conical drums and saving 5,200 tons of steel each year.
In 2020, Greif made investments and established multiple joint ventures in order to expand the scale and capabilities of the reuse, recycling and reconditioning services we provide. In April of 2020, Greif acquired a minority stake in Centurion Container LLC, expanding our intermediate bulk container (IBC) reconditioning network in North America. In August of 2020, Greif established a joint venture with Delta Plastics, the leading independent supplier of reconditioned IBCs in the United Kingdom. Finally, in December of 2020, Greif acquired a minority stake in LAF s.r.l., expanding IBC reconditioning services for our Italy-based customers. We look forward to working with our partners to continue to reduce our environmental impact through cradle to cradle solutions.
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Greif’s LCS facility in Lille, France has taken significant steps to innovate the logistics associated with offering reconditioning services to our customers. Traditionally, empty IBCs were picked up from and delivered to a single location for a single customer. LCS Lille has begun picking up from locations along our customers supply chain, then delivering reconditioned IBCs back to our customers, simplifying logistics for our customers. Lille has also implemented Datamatrix, a traceability system that allows us to record all production steps from reception to delivery, have visibility into the origins of an IBC and provide a real time view of our inventory in support of overall enhanced customer service. Datamatrix also supports better management of residue in the IBCs they collect. Each IBC that enters the facility is automatically weighed to determine how much residue is in the container and inform how it is treated. With Datamatrix, this information can be sent directly back to customers to improve how they manage IBCs that are ready for pick-up. Lille uses a closed loop water system for water that is used to clean IBCs recycling 100 percent of the water they use, and collects, treats and shreds plastic that is used to manufacture new IBCs and plastic drums.
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The CorrChoice GreenGuard® product line provides our customers with a food safe recyclable and repulpable alternative to supplemental materials, such as plastic liners. Our GreenGuard® line of paper coatings are safe for direct contact with most food types and feature oil, grease, water, moisture and abrasion resistance as well as an innovative wax replacement technology. By applying the coating to corrugated containers, we eliminate the need for supplemental materials used in many food applications. We work with our customers to ensure our products meet their needs for safe and secure food handling while providing packaging products that are 100% recyclable and repulpable, advancing our circular economy strategy while enabling our customers to meet their sustainability objectives.