Global Supply Chain Management

Working with our suppliers to create shared value.


  • Greif recognizes that as a global manufacturer, our impacts extend beyond our operations, and we are responsible for engaging suppliers to ensure they are committed to the same sustainability standards and values.
  • Greif’s target was to assess the sustainability performance of suppliers representing 45 percent of our spend by the end of 2023. Greif exceeded this target and assessed 57 percent of our spend. These assessments were conducted via our third-party partner, EcoVadis.
  • 2023 was the first year we incorporated our Supplier Code of Conduct into all of our purchase orders to communicate our expectations to our suppliers.

Why Supply Chain Management Matters

GRI: 3-3
Management of material topics

We believe it is our responsibility to engage our suppliers around the globe as part of our commitment to sustainability. Through our Supplier Code of Conduct, we communicate to our suppliers our expectations that they uphold the same levels of integrity, accountability and commitment to sustainability. Working closely with suppliers can minimize actual and potential environmental or social impacts, which allows us to further a shared mission and find opportunities that better serve our customers.


Greif’s Chief Supply Chain Officer reports directly to our Chief Executive Officer and leads our operational excellence in purchasing, materials planning and supplier performance and is responsible for Global Supply Chain (GSC) goals, including our sustainability objectives.

In 2023, the GSC Sustainability program was structured into a three-pillar program to better focus our activities. These three pillars outline the GSC team’s objectives to achieve an ethical supply chain that advances Greif’s sustainable growth. All GSC colleagues play critical roles in the program, from logistics managers optimizing transportation lanes to reduce emissions to sourcing managers identifying raw materials that lower carbon emissions or increase recycled content in Greif’s finished goods. 

greif vision graphic

Ensuring our colleagues are well trained in supply chain sustainability topics is critical to our program’s success. In 2023, 100 percent of GSC colleagues, including the entire Sourcing team, were educated on supply chain sustainability concepts and the roadmap to our 2030 goal. In addition, a self-paced training was created and released for any Greif colleague to learn more about carbon emissions reporting, supply chain sustainability regulations and more.

Compliance with applicable laws to manage potential human rights violations in our supply chain is an essential part of our management system. Given that some Greif products contain tin—a conflict mineral—we are committed to understanding and addressing its impacts in our supply chain by conducting research and interviews with targeted suppliers each year on this topic. We validate our Conflict Minerals Policy with our legal and supply chain teams and publish our Conflict Minerals Report to assess and disclose conflict risk across our supply chain annually. Additionally, we abide by the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, taking measures outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct and Transparency in Supply Chain Disclosure to prevent and eliminate forced labor in our direct supply chain. Greif also maintains an Ethics Hotline available to anyone who wishes to report concerns about conflict minerals.

GSC Sustainability Pillar Performance

Align the Supply Base

The first pillar of the program is aligning the supply base and ensuring our suppliers adhere to Greif’s values. This starts with communicating our Supplier Code of Conduct to suppliers.

In 2023, we reached our goal of incorporating Greif’s Supplier Code of Conduct into 100 percent of its contractual agreements by including the Supplier Code of Conduct on all global purchase orders. The Supplier Code of Conduct is a vehicle to ensure our suppliers align to our expectations and values. We regularly update the Code and expand its scope as needed, and revise Code language to incorporate new themes that may arise, particularly related to environmental and social risks within our supply chain and key industries. When we issue updates to our Supplier Code of Conduct, we communicate our new expectations to our business partners and ensure suppliers can agree to the updates provided prior to signing new purchase orders.

The next step in aligning the supply base is to assess our suppliers to validate that they are upholding these expectations. In 2023, the GSC team developed a risk process for assessing its suppliers. First, independent country risk assessments were conducted on suppliers to prioritize which suppliers were to receive a formal self-assessment questionnaire via our third-party partner, EcoVadis. In 2024, this process will evolve into a standalone GSC Risk Management Program. This will include additional supplier risk assessments of financial and geopolitical risks, sustainability risks, identification of supply chain disruption risks and mitigation processes.

We use the EcoVadis platform to assess and validate our suppliers’ sustainability performance. The EcoVadis platform has enabled Greif to provide annual training materials to our suppliers, providing guidance on how to improve their own operations, processes and policies.

In 2023, we set the goal of assessing 45 percent of our suppliers by spend by the end of the year. At the end of 2023, suppliers representing 57 percent of our supplier spend went through the assessment.

Advance the Circular Supply Chain

The second pillar of the program is dedicated to advancing Greif’s circularity goals. In 2023, GSC conducted reviews of its recycled content purchasing and established tracking capabilities to ensure we are on track to achieving our 2030 target. We developed supply chains for newly launched products with post-consumer recycled (PCR) content including North America’s 55 Gallon PCR drum and Spain’s PCR IBC.

Ukraine truck shipping

EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership

Greif selects carriers endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay initiative. Incorporating the SmartWay certification into our carrier approval process is a way we can make sure to opt for the lower carbon emission option throughout our logistics and operations. Currently 74 percent of Greif’s total miles are traveled by carriers approved under the SmartWay initiative.

Decarbonize the Supply Chain

In the third pillar of the program, the GSC team identifies, evaluates and executes projects to reduce the carbon emissions of our supply chain. An area of critical focus for GSC is our logistics footprint. Since 2018, the GSC team has been replacing combustible gasoline and liquified petroleum gas-powered forklifts with electricity-powered forklifts, resulting in substantial emissions savings. In 2024, we intend to scale this conversion in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Percentage of Forklifts Converted to Electric Power
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Asia Pacific
Latin America
North America

The GSC team also executed initiatives to reduce emissions in our truck and colleague vehicle fleet.

  • Continuation of partnership with EPA’s SmartWay Initiative.
  • 100 percent of North American fleet uses solar-powered GPS units.
  • Progress toward transitioning 70 percent of colleague vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid alternatives by 2030.

In 2024, the GSC team will be focusing on advancing its renewable energy procurement and optimizing its transportation lanes to reduce carbon emissions.

Goals, Progress & Performance

2030 Goal:

  • Evaluate the sustainability performance for 80 percent of our total spend with suppliers.

In 2023, 57 percent of our suppliers were assessed for sustainability performance, putting us well on our way toward achieving our 2030 goal. In 2024, we plan to enhance this evaluation process by adding in additional risk factor evaluation and integrating this into our supplier relationship management process. This goal, as well as our aforementioned initiatives, exemplifies our commitment to sourcing and transporting materials responsibly and reducing our emissions within our operations and throughout our value chain.