Climate Strategy

Greif is dedicated to climate responsibility at every stage of our products’ lifecycle, aiming to minimize our carbon footprint and fulfill our commitment to sustainability.


  • Greif’s Build to Last Strategy enables Board oversight of our climate strategy, providing education and awareness of climate risks and emerging trends and aligning our business strategy with our own climate goals and those of our customers.
  • In 2023, we created and onboarded a new senior leader to coordinate and lead the planning, implementation, and execution of our global decarbonization efforts.
  • We developed an updated decarbonization roadmap, including the identification of 15 high-impact decarbonization projects for the Mill Group to lower emissions, and expanding renewable energy projects across our operations.
  • Greif further refined and improved our Scope 3 methodology, data collection and integration efforts.
  • In FY 2023, our combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 (location-based) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 1,157 thousands of metric tons, compared to 1,321 thousands of metric tons in FY 2022, an absolute reduction of 12 percent.

Why Climate Strategy Matters

GRI 3-3 | 302-1 | 302-2 | 302-3 | 302-4 | 302-5 | 305-1 | 305-2 | 305-3 | 305-4 | 305-5 | 305-6 | 305-7
Management of material topics
Energy consumption within the organization
Energy consumption outside of the organization
Energy intensity
Reduction of energy consumption
Reductions in energy requirements of products and services
Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions
GHG emissions intensity
Reduction of GHG emissions
Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and other significant air emissions

Integrating Greif’s climate change strategy into every facet of our operations is fundamental to establishing robust partnerships with our customers. A significant portion of our global customers recognize the importance of climate action, with nearly half of them charting ambitious decarbonization goals. Our aspiration is to be a key collaborator in achieving these goals. Across the value chain, we are actively implementing initiatives to reduce energy usage and emissions, embracing a low-carbon future through a product portfolio that reflects manufacturing innovation and efficiency.

Having a resilient climate strategy remains a key contributor to attracting and retaining top talent and maintaining valuable partnerships with our stakeholders. As a global manufacturer, Greif shoulders considerable responsibility, but this role opens numerous opportunities to make a positive impact on the climate and provides a distinct competitive advantage.


Greif embraces our responsibility to minimize our carbon footprint, actively addressing every stage in the lifecycle of our products, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal. We have worked since 2007 to reduce our energy use and GHG emissions. Our 2030, science-aligned target to reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions 28 percent from a 2019 baseline is our fourth-generation target, demonstrating our efforts toward continuous improvement.

Our Build to Last Strategy places a strong emphasis on enhancing climate governance as part of the Protecting Our Future mission. Our Board of Directors holds ultimate oversight of our climate strategy. Greif’s Sustainability Steering Committee is tasked with further embedding our climate strategy into our thinking and operations while providing accountability to all levels of our organization. We engaged the Board of Directors in awareness and educational offerings to strengthen understanding of climate risks and emerging trends affecting the packaging sector’s future and highlighted meaningful connections between climate impacts and emissions across our operational segments.

In 2023, we strengthened the management and oversight of our climate strategy by hiring a Senior Manager, Climate Change. The Senior Manager is responsible for developing strategy, prioritizing and coordinating decarbonization initiatives and increasing participation amongst senior management. Additionally, the Senior Manager revitalized our Global Climate Team, as part of a broader re-organization within the company. The Global Climate Team is comprised of representatives from all business units and regions and is tasked with coordinating, tracking and overseeing global climate initiatives, such as LED retrofits and on-site solar development.

The Global Climate Team plays a pivotal role in the success of our strategy by offering support, guidance and direction to facilities, aiding them in identifying energy and emissions reduction projects. The team is also responsible for monitoring and sharing developments and implications for Greif of new regulations, infrastructure and technology to ensure leading practices are being integrated into our initiatives. The Global Climate Team tracks key performance indicators and provides quarterly updates to the Sustainability Steering Committee on our energy and climate initiatives.

The execution of our climate strategy requires all Greif colleagues. In 2023, we launched a climate education communications campaign for all internal colleagues to align our operations with our climate strategies and increase awareness of climate issues and challenges.

Climate Change Risk Management

Over the past three years, we conducted internal climate risk workshops. These workshops included participation from colleagues of diverse departments and global locations, where they collaborated to identify, rank and evaluate regulatory, market and physical climate-related risks and opportunities. In 2023, we successfully completed a third-party physical risk assessment to deepen our understanding of the climate risks and the financial impacts associated with our operations. Our scenario analysis included three future scenarios, including global temperature increases of below 2°C (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6), 2 to 3°C (RCP 4.5) and over 4°C (RCP 8.5), to identify risk likelihoods and impacts to our operations. The assessment identified precipitation, flooding, and heat stress as key physical risks across our global operations. Please refer to our CDP Report for more information on this climate scenario analysis exercise.

Please visit this report’s Risk Management section to learn more about our enterprise risk management process.

Risk / Opportunity



Physical Risk

Natural catastrophe

Large flood/hurricane/earthquake/windstorm, etc. leading to loss of key or valuable production facility (one or multiple).

Physical Risk

Direct environmental catastrophe

Major climate/weather-related events at key facilities such as Delta, Vreeland and Paper Mill operations leading to a major environmental event, financial event and potentially leading to public relations/image issues.

Transition Risk

Carbon pricing mechanisms

Carbon pricing regulations, such as cap-and-trade systems and carbon taxes, are impacting Greif in some markets (Europe and North America) and may emerge in other regions. This manifests as a substantial and growing expense.

Transition Risk

Inefficient investments / capital planning

A lack of resources to fully understand regulatory changes’ impact on strategic decisions and investments may lead to a sub-optimal capital allocation. This includes facilities becoming obsolete more quickly than expected and a lower-than-expected ROI.

Transition Risk

Resilience / production continuity

Exceptional organizational capabilities, associated business resilience, preparedness and agility will allow Greif to resume production levels more rapidly and better support colleagues, customers and communities over time should disruptions and catastrophes become more common.  

Transition Risk and Opportunity

Shift in customer preferences
The demand for sustainable products is increasing. The risk that Greif is not moving fast enough to respond to the increasing use of recycled materials in production processes could reduce demand for Greif’s products and services. Additionally, climate-related regulations that limit the end markets of Greif products, such as the oil and gas industry, can limit Greif’s business by decreasing demand for its products and services in key markets. Greif can capitalize on this opportunity by growing our sustainable product portfolio quickly.
Transition Opportunity Impact on Greif's Recycling Business Higher ambition climate scenarios rely on increasing steel and plastic recycling rates. If positioned appropriately, Greif may be able to increase the scale of its current reconditioning practice.

Transition Opportunity

Exceptional organizational capabilities associated with business resilience, preparedness and agility will allow Greif to resume production levels more rapidly and better support colleagues, customers and communities over time should disruptions and catastrophes become more common.

Climate Strategy & Decarbonization Roadmap

Greif’s climate strategy is built upon the key pillars of energy optimization and renewable energy. In 2023, Greif retained a third-party to review our global operations, our actions taken to date and our proposed decarbonization roadmap to reach our 2030 climate goals. The roadmap confirmed that Greif can accelerate energy optimization projects and procure renewable energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs), virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) and on-site solar development. Currently, Greif’s decarbonization strategy is to achieve up to 80 percent of our 2030 emissions reduction target through energy optimization projects and achieve the remaining 20 percent of our goal through renewable energy procurement. We will reevaluate this breakdown annually.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency plays a pivotal role in our capital deployment approach and serves as a key component in achieving our energy usage goals. Within our capital allocation system, we incorporate ESG criteria when assessing capital requests. Notably, our screening process prioritizes project benefits, including cost-saving, reduced energy consumption, minimized raw materials usage and heightened health and safety measures for both people and products.

In 2023, we rolled out 74 energy efficiency projects, yielding estimated savings of nearly 63 million kWh. These initiatives comprised of upgrades to equipment and the optimization of processes, strategically aimed at curbing energy demand. Our forward-thinking colleagues consistently sought out opportunities to advance technology and equipment for energy efficiency. In our Latin America facilities, we identified several facility level initiatives, which resulted in seven new energy efficiency projects totaling 232,000 kwh of annual energy savings.

We performed an in-depth study of our paper mill operations, which account for approximately 70 percent of our global Scope 1 and 2 emissions. This study included energy audits and performance reviews to identify high-priority energy optimization projects for the Mill Group, including combined heat and power generation, optimization of steam generation and use, equipment upgrades and modernization, on-site solar installation, and operational efficiency changes. The study identified 15 initial projects that are projected to achieve a 5 percent decrease in our global Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

To further drive energy efficiency, in 2023 we received approval from the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to retrofit all facilities globally with energy-saving, LED lights. Our goal is to retrofit all our facilities to at least 80 percent LED by the end of 2025, although most facilities will achieve 100 percent LED. Retrofits will save energy, reduce emissions, and create a safer and more pleasant work environment.

For more information about our energy efficiency projects, please see sections C4.3, C4.3a and C4.3b of our 2023 CDP Climate Response.

Renewable Energy

The renewable energy portion of our roadmap is designed to identify the highest-impact opportunities to catalyze the transition to clean energy. In 2022, we embarked on an extensive exploration of renewable alternatives to overhaul our electricity and natural gas consumption. To support this goal, we selected a developer for a large VPPA project in our Europe, Middle East and Africa region in FY 2023 and plan to sign our contract in FY 2024. 

On-site solar development is another key component of this strategy as it represents a cost-effective way to increase our use of renewable energy. In 2023, we identified our Singapore facility and five sites in North America to build-out rooftop and ground mount solar generation and selected a third-party developer to build the systems, and we plan to have the systems operational in 2025-2026. Additionally, we have identified 15 more sites in 2024, and plan to select a developer for those locations as part of our strategy to rapidly scale up our on-site solar program.

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Advancing Renewable Energy

Meeting the long-term energy-related challenges associated with climate change requires a meaningful shift towards renewables, such as solar and wind energy. When economically suitable, we seek opportunities to invest in and expand renewable energy technologies across our global operations. To date, we have installed over 11,500 solar panels capable of 3.1 million kWh of solar production. Since 2016, we increased our sourcing of renewable energy from both on-site and off-site locations to reduce our carbon footprint. Greif facilities in North America, Brazil, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Israel and the Netherlands source renewable energy. In 2023, 15.4 percent (3,107,497 GJ) of Greif’s total energy consumption (20,136,883 GJ) was from renewable energy sources such as biomass and solar energy. We are committed to finding and capitalizing on additional opportunities to procure renewable energy.

Circular Economy

Our climate strategy places a strong emphasis on advancing the circular economy through initiatives such as increasing the recyclability of our products, expanding our reconditioning network, downgauging, increasing the use of recycled raw material content, and effective waste management. These and our other circularity initiatives play a pivotal role in reducing our Scope 3 GHG emissions. Please visit this report’s Circular Manufacturing and Innovation sections to learn more about our efforts to advance the circular economy.

By minimizing the disposal of waste in landfills, we actively decrease emissions linked to waste transportation, sorting and processing. Our commitment to waste reduction also serves to reduce the production of landfill gas, an especially potent mix of greenhouse gases released during the decomposition of waste. Currently, we divert 88 percent of our waste away from landfills and consistently work towards minimizing the remaining 12 percent sent to such locations. Please visit this report’s Waste section to learn more about our waste management efforts.

Scope 3 Emissions

In addition to circularity and waste reduction efforts, we work to reduce our Scope 3 GHG emissions through our purchasing decisions, collaboration with suppliers and increasing the efficiency of transportation and logistics through our value chain. For example, our partnerships with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay initiative and EcoVadis enable us to understand the sustainability performance of our suppliers. Please visit this report’s Global Supply Chain Management section to learn more about our work across our supply chain.

Goals, Progress & Performance

2030 Goals:

  • Reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions 28 percent from a 2019 baseline.
  • Reduce our energy use by 10 percent for every unit of production from a 2019 baseline.

In 2020, we partnered with a third party to conduct a comprehensive analysis evaluating our capability to achieve a goal in alignment with the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). Subsequently, we publicly announced our commitment to a 28 percent reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030, based on a 2019 baseline. This target aligns with prevailing climate science, aiming to limit global warming below 2°C. Due to the our acquisitions and ongoing data collection improvements since 2019, we are unable to provide a detailed analysis of our performance against this goal. However, our FY 2023 Scope 1 and Scope 2 (location-based) absolute emissions were 12 percent lower than in FY 2022. 

In 2023, we worked towards progress on our goals through energy audits and corresponding corrective actions such as leak repairs, heat recovery, improved insulation, equipment upgrades and other operational improvements. For example, our CorrChoice business worked collaboratively alongside utilities, colleagues and external experts to conduct energy audits, prioritize opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and identify incentives and programs to support energy efficiency investments. Our CorrChoice colleagues identified projects that reduce carbon emissions by more than 3,600 tons per year and will lead to a payback from energy savings in less than 18 months.

Since 2011, Greif has partnered with Enel for Demand Response (DR). By leveraging real-time energy monitoring to access market opportunities and improve operational reliability, Greif has earned over $4.4 million from the program to date, including $1.3 million in the last three years. Currently, 17 Greif plants are enrolled in DR with Enel demonstrating our ongoing efforts in energy efficiency and sustainability.

In 2022, we completed an analysis of our Scope 3 emissions, which has not yet resulted in setting a new Scope 3 target in 2023, but we will continually work to determine appropriate targets for adopting a long-term net-zero emissions target in alignment with the SBTi. We are actively seeking opportunities to collaborate with our suppliers, customers and other stakeholders to reduce our Scope 3 emissions.

ENERGY and GHG Emissions data


FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

Total Energy Consumption (MWh) 5,398,000 5,423,000 5,832,000 6,145,000 5,594,000
Energy Reduction per Unit of Production2
-2.3% -5.5%
GHG Emissions (Thousands of Metric Tons)3
GHG Scope 1
756 656
GHG Scope 2 (Location-based)4
565 501
GHG Scope 3*
5,019 5,062
GHG Total
6,340 6,219
Emissions Reduction per Unit of Production5
0.41% -2.1%
  1. Energy from acquired sites is included in the FY 2023 data (Lee, Centurion, and ColePak).
  2. Energy use per unit of production only includes energy use at PPS Mills, PPS CorrChoice, PPS IPG, PPS RFG, GIP EMEA, GIP APAC, GIP North America, GIP Latin America, and LCS NA. This provides a more accurate year-over-year comparison in line with previous years' calculations.
  3. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions include data from recent acquisitions (Lee, Centurion, and ColePak). Most Scope 3 sources include data from the acquisitions (business travel, outsourced shipping data, capital goods, investments and supplier spend include data from acquisitions).
  4. FY 2019 Scope 2 emissions have been restated since 2021 because of Greif’s revised energy use data.
  5. Emissions per unit of production only includes emissions associated with energy use at PPS Mills, PPS CorrChoice, PPS IPG, PPS RFG, GIP EMEA, GIP APAC, GIP North America, GIP Latin America, and LCS NA. This provides a more accurate year-over-year comparison in line with previous years' calculations.
  6. 2023 GHG Verification Statement
Highlight Stories

Greif Pudahuel in Chile Achieves 100% Renewable Energy

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.

Greif Pudahuel
Highlight Stories

Enel X Demand Response

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.

Enel X Demand Response
Highlight Stories

LATAM Tigre Energy Study

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.

LATAM Tigre Energy
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