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Every job is a green job. Every person is responsible for conducting his or her work in the most sustainable way possible.

At Greif, our people are critical to coming up with solutions to the broad range of sustainability challenges we face. In 2010, we introduced a program to encourage all Greif associates to consider the sustainability of their decisions at work. We call it the Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award program.

The Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award recognizes the environmentally focused activities of Greif associates and superior effort and achievement in furthering the improvement of the environment and the company. Please follow the links below to get more information about the winners.




The Greif Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) division's Castenedolo plant employees in Italy won the 2016 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award by fully embracing sustainable innovation principles to manufacture products that utilize methods, such as the use of recycled materials and dematerialization, that have a reduced negative impact on the environment while maintaining Greif’s commitment to only produce products of the highest quality.

The Castenedolo plant employees worked on two separate sustainable innovation projects. The first project involved the reduction of the weight of our GCube bottles from 14kg to 13kg while maintaining product integrity. This resulted in a seven percent reduction in natural resources consumed to manufacture the product in addition to a reduction of 312 tons of carbon emissions and 432 MWH of electricity consumption per year. 

The second project was the development of new manufacturing techniques over a six month period to increase the percentage of Post Consumer Resin (PCR) content in the production of plastic drums that can now be made with 75 percent PCR. PCR is produced from recollected plastics packaging products through a process of crashing, flaking, washing, melting and granulation. Through this development, the Castenedolo team replaced 500 tons of virgin raw materials with recycled plastic and reduced their carbon emissions by 750 tons per year.

The RIPS Italy employees from different departments came together and worked as one team to utilize sustainability as a catalyst to drive and inspire innovation beyond the usual parameters and boundaries. In doing so, they saved precious natural resources that not only improve Greif’s overall environmental performance but also create value for our customers.




Greif’s Global Packaging Accessories (GPA) business unit won the 2015 Michael Gasser Sustainability Award. GPA has been investing in many aspects of sustainability including resource consumption reduction, employee health & safety, waste reduction and innovation for the last five years.

The GPA business unit led all of the Greif business units by reducing their energy consumption by 37 percent saving over four million dollars over the past five years and far exceeding the global corporate target of a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption.

The GPA business unit also invested in innovation to create a safer work environment, ahead of government regulations, by developing a passivation method called Chromium 3 Passivation that eliminated the risk of employee exposure to toxic materials while also decreasing toxicity of wastewater. This innovation made GPA the first in the market with such a product.

Moreover, the GPA business unit invested in sustainable product development to create a new venting screw cap system, Plasticap 60™ MPV3 Screwcap that not only meets customer requirements but also requires fewer raw materials to make and reduces production waste. With this innovation, GPA grew the business of the screw caps market by 220 percent. By collaborating with their customers and integrating sustainability criteria to their innovation process, GPA grew their business, profitability and market reach.

The total economic benefit achieved from all of the nominations in 2015, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was approximately 21 million dollars. The total energy saved was close to two million kilowatt-hours which is equivalent to carbon sequestered from 1,038 acres of U.S. forests in one year. Carbon emissions reduction equaled 20,501 tons, which is equivalent to 4,316 passenger vehicles driven for one year and the total reduction in waste equaled 6,067 tons.




Ivan Signorelli, Group President for Greif Rigid Industrial Packaging in EMEA and APAC, and the Green Tool team have been selected to receive the 2014 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award for their visionary work with life cycle assessments (LCA) and the practical application of this science at Greif with The Greif Green Tool.

Under the leadership of Ivan Signorelli, a team of Greif employees and Prof. Dr. Holger Buxel from the University of Applied Sciences Münster, worked with independent life cycle assessment specialists from the IFEU institute, located in Germany, to conduct life cycle assessments on Greif’s industrial packaging products with the aim of discovering sustainability-related opportunities and threats in the market.

This information was used to develop the proprietary “Greif Green Tool”, which helps companies of all sizes to reduce their carbon footprint by understanding the environmental impact of different containers and shipping solutions.

The Greif Green Tool is a flexible calculator that uses independent life cycle data of Greif products. It allows Greif’s customers to see their carbon footprint data, review and compare the effects of different packaging application decisions and see possible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This enables them to choose the right packaging products that will keep their products safe while helping them meet their sustainability goals.

The team members were also recognized for their commercial leadership in utilizing this powerful tool with Greif’s customers. More than 50 Greif customers have requested Green Tool demonstrations and analysis since the tool’s development.

The Green Tool was recently featured in the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review. The article "Making the Consensus Sale" highlights Greif's Green Tool as a method for building consensus across an organization while showing the sustainability benefits of Greif products. The Greif Green Tool was also featured in other publications such as the MITSloan Management Review and case studies published by the WBCSD and The Corporate Executive Board Company.

The Greif Green Tool members include James King, Greg Layer, Nick Sheets, Philippe Marty, Peter Wittocx, Aysu Katun, Randy Stacy, Antoine Cisek, Gustavo Melo, Virginia Hu and other members of the Greif Commercial Excellence team.




The Riverville Mill team won the 2013 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award for their energy reduction project that began approximately five years ago. The team succeeded in reducing Riverville Mill’s energy consumption by more than 7% while increasing throughput by almost 5% compared to FY2008. They accomplished this through continuous improvement projects to modify operating strategies through process optimization and employee education and engagement; through a series of capital investments to utilize technology to improve controls; and through the involvement of all employees.

In addition to reducing the plant’s specific energy consumption and cost, the team’s work has also directly resulted in a reduction in carbon emissions through their efforts to reducing reliance on fossil fuel. The team has applied technologies including Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) in 40 applications since 2009 and seven in 2013 that were identified by internal auditing to be candidates for significant energy reduction. 

The team’s work has reduced site energy consumption by 300 million kWh/year since 2009.




Greif subsidiary CorrChoice won the 2012 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award for developing the game-changing product LeaderCorr™. LeaderCorr replaces foam board used by the retail industry and others for printed signs and in-store displays.

It's a double-walled corrugated sheet that, unlike foam board, is completely recyclable. This means it can be put into the OCC (old corrugated containers, i.e., used cardboard) waste stream, which is an income source for the retailer.

The production of LeaderCorr is also environmentally responsible and, because it is an income source, sustainable. In its manufacture, the product uses less energy, less water and less starch than traditional paper-based corrugated materials. Because of the technology that uses less water, the LeaderCorr sheets are flatter than other corrugated sheets, and when overlaid with a high quality white liner, provide an ideal surface for high-impact printing. Its thickness can also be tailored for specific applications.

In 2012, the total energy saved from all nominations of the Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award equaled to 66 million kWH and a carbon emissions reduction of 12,000 metric tons which is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 9,595 passenger vehicles or the electricity use of 6,967 homes for one year.




For their work in developing more sustainable engine lubricants and automotive fluids for the future, Greif subsidiary Delta Companies Group won Greif's 2011 Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award.

The team collaborated to create high performing yet sustainable oil, lube and automotive fluid products for consumers. By using alternative renewable resources, packaging and recycled materials, and then conducting a life cycle assessment on the products, Delta was able to:

  • Achieve a carbon footprint reduction of 29 to 50 percent in improved bar and chain, automotive and small engine oils, and a 38 to 51 percent lower abiotic resource depletion than conventional alternatives. The cumulative environmental impact demonstrated a 10 to 28 percent improvement over conventional products;
  • Realize a 71 percent reduction in landfill waste with alternative packaging; and
  • Reduce landfill waste by 977,000 gallons, energy consumption of oil products by 90 percent and CO2 emissions by 64 percent with the use of re-refined base oils, methanol and glycols.

The total economic benefit achieved from all nominations in 2011, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was over $14 million dollars.




The first recipient of the Michael J. Gasser Global Sustainability Award was Greif's entire Latin America strategic business unit. The organization tackled the reduction of their energy use, embracing energy excellence to the extent of taking their commitment home with them. They developed training and delivered it to all workers, and in the process effected a cultural change and generated a passion for conservation.

Consistent with their commitment, this award is not the capstone of their efforts. They have continued to reduce their energy consumption, began to work on reducing their water consumption and institutionalized Greif's zero waste initiative.

The total economic benefit achieved from all nominations in 2010, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was over $17 million. We also documented an environmental impact of:

  • 118 million pounds of CO2 averted,
  • 3.6 million pounds of waste eliminated and
  • 1.5 million gallons of water saved.



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