Sustainability

arrow blue Committed to using financial, natural and human resources wisely Without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs

Waste, Recycling & Recovery

Each Greif facility works to remove excess material from the production process and recycle scrap. This aligns with our lean manufacturing culture and transformation plan—making processes more efficient, producing less waste and shipping less waste offsite and to landfills.

We continually make improvements to the way we manage waste from our operations. We evaluate opportunities and introduce measures intended to avoid, reduce or reuse the amount of waste that is created. We examine all aspects of our business for opportunities to eliminate waste including product development, packaging, production, transportation and the recovery and reuse of materials and products.

 

Goal

Divert 90 percent of waste from landfill in North America by the end of fiscal year 2020.

 

Progress

Eight of our RIPS North America facilities achieved waste diversion from landfill of 90 percent or greater, four of which achieved 100 percent diversion from landfill. Since 2012, we have saved more than $457,000 through efficient packaging practices and reduction of offsite transport. For more information about our waste reduction, please see our 2016 Sustainability Report.

 

Product Development

We incorporate sustainability criteria such as waste minimization and recyclability into product design and development. We view product development in the context of the complete product lifecycle. We are interested in innovations that deliver measurable advancements toward sustainability.

In the Products & Innovation section, you can read about products that have been developed through the implementation of dematerialization strategies and the use of recycled materials to reach our goal of sustainable products.

 

Operations

Our waste minimization efforts in our operations aim to divert recyclable materials, such as scrap metal, wood, cardboard, plastic scrapping and electronic wastes, from entering the landfill. We are also constantly redesigning our processes to reduce the resources required to make our products.

 

Recycling & Reconditioning Services

At Greif we believe that it is vital to consider waste minimization through the entire life cycle of a product from its production to the end of its usefulness.

In the middle of the 2000s, we conducted Life Cycle Assessment studies on all of our core products and found out that engineering products to lengthen their useful life via re-use would be the most effective option for improving their environmental performance. At the end of its life, the best use of an industrial container is its re-use. Based on this evaluation, we determined that our core business should include the reconditioning of industrial containers and offering re-usability services for these containers, which is why in 2011 Greif created the world’s largest industrial container reconditioning services through its subsidiary EarthMinded™ Lifecycle Services (LCS).

EarthMinded™ LCS collects, cleans, reshapes, reconditions or remanufactures and tests industrial containers for reuse and recycling, extending the life of the products and responsibly recycling their component raw materials at the end of their life cycles. Through an integrated network, the business provides the most reliable, cost-effective one-stop service possible to member customers who have one site or several in multiple countries. In 2016, more than 4.9 million Greif steel and poly drums and IBCs were reconditioned or recycled.

EarthMinded™ LCS also provides customers with verifiable reports detailing the reduced environmental impact of their industrial packaging entrusted to us. These reports allow our customers to document their achievements and meet the growing demand for more sustainable packaging.

In addition to the knowledge that used industrial packaging is responsibly handled, EarthMinded™ LCS offers savings to customers who want to reduce their total cost of packaging ownership. The collection service provides a practical alternative to storing used industrial packages on site or transporting them for disposal, with the attendant trucking costs and disposal fees. The reconditioning operations generate industrial packaging that is sold at a discount to new packaging and consequently re-introduced into the supply chain. Industrial packaging that cannot be remanufactured or reconditioned is properly recycled. 

 

 

Key figures

200

Sites in 46+ countries

Our global reach is near you

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13,000

Employees

Our people — principled, intelligent and reliable — reaffirm our reputation for integrity every day with their every action

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140

Years of experience

For the past 140 years, the world’s most important products have travelled around the world in Greif industrial packaging

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