2019 Sustainability Report

arrow blueCommitted to using financial, natural and human resources wisely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs

Supply Chain Management

Working with our suppliers to create shared value.

United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsGood health and well-beingQuality educationGender equalityResponsible consumption and production

Why Supply Chain Management Matters

Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

Explain management approach components

Evaluate management approach

GRI 301: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; Supply Chain Management: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3

Greif engages suppliers to ensure our commitment to sustainability encompasses more than just our own operations. We expect our suppliers to uphold the same levels of integrity, responsibility and commitment to sustainability that we do. By actively working with our suppliers, we minimize potential environmental and social risks while creating opportunities to efficiently use materials and implement solutions that positively impact our customers.



Savings from Gauge Improvement Program

Working with our suppliers to meet minimum specifications requirements resulted in significant savings in 2019.

Greif sources direct materials such as resins, paint and steel and indirect materials such as consumables, services and transportation. Greif’s Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Team tracks monthly improvements in material costs, working capital, deal terms and inventory as part of the Greif Business System (GBS). We outline our expectations for our suppliers in our Supplier Code of Conduct and evaluate each of our top 20 suppliers on a scorecard that considers quality, delivery, cost, value-added services, environmental impact and technical support. Sustainability criteria, such as material reduction, use of lower environmental impact materials and supplier sustainability initiatives, account for five percent of the supplier scorecard.

Greif complies with applicable laws to manage potential human rights violations in our supply chain. Due to the fact that some Greif products contain tin, we are committed to understanding the 3TG metals in our supply chain. To assess conflict risk throughout our supply chain, we validate our Conflict Minerals Policy and publish our Conflict Minerals Report annually. In accordance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, Greif takes measures to prevent and eliminate forced labor in our direct supply chain, as outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct and Transparency in Supply Chain Disclosure.

Supply chain sustainability objectives are supported by our Sustainable Procurement Team, which evaluates opportunities to minimize material use and finds more sustainable raw materials alternatives. The team, made up of colleagues from each region, evaluates opportunities across the globe and works to share best practices in sustainable sourcing with the Global Procurement Team. For example, in 2018 Greif began replacing combustible gasoline and LPG powered forklifts with electricity powered forklifts. The transition both supported Greif’s Renewable Forklift Policy and resulted in significant emissions savings. In 2020, this project will continue to expand globally. Please see our Climate Strategy, Energy & Emissions page for more information on this project. We have also made changes to impact energy and emissions use among our trucks and colleague vehicle fleet. We have begun transitioning GPS devices in our trucks to run on solar as opposed to battery power. By the end of 2019, this transition was 56 percent complete and will be completed in 2020. We have set more stringent emission guidelines for approved colleague vehicles to promote more energy efficient and, where feasible, electric vehicles. Collectively we continue to track procurement projects that have potential to provide positive sustainability impacts through GBS. In 2019, we identified 10 projects with $1.136 million in savings on sustainability impact projects.

Greif works to identify and implement chemical substitutions in our products and operations to remove and reduce hazardous waste, including VOCs. Since 2015, we replaced 10 percent of steel coil material volume and potentially hazardous paint within our operations. We now use safer alternatives in many of our products, including our Tri-Sure Vreeland linings and our water-based acrylic paints. In fact, all of our facilities, except in Auburndale, Florida, are exclusively using water-based paints. The steps we take to reduce hazardous waste align with our Environmental Health and Safety Policy.

In 2019, 100 percent of our new suppliers were given access to our Supplier Code of Conduct via Greif.com and expected to adhere to the principles within. In North America, our Supplier Code of Conduct is part of every purchase order and agreement that has to be signed by our suppliers. We began revising our Supplier Code of Conduct to set better expectations for our suppliers and better address environmental and social risks within our supply chain based on the key industries that we serve. In 2020, we will issue an updated Supplier Code of Conduct as a formal policy and begin stronger enforcement among our suppliers, including integration into supplier audits and incorporating it into every purchase order globally. In 2020 we will also issue an internal Purchasing Policy that provides guidelines for procurement to our colleagues. The policy will include considerations for environmental and social procurement criteria including green materials, waste and supplier diversity.

We continue to integrate environmental and social criteria into our supplier audits. To ensure continuous supplier improvement in areas such as colleague health and safety, we integrated language on conformance to standards and ISO certification development into our supplier audits. We benchmarked industry best practices to improve our supplier scorecards, Supplier Code of Conduct and rating procedures. We created legal training on anti-trust policies and products, which are available to all colleagues through our online training system.

Goals & Progress

In 2017, we set 2025 goals to:

  • Using a fiscal year 2017 baseline, reduce raw materials/logistical costs used to produce current product offering by one percent.
  • Move from non-green (oil-based, more energy intensive) to green material sourcing if it is economically feasible and doing so provides high quality products to our customers.

To progress on our 2025 goals, we incorporate our goals into our RFQ process when soliciting potential suppliers. Our sourcing managers incorporate topics such as carbon content, recyclability and packaging improvement into conversations with many of our suppliers to identify opportunities to impact our goals. We have made green material substitutions to increase the use of post-consumer regrind plastic in our products. We increased our efficiency with corrugated cardboard boxes and other packaging materials to increase reusability, while optimizing logistical routes, to reduce shipping expenditures. In some EMEA facilities, we have introduced a more biodegradable oil to clean our paint lines. Throughout 2019, we identified green material substitutions and identified cost savings opportunities. The move from non-green products and materials, such as oil-based products, has prompted us to engage in green-material sourcing from our suppliers. We have already begun to move away from solvent based paints to water-based paints and liners for drums. This collaborative work is internally supplemented by internal changes, such as a transition to LED lights. These initiatives are all a part of a larger training initiative with the supply chain team to think-of and develop new projects and integrate sustainability into the buyer’s performance appraisals for 13 of our buyers, including buyers for steel, resin and logistics. We will continue implementing these, and similar measures, in 2020.

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Together for Sustainability

Since 2014, Greif has worked with Together For Sustainability (TfS), to help build an industry-wide sustainability standard for suppliers to chemical manufacturers. On behalf of its more than 20 chemical manufacturer members, TfS audits supply chain partners on more than 30 management, environment, health and safety, labor and human rights and governance criteria. TfS distributes results to their members to support purchasing decisions, replacing the need for company-specific audits and holding suppliers to a consistent standard for the industry. Nine Greif facilities have been audited, achieving an average score of 93.9% percent, indicating no major concerns at our facilities. In 2019, TfS conducted audits of RIPS facilities in Cologne, Germany and Sultanbeyli, Turkey.

TfS Audit Performance

  • RIPS Naperville, Illinois: 100%
  • RIPS Cologne, Germany: 98%
  • RIPS Lockport, Illinois: 98%
  • FPS Sultanbeyli, Turkey: 98%
  • RIPS Europoort, Netherlands: 97%
  • RIPS Attendorn, Germany: 96%
  • RIPS Usti, Czech Republic: 95%
  • RIPS Campana, Argentina: 83%
  • RIPS Shanghai, China: 80%