2018 Sustainability Report
Committed to using financial, natural and human resources wisely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
Protecting and understanding the habitats where we work.
Greif focuses on biodiversity to help preserve a healthy environment. By taking actions to understand and manage the potential impacts of our operations on ecosystem services and biodiversity, we position ourselves to preserve natural resources. Greif partners with the scientific and academic communities dedicated to conserving the Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystem functions to promote wildlife and habitat restoration.
We practice sustainable forestry across our operations in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi and offer services to improve land management practices across industries.
Since December 2008, Soterra, LLC, our subsidiary engaged in Land Management, has adhered to the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) as well as Best Management Practices defined by each state for its managed timberlands. Soterra forests provide timberland habitat for wildlife, forestry management services and serve as a space for recreational land use. Soterra operates in the Southeastern United States, managing timberland in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. In 2018, Soterra forests sequestered over 37,211,000 tons of CO2, an increase of 1,528,000 from 2017.
Soterra incorporates a sustainable harvest methodology in its harvest planning to ensure the continued availability of its resources. Additionally, Soterra, in a partnership with the National Estuary Program, uses donated drums from Greif’s Lavonia facility to harvest rainwater. The 200 new 55 gallon plastic drums collect rain water for irrigation purposes, to help local growers reduce costs and water usage by approximately 260,000 gallons. We are currently outfitting each barrel with a rain barrel conversion kit to help capture, store and put the rainwater to good use.
With the growth of Soterra’s Consulting Services business, industry best practices and sustainable harvesting of timber have expanded from Soterra’s footprint to private landholdings within the region. Since 2016, Soterra has regenerated more acres on private land than on its company-owned land. Growth in this business helps ensure the forest products industry will remain strong for future generations.
Pollinator Habitat Improvement Study
The year 2013 marked the conclusion of a multi-year pollinator research project that occurred on Greif/Soterra LLC timberlands in south Mississippi. The study was conducted in conjunction with the Pollinator Partnership and NAPCC—the world's foremost experts on pollination issues—to learn how pollinators impact wildlife food availability on timber landscapes, the added value of hosting honey bees and beekeepers on the landscape and to discover the best management practice for ecosystem services on forest landscapes.
The study produced some interesting recommendations for sustainable timberland management practices that should benefit timberland owners, pollinator species, local wildlife and ecosystems alike. Greif is committed to its sustainable land use platform, and will help distribute any resulting publications to industry partners, regulators and members of the academic community globally to influence positive environmental management in timberland systems.
In 2013, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) recognized Soterra LLC and the Pollinator Partnership with its coveted Conservation Leadership Award for this research. The state of Louisiana also recognized the efforts on the program by declaring a state-wide Pollinator Week in the spring of 2018. As of 2019, Soterra LLC continues its support for education, outreach, conservation and scientific research relating to the importance of pollinators in our ecosystem by maintaining its involvement in the Pollinator Partnership as an active Board of Directors member. To learn more, please see our article in Bee Culture Magazine.