2018 Sustainability Report

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

Climate Strategy, Energy & Emissions

Driving operational change in a changing world.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goalsindustry, innovation and infrastructureClimate action

Why Climate Strategy, Energy & Emissions Matters

Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

Explain management approach components

Explain management approach components

GRI 302: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; 305: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3

We focus on creating our products efficiently to improve our bottom line, prevent emissions that contribute to climate change and give Greif a competitive advantage.


Greif’s 2018 CDP Score

Demonstrating excellence in carbon management, governance, strategy and best practices, and outperforming the overall average CDP score of a B- and the North American average score of a C.


We integrate energy efficiency throughout the organization. Greif includes energy and emission reduction targets in incentive structures for executive officers, ensuring emissions reduction strategies reach executive leadership. Energy efficiency is a factor in capital expenditure decisions. All Greif colleagues are eligible for awards and recognition related to energy reduction. Our 11-member Global Energy Team is responsible for coordinating energy and emissions reduction projects throughout the company. Comprised of members from various business functions including management, real estate, energy management, engineering, quality management, plant operations, business unit management, environmental, technical management, health and safety management and maintenance, the team is supported by facility-level management to identify and implement projects across the business. In 2017, the team began working with facilities to create energy roadmaps that identified energy reduction projects, a practice that remains in 2018. Five of our production facilities have achieved ISO 5001 certification for energy management.

In 2018, we increased our focus on sourcing renewable energy by implementing a new Energy Procurement Policy that provides more flexibility and incentive for our facilities to identify and purchase energy from renewable sources. We piloted a renewable energy credit (REC) program in two facilities in North America. We planted 30,000 trees to offset emissions from operations and business travel. To identify new projects to drive energy efficiency, we engaged a third-party to audit our Riverville facility’s energy systems. We completed 47 energy efficiency projects and introduced a formal process to quantify savings from energy efficiency projects. We are proud to announce that our projects resulted in over $2,367,777 in savings.

In 2019, we will continue to complete energy efficiency projects, informed in part by our third-party audit, and report the savings resulting from those efforts. We will continue to increase our focus on renewable energy by evaluating solar power opportunities in NA and the success of our REC pilot.

Goals & Progress

In 2016, Greif announced a 2020 goal of 10 percent reduction in energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of production globally, from a 2014 baseline.

2020 Goal: 10 percent reduction in energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of production, from a fiscal 2014 baseline

Progress: As of the end of fiscal 2018, we achieved a 4.2 percent energy and a 10.3 percent emissions reduction per unit of production from a fiscal 2014 baseline.


Energy consumption within the organization

Reduction of energy consumption

Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions

Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions

Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions

GHG emissions intensity

Reduction of GHG emissions



FY 2014* 

FY 2015

Fy 2016

FY 2017

Fy 2018


Total Energy Consumption (MWh)






% Reduction in Energy per Unit of Production

(Baseline year)





% Reduction in Emissions per Unit of Production**

(Baseline year)





GHG Emissions (Metric Tons)

Scope 1




367,700 376,700

Scope 2

496,000  438,600 446,700 416,000      415,900

Scope 3

251,500 221,900 2,927,000 3,089,000 2,867,090



983,000 3,719,400 3,872,700 3,659,600
  1. Source: 2017 CDP submittal input data
  2. Emissions data accounts for CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3
  3. Scope 3 emissions takes into account upstream transportation and distribution. In 2017, scope 3 was expanded to include purchased goods and services, capital goods, fuel and energy related activities not included in Scope 1 and 2, including waste generated in operations, business travel, employee commuting and end of life treatment of sold products.
  4. Emission data is assured through Bureau Veritas.
*To standardize emissions and inform year-over-year progress toward our 2025 goal, our 2014 emissions data has been restated to correct several facilities’ eGRID regions. Total does not include 246,000 metric tons of CO2e from biogenic sources.
**Our percent reduction in emissions per unit of production dropped from FY 2015 to FY 2016 due to increased fugitive emissions from our Riverville, Virginia, paper mill and total emissions from our Massillon, Ohio, paper mill. Updated emissions and global warming potential factors also contributed to this change.
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Advancing Renewable Energy

Renewables, such as solar and wind energy, will play a major role in addressing the challenges of climate change over the long term. We are committed to testing and expanding the use of renewable energy technologies across our global operations when doing so is economically viable and in the best interest of our stakeholders.

We have installed more than 2,000 solar panels in seven North American facilities, delivering 2.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy and saving more than $100,000 annually. Due to our continued investment, renewables now account for 23 percent of Greif’s energy.

In 2016, three of our largest Brazilian plants began sourcing their energy partly through renewable resources. In 2017, we expanded the program to three additional plants in Brazil, reducing emissions by 70 percent and saving $1.4 million USD annually.

In April 2017, Greif’s Shanghai RIPS facility completed installation of solar panels, converting 15.4 percent of the facility’s electricity to a renewable source and saving over $16,000 USD annually. Throughout our China operations, we source renewable energy through 4,800 solar panels via energy purchase contracts. 

Our Turkey FPS operations produce over two million kWh of energy through wind turbines and windmills.