2018 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 2018.

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. We evaluate each of our top 20 suppliers on a scorecard that considers quality, delivery, cost, value-added services, environmental 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. Given 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, 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.

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. The steps we take to reduce hazardous waste align with our Environmental Health and Safety Policy.

In 2018, 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. We integrated sustainability into the GBS, allowing us to identify projects with positive sustainability impacts. This capability allowed us to identify 10 projects with $1.3 million in sustainability impact completed in 2018.

We continue to integrate environmental and social criteria into our supplier audits. To ensure continuous supplier improvement in areas such as employee health and safety, we integrated language on conformance to standards and ISO certification development into our supplier audit. 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 began incorporating our goals into our RFQ process when soliciting potential suppliers. Our sourcing managers incorporate topics such as carbon content, recyclability and packaging improvement into conversation 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 Gaylord 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. In 2019, we will continue to identify green material substitutions and identity cost savings opportunities.

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In 2018, Greif earned Gold Recognition level from EcoVadis for superior Corporate Social Responsibility performance. This score places Greif in the top three percent of plastic products manufacturers and top five percent of all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis.