2018 Sustainability Report

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

REDUCING OUR FOOTPRINT
Waste

Working towards a zero waste to landfill organization.

United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsGood health and well-beingClean water and sanitationResponsible consumption and production

Why Waste Matters

103-1
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

103-2
Explain management approach components

103-3
Evaluate management approach

GRI 301: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; GRI 306: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3

We reduce our operational waste, waste to landfill and packaging waste to efficiently drive our business. By working to reduce waste, we lower material use and transportation costs, providing the lighter weight and more cost-effective products that our customers value. Since 2012, our RIPS North American operations have saved over $618,175 through reduced material costs, waste disposal and transportation and logistics improvements. As part of our waste program, we actively manage the reduction and proper handling of hazardous materials.

35

Facilities Achieving Zero Waste to Landfill

Our efforts to reduce waste are global, with each facility working towards our 2025 goal.

Governance

The regional leaders and the global leader of our Global Waste Team, comprised of 22 representatives from each business unit, meet monthly with the director of sustainability to discuss waste reduction strategy. The Waste Team holds facility management accountable for managing and reducing waste. Waste reduction is integrated into the annual performance reviews of select facility management. Greif implements employee engagement strategies to encourage line colleagues to focus on waste reduction. Greif’s EHS policies, procedures and training govern the labeling, handling, storage and transportation of hazardous waste.

In 2017, we established trackable waste stream data, identified most plant-level waste streams and set waste baselines for each facility globally. In 2018, we built on this critical step in managing waste by creating a task within our Compliance Management System requiring all facilities to report waste data monthly–the first globally required sustainability task we have implemented in our CMS. In addition to improving the accuracy of our waste data, we are now able to more efficiently collect and take action on the information.

In 2018, we introduced the Best Demonstrable Practice program to expand our waste reduction efforts. Through the program we established and promoted a small number of scalable waste management activities in select facilities that could be expanded throughout Greif. These initiatives included recycling personal protective equipment, coffee grounds and single-use coffee pods and implementing absorbent laundering. Collectively, these three programs removed 47 tons of waste from landfill and will be expanded to additional facilities in 2019.

In 2018, Greif partnered with Operation Clean Sweep (OPS), an organization dedicated to keeping plastics out of the environment, to expand our commitment to reducing plastic waste. As part of our partnership with OPS, we audited our Hazelton facility to identify opportunities to reduce plastic pellet loss. Hazelton’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audits include sanitation schedules to address housekeeping and best practices in all areas of the facility. Hazelton’s monthly zone audits verify that each area remains clean and organized. We report audit findings through our quality system to address root causes and implement corrective actions. Hazelton’s PPC plan, audited and revised in 2017, ensures the facility maintains tight controls. The facility received a No Exposure Certification for Storm Water Discharge from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection based on our latest test results of the storm water discharge. In 2019, we will expand our partnership with OPS by conducting audits at two additional facilities.

In 2019, the Waste Team will be able to use the waste data collected to understand and share best practices globally. We created standardized guidelines for facilities working with steel to better manage waste. In EMEA, we engaged our two largest waste producing facilities. By focusing on education and waste awareness, we reduced the amount of waste to landfill at these plants by 35 percent. In Saudi Arabia, the team modified the plant to better separate water wastes and avoid additional waste to landfill. Our Waste team has engaged leadership in each region and business unit to increase waste reduction awareness throughout Greif.

In North America, we renewed our contract with our waste collection partner and identified additional services to further improve our waste management in 2019. Among these services, our partner will provide monthly reports of waste collected to better understand trends in our waste data. With their support, we will pilot waste roadmaps at several facilities to identify the highest impact waste reduction opportunities, a first step in developing a global waste roadmap. We will continue to share and implement best practices across facilities and create guidelines for additional materials, including fibre and plastic, to ensure uniformity across the business. We will continue to quantify the costs associated with our waste streams and identify ways to better manage them.

Goals & Progress

In 2018, we created a goal to divert 90 percent of waste from landfills from all Greif production facilities globally by the end of fiscal year 2025.

Progress:

  • 20 of our 56 North American facilities* achieved waste diversion from landfill of 90 percent or greater, three of which achieved 100 percent diversion from landfill.
  • In Europe, 48 of 66 facilities achieved waste diversion from landfill of 90 percent or greater, 31 of which achieved 100 percent diversion from landfill.
  • In Latin America, five out of 16 facilities achieved waste diversion from landfill of 90 percent or greater.
  • In the Asia Pacific Region, 10 out of 15 facilities achieved waste diversion from landfill of 90 percent or greater, one of which achieved 100 percent diversion from landfill.
*54 production facilities and two warehouses

Globally, we diverted 83 percent of total waste from landfills in 2018.

Performance

301-3
Reclaimed products and their packaging materials

306-2
Waste by type and disposal method

GRI
301-3
306-2
Waste Stream

 

FY 2015 

FY 2016

FY 2017

FY 2018

Hazardous Waste  

 

 

 

Total Waste to Landfill

220

146

527

1,639

Waste to Landfill

220

146

527

1,292

Incinerated (no energy recovery)****

-

-

347

Total Non-Landfill*

413

411

7,109

14,105

Incinerated (with energy recovery)**

 -

-

1,202

3,372

Composted***

 -

-

-

-

Recycled†

10

39

2,011

7,604

Reused††

 -

 -

399

1,513

Reclaimed†††

25

 -

194

217

Miscellaneous (Non Landfill) ††††

378

372

3,303

1,399

Total Hazardous Waste

633

556

7,638

15,744

Non-Hazardous Waste

 

 

 

Total Waste to Landfill

41,174

45,199

57,403

54,594

Waste to Landfill

41,174

45,199

57,403

54,110

Incinerated (no energy recovery)****

 -

 -

 -

485

Total Non-Landfill*

40,827

51,904

161,796

257,219

Incinerated (with energy recovery)**

 -

 -

945

2,054

Composted***

 -

 -

15,277

35

Recycled†

9,764

9,129

111,861

231,997

Reused††

33

128

17,147

11,641

Reclaimed†††

14

5

13,187

9,439

Miscellaneous (Non Landfill)††††

31,016

42,642

3,379

2,052

Total Non-Hazardous Waste

82,001

97,103

219,199

311,813

Total Waste (Hazardous & Non-Hazardous)

82,634

97,660

226,835

327,557

Notes:
  1. In our 2015 Sustainability Report, we reported our waste stream for our RIPS North America business unit only. In 2016, we expanded our data collection to all of our North American business units. In 2017, we expanded our data collection to all global operations.
  2. In 2018, we reviewed our global data collection practices across our business. FY 2017 data has been restated as a result of standardizing units across regions.

*Non-Landfill: Includes chemical-physical, incineration with energy recovery, recycled, reused, reclaimed, composted and fuels blending treatment methods
**Incinerated (with energy recovery): Treatment method involving the combustion of solid waste that results in energy capture.
***Composted: Treatment method involving the biological decomposition of solid or liquid operational waste
**** Incinerated (no energy recovery): Treatment method involving the combustion of solid waste that does not result in energy capture.

†Recycled: Treatment method involving the separation, preparation and sale of recyclable materials to end-user manufacturers.
††Reused: Treatment method involving the use of a material for its original purpose multiple times
†††Reclaimed: Treatment method involving the process of extracting and converting materials from recycled materials to be used again.
†††† Miscellaneous (Non Landfill): All other treatment methods not mentioned previously, including Deep Well Injection and On-Site Storage, which were reported separately in 2017.

EARTHMINDED LIFE CYCLE SERVICES - ESTIMATED DRUMS AND IBCS RECONDITIONED*

 

FY 2015

FY 2016 

FY 2017

Fy 2018

Recycled

780,500

1,045,093

904,883

849,498

Steel Drums

553,300

689,513

534,369

571,355

Poly Drums

196,300

277,672

212,272

161,447

IBCs

30,900

77,908

158,242

116,696

Reconditioned

4,076,700

3,808,242

3,218,885

3,258,848

Steel Drums

3,356,200

3,072,348

2,565,052

2,713,025

Poly Drums

374,100

375,307

321,188

244,497

IBCs

346,400

360,587

332,645

301,326

Total Collected

4,857,200

4,853,335 

4,136,828

4,105,936

Steel Drums

3,909,500

3,761,861

3,099,633

3,284,380

Poly Drums

570,400

652,979

535,460

405,944

IBCs

377,300

438,495

501,735

415,612

Virgin Materials Saved by Reconditioning and Reuse (Metric Tons)**

77,773

71,573

63,111

63,587

Steel

70,198

65,743

56,200

57,664

High-Density Polyethylene

5,742

5,830

5,150

4,243

Wood

1,833

 

1,761

1,680

Virgin Materials Saved by Recycling (Metric Tons)***

12,076 

17,402

18,755

16,644

Steel

9,657

13,288

13,463

12,697

High-Density Polyethylene

2,297

3,817

4,580

3,385

Wood

122

297

712

562

Notes:
  1. Virgin Materials Saved by Reconditioning and Reuse data has been restated to standardize units across regions
*Estimated Drums and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) Recycled and Reconditioned (North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa)
**Estimates based on the quantity of reconditioned packaging and average packaging specifications (North America and Europe)
***Estimates based on the quantity of recycled packaging and average packaging specifications (North America and Europe)
rebu – estimated fibcs reconditioned (EMEA)*

 

FY 2015 

FY 2016

FY 2017

Fy 2018

 Total FIBCs Collected - -  -

316,324

Reconditioned

 -

 -

 -

224,418

Recycled

 -

 -

 -

91,906

Virgin Polyethylene Saved by Reconditioning and Reuse (Metric Tons)**

 -

 -

 -

516.2

Virgin Polyethylene Saved by Recycling (Metric Tons)***

 -

 -

 -

211.4

 *Estimated Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) Recycled and Reconditioned (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
**Estimates based on the quantity of reconditioned packaging and average packaging specifications (Europe)
***Estimates based on the quantity of recycled packaging and average packaging specifications (Europe)
Highlight Stories
Highlight Stories

Reuse of Exterior Paint in RIPS North America

Greif’s North American RIPS operations collect excess exterior steel drum paint to reuse to paint the bottom of the drums. Termed “Greif Gray,” this recollected paint reduced paint waste 22 percent in 2017. 

DEFINITION