Greif’s Global Packaging Accessories (GPA) business unit won the 2015 Michael Gasser Sustainability Award. GPA has been investing in many aspects of sustainability including resource consumption reduction, employee health & safety, waste reduction and innovation for the last five years.
The GPA business unit led all of the Greif business units by reducing their energy consumption by 37 percent saving over four million dollars over the past five years and far exceeding the global corporate target of a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption.
The GPA business unit also invested in innovation to create a safer work environment, ahead of government regulations, by developing a passivation method called Chromium 3 Passivation that eliminated the risk of employee exposure to toxic materials while also decreasing toxicity of wastewater. This innovation made GPA the first in the market with such a product.
Moreover, the GPA business unit invested in sustainable product development to create a new venting screw cap system, Plasticap 60™ MPV3 Screwcap that not only meets customer requirements but also requires fewer raw materials to make and reduces production waste. With this innovation, GPA grew the business of the screw caps market by 220 percent. By collaborating with their customers and integrating sustainability criteria to their innovation process, GPA grew their business, profitability and market reach.
The total economic benefit achieved from all of the nominations in 2015, including cost savings and increases in revenue, was approximately 21 million dollars. The total energy saved was close to two million kilowatt-hours which is equivalent to carbon sequestered from 1,038 acres of U.S. forests in one year. Carbon emissions reduction equaled 20,501 tons, which is equivalent to 4,316 passenger vehicles driven for one year and the total reduction in waste equaled 6,067 tons.