The Greif Rigid Industrial Packaging and Services (RIPS) division's Castenedolo plant employees in Italy won the 2016 Michael J. Gasser Sustainability Award by fully embracing sustainable innovation principles to manufacture products that utilize methods, such as the use of recycled materials and dematerialization, that have a reduced negative impact on the environment while maintaining Greif’s commitment to only produce products of the highest quality.
The Castenedolo plant employees worked on two separate sustainable innovation projects. The first project involved the reduction of the weight of our GCube bottles from 14kg to 13kg while maintaining product integrity. This resulted in a seven percent reduction in natural resources consumed to manufacture the product in addition to a reduction of 312 tons of carbon emissions and 432 MWH of electricity consumption per year.
The second project was the development of new manufacturing techniques over a six month period to increase the percentage of Post Consumer Resin (PCR) content in the production of plastic drums that can now be made with 75 percent PCR. PCR is produced from recollected plastics packaging products through a process of crashing, flaking, washing, melting and granulation. Through this development, the Castenedolo team replaced 500 tons of virgin raw materials with recycled plastic and reduced their carbon emissions by 750 tons per year.
The RIPS Italy employees from different departments came together and worked as one team to utilize sustainability as a catalyst to drive and inspire innovation beyond the usual parameters and boundaries. In doing so, they saved precious natural resources that not only improve Greif’s overall environmental performance but also create value for our customers.