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Greif, Inc. pollinator commitment featured at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

2012-09-25 11:42 ET - News Release

Greif subsidiary Soterra is conducting multi-year study to find best land management practices to improve pollinator habitat

DELAWARE, Ohio, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Greif, Inc. (NYSE: GEF, GEF.B) was recognized at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting for its commitment to the "Pollinator Habitat Improvement" project, which was featured during The Future of Food plenary session at 10 a.m. on Sept. 25. This project was undertaken by Greif subsidiary Soterra LLC.  Greif's Chief Sustainability Officer Scott Griffin represented the company at the session.

Pollinators, including honey bees, are essential to the sustainability of more than 75 percent of all terrestrial plant species. Without pollinators, our food supply would be limited and more costly as their work enables one-third of the human diet.

The value of pollination by honey bees is estimated at up to $5.4 billion in the US alone, according to the Journal of Economic Entomology, (http://pollinator.org/pollinators.htm#why). But bees are struggling. One factor is that beekeepers are having difficulty finding appropriate feeding and resting sites for their colonies outside of pollination contracts. Privately managed forest systems may provide an answer as they provide understory plants for bees to feed on; however, herbicide treatments common to timber management can drastically reduce the floral food-base for the bees.

Alternative management systems, like those currently practiced by Greif's land management subsidiary Soterra LLC, reduce herbicide treatment and increase food available to pollinators. A shift in industry focus from timber productivity to a more holistic environmentally focused production system could help promote pollinators while maintaining the land's productivity.

In 2009, CGI member Greif with Soterra committed to conduct a multi-year study of how to improve pollinator habitats in managed woodlands. Soterra partnered with Pollinator Partnership, which engaged NASA (John C. Stennis Space Center and Goddard Space Flight Center), the University of New Orleans, Sandhill Crane Refuge, Allen Farms and Hines Honey, to determine if modified land management practices will reduce costs associated with timber management while at the same time provide ecological and environmental benefits to pollinator species, local wildlife and ecosystems at its Tiger Swamp forested property. Tiger Swamp is an industrial timber landscape located in southern Mississippi.

The study will produce recommendations for sustainable timberland management practices that will benefit timberland owners and pollinator species, local wildlife and ecosystems alike. Greif will distribute the study results to industry partners, regulators and members of the academic community globally to influence positive environmental management in timberland systems.

Early results have already been analyzed and indicate increased fruit set and fruit weight within managed forest systems. Pollinator occurrence data and honey bee productivity data will be available at the end of 2012.

About Soterra

A wholly owned subsidiary of Greif, Soterra owns and manages approximately 270,000 acres in three states in the Southeastern U.S. The primary land use is timber production; however, Soterra also provides timber management and wildlife consulting services and operates land leases for hunting and recreation. Soterra has a desire to augment its land management techniques to include methods to provide a mutual benefit to commercial needs and the local environment.

About Greif

Greif, Inc. is a world leader in industrial packaging products and services. The company produces steel, plastic, fibre, flexible, intermediate bulk, corrugated, reconditioned and multiwall containers and containerboard, and provides filling, packaging, industrial packaging reconditioning and land management consulting services for a wide range of industries. Greif also manages timber properties in North America. The company has a long-term commitment to creating and engaging in sustainable business practices. For more information about Greif's sustainability achievements, see www.greif.com/sustainability.

About the Pollinator Partnership

The Pollinator Partnership (P2) is an international leader in pollinator science, management, and conservation. As the largest organization in the world dedicated exclusively to pollinator issues, P2 provides the highest level of scientific advising and consultation services to public and private organizations. Its original investigations and collaborative efforts support pollinators and provide essential information for positive change. P2 also has pollinator protection MOUs with over 10 Federal Agencies managing or influencing two billion acres.

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

SOURCE Greif, Inc.

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