How sustainability is fueling innovation, growth at Graphic Packaging International


Nestled among the mine lakes, trees, and red dirt of the Cuyuna region in Crosby, MN, sits a global leader in paperboard and paper-based packaging of the world’s most-recognized food, beverage, foodservice, household, and pet care product brands—Graphic Packaging International (GPI). And thanks to Europe’s push to replace single-use, plastic shrink-wrap with more sustainable options, business is booming.

GPI’s Crosby location houses the corporation’s packaging machinery division, which designs and builds machines that use automation to package products such as soft drinks and beer (i.e., machines that put cans and bottles into 12-packs) for beverage companies and craft breweries worldwide. The KeelClip™ 1600—GPI’s innovative new machinery system—offers more sustainable packaging by eliminating six-pack plastic rings, tops, and shrink-wrap, and using paper-based clips to pack cans.

“The beverage industry’s call for more sustainable packaging means increased demand for machines that pack products in renewable, recyclable material,” said Matt Sundquist, general manager of Graphic Packaging. GPI is expecting significant growth in production. To accommodate the expected growth, GPI is investing $7 million in building improvements, including machinery upgrades, and is refreshing 35,000 square feet to be used for fabricating parts, assembling machines, and quality-control testing.

“While the majority of the new machines will be used in Europe, it won’t be long before this type of sustainable packaging takes off in the United States,” Sundquist added. “We have a history of steady growth for more than 30 years, and we’re not slowing down.”

Since its origins in 1978, GPI-Crosby has grown to 130 employees and is currently seeking qualified personnel for 50 new positions—specifically skilled machinists and electrical-mechanical technicians who will assemble machinery systems with the assistance of cutting-edge, 3D-modeling technology.

As a Fortune 500 corporation boasting $6 billion in sales, with almost 18,000 employees working in more than 70 locations worldwide, GPI provides employees with competitive compensation and benefits, as well as growth opportunities. Employees are encouraged to explore career paths that fit their interests and skillsets. Additional positions are available in customer service, technical writing, electrical and mechanical engineering, parts and machinery sales, accounting, and safety.

To explore Graphic Packaging International career opportunities, visit