DuPont revises, broadens sustainability goals and targets
DuPont recently revised and broadened its corporate sustainability commitments for 2015. Applicable to all of its operations worldwide, the new goals and targets include greater reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a new focus on the marketplace and the company's research and development (R&D) activities. The result, says the company, will be a new array of beneficial technologies and products based on environmentally safe and/or renewable resources. This targeted effort is also projected to yield additional revenues of $6 billion (U.S.) or more by 2015.
Specific marketplace-focused sustainability goals for 2015 include a commitment double the company's R&D investment in "environmentally smart" market opportunities. This funding will support R&D programs with direct, quantifiable environmental benefits for DuPont's customers and consumers at large. Linked to this goal is that increasing R&D spending to develop of new products or services to protect people from harm or threats. DuPont has pledged to introduce 1,000 such safety products or services by 2015.
Other marketplace-oriented sustainability goals include: growing annual revenues by $2 billion or more from products that enhance energy efficiency or reduce GHG emissions; and doubling annual revenues to $8 billion from renewable ("non-depletable," in the company's terminology) resources. DuPont estimates that its more energy-efficient, low-emission products and technologies will help its customers and consumers reduce carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by at least 40 million tonnes by 2015.
DuPont has also reset its internal environmental footprint targets, many of which have already been reached well ahead of the 2010 deadline. For example, the company's worldwide operations have collectively reduced GHG emissions (measured as CO2e) by 72% since 1990. This reduction was achieved six years ahead of the target date and enabled the company to avoid $3 billion in costs. The new target calls for a further reduction in GHG emissions of at least 15% by 2015, from the 2004 base year.
Over the next ten years as well, the company intends to reduce its water consumption by at least 30% at those of its facilities located in areas where renewable freshwater supplies are scarce or under stress (as determined by a United Nations assessment of the world's river basins). For all other sites, DuPont has committed to no absolute increase in water consumption through 2015. Any increases in water demand to meet production growth needs will be offset through conservation, re-use and recycling practices.
By 2015 as well, the company will ensure that all of its off-site vehicle fleet (including cars and light trucks) incorporate state-of-the-art technologies for fuel efficiency and fossil fuel alternatives. DuPont will track and report on its fleet fuel efficiency improvements.
In another energy-related commitment, the company will continue to work toward meeting its 2010 goal of holding its energy use flat, based on 1990 levels, and obtaining 10% of its energy from renewable sources at a cost competitive with best available fossil fuels. By 2005, DuPont had reduced its energy consumption to 6% below 1990 levels, with 5.5% of its energy requirements being met by renewable resources.
Also since 1990, the company's air emissions of carcinogenic substances have declined by 92% worldwide, surpassing regulatory requirements. By 2015, DuPont has pledged to further reduce its air emissions of carcinogens by at least 50% from 2004 levels. This will bring total reductions since 1990 to 96%, says the company.
Finally, by 2015 DuPont says it will ensure that all of its manufacturing sites worldwide have successfully completed an independent third-party verification of the effectiveness of their environmental management systems or goals. This information will be made publicly available and will be communicated to local communities.
"Sustainable growth is not a distant goal for 2015," said DuPont chairman and CEO Charles Holliday Jr. "It's about products and services we have in the marketplace right now and products that are moving through our R&D pipeline," he added.
Among the environmentally sound products being developed are refrigerants with lower global warming potential; automotive finishes with lower volatile organic compound (VOC) content; and engineering polymers and coatings derived from renewable materials.
More information on DuPont's 2015 sustainability goals is available on the company's Web site, www.sustainability.dupont.com.