Eastman plans to cut emissions by a quarter over the decade
The company, which has just published its first sustainability report, has said it will improve its energy efficiency by 2.5 percent annually, and aims to cut energy intensity by 25 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over the next 10 years.
In addition to targets on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, energy and water use, the company has rated a number of its products against competitors in the marketplace and highlighted the ‘sustainably-advantaged’ offerings in its portfolio.
A product can be sustainably-advantaged for a wide range of reasons including lack of BPA in a range of copolyesters, presence of wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, and lower energy use during production.
At present the company estimates that a quarter of its revenues come from these ‘sustainably-advantaged’ products and aims to reach two thirds, although no time frame for this was stated in the report.
Green chemistry in product manufacture
One of the product families adding to the revenue from sustainably-advantaged goods is the range of cosmetic emollient esters that Eastman manufacturers using a green chemistry process.
In 2009 the company won the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award, organised by the Environmental Protection Agency, for the biocatalytic process that can produce the esters with savings of up to 75 percent in energy use and greenhouse gases emitted compared to a more traditional process.
The company has also reported on a number of energy saving initiatives that it has implemented in plants across the world.
At the Workington site in the UK, wind power provides 25 percent of all the energy used at the site, according to the company.
In addition, the Middelburg site in the US received a new hydrogen plant that reuses almost all of the process-generated heat. This provides almost 30 percent of the steam needs of the site, and would otherwise have been wasted.
Eastman claims that improving energy savings is a focus for the company and to this end has developed a tool that allows the comparison of energy use against production between operating areas, helping to highlight opportunities and inefficiencies within the system.
“We believe sustainability is foundational to Eastman’s continued successful innovation efforts and is, in fact, the key to solving future problems for our customers and our world,” says Mark Costa, executive vice president with responsibility for the company’s sustainability initiatives.