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DuPont Sets Green Goals

Company aims to double green R&D spending, help avert global warming

by Rudy M. Baum
October 16, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 42

Credit: DUPONT
Credit: DUPONT

At what was billed as a "town hall" meeting last week in Washington, D.C., DuPont Chairman and CEO Chad Holliday Jr. committed the company to an ambitious set of "sustainability goals" to be achieved by 2015.

"DuPont's vision is to be the world's most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere," Holliday told the gathering, which included DuPont executives and employees, customers of the chemical giant, representatives from environmental groups and other NGOs, and the press.

DuPont set its first environmental policy in 1938, Holliday said. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the company was primarily responding to new environmental regulations and tending to its own environmental footprint. "Now we see ourselves in a third phase of sustainable growth, characterized by a holistic approach that is fully integrated into our business models," he said. "In this phase, sustainability is broadened to include human safety as well as environmental protection, and it becomes our market-driven business priority throughout the value chain."

In the area of environment, energy, and climate, DuPont is committing itself to a doubling of its investment in R&D programs with quantifiable environmental benefits, increasing annual revenues by at least $2 billion from products that create energy efficiency and/or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and doubling revenues from nondepletable resources to at least $8 billion. DuPont will also increase its R&D spending on developing and bringing to market new products that will protect people from harm or threats, Holliday said.

Since 1990, Holliday pointed out, DuPont has reduced its global greenhouse gas emissions by 72%. He committed the company to a further reduction of at least 15% from a base year of 2004. The company's sustainability goals also include a focus on water conservation, fleet fuel efficiency, and emission of carcinogens. Holliday pledged that, by 2015, DuPont will "ensure that 100% of our global manufacturing sites will have successfully completed an independent third-party verification of the effectiveness of their environmental management goals and systems."


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