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DuPont Sustainability Strategy

Challenge

Place sustainability at the heart of the company’s strategy.

Problem

In 1999, executives at DuPont boldly pledged to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions to 65% below their 1990 levels by 2010 as part of a company-wide strategy to lighten its environmental impact.

Solution

The plan, led from the very top, meant a critical look at the entire company portfolio. The product lines were diversified and divisions such as nylon and pharmaceuticals were sold to focus on products that reduce environmental impact. Materials such as Tyvek were identified as membranes for house building that increased energy efficiency as well as offering air and water resistance.

The strategy was a success and DuPont then moved beyond efficiency improvements to make products that mimic nature, including plant-based chemicals such as bio-PDO that can replace fossil fuels in polymers, detergents, cosmetics, and anti-freeze.

Goals for 2015 include:

  • Double the investment in R&D programmes that benefit customers, consumers and help drive revenue
  • Grow annual revenues by at least US$2 billion from products that create energy efficiency and/or significant greenhouse emissions reduction for customers
  • Double revenues from non-depletable resources to at least US$8 billion
  • Increase R&D on new products that “will protect people from harm or threats”. The plan calls for developing 1,000 new products by 2015
  • Reduce water consumption by 30%
  • Cut air carcinogen emission by 92%

Benefits

By 2007 DuPont had: • cut emissions 72% below 1991 levels • reduced its global energy use by 7%

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