Eastman meets greenhouse gas emissions goal

Hank Hayes • Aug 5, 2019 at 5:45 PM

KINGSPORT — Eastman has met its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of schedule, according to its sustainability report released on Monday.

"As of 2018, Eastman GHG (greenhouse gas) intensity measured 0.79, representing a 20% reduction compared to the baseline, meeting our 2020 target ahead of schedule," the report said. "Over the last five years, we have converted six boilers at our domestic sites from oil and coal to natural gas and propane combustion. We plan to convert more boilers over the next few years. The conversion from coal to natural gas will enhance our emission reduction efforts and help us attain our goals."

The Kingsport-based global special products company had a goal established to reduce reportable releases by 25% against a baseline of 61 release events in 2010. The report said that last year, Eastman had 54 reportable release events.

Since the 1960s, Eastman has partnered with the Academy of Natural Sciences to study the rivers upstream and downstream of its major United States manufacturing sites to ensure that its operations are not negatively impacting the environment. Two of the most extensive of these river studies are focused around the Kingsport and Longview, Texas, sites.

Eastman also has a goal to reduce energy intensity by 20% by 2020, but the report pointed out that progress has only been 10% since 2008.

Eastman’s Global Environmental Affairs team leads the charge for Eastman’s environmental focus.

“This year’s sustainability report is a clear reflection of Eastman’s commitment to deliver on our promises and enhance the quality of life for people around the world every day,” said Cathy Combs, Eastman’s director of sustainability. “The world is facing complex challenges that need innovative solutions, pushing us to set ambitious goals as we look forward to the next horizon. We may not already know exactly how we will get there, and that’s the exciting part. I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made over the last year, our contributions to addressing global macro trends and issues, and our vision to be a leading materials innovation company.”

Eastman’s chief sustainability officer reports directly to the CEO and chairman of the board.

Other highlights include the company’s advanced recycling technologies that are helping to address the global waste plastics issue.

Going forward, Eastman said it will align its goals under the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, allowing the company to focus on some of the world’s greatest challenges as a universal call to action. "We review our goals regularly and establish targets that challenge us to continually improve," the report noted.