How a Materials Giant Is Making Strides Toward Greater Sustainability
We talk with a DuPont Corian development manager about the company's sustainability milestones and goals.
The alarming increase in weather- and climate-related disasters—coupled with the fact that the world’s population has nearly doubled in the past forty years—has thrust environmental compliance to the fore. Today, many companies are tracking their energy management, waste and material productivity, along with publicly disclosing environmental practices. This takes the form of a branded corporate sustainability and responsibility (or CSR) agenda, which not only reports this information, but also sets goals that help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
DuPont Corian is one example of the many ways companies are incorporating CSR into their business mix, while still increasing their bottom line. Since 2012, the company has been able to achieve zero landfill status via its building innovations unit. As a result, DuPont has been able to ensure that none of the waste generated by the manufacturing of specific product lines (like Corian solid surface) end up in refuse areas.
Metropolis recently spoke to David L. Walter, DuPont’s global business development manager, to get a sense of the companies past and present environmental CSR goals and successes.
Metropolis: What are some of DuPont’s short- and long-term goals for sustainability?
David L. Water: At DuPont, sustainability is a business-growth strategy, and sustainable growth has been a driving force at our company for decades. We began by responding proactively to calls for environmental compliance and by reducing our operational footprint. Since the early 2000s, we’ve expanded our sustainability efforts into market-driven goals that have helped us produce more sustainable solutions for customers. We’ve made significant progress in sustainability, such as reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent since 2004 and lowering water consumption by 12 percent globally.
The Corian Terra Collection uses recycled materials, including 20 percent pre-consumer, recycled resin content.
How is DuPont making Corian more sustainable despite its use of thermosetting plastic material?
One of the ways we are contributing to sustainability is through our commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste at manufacturing sites globally, while utilizing recycled materials in some of our products. For example, the DuPont Corian Terra Collection contains a growing selection of solid surfaces made with recycled materials, with products containing up to 20 percent pre-consumer, recycled resin content—a claim that is recognized and certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). Additionally, none of the waste generated from the manufacture of DuPont Corian solid surfaces goes to a landfill. We continue to be dedicated to providing more sustainable building solutions and products to the marketplace.
DeepColor technology enhances Corian solid surface with true, deep colors while improving the material’s performance.
How are efficient methods of design technology altering the way Corian is perceived as a building material?
We’re committed to creating more sustainable materials. In particular, with Corian along with a few other products, we’ve been able to reduce our operational footprint by taking us from 81 million pounds of landfill waste to zero in 2011. This is one of the aspects that make us ideal as a building material because we offer the highest performing solutions while meeting the unique needs of a project. In addition, our DeepColor technology provides a deeper, darker, more lustrous color while improving durability, making it easier to achieve a consistent finish and to thermoform dark, deep colors.
How has CSR compliance affected DuPont’s bottom line?
Our market-facing goals have seen progress since 2011, producing an additional $2 billion in revenue from products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and $11.8 billion in revenue from products based on non-depletable resources.
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