Eastman

​​​Water

​​​Water Management

Eastman knows that water is one of our planet’s most valuable resources, and we use it with considerable care. Our water strategies encompass both conservation and reuse of water at our facilities, as well considering water availability as we site new facilities. Because this is important to us, we’ve expanded our focus beyond energy management to now focus on natural resource management, with water as a key element. 

 
We have developed best practices for water conservation and reuse and are assessing our manufacturing sites against these practices. 

 
The industrial processes we have in place help minimize our water usage within the manufacturing cycle and recycle water whenever possible.  We treat water as appropriate to meet specific purposes, with the intent not just to reduce the quantity of water, but make use of water more sustainable by not treating it more than needed. Attention is paid to:  
  • Cost of water and wastewater treatment
  • Capital equipment costs
  • Handling and use of potentially hazardous chemicals
  • Carbon footprint reductions by reducing energy consumption associated with water treatment and distribution
Eastman maintains pollution prevention and waste minimization programs designed to achieve ongoing reductions in the amount and toxicity of any contaminants that may be released to the water. Releases are managed in a manner that protects the environment and the health and safety of employees and the public. Many of our manufacturing facilities have advanced wastewater treatment plants designed to meet — and in many cases, exceed — environmental standards while protecting the health of our employees, our communities and our local ecosystems.

 
Water Governance

 
Eastman’s process for managing the risks and opportunities associated with water issues is coordinated by a cross-functional working team with guidance from our Sustainability Council and oversight by the Board of Directors, who are briefed annually on water issues. The Global Natural Resources Manager, whose responsibility includes water, facilitates that cross-functional working team and reports up to the Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, who also chairs our Sustainability Council.

 
The noted cross-functional working team is one of the three sub-councils operating under the Sustainability Council; it is the Design, Environment, and Natural Resources Sub-council.  This sub-council aligns with one of our three sustainability pillars – resource productivity. This sub-council sets policy and direction for the responsible use and conservation of natural resources, including water.  Additionally, the Board of Directors HSES Committee has specific oversight for the Company's management of risks associated with water issues.

 
Water Risk Management 

 
Water is a basic need for our manufacturing operations.  Eastman performs a comprehensive, company-wide risk assessment for its operations every five years, or more often in the event of acquisitions. These assessments help the company understand where water scarcity issues exist and help to prioritize limited resources to address water quality and availability issues and concerns. 

 
Eastman has utilized both the Water Resources Institute Aqueduct Risk Modeling tool and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Global Water Tool, as well as an in-house survey to project water stressed site risks to 2025.  Water risks including quantity and quality, as well as, regulatory and community restraints are site issues that are managed as key infrastructure elements that govern viability and potential growth of every site.  The decision to establish a site includes an evaluation of the water resources and annual decisions concerning the siting of new processes are largely determined on the assessment of infrastructure needs.

 
In 2016, eight North America sites completed best practices assessments, with a target to complete all U.S.-based sites by the end of 2017. A water conservation pilot was conducted at Eastman's Indian Orchard operations in Springfield, Massachusetts—leveraging insights from the site's strong energy program—to identify potential projects, develop a process for assessing opportunities, and identify knowledge gaps. 

 
In 2017, we are evaluating and implementing the findings of that study and have initiated a second study evaluating the reduction of municipal water at the Kingsport facility. 

 
In 2018 we will evaluate best practices for applicability in other regions of the world and determine a path forward for assessments for all global sites. 

 
Eastman has worked with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to better understand the energy water nexus and best practices being employed by other industrial companies in the DOE Better Plants Challenge Program. Plans are being made to develop a baseline of performance by site against these best practices which will be used to facilitate discussion between the sites for overall improvement.

 
Water quantity and quality, along with steam and electricity, are manufacturing site infrastructure issues that are incorporated into the company’s quality process.  This process helps identify capacity limitations and improvement initiatives that are carried out to minimize risks. In addition, as part of an overall corporate assessment, the Global HSES organization is responsible for identifying both risks and opportunities associated with water issues.  For example, risks may include the availability of water quality and quantity needed with a sensitivity of other demands on the watershed.

 
In addition, Eastman business teams evaluate options to develop material and service offerings that may enhance the efficiency of constrained natural resources such as water and energy for our customers.  Eastman has a broad portfolio of products and this diversification mitigates the impact of risk to any particular product or site. In addition, water reuse opportunities are capitalized upon to reduce risk.

 
Key issues

 
Issues​ ​Explanation 
Current water availability and quality parameters at a local level Water quantity and quality issues are considered when siting new facilities and for plant expansions.  WBCSD Global Water Tool© and WRI AQUEDUCT™ tools are utilized to consider current aquifer status and expected risks.
​Current water regulatory frameworks and tariffs at a local level Eastman continually monitors all environmental regulations affecting its sites with a goal to meet or exceed all standards.
Current stakeholder conflicts concerning water resources at a local level Eastman maintains Community Advisory Panels in key locations and social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to provide an avenue for soliciting and addressing public concerns.
​Current access to fully-functioning WASH services for all employees ​Key infrastructure issue​
Estimates of future changes in water availability at a local level ​The WRI AQUEDUCT™ tool is used to evaluate risks projected to 2030.
Estimates of future potential regulatory changes at a local level Eastman communicates with local regulators and monitors pending legislation to understand anticipated regulatory risks.
Estimates of future potential stakeholder conflicts at a local level Eastman maintains Community Advisory Panels in key locations and social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to provide an avenue for soliciting and addressing public concerns.
Estimates of future implications of water on your key commodities/raw materials Key supply issue
Scenario analysis of availability of sufficient quantity and quality of water relevant for your operations at a local level Water quantity and quality issues are considered when siting new facilities and for plant expansions.  WBCSD Global Water Tool© and WRI AQUEDUCT™ tools are utilized to consider current aquifer status and expected risks.
Scenario analysis of regulatory and/or tariff changes at a local level Eastman communicates with local regulators and monitors pending legislation to understand anticipated regulatory risks.
Scenario analysis of stakeholder conflicts concerning water resources at a local level Eastman maintains Community Advisory Panels in key locations and social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to provide an avenue for soliciting and addressing public concerns.
 
Stakeholders 

 
Stakeholders ​Explanation​
Customers Customers are considered in several ways.  Eastman maintains life cycle assessment capabilities and can address customer questions about water use and product footprint enabling our customers to better understand their own risks.  Eastman also produces many of our products at multiple sites therefore reducing risk of supply to our customers.
​Employees Eastman ensures that potable water is available on site for employees and contractors.
​Local communities ​Eastman maintains Community Advisory Panels in key locations and utilizes social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to provide an avenue for soliciting and addressing public concerns. We strive to meet or exceed discharge permits so as to maintain the health and safety of the water bodies to which we discharge, which in turn protects the communities in which we operate when they rely on the same water bodies for drinking water, recreation, etc.
​NGOs, statutory special interest groups at a local level  ​Eastman communicates with members of the community through Community Advisory Panels in key locations and social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and regularly monitors news stories to maintain awareness of local concerns.
​Regulators, other water users at a local level The WRI AQUEDUCT™ tool considers withdrawals by all users to assess risk.
​Water utilities at a local level Key stakeholder sites with water restrictions work with local or state authorities when required to plan for responsible water use.  Some sites have implemented voluntary water conservation and/or water reuse methods to limit the burden on local utilities.

River Studies

Eastman is not aware of any significant impact on any water source.  At our largest manufacturing facilities in Kingsport, Tennessee and Longview, Texas, comprehensive river studies conducted by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, formerly known as the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, confirm that these rivers provide thriving habitats for wildlife communities.​

 
In 2015, the Patrick Center for Environmental Research of The Academy of Natural Sciences of D​rexel University conducted a biological and water quality survey of the Sabine River. The Sabine River surveys are designed to assess potential impacts of effluent from Eastman's Longview facility on the general health of the river. Over the years, the studies have shown that the Longview facility does not prove to have an adverse impact on the river. Read More

 
Eastman and the Ocean 

Eastman is extremely interested in the ocean because we understand that the ocean and ocean life are fundamental to our climate, weather, food, and energy systems. Eastman and the Eastman Foundation are partnering in innovative ways to help develop, observe, and measure ocean processes—and educating future generations about their importance. We continue to collaborate with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world's largest non-profit oceanographic institution. 
To learn more about this partnership, visit responsibility.eastman.com ​


 

 


 

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