Collaboration is critical to develop innovative solutions and drive positive change. Eastman actively works across the value chain and within globally recognized frameworks, partnering to address the world’s biggest challenges.
Accelerating a more circular economy
The global issue of waste plastics and plastics in the ocean has quickly escalated. While the desire to create a more circular economy has grown over time, the concept has become one of critical mass across nearly all industries and markets. Driven by increasing public awareness and the changing regulatory landscape, many consumer product companies are setting aggressive goals for reducing waste, incorporating sustainably sourced feedstocks and increasing the recyclability of their products or packaging. As a materials company, we are actively engaging our markets and our customers to determine how we can leverage our technologies and application development expertise to help enable those companies to meet their goals and accelerate a more circular economy. We are also collaborating across the value chain to give these circular solutions the scale and capacity that the challenges demand.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 In early 2019, Eastman joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 (CE100), a collaborative environment focused on bringing business, innovators, cities, governments, universities, and thought leaders together to create solutions that enable a more circular economy. We collaborated with other members to complete the the
Mass Balance white paper project.
Quantis Plastic Leak Project Because preventing plastic leakage through the supply chain of a product is a key component to circular economy, Eastman joined the Plastic Leak Project led by Quantis with the primary focus of increasing science, data and methodology to better measure plastic leakage. Eastman is serving as a facilitator to help engage scientific experts and advocate for sound science.
Operation Clean Sweep® Throughout our company, Eastman has pledged to strive for zero pellet, flake and powder loss. That aligns with our commitment to Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS), an international program designed to keep those materials from production — such as copolyester pellets and acetate flake — completely in the production process, so there is no chance they will enter the environment. Throughout 2020, the Eastman OCS working team has engaged with key stakeholders across the company to implement these expectations of no material loss. During the second half of 2021, we plan to benchmark with other OCS companies to understand best practices and learnings from their program implementations. We intend to collaborate with companies that have taken the next step to OCS Blue. Through this collaboration, we will learn how they successfully implemented the additional expectations of that program as we work toward our goal of implementing Operation Clean Sweep Blue. And before the end of 2021, we plan to publicly report on pellet spills.
Sustainable supply chains
Canopy is a nonprofit organization that works with the forest industry’s biggest customers and their suppliers to develop business solutions that protect the world’s endangered forests. Through collaborations with more than 750 business leaders, scientists, and decision-makers across the globe, Canopy is helping create sustainable supply chains and innovative solutions to Earth’s greatest environmental challenges.
Eastman has partnered with Canopy to ensure excellence in our wood pulp sourcing techniques and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to promoting sustainable forestry practices. As we continue to develop partnerships with brands, we hear time and time again the increasing need for sustainable materials. Working with Canopy gives our customers the confidence that our sustainable product portfolio is responsibly sourced and produced, ensuring protection of ancient and endangered forests.
As producers of biobased products derived from wood pulp, we take our commitment to sustainable forestry management seriously. We are integrating sustainability across Eastman’s supply chain, meeting customer and consumer demand while ensuring sustainable sourcing and production. We’re also pursuing collaborations with world-class scientific institutions, nonprofit organizations, and more to help make a positive impact on the environment.
As Earth’s resources become more and more constrained, we must provide consumers with options that will sustain and protect our world. We are proud to partner with Canopy to enable a more sustainable supply chain in the markets we serve.
We recognize the constraints on our natural resources; the inextricable linkage of water, energy, food, and materials; and the need for solutions to sustain us in the future. We also recognize that many of those solutions aren’t available today. To that end, we are actively working with organizations where we can take immediate actions to preserve and protect the environment as well as educate and develop the next generation.
The Nature Conservancy The Eastman Foundation’s 18-year partnership with The Nature Conservancy has aided in the expansion of wetlands for at least 26 rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species, investing in the unique biodiversity of the Shady Valley area of Northeast Tennessee’s South Fork Holston River basin. Shady Valley covers four preserves totaling 785 acres, including 549 acres of mountain land and 236 acres on the valley floor. In 2018, the Eastman Foundation assisted in the seven-acre expansion of the Schoolyard Springs Preserve in Shady Valley, enabling The Nature Conservancy to implement a stream restoration project and open up additional opportunities for education and outreach efforts.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Because the ocean and ocean life are so fundamental to our climate and weather systems, Eastman is supporting Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in developing innovative ways to observe and measure ocean processes. These new instruments will allow scientists to collect data in new places and to deeper depths as they strive to understand the ocean's role in our climate and investigate how our changing planet affects ocean life and water systems.
Strategic partnerships between business and education help ensure we will have a successful workforce in the future. We will continue to encourage innovative and productive thinking in cross-curriculum, real-world environments to enable students to excel. With a strong emphasis on STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), we continue to engage in strategic partnerships to create a sustainable model for educational initiatives in site communities.
Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Earlier this year, the Eastman Foundation in partnership with
STREAMWORKS, welcomed the 18th annual
Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International ROV Competition to Kingsport, Tennessee. Typically held in coastal cities, the MATE ROV Competition has historically focused on robotics in an ocean environment. To bring the competition to East Tennessee presented a unique opportunity to demonstrate how underwater robots can and are being used in inland waterways and freshwater environments. Hosted at the state-of-the-art Kingsport Aquatic Center, students put their remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to the test with a focus on ensuring public safety, maintaining healthy waterways and preserving historical artifacts.