A message on sustainability from our CEO

Trust and transparency are more important than ever, and purpose is everything.

This is true for anyone in leadership; but it resonates even more with me and the Eastman team as we all deal with a global pandemic, seek to address racial injustice, innovate solutions for our environmental challenges, and work to find prosperity during a severe economic downtown.

Our company's purpose has shown us the way forward and made difficult decisions clear. As we look ahead to 2030, our purpose has also defined our goal-setting process for innovation and sustainability — which are inextricably linked. Our purpose is to enhance the quality of life in a material way.

In other words, while we are indeed a specialty materials company, we don't exist to simply make materials. We exist to make materials that make the lives of people better in a meaningful, measurable way. A core element of our focus on making lives better is how we can improve the environment for future generations.

As we aggressively address generational challenges through new sustainability commitments, our company operates from a position of strength because we leverage our most strategic asset: Eastman people. I'm immensely proud of our team's accomplishments. Because Eastman has a powerful and diverse talent base, we are able to execute our growth strategy despite a challenging economic environment. Over a decade ago, we prioritized innovation platforms that were sustainably advantaged. We have now proven that a sustainable innovation portfolio underpins financial success. With products that address the needs and expectations of the market, we are innovating solutions for sustainability drivers, which include product beginning and end of life, product footprint, and health and safety.

Building on our successes, we turn to a future where the need for innovation is greater than ever. As we face the pandemic, societal unrest and a struggling global economy, we are all facing three very difficult, long-term and potentially devastating challenges: climate change, a global plastic waste crisis and population growth.

We believe addressing those challenges is the key to enhancing the quality of life for all people. We also believe our way forward is much the same as it has been for 100 years: innovation.

Eastman, as a materials innovator, is well suited to address these challenges and to contribute to an economy that serves everyone.

Through process, systems and material innovations, we can create solutions that holistically address climate change and the plastic waste crisis while bringing products to market that contribute to the care of 10 billion people.

Beyond our innovation-driven growth model and the impact our products can have on building a more sustainable future, we are now also prioritizing three critical impact initiatives to expand our impact on the world.


Mitigating climate change:

As a specialty materials company, we have the responsibility to constantly improve our operational footprint. We achieved our 2020 greenhouse gas intensity goal of 20% reduction two years early. And we have reduced our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10% since 2008. We are now at an inflection point. We support the Paris Agreement. We are committing to carbon neutrality by 2050, and we expect to achieve one-third of our target by 2030.

Mainstream circularity:

Society needs to mainstream a circular economy. For Eastman, this means keeping plastic waste out of landfills and the environment and reducing the use of fossil feedstocks to conserve our natural resources. It just makes sense. We have already launched Eastman Renew innovations. By 2030, we expect to recycle up to 500 million pounds of waste plastic annually through our molecular recycling technologies. Our objective is to be a thought and action leader to define the path globally for circularity.

Caring for society:

Our strategy begins and ends with people. We are committed to new product innovations that advance solutions for society's most pressing needs. We realize we've got to look beyond our portfolio to care for our global society and what we do within our walls must ripple outside them in impactful ways. The Eastman Foundation took responsibility to support our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. Social injustice issues have emphasized that we must build a more inclusive culture where we do better for all people. I am personally committed to building a more inclusive culture where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.

We embrace this strategy because it is right for the planet and right for Eastman, as sustainable innovation will result in improved profitability and long-term success for the company. Collectively, this strategic platform and the goals embedded in it will allow us to enhance the quality of life in a material way for 10 billion people around the world.

 We remain committed to the UN Global Compact. We're clear on our purpose as a company and on the global challenges that must be addressed, and we can't do it alone.

We're looking for partners, policy changes and infrastructure creation. Please read our sustainability report, A Better Circle, to see what we're imagining, and if there's an opportunity to work together, please reach out.

Let's deliver A Better Circle together. 

Mark Costa

Mark Costa, Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer

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