A message from the CSO 

Why sustainability matters

Since becoming Eastman’s Chief Sustainability Officer, I have spent time asking, “What is the job sustainability should be performing?” In other words, why does sustainability matter? That may seem an odd question from the company’s sustainability steward, but the answer to that question is exactly what a company needs to define before it can set a vision and strategy for creating value through sustainability.

The world is facing enormous complexity and challenges: 

• How do we feed more people with less arable crop land? 

• As fish have become the primary source of our planet’s protein, what does that mean for natural fisheries and aquaculture? ​And how do we manage the estimated 80% increase in protein demand over the next 30 years? 

• If it takes 35 gallons of water to produce a microchip or 100 gallons of water to produce a chicken egg, should we think about our water resources differently? 

• If 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of a coastline and that percentage is increasing, what does this mean for coastal ecosystems, building and construction, and the increasing exposure of cities and populations to extreme weather events?

• How do we capture more of the 174 petawatts of solar energy that strikes the earth every day? 

• How do we exponentially increase resource productivity and help ensure a sustainable future? 

These are only a few of the many, many questions. ​

So how do we change the trajectory? 

We know we must create far more value than the resources we use or the future is not sustainable. As we address these growing demands, we focus on driving resource productivity through improved processes that protect the environment in the communities where we operate, as well as understanding the impact of our products.We help our customers and their customers do the same thing.We strive for continual improvement to manage our resources responsibly. 

As we increasingly understand the challenges and issues our world is facing, we strategically focus our efforts on the right projects and initiatives with the greatest collective impact. Building and strengthening strategic partnerships and challenging ourselves to enable the most positive change leads to true, positive social innovation. 

The key to all of this — innovation. Innovation is imperative. 

Innovation happens at the intersection of the persistent problems facing the world and world-class technologies and expertise. Innovation steers a sustainable portfolio that brings solutions to wicked problems. Innovation drives disruptive change in the marketplace. Innovation changes the world. 

That is how we change the trajectory. And that is how we define sustainability at Eastman — creating vastly more value than the resources we use — by steering a sustainable portfolio, driving resource productivity and rendering focused good acts by employees and company for the simple sake of doing good. 

As Eastman transforms toward becoming a specialty company, our strategy continues to evolve.The newly restructured Sustainability Council is leading the charge to assess our current focus areas, understand emerging issues and establish a sustainability vision for the future. 

While the world faces enormous challenges, I’m optimistic about the future and confident in Eastman’s ability to address them through strategic collaboration, responsible resource management and persistent innovation.​


David A. Golden
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer​ ​
and Corporate Secretary


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