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 focus on natural resource management, with water as a key element.
Eastman's Environmental Stewardship Policy and Responsible Care Pledge® provides a framework for
responsible environmental management and conservation across our value chain from raw materials, processing
and production, and customers. Specific elements of the policy and pledge address business dependency on
water, business impact on water, water targets and goals, water-related innovation, stakeholder awareness and
education, and commitment to meeting or exceeding regulations. Eastman has developed best practices for water
reuse and conservation.
The industrial processes we have in place help minimize our water usage in 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
- The true cost of water considering the costs for energy and chemicals to move and treat the water
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
Eastman’s chief sustainability officer (CSO) reports directly to the CEO and chairman of the
board. The CSO is responsible for regulatory compliance and driving sustainability throughout the
company, including the responsible use of water. Examples of reports pertaining to water given to the
Eastman’s board of directors include regulatory updates, a water resource management overview, updates on
issues such as plastics in the ocean and water pollution in China, research by the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution (WHOI) , Global HSES Audit Program (GHAP) updates, our sustainability report, cooling water intake
structure studies, and National Academy of Sciences studies of the health of local rivers. These reports are
given on an as-needed basis, generally less than annually. Eastman’s CSO is responsible for sustainability;
global health; safety, environment, and security; securities; global trade; global public and community
affairs; and the law organizations.
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.
Eastman annually uses the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct™ tool and the WBCSD Global Water Tool,
as well as an in-house survey, to project water-stressed site risks out 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. New facility siting is governed by
an Eastman policy that requires the project evaluation team to consider these criteria: historical climate
data including potential impact; likelihood of occurrence and resources required for preparation for severe
storms and other natural disasters; availability, capacity, and capability of waste treatment facilities;
availability of fresh water via local rivers or aquifers, local streams or rivers potentially impacted as
receiving streams; and existence of local/regional sensitivities and necessary means to minimize their
Significant risks, including water-related risks, are evaluated in Eastman’s Enterprise Risk Management
(ERM) process which is overseen by the audit committee of the board of directors. Mitigation plans are
developed as needed and executed by the appropriate working groups.
Customers are considered in several ways. Eastman uses Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to address customer questions about water use and product footprint, enabling customers to better understand their own risks. Eastman also produces many of
its products at multiple sites, reducing risk of interrupted supply.
Eastman ensures that potable water is available on site for employees and contractors. Employees and contractors are trained on release reporting and are required to report releases that may occur outside of primary containment. The
release reporting requirement of employees and contractors mitigates risk to employee and contractor safety and the
Eastman seeks to minimize investor risks through an understanding of water issues and pending legislation by developing
plans to address concerns.
Eastman maintains Community Advisory Panels (CAPs) at 14 key, global sites, as well as various community care lines that
are regularly monitored. In addition, Eastman has corporate social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) that
provide an avenue for soliciting and addressing public concerns. Any concerns identified through these mechanisms are
addressed in a timely manner. The Community Advisory Panels are part of the Corporate Responsible Care® Program,
RC14001, and ISO14001. The Corporate Responsible Care® Program, RC14001, and ISO14001 are third-party audited.
NGOs, statutory special interest groups at a local level
Eastman advances large-scale, ecological work through its partnership with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s leading environmental organizations. We support the conservancy’s global efforts. In close proximity to our corporate
headquarters, we support the conservancy’s research in nature preserves located in Shady Valley, Tennessee — a rare,
high-elevation remnant of the last Ice Age and one of the most ecologically important regions in the Southern
Appalachian Mountains. The ocean covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface and is the source of about 97% of the water
that eventually falls on land as precipitation. Because we understand that the oceans and ocean life are fundamental to
our climate, atmospheric weather, food and energy system, Eastman and the Eastman Foundation partner in innovative ways
to help develop, observe and measure ocean processes and educate future generations about their importance. We continue
to collaborate with leading scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world’s largest nonprofit
oceanographic institution. Eastman has specifically partnered with WHOI in the foundational development of its Center
for Air Sea Interaction and Marine Meteorology (CASIMM). CASIMM is dedicated to developing the next generation of
leaders focused on modeling the effects of climate change. Facility level water management processes including
consideration of local NGO input is factored into facility level risk management.
Regulators, other water users at a local level
Regulators are an important stakeholder group. Our policies require that we manage our water resources in compliance with all permits, laws and regulations.
Water utilities at a local level
We work with our local water utilities to help ensure adequate water, both amounts and quality, meet needs.
We work with trade organizations around the world, such as ACC (American Chemistry Council), Cefic (European Chemistry Council), and AICM (Association of International Chemical Manufacturers) on health, safety, security and environmental
issues, including water. Eastman’s vice president of global health, safety, environmental and security participates on
Tennessee Governor’s TN H2O Steering Committee. TN H2O was formed to develop a plan to address population growth along
with concerns over the use of the Memphis aquifer. The steering committee provides high-level direction for the plan
development. Working groups comprised of subject matter experts conduct the research and gather the data and
information. TDEC (Tennessee Division of Environment & Conservation) leads plan development. TN H2O pays particular
attention to surface and groundwater, water and wastewater infrastructure, water reuse and land conservation, as well as
institutional and legal framework. Working groups composed of subject matter experts conducted the research.
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 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 Drexel University conducted
a biological and water quality survey of the Sabine River. The Sabine River surveys assess potential impacts of effluent
from Eastman's Longview facility on the general health of the river. The studies have shown that the Longview facility
does have an adverse impact on the river. Read
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 partner in innovative ways to help
develop, observe, and measure ocean processes — and educate future generations about their importance. We collaborate
with WHOI, the world's largest nonprofit oceanographic institution.