KINGSPORT, Tennessee

Eastman was recently named as the Tennessee Tri-Star Champion for its COVID-19 response over the past several months. The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2020 Special Edition Environment and Energy Awards recognized businesses that have demonstrated outstanding innovation, resilience, and community stewardship in response to the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Categories of Innovative Retooling and Repurposing, Excellence in Operational Health and Safety, and Outstanding Community Stewardship were recognized. Eastman received the highest honor for exemplary achievement in all three categories.

Below are a few examples of what Eastman has done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that were highlighted as a part of the Chamber’s decision to recognize the company as its Tri-Star Champion:

Innovative Retooling and Repurposing

  • Produced 10,000 face shields
  • Developed ear savers for frontline workers
  • Converted pilot plant to produce hand sanitizer
  • Donated materials for thousands of plastic face shields
  • Donated critical personal protective equipment to first responder

Excellence in Operational Health and Safety

  • Produced updates to keep team members informed of changes and guidance
  • Enabled those who could to work remotely and adjusted operations shift schedules to mitigate risk to our essential workers
  • Eliminated non-critical business travel
  • Implemented policies and procedures to keep team members healthy inside and outside of the workplace
  • Collaborated with local health providers to enable rapid testing in the area
  • Pushed educational messages to local community to slow spread of the virus
  • Provided cloth face masks all employees worldwide

Outstanding Community Stewardship

  • Committed more than $1 million to provide immediate global response for food, shelter, and protective medical equipment
  • Donated 5,000 masks to the United Way of Greater Kingsport
  • Donated 40,000 masks to area school systems
  • Donated 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to non-profits and businesses in Tennessee
“The Tennessee Chamber recognizes that many Tennessee businesses have undergone impressive operational changes to overcome the many hurdles presented by COVID-19,” said Mark Costa, board chair and chief executive officer. “I’m incredibly proud that Eastman was presented with this award for our commitment to doing all we can to keep our team members and communities safe and to supplying our customers with the critical materials they count on now more than ever during this challenging time.”

"On behalf of the Tennessee Chamber/Tennessee Manufacturers Association, we are proud to recognize the tremendous efforts during the pandemic that a number of businesses and manufacturers, like Eastman, demonstrated going above and beyond for their customers, communities and employees,” said Bradley Jackson, TN Chamber president and CEO. “This is a significant achievement for one of Tennessee's premier businesses and we congratulate them, their team and community.”

The Eastman team continues to do all they can to encourage employees and the community to be diligent and follow strict mask and social distancing practices to help slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities region.

“We’ve all been working incredibly hard to keep our Eastman team members healthy and our operations running safely throughout this pandemic,” Costa added. “We continue to ask our local communities to join us in working to prevent the spread we’re seeing in our region. Wear your mask, practice social distancing and be smart about the activities in which you participate during this time. We’re at a critical point and we can make a difference if we all commit to following safe practices.”

About Eastman

Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2019 revenues of approximately $9.3 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.

Media contact

Brad Belote
Eastman Chemical Company
Corporate Communications