Eastman enhances the quality of life in a material way by doing good for society and the planet. By combining our resources and expertise with strategic partners, we bring solutions to real-world challenges and help build sustainable communities.
Whether we are preparing students for future STEM careers, conserving and protecting ecosystems, empowering girls and women, or fostering more diverse perspectives in our communities, our investments reflect the rich heritage of Eastman team members around the world. We are building and strengthening partnerships and challenging ourselves to enable positive change.
We believe sustainable communities are the backbone of a peaceful and healthy planet. Strong communities account for and address multiple human needs, so prosperity is shared and adequate resources are available for future generations. People with diverse backgrounds and perspectives feel welcome and safe in sustainable communities. And strong communities take the long view by focusing on anticipating and adapting to change.
Eastman strives to learn about the communities where we operate to better understand the biggest threats to building strong, sustainable communities. We pay attention to quality-of-life issues such as the environment, education, economy and social challenges. What we learn by engaging with our local community helps us determine how to best use our resources — both human and financial — to affect greater good.
We bring our mission to life by focusing on a world where people and nature thrive together — a world built with the power of healthy, vibrant and inclusive communities. We do that by focusing our efforts and that of the Eastman Foundation on three key areas: economic success, social well-being and environmental integrity.
For all communities, a diverse and financially viable economic base is key to success. This diversity includes reinvestment of resources in the local economy, maximized local business ownership and meaningful job opportunities for all residents.
Other elements are important to develop and sustain economic success. Job training and education should be available to help the workforce adjust to future needs. Opportunities for culture, leisure and recreation should be easily accessible to all. Just as important is the environment in which we work and live. Facilities, services and goods should be provided in ways that minimize environmental impact.
We contribute to our communities with the goal of helping build and maintain holistic, good quality of life for all. We believe several elements contribute to that reality. Everyone deserves a high-quality education, adequate health services and safe housing. Residents should be safe from crime and aggression and have a reliable food supply with optimized local production. Public spaces and historic resources should be provided, protected and enhanced.
Intangible elements are also part of the backbone of a strong society. Community spirit should foster a sense of belonging, place and self-worth. Creative expression should be stimulated through the arts, and a healthy work environment should be available to all.
We all need and deserve to live in healthy environments to grow and thrive, starting with the basic human needs for clean air and water and nutritious, uncontaminated food. Local and regional ecosystems and biological diversity should be protected and enhanced; water, land, energy and nonrenewable resources must be conserved. This includes the maximum reduction, recovery and reuse of possible resources and waste recycling. Pollution emissions should be minimized through prevention and the best technology, which is why the use of renewable resources must be a priority.
We regularly engage with Community Advisory Panels (CAPs) in many communities where we operate to connect on and address topics of shared interest like public health and safety and to form long-term, meaningful relationships.
Eastman and the Eastman Foundation donated over $2.2 million in 2021, with $1 million of those funds directed to COVID-19 recovery in our global site communities in the areas of mental health, food scarcity, child care and education. Despite challenges with in-person volunteerism due to the global pandemic, Eastman employees remained dedicated to giving back to their communities, with 34% of U.S. employees pledging approximately $1.7 million to local United Way campaigns in 2021.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle said the essence of life is “to serve others and do good.” Our global team brings that maxim to life. Eastman employees make a positive impact in communities by giving their time, talent, voice and resources in service to society. To better inspire, equip and mobilize our employees to take action, Eastman began in 2021 a phased implementation of a new software platform, Eastman MyImpact. It lets employees search for volunteer projects, post and manage event sign-ups, and start projects of their own all in one place. During the soft launch of MyImpact, we captured over 350 volunteer hours for our first two volunteer events hosted on the platform. We may be just getting started with global use of the platform, but the evidence of more effectively bringing to bear the power of our employees where it’s needed most is strong. The new platform lets us better harness and appeal to the passions of our employees when it comes to civic life.
In alignment with our belief that collective efforts fuel the collective good, Eastman supports a regional effort in Northeast Tennessee that could leverage public-private collaboration and serves as a model for collaborative, regional economic development. The Northeast Tennessee Regional Hub (NETNHub) is barely a year old but is already developing and strengthening ties between public, private, social, nonprofit and faith-based sectors. NETNHub is functioning as a partner to local organizations, providing additional capabilities and resources where needed, and it will promote future growth and prosperity of the Northeast Tennessee region while honoring the unique history and culture and protecting the attributes and advantages of each community.