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DuPont’s Emissions Rise on Back of Rebound

DuPont’s GHG emissions rose from 13.8 million to 15.4 million metric tons of CO2, an increase the company pinned on an economic rebound, according to its 2011 Sustainability Progress Report.

The company has a goal of reducing GHGs at least 15 percent from a 2004 base year, and by 2010 had reduced GHGs 10.5 percent.

The report shows that since 1990, DuPont reduced CO2e by 72 percent.

DuPont says by keeping energy use flat, it avoided over $6 billion in energy expenditures from 1990 to 2010 while growing the company by over 40 percent.

The report said that many of DuPont’s manufacturing sites were idle for part of 2009, significantly lowering overall energy consumption, water use and greenhouse gas emissions, and that it enjoyed an economic rebound in 2010. Since DuPont measures and reports in absolute numbers, this resulted in an increase in many of the company’s environmental metrics from 2009 to 2010.

The company says it is developing the projects necessary to assure it meets or exceeds each of its footprint reduction goals by 2015.

Global water consumption rose from 27.3 to 29.1 billion gallons in 2010, while consumption in water scarce or stressed locations fell from 4.5 to 4.4 billion gallons.

DuPont as a goal to reduce water consumption by at least 30 percent at global sites that are located where the renewable freshwater supply is either scarce or stressed, as determined by a United Nations analysis. For all other sites, the company says it will hold water consumption flat on an absolute basis through the year 2015, offsetting any increased demand from production volume growth through conservation, reuse and recycle practices.

DuPont has reduced water consumption 16 percent at sites in water scarce and stressed areas, and 9 percent at all DuPont sites, since 2004.

In 2010 DuPont came significantly closer to its goal for 100 percent of its off-site U.S. fleet of cars and light trucks to use leading fuel efficiency technology and fossil fuel alternatives, with the proportion rising from 49 to 62 percent.

But while in 2008 and 2009 DuPont met its goal of reducing global air carcinogen emissions by 50 percent from a 2004 base year, last year emissions rose to 0.90 million pounds, just shy of the goal.

The company says that while reducing its footprint is important, its focus is on market-facing goals. It says it continues to increase investment in R&D that will create products to help customers reduce their impacts.

“Making the direct link between our customers and the markets we serve is the key to truly integrating sustainability as a growth strategy,” the report said.

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