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Eastman bets on natural gas in sustainability

Hank Hayes • Aug 3, 2017 at 9:00 PM

KINGSPORT – Natural gas six, coal nothing.

In the fine print of Eastman Chemical Co.’s 2017 Sustainability Report released on Thursday, the Kingsport-based global specialty chemical producer said it will continue converting its power boilers from coal to natural gas.

“Over the last three years, we converted four boilers at two of our domestic sites from coal to natural gas conversion,” the report said. “We plan to convert two more boilers by the end of 2018 at our Kingsport, Tenn., facility. The conversion from coal to natural gas at Kingsport is the most significant air pollution control project in Eastman’s history. The conversion will enhance our emission reduction efforts and help us in our effort to attain this goal.”

Eastman reported its 2016 greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity decreased 14 percent, and the company declared its goal to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2020 is on track against a 2008 baseline. Also on track was a goal to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions against a 2010 baseline. The company also declared a goal to reduce reportable releases by 25 percent was on track. Also on track was the company’s best practices for water conservation.

Goals needing improvement included energy efficiency; reducing toxic release inventory; reducing hazardous waste; and maintaining a strong commitment to a zero-incident culture.

Three 2016 performance measures in injuries, days away from work and process safety incidents didn’t meet targets, but will continue to be monitored, according to Eastman.

One goal to increase utilization of preventive health services by employees and spouses in North America by 15 percent in 2017 was declared complete.

“At Eastman, we recognize that the world is facing enormous complexity and challenges,” said David A. Golden, senior vice president, chief legal and sustainability officer, and corporate secretary. “We know we must create far more value than the resources we use or the future is not sustainable. We have outlined a sustainability strategy to address these global issues through steering a sustainable portfolio, driving resource productivity and rendering focused good acts by employees and the company for the simple sake of doing good. I’m pleased to share this year’s report and the progress we continue to make. I’m optimistic about the future and Eastman’s ability to drive positive change.”

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