DuPont unveils new sustainability program and predicts big profits

Chemical giant DuPont announced a major sustainability program yesterday that it expects will put an extra $6 billion in its coffers by 2015. “We see sustainable growth as the biggest market opportunity on the horizon for the next two or three decades,” said CEO Charles Holliday Jr. In the next decade, the company plans to double spending on R&D into eco-friendlier products and services, introducing at least 1,000 easier-on-the-earth alternatives such as synthetic fibers with biological instead of petrochemical components, less greenhouse-gassy refrigerants, and lower-toxin automotive finishes. The company also plans to double its annual revenue from non-depletable resources such as biofuels to $8 billion by 2015. Since 1990, DuPont has reduced its emissions of air carcinogens by more than 90 percent and greenhouse-gas emissions by 72 percent; in the next decade it aims to further reduce both, as well as water consumption in areas with stressed supplies. “All these goals we think are good for the shareholder, not just the right thing for the environment,” Holliday says.