Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer
In 2020, DuPont faced unprecedented challenges yet displayed tremendous resilience due to the strength, resolve, and creativity of our colleagues and customers. I believe the influence of science—and sustainability—couldn’t be more important to solve the world’s biggest challenges, and to reimagine a future for a truly thriving world.
The consequences and suffering of the COVID-19 pandemic have been truly heartbreaking. Yet 2020 also demonstrated the progress we can make when problems are tackled with focus and urgency. The value of science and technology to better understand and address the needs of humanity has never been more evident. Like others around the world, DuPont faced unprecedented challenges yet displayed tremendous resilience due to the strength, resolve, and creativity of our colleagues and customers. In a time like no other in recent history, we remained true to our Core Values and clear-eyed in living our purpose.
"The 2030 sustainability goals we established in 2019 provided the necessary roadmap to guide us through a year of crisis and challenges. Drawing inspiration from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we moved beyond our own footprint reductions to advance sustainable innovation; circular economy; climate change; health, safety, and well-being; product safety and transparency; and water stewardship."
For instance, we are advancing water security, availability and quality worldwide through our filtration and purification technology. Most recently, DuPont Water Solutions began a partnership with charity:water to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities through the deployment of hand-washing stations, hygiene and sanitation training and community health messaging.
Our healthcare innovations — which are enabling advances in biopharmaceuticals, wound care, drug delivery, device fabrication, and other areas — will improve health outcomes for millions of people worldwide, in the same way that our DuPont™ Tyvek®and Nomex® materials protect healthcare workers and first responders as they risk their own safety to protect communities and families around the world.
Similarly, our investments in the AHEAD™ automotive electrification program will transform the automobile industry, increasing energy efficiency, vehicle connectivity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The AHEAD program benefits from our work advancing 5G high speed connectivity, which will enable more connected, sustainable communities.
The 2030 sustainability goals we established in 2019 provided the necessary roadmap to guide us through a year of crisis and challenges. Drawing inspiration from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we moved beyond our own footprint reductions to advance sustainable innovation; circular economy; climate change; health, safety, and well-being; product safety and transparency; and water stewardship.
The pandemic changed where and how industries do business, evolved the meaning of connectivity; intensified the need for hygiene, clean water and protection; spurred new innovations and business models; and in concert with racial justice efforts in the U.S. prompted overdue conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion around the world. As DuPont confronted the challenges of the pandemic, we sharpened our focus to emerge stronger, more inclusive and more sustainable.
In this report, you will learn how our nine goals establish the blueprint for capturing and creating value. Through our innovations, products, operations, and people, we are poised for growth and passionate about making a positive and meaningful impact on people everywhere.
Each of our three businesses rallied to respond to the global pandemic, working around-the-clock to meet increased demand for personal protective equipment, ventilators, respirators and medical delivery devices. Our #TyvekTogether initiative created new protective materials and garments and forged new partnerships to meet the needs of millions of essential workers worldwide. To advance circularity in our own operations and along our value chains, we built an onsite recycling facility alongside our Tyvek® manufacturing lines in Luxembourg that can process all types of Tyvek® production scrap to maximize our ability to generate value from what would traditionally be considered waste streams.
In 2020 our highest priority was safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our employees. In line with our core value of Health and Safety, we created a detailed playbook and robust safety measures that exceeded national guidelines to protect essential workers at our manufacturing plants. We further embedded sustainability into our operational culture by piloting new management processes and increasing our percentage of purchased renewable electricity from five to 20 percent. DuPont scientists also successfully tested a novel Kapton® RS patch heating system to reduce wind turbine icing and production capacity loss, partnering with Penn State Engineering and a wind farm owner to test the heating system in both laboratory and real-world conditions.
As we coalesced to have courageous conversations on racial, social and economic inequities in the U.S. and other countries, we launched an updated Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) strategy to achieve systemic and lasting improvements in gender and racial/ethnic representation across the company centered on respect, equity and understanding. We also modernized our employee development program to increase women and minority representation in skilled and leadership positions and widen development opportunities for all workers.
Looking back, the pandemic has tested us in all forms, and I’m proud of the way DuPonters around the world have worked together to overcome the challenges and fulfill our commitments. As the world continues to evolve, so does DuPont. I believe the influence of science—and sustainability—couldn’t be more important than it is right now to solve the world’s biggest challenges, and to re-imagine a future for a truly thriving world.
I encourage you to read this report and navigate through the website to learn more about our work and our results. Our performance is built on collaborations with our many stakeholders, and we truly benefit from being partners in this important journey.