DuPont Position Statement on Climate Change

What We Believe:

We believe the global scientific understanding of climate change is sufficient to compel prompt, effective actions to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. To be successful at the necessary global scale these actions will require concerted engagement by the world’s governments, along with technological innovations by businesses, and individual actions by all citizens.  We believe any strategy to address climate change must be both environmentally effective and economically sustainable.  Policy solutions must be good for the environment, for business, and for people around the world.  The magnitude of innovation and action required to effectively address climate change is unparalleled.

DuPont’s mission is sustainable growth – the creation of shareholder and societal value while reducing the company’s environmental footprint along the value chains in which we operate.  We see many opportunities to take our commitment to sustainability and apply this to developing the products and technologies that our customers will continue to demand in a low carbon economy.  

The Role of Business: 

The business community has a critical role to play in developing and bringing to market the technologies and solutions that will make possible the transition to a low-carbon economy.  This transition will provide new markets for innovative companies to prosper.  Beyond our commitment to reduce our own environmental footprint we have set goals related to products that help others reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.  These include both research and development investment targets and product revenue goals.  These goals tie business growth to the development of safer, cleaner, and more efficient products for global markets.  DuPont is dedicated to using our science to bring these innovative products and solutions to market.

In order for a company like DuPont to respond successfully and sustainably to 21st century challenges we will have to master the art of collaboration.  We are building alliances with customers, companies, governments, scientists, NGOs, visionaries, thought leaders, and others around the world in an effort to address needs sustainably at the local level.  We’ve adopted a new model of inclusive innovation – solving problems by designing solutions in cooperation with those who will benefit directly from our products.

What DuPont is doing: DuPont is focused both on reducing our own footprint and on delivering solutions that help our customers conserve and use energy efficiently.  We are applying our science to develop technologies and materials that will help enable energy generation, improve efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across value chains in a wide range of sectors.  

  • For example, in the building and construction industry we produce building materials that contribute to greater energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings.
  • In the agricultural sector our products help farmers produce more food with fewer inputs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  For example, our seed business Pioneer Hi-Bred provides seeds that are increasingly resistant to adverse weather conditions; pest resistant; fertilizer efficient and high yielding; allowing farmers to continually produce more food and fuel per acre with fewer inputs.
  • Our Industrial Biosciences business is putting unique enzymes to use in pioneering a new generation of cellulosic biofuels and in a range of industrial applications where they enable energy and water savings.
  • We are developing next-generation low GWP foam expansion agents and low GWP refrigerants  for use in air conditioning and refrigeration systems in cars, homes, offices, and commercial spaces.
  • In the alternative energy arena, our scientists have developed advanced, high-performance biofuels to expand fuel options for consumers and bio-based materials like plastic from corn instead of oil.  We also provide high-performance materials for wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels and fuel cells.
  • DuPont is contributing to greater efficiency in transportation through innovative lightweight high strength polymers in automobiles and airplanes.
  • And we continue to monitor emerging and growing markets, such as those for climate mitigation and adaptation technologies where we could bring unique solutions to market.

In October 2006 DuPont announced our 2015 Sustainability Goals, which include the following market-facing goals.  These goals address all stages of product development, from R&D efforts through marketing and sales:

  • Environmentally Smart Market Opportunities from R&D Efforts: By 2015, DuPont will double our investment in R&D programs with direct, quantifiable environmental benefits for our customers and consumers along our value chains. Our baseline is $320 million, so we will be investing at least $640 million by 2015.
  • Products that Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: By 2015, DuPont will grow our annual revenues by at least $2 billion from products that create energy efficiency and/or significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions for our customers.  We estimate these products will contribute at least 40 million metric tons of additional CO2 equivalent reductions by our customers and consumers.
  • Revenues from Non-Depletable Resources: By 2015, DuPont will nearly double our revenues from non-depletable resources to at least $8 billion.
  • Products that Protect People: DuPont will enhance our focus on protecting people. We will increase the amount of R&D spent on developing and bringing to market new products that will protect people from harm or threats. Between now and 2015, we will introduce at least 1,000 new products or services that help make people safer globally.

Annual Sustainability Progress Reports are posted to our website and include details about our year-by-year progress toward these goals.

Reducing our Footprint:

DuPont began taking action to address climate change almost twenty years ago.  We have accomplished major global reductions in our own greenhouse gas emissions, and we continue to set ambitious goals for additional emission reductions.  We publicly report our corporate emissions data and associated climate risks and opportunities through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

What DuPont is doing: DuPont has a long track record of growing our business while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Between 1990 and 2004, DuPont set progressively challenging corporate goals and established global systems to manage our emissions, actions that resulted in a 72% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions even as we grew. By 2015, DuPont will further reduce our GHG emissions at least an additional 15% from an updated base year of 2004. Our updated baseline year is adjusted from our original baseline year of 1990 to reflect changes in our business portfolio, ensuring that we are accounting only for actual reductions and not portfolio changes.  These voluntary actions have had a real impact on emissions.  

Effectively addressing climate change will require changes in the way the world produces and uses energy and other natural resources.  This is why DuPont has created corporate sustainability goals that focus on achieving more efficient use of resources in our own operations and by producing products that help others do so as well.

DuPont’s longstanding energy efficiency program has delivered major energy and cost savings over the years.  From 1990 to 2010 DuPont reduced overall energy use by 6% while growing the company by 40%.  The resulting energy savings enabled us to avoid over $6 billion in cumulative energy purchases since 1990 and contributed to our greenhouse gas reductions.   In 2011 we announced our new energy goal to further reduce our energy intensity by 10% by 2020.  With our new energy goal, we aim to reduce non-renewable energy use by 10 percent per dollar price adjusted revenue by 2020 compared to a 2010 baseline. To make sure that we keep our momentum going, we have set a milestone of a 3 percent reduction by 2015.  Projects that drive progress toward our energy goal include: the replacement of non-renewable energy with renewable sources; continued improvements to our energy-using systems; optimization of energy generation and distribution at our facilities; the use of improved process controls; new technologies with lower energy consumption, and; importantly, improved productivity from DuPont’s manufacturing processes.

To learn more about DuPont’s corporate sustainability goals, please visit:

The Role of Government:

Responding to climate change presents a significant challenge that will require concerted global action by individuals, businesses and national, state, and local governments.  Government policies will be required to create an effective framework for these actions.  All major emitting nations will need to play a role if we are to successfully address the global challenge of climate change.  Effective global climate policy will help drive the market changes that are needed to stimulate and efficiently deploy new innovations in science and technology, while maintaining open and competitive global markets.

DuPont believes that there is an appropriate leadership role for the major economies to fulfill. Negotiations towards a global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions continue through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, while some countries and regions such as the European Union, have already put in place mandatory climate programs.  National and regional policies will provide important cornerstones for a global framework, and should be designed to maintain economic competitiveness and avoid shifting carbon emissions from one region to another without an overall reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.  Given the scope of economic and technological transformation required to slow, stop and reverse the trend in greenhouse gas emissions, policies must be developed quickly, but carefully to ensure adequate reductions in an economically sustainable manner.  Innovation is essential to addressing the long term challenge of climate change and can help promote economic growth in developed and developing countries around the world.

To encourage environmentally effective and economically sustainable policy actions, DuPont is actively engaging with policymakers and other business and NGO stakeholders from around the world to develop constructive public policies to address global climate change.  DuPont’s belief in the importance of taking prompt, coordinated, and strong action to address climate change is why we were a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP).

DuPont is engaged in many forums around the world to encourage concerted global action on climate change.  DuPont scientists have contributed to the scientific and technical assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and shared in the recognition of the IPCC when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2007.  DuPont also participates in multi-stakeholder dialogues regarding international climate policy frameworks through the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and other avenues.

What DuPont is advocating:

  • Greater cooperation and collaboration among all countries and regions.
  • Governmental support for science and technology research, development, demonstration, and deployment.
  • Policies that harness the power of the free market to spur innovation and drive cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  • Policies to expand the use of renewable energy, as well as R&D funding to help drive the cost competitiveness of renewables to facilitate more rapid market adoption.
  • Incentives for investments in manufacturing, recognizing that the newest facilities tend to have the lowest emissions.

Working With Others:

The kinds of concrete actions DuPont and many other companies are taking to address climate change can also be undertaken by our suppliers, our customers and consumers throughout the value chains in which we operate.  DuPont encourages and is active in dialogues among companies, the scientific community, governments and environmental groups – and we urge action by everyone.  DuPont is committed to working towards climate solutions that are both environmentally effective and economically sustainable.  

To learn more about DuPont’s voluntary initiatives and partnerships, please visit: