Footprinting from the perspective of DuPont

I again had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Bob Reich of DuPont on corporate point of view on water. Bob’s job at DuPont is to deal with the water footprint in DuPont’s operation.
Bob opened the conversation with DuPont’s commitment to Zero. The core value of being committed to safety and health, environmental stewardship, respect for people, and ethical behaviors. So why committed? Well commitment is something that is a choice. And it takes everyone in the company to make the right choice to reach the goal of zero. So what is footprint? DuPont defines footprint in all injuries illnesses, incidents, waste emissions, use of water, and delectable form of raw materials and energy.
Footprints are driving a lot of the decision makings in DuPont. There are three big challenges that needs addressing that DuPont is trying to develop the company into. They are food, energy, and protection. Agriculture and health and safety is a large portion of the company. The ultimate goal for the company is to be able to feed everyone. Energy is driving the company’s renewable and solar sectors. DuPont produces 90% components of a solar PV cell. Protection is a new field and another word for protection is sustainability. Sustainability of environment, sustainability in social, and sustainability in economy are the main concerns.
Bob stress that DuPont’s R&D is focusing not only on market opportunities but is incorporating environmental sustainability as well as reduce environmental footprint. DuPont is trying to be the first company to provide customers with 1,000 unique sustainable and environmental friendly products to consumers. The Company is also working with third parties to identify top 100 products and define or transform the product to include a sustainable perspective.

To talk specific on water. DuPont’s manufacturing current on average use about 10 pounds of water to produce one pound of product and has an annual cost of over $200 Million Dollars just on water purchase and treatment. So why talk about water, well water is getting expensive. It is a limited resource. There are discharge flow limits and other regulations, and tons and tons of positives including incentives, social community advocacy, grants, tax credits, etc.
Footprints would also mean data collection and monitoring as well as checks and balances. Collaborations with non-profits and governments will also help.


Bob Reich – Dupont
Water Goals, Water Stewardship and Water Risk Identification
DuPont’s operational environmental footprint


About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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