Eastman Chemical Company today announced it will join chemical giants such as BASF, AkzoNobel, Henkel and Clariant as a member of Together for Sustainability (TfS), a European initiative dedicated to the sustainable procurement of chemicals. Eastman and TfS have confirmed acceptance of Eastman’s application to the consortium as the first U.S.-based company to join, with plans to finalize Eastman’s membership in early 2015.
As a global specialty chemical company with significant business in Europe, Eastman has been working closely with TfS to understand membership requirements to expand the organization to U.S.-based companies. Mike Berry, Eastman’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), will represent Eastman on the TfS General Assembly as well as in the CPO Meetings.
“At Eastman, we are committed to sustainable procurement and supply chain management,” says Berry. “Joining TfS is a natural step for Eastman as we move forward in our efforts to continually assess and improve our environmental impact and sustainable business practices. We have already implemented a number of the TfS principles into our supply chain operations. This membership provides opportunity to collaborate with other companies, making a difference across the industry.”
SVP of Eastman’s Global Supply Chain and Chief Regional and Sustainability Officer, Godefroy Motte, emphasizes the importance of embedding sustainability across the company’s value chain.
“Creating collaboration along the value chain is an important theme among leaders of sustainability in terms of understanding both your suppliers and customers,” says Motte. “This collaboration can only be achieved if all partners are taking courageous leadership. TfS is a platform that brings those leaders together to understand what our customers and consumers need, and how we as upstream suppliers can influence change in the marketplace.”
As part of Eastman’s commitment to TfS, the company will continue to support the principles of UN Global Compact and Responsible Care, engage suppliers and other stakeholders to advance sustainable development, report sustainability performance, address stakeholder concerns about sustainable aspects in the supply chain, and operate in accordance with industry codes and applicable laws and regulations.
The global chemical industry shows signs of beginning to prioritize sustainability as a business imperative. In October, a group of chemical companies that are part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Reaching Full Potential project published a new guide, Life Cycle Metrics for Chemical Products, to provide and communicate material information about the environmental footprint of products that customers and stakeholders can trust and compare. And in September, sustainable chemical technology company Genomatica published the results of a major survey of sustainability issues in the mainstream chemical industry that shows the topic is now considered a high priority in the field.