KINGSPORT — Eastman is ranked No. 21 in Fortune magazine’s 2021 “Change the World” list, which recognizes companies that have a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy, according to a news release. Fortune identified Eastman as a company that is changing the world through advanced recycling technologies that process hard-to-recycle plastics and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
“We’re pleased to be recognized by Fortune with an award that gets right to the heart of our purpose at Eastman,” said Mark Costa, board chair and CEO. “We’re committed to innovation that reduces material waste and preserves our planet, while delivering sustainable solutions that enhance the quality of life for people around the world.”
One of the key factors Fortune uses to evaluate companies for impact is “measurable social impact,” which carries extra weight in the magazine’s evaluations. In determining the list, Fortune editors and writers use that factor to consider “the reach, nature and durability of the company’s impact on one or more specific societal problems.”
Eastman was selected for the list because the company has innovated advanced recycling technologies that are processing hard-to-recycle plastics that have previously been destined for landfill, incineration or end up in the environment. Eastman has committed to recycle more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025 and more than 500 million pounds annually by 2030.
Through advanced recycling, Eastman is not only delivering real-world solutions to the global plastic waste crisis – it is mitigating climate change, too, the company said in its news release. Molecular recycling technologies have 20 percent to 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional processes for producing plastics. These Eastman innovations are critical to its goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 and achieve one-third of that goal by 2030.
Fortune writers and editors evaluated companies on four factors. In addition to measurable social impact, Fortune considered business results, degree of innovation, and corporate integration. Fortune staffers determine the list with help from Shared Value Initiative, a global community of leaders who find business solutions for societal challenges. This is the seventh year of the “Change the World” list.
Eastman is building the world’s largest polyester molecular recycling facility in Kingsport, and that facility is expected to be mechanically complete in late 2022. The company’s molecular recycling technologies are an essential element of its sustainability strategy to build “a better circle,” Eastman’s theme for building a better planet and the title of its sustainability report, published in December 2020.
To learn more about Eastman’s vision to mainstream circularity, visit www.eastman.eco.