An Unwritten Future: DuPont’s Positive Outlook on Sustainability
The future implications of the climate crisis can leave many in a state of despair. The team at Dupont Performance Building Solutions and Corian Design have a different, more optimistic outlook.
From the wildfires in Maui to the flooding in Vermont, the consequences of climate change are unfolding right before our eyes. The startling number of extreme weather events happening each and every year leaves no room for inaction.
As the saying goes, yesterday was the best day to invest and the second best day is today. The same is true with tackling climate change. Starting now, humanity needs to take charge of its future and invest in a sustainable planet.
DuPont recognizes the urgency with which the world needs to act on climate change and, correspondingly, has set ambitious sustainability goals. DuPont’s approach to sustainability is rooted in its desire to help empower the industry through innovative and sustainable product design.
The company has examined the sustainability problems plaguing the building industry and has developed a plan around the 3 C’s–climate action, circularity, and chemical stewardship–to make substantial progress in the fight against climate change.
Shawn Hunter, the Global Sustainability Director of DuPont Performance Building Solutions and Corian Design, brings a refreshing perspective to the climate crisis and fosters a company culture of unbridled enthusiasm for innovation.
Despite the many reasons to be pessimistic about the future, Hunter and his colleagues across the business unit “don't take that view and like to talk about the fact that the future is yet unwritten.” By adopting a more positive mindset, innovation at DuPont has skyrocketed as more employees feel empowered to search for creative solutions.
One notable innovation is DuPont’s low global warming potential (GWP) Styrofoam Brand XPS Insulation that is optimized for LEED credit. This product has the same thermal performance, durability, and moisture resistance customers have come to expect from DuPont with the added benefit of being a low embodied carbon material.
DuPont subjects its products, including Styrofoam Brand ST-100 XPS, to a rigorous third party verification process to validate their environmental impacts. Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are available for all of DuPont Performance Building Solutions & Corian(R) Designs major product lines.
In June 2023, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) recognized DuPont's Styrofoam Brand XPS Insulation with the ACC Sustainability Leadership Award in the Environmental Protection category.
Hunter is deeply impressed by the achievements of his colleagues in the business and affirms that DuPont will “continue to develop the products in our innovation pipeline. And, overall, we have this mindset that we have to use building science to innovate as if our future depends on it, because it really does.”
Decarbonizing the built environment is a top priority for Hunter and the entire DuPont Performance Building Solutions business unit. At the end of 2022, the business unit saw a 41% reduction in its Scope 1 and 2 global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to its 2019 baseline. This dramatic reduction in GHG emissions over a short period of time is part of DuPont’s strategy to tangibly combat climate change.
To further underscore its commitment to carbon neutrality, DuPont recently had its GHG reduction target validated by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). DuPont’s unwavering ambition to secure a better future for all was a driving force behind seeking SBTi validation.
Hunter has observed that “when you look across our industry and our organization, there are so many people that just want to lean into sustainability and figure out what more we can do.” A prime illustration of this is DuPont’s active conversations with suppliers to take steps to further decarbonize the entire supply chain.
It is important to DuPont “to partner with customers in the industry to help drive the total carbon of buildings to zero to advance circularity in the industry and to bring green chemistry, safer by design solutions, to the marketplace.” This approach has enabled DuPont to make significant advances in its sustainability goals for 2030.
To gain further insight into DuPont’s vision for a more sustainable future, explore DuPont’s 2023 Sustainability Report.