Sustainability | Eastman Innovation Lab



Eastman believes in embedding sustainability in everything we do. It's about balance. It's about making choices, being apart of solutions and doing what's right for the business and the planet.


Driving innovation through sustainability and design

Sustainability is a global issue with complex challenges. The world is looking for innovative solutions that do not result in unintended consequences. Realizing that there is not one answer, we challenge ourselves and those that we collaborate with to identify those small things that can make a big impact.

“Small hinges swing big doors.”

David Golden Chief Sustainability and Legal Officer, Eastman

Dedicated to ocean research

Woods Hole collaboration

Eastman’s innovative spirit and commitment to environmental stewardship are driving an exciting collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world’s largest private, nonprofit oceanographic research institution. The oceans are driven by exchanges with the atmosphere across the air-sea interface. WHOI researchers are world leaders in making observations of the marine atmospheric boundary layer and ocean surface layer. WHOI scientists use these observations and various other data and models to estimate air-sea fluxes.

In 2014, Eastman provided funding for ocean research that will lead to a better understanding of the role of the oceans in predicting long-term weather patterns. With the funds, WHOI developed a low-cost X-SPAR buoy for air-sea flux measurements in remote, inhospitable regions of the ocean where bottom-anchored buoys are not feasible. The buoy was launched in June 2015. A second project funded by Eastman included the launch of an autonomous underwater glider in April 2015, designed to monitor the Gulf Stream.

“The ocean is the fundamental driver of our climate system. If we don't understand the ocean, it's impossible to do any predictions of the future in terms of climate and weather”

Carol Anne Clayson Sr. Scientist, Director of the Ocean & Climate Change Institute, WHOI

Energy efficiency

Giving carpet a new life

Since 2006, Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, has recycled more than 800 million pounds of carpet. With the increased use of polyester carpet in homes throughout the U.S., new processes were paramount to the company’s ability to find viable solutions for carpet that has reached the end of its useful life. Through a collaboration between Eastman and Shaw, the next generation of carpet recycling has emerged. As a result, Shaw has expanded its portfolio of recycling solutions to better meet current and future market dynamics.

Over the past four years, a joint team from Shaw and Eastman developed and piloted a new technology that enables separation of polyester carpet fibers from the backing material more effectively. The result is quality fiber that can be reused in new applications, and the technology can be used to recycle both nylon and polyester carpet. In June 2014, Shaw announced the commercialization of the technology, which will be a new robust process for the carpet industry.

“We will continue to invest in new sustainability innovations to support our robust reclamation and recycling program, that includes maintaining our steadfast focus on designing with the end in mind and finding the best possible solutions for carpet already in the markets”

Paul Murray Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at SHAW

Health & wellness

#Trending - Connected healthcare

A revolution in personal health is literally at your fingertips. As the wearables market is expected to hit $12.6 billion by 2018, many are imagining what the future of health care looks like. 

"The expectation of health care services is that they should be just as good as retail services, especially since they cost substantially more." states Sandra Elliot, corporate director of consumer technology and service development, Meridian Health. 

This is great for health and fitness techs, but what does the future hold? Some suggest that instead of wearing devices, they will be implanted. Imagine a day when your body chemistry is streamed to your phone in real time. Not only will ideas like these help us realize our individual risks and successes, it will give health organizations the ability to pool data sets together and show trends in the population that are unobservable today.

“To date, the medical industry has been focused on the usability needs of clinicians. But the healthcare landscape is changing, and new users are emerging.. Most notably, patients and caregivers play a larger role than every before, and will continue to be a driving force in the future of medical product design. The consumerization of healthcare will lead to better products and better user experiences, empowering patients and bringing them--not clinicians--to the forefront of usability design.”

Stuart Karten Principle, KARTEN:DESIGN

Explore Eastman Sustainability: Embedded In Everything We Do