DuPont struggling to meet energy target

Energy use, nitrous oxide emissions, up at European sites; VOC, water discharges, down

US chemical manufacturer DuPont has reported mixed progress on achieving key environmental targets for its European specialities and chemical manufacturing sites. Energy use increased from under 22,000 kilojoules per kilogram of product in 1995 to more than 35,000 kJ/kg in 1997, in spite of a corporate goal to cut energy use per unit of output by 20% by 2000. A DuPont spokesperson told ENDS Daily that the increase was due to two new plants starting up and insisted that cutting energy use remained a key goal for the company. Meanwhile, emissions of nitrous oxide - a powerful greenhouse gas - from DuPont's adipic acid production business increased by 11% from 1995 to 1997, despite a company target to eliminate them by the end of 1998. The firm attributes the increase to reversal of an earlier plan to shut down an adipic acid plant in the UK. It now plans to eliminate emissions by the end of 1999. Other environmental indicators are more positive. Emissions of airborne carcinogens, volatile organic compound s and CFCs all show a consistently downward trend, although DuPont failed to meet its target to eliminate CFC emissions by the end of 1996.

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