US-based chemicals group Du Pont has made what is believed to be the most ambitious ever corporate commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In a speech this week in Washington, operations director Dennis Reilley pledged the group to cut its emissions of the six "Kyoto" gases by 65% in absolute terms from 1990 by 2010. A number of other large companies, both American and European, have made similar promises, but none so large as this. Du Pont would meet its new goal in part by dramatically increasing the amount of renewable energy it used, Mr Reilley said, and would separately seek to freeze its total energy consumption. The size of the pledge overstates the task facing Du Pont since it builds on an existing target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% between 1991 and 2000. In the firm's European operations the goal has already been reached, Du Pont's European environment chief, Pierre Traufler, told ENDS Daily. The group has around 20,000 employees in over 40 European plants out of some 135 worldwide. Other corporate commitments to cut greenhouse gases include pledges made by Shell (ENDS Daily 16 October 1998) and BP (ENDS Daily 21 September 1998), both of which are aiming to reduce emissions 10% by 2002 and 2010 respectively based on 1990 levels. Some European industry sectors have made voluntary agreements with governments to cut their emissions, particularly in the Netherlands (ENDS Daily 6 May 1999). In Germany, 18 industry associations have joined the national industry federation in an agreement to cut energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions 20% by 2005 based on 1990 levels.
Du Pont, tel: +1 302 774 1000.
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