Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department Recognizes Eastman Chemical for Manufacturing Leadership

May 6, 2019

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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the energy productivity achievements of Eastman Chemical, a global advanced materials and specialty additives company headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee. As a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge, Eastman committed to improving its energy performance across all U.S. operations by 20%, from a 2008 baseline, while sharing strategies and results. Eastman has improved its energy productivity by approximately 12% since joining, putting the company more than halfway toward meeting its goal.

"By partnering with companies like Eastman to lower energy costs, the Better Plants program is helping to improve manufacturing competitiveness in the United States—a key priority for the Trump Administration,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office at DOE. "Seeing first-hand the energy productivity gains that Eastman has accomplished at their Tennessee operations, one of the largest chemical manufacturing sites in North America, it’s clear they have a model for other U.S. manufacturers to follow. Their energy productivity gains help cut costs, create jobs, and drive economic growth."

Simmons visited Eastman’s Kingsport, Tennessee headquarters, the partner’s Showcase Project, and toured the facility. Eastman’s Tennessee Operations, the company's largest facility, employs approximately 7,000 people. The site uses 160 megawatts of electricity, the majority of which comes from a highly efficient, on-site co-generation process. Eastman manufactures hundreds of chemicals, synthetic fibers, and plastics at the site. To further improve its energy productivity, the facility upgraded its natural gas compression system which supplies its hydrogen plants. The switch resulted in an annual energy and cost savings of 8% for the associated hydrogen production process, and an overall reduction in maintenance costs.

America’s manufacturing sector is booming. U.S. manufacturers have created almost 500,000 jobs since 2017 and more than 250,000 jobs in the last year alone. DOE’s Better Plants Program contributes to the Sustainability in Manufacturing Partnership between DOE and the National Association of Manufacturers. Through this partnership, announced by Secretary Perry last year, DOE and NAM are working together to help U.S. manufacturers drive energy productivity improvements, which allows companies to create jobs, boost wages, expand operations, and grow the economy.

More than 215 manufacturers are now participating in the Better Plants program across the country. To date, partners have saved $5.3 billion in cumulative energy costs and more than 1 Quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) of energy.

Better Plants is part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, which helps private and public sector organizations capture the important benefits of energy efficiency. Through Better Plants, DOE provides partners with a broad range of no-cost tools, trainings, and resources to help partners overcome barriers and identify opportunities to save energy and improve competitiveness.