Sustainable Construction is a Business Opportunity -- Even in a Recession

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DuPont Leader Addresses Emerging Needs for Global Building Industry.

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The New Climate: Global Warming and its Implications for Corporate Strategy

Today’s sustainable products and practices for the global building industry present unique and emerging business opportunities, even in a global recession, according to DuPont Building Innovations Vice President and General Manager Thomas F. Schuler today at The 2009 Economist Sustainability Summit here.

“We see sustainable products as a business opportunity, even in a recession. People look to us to meet their needs and we continue to deliver; but we’re not going to make trade offs - we still need to provide products that combine aesthetics, functionality and sustainability, otherwise people won’t buy them,” Schuler said at “The New Climate: Global Warming and its Implications for Corporate Strategy” conference. “That’s a particular challenge as we continue to deal with a global recession and the need to balance the importance of developing more sustainable products with costs consumers and building owners are willing to bear. We make products energy efficient like DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap™. We also make products which have a smaller footprint like DuPont™ Corian® and Zodiaq® surfaces with pre- and post-consumer recycled content.”

He added that those dynamics continue to change underlying business priorities, stating that sustainable buildings have to be good for customers and for business.

DuPont introduces about 1,000 new products each year, many of them with environmental benefits. “But in developing these products,” Schuler added, “we follow a very important principle: The product performance and value proposition have to be equal to or greater than what people are currently using to meet their needs. And it also has to have the environmental benefit. All at an acceptable price point.”

As an example, Schuler cited DuPont™ Corian® and Zodiaq®, leading brands in the surfaces industry. “We have a very clear view of our value proposition – Corian® and Zodiaq® must be attractive, functional and cost-effective. The innovations we’ve seen have not only enabled us to develop products with greater than 50 percent recycled content, but also have reduced the overall footprint of our product offerings.”

Schuler also highlighted opportunities for the global industry based on supply issues that drive rapid acceptance of sustainable practices, such as the growing demand for commodity raw materials and the emergence of the middle class in emerging markets. He cited countries like India, which is moving directly to sustainable building because it is faster to adopt new construction techniques than it is to build new power plants.

DuPont manufactures a number of materials for energy efficient, sustainable construction for residential and government buildings, military housing, veterans’ hospitals, schools, public housing and national park buildings. Among the products DuPont offers:

  •     DuPont™ Tyvek® Weatherization Systems with up to 20 percent increased energy savings;
  •     DuPont™ Corian® and Zodiaq® surfaces with pre-consumer recycled content;
  •     Photovoltaic materials for solar cells that convert the sun’s energy into electricity;
  •     Energy efficient refrigerants for air conditioning and refrigeration.

DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 19 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, Tyvek®, Tyvek® HomeWrap™, Corian® and Zodiaq® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

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