DuPont is on a mission to achieve sustainable growth, which is defined as increasing shareholder and societal value while decreasing the company's environmental footprint. The company has a three-part strategy: deliver new products through the power of integrated science, vigorously pursue knowledge intensity in all businesses, and significantly increase productivity by using Six Sigma methodology.
As always, the DuPont core values of commitment to safety, health and the environment, high ethical standards and respect for people are the cornerstone of who we are and what we stand for.
Strengths in polymer science, chemistry, math, physics and engineering built the modern DuPont. To broaden our commitment to address human needs, world-class capabilities in biology and information science now complement our tradition core areas of excellence. Today, biology (biomaterials, agriculture, food) and electronics represent more than 20 percent of our business and should continue to have rapid growth rates in the future. Fueling this growth has been our ability to deliver solutions by applying all of our cross-discipline know-how with today's cutting edge technologies. We call it Integrated Science.
DuPont continues to broaden its traditional technical platforms in chemistry and materials science through fundamental and applied research in biotechnology. We understand that our ability to commercialize biotechnology-based products that improve agricultural productivity, enhance the nutritional and health benefits of food, create modern materials with renewable feedstocks, and reduce environmental impacts, requires both the highest standards for safety and public acceptance around the world. We are committed to playing a responsible role in the development of this technology which has the potential to address many global problems including malnutrition, obesity, aging diseases, certain types of cancer, soil erosion, water quality and climate change.
Knowledge intensity is a DuPont term meaning getting paid for what the company knows rather than simply for what it makes. Knowledge intensity is the opposite of capital intensity. It's creating value from two centuries of experience, know-how and brand equity.
Good examples of knowledge intensity in action include the DuPont Protective Apparel Marketing Company, a venture combining the strengths of DuPont Protective Apparel products (Kevlar®, Tyvek®, Tychem®, Nomex®, Sontara®) with DuPont knowledge and expertise in operational safety. Comprehensive consulting services offered include training, implementation assistance and professional development for industrial customers and others who make decisions about worker safety.
Through knowledge intensity, DuPont is committed to growing our entire Safety Resources Business over the next several years. This commitment so far has resulted in numerous customers who've seen dramatic reductions in worker injuries in a relatively short period of time.
Productivity and quality improvements are fundamental to achieving sustainable growth. Six Sigma methodology is the cornerstone of this effort. Simply stated, Six Sigma is a business management process that concentrates on eliminating defects from work processes. A defect can be anything that results in customer dissatisfaction, and as defects go down, so do costs and cycle time, while customer satisfaction goes up. Six Sigma literally means 3.4 defects per every million occurrences.
Many of the more than 5,000 completed Six Sigma projects at DuPont have resulted in reduced environmental impact or increased safety. For example, at a U.S. plant, a Six Sigma project saved 50 billion BTUs by reducing the amount of purchased steam unnecessarily condensed and lost to drainage. At a site in China, a project helped reduce electricity consumption, and therefore carbon dioxide emissions. Another major project focused on ways to reduce "soft tissue" injuries and illnesses companywide.
DuPont began implementing Six Sigma throughout all business units in late 1999. Today, more than 15,000 Master Black Belts, Black Belts and Green Belts had been trained around the world. In addition, more than 900 financial analysts and managers have been trained in the specifics of Six Sigma financial metrics and reporting in North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Approximately one of every four DuPont employees is participating in a Six Sigma project.