DuPont Vice President of Safety, Health & Environment and Chief Sustainability Officer Linda Fisher recently was featured on the Globe 2012 website and in the Vancouver Sun (online news source for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) about her take on sustainability and how she looks to motivate fellow DuPont employees.
Here are her own words about what makes sustainability relevant for DuPont, our customers and our way of life.
Q. What does 'sustainability' mean for your company?
A. While reducing our own footprint is important, striving to provide more sustainable solutions is the most important contribution that DuPont can make - using our science and innovation to understand the needs, working collaboratively with others, and developing solutions that meet the economic, social and environmental expectations of our customers and society overall.
Q. What motivates you personally to embrace sustainability?
A. Twelve years of work in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as regulator gave me a great sense of the value and the limitations of regulatory frameworks. Regulations are great for preventing pollution but can't operate at the international level and don't drive the innovations needed to create more sustainable solutions for the world's major challenges.
The private sector is critical for delivering the innovations that can provide solutions that meet societal needs in completely different ways. While I am proud to work for a company that has been proactive in voluntarily reducing its footprint, what I am really motivated by are the opportunities I see as DuPont focuses on delivering more new products and services that can help society take a step change in solving global challenges.
Q. How do you motivate your colleagues and staff to be engaged in your corporate sustainability initiatives?
A. The exciting aspect of focusing our sustainability work on creating new solutions versus just reducing our footprint is our employees are truly excited about being part of a company that is helping to solve the world's biggest challenges. I am continually energized by the new ideas and energy that people have to overcome barriers and find new solutions.
A recent example of this is a new product that we partnered on. Verlasso™ is a brand and trademark of AquaChile, which formed a collaboration with DuPont that will join the collective innovation and aquaculture expertise of the companies to identify how to raise fish sustainably to provide nutritious protein for a growing population.
The new harmonious approach to salmon farming by Verlasso™ brings one of the healthiest and most delicious choices to the marketplace, providing a high-quality and sustainable salmon that balances the needs for nutrition and the needs of the environment. Verlasso™ salmon is low in fat and high in protein and Omega-3s. The most significant innovation for Verlasso™ is its use of 75% fewer feeder fish to produce healthy salmon rich in Omega-3s. In traditional salmon farms, salmon get their Omega-3s from fish oils provided by wild-caught feeder fish, which puts a significant strain on our oceans. Typically, it takes four or more pounds of feeder fish to raise one pound of salmon---what's known as the "fish in, fish out" ratio. Verlasso™ drops the "fish in" number from four down to one.
So bottom line, we have a healthier product that significantly reduces the impact of aquaculture on global fisheries, and we have employees who are excited to be part of this work and now are looking for new ways to use our science to deliver solutions that make a difference.
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