Eastman Chemical Corporation is a Fortune 500 Company and global leader in the manufacture of chemicals, plastics, fibers, rubber materials, solvents and polymers. It is one of the largest suppliers in the world of acetate tow which is used in cigarette filters. It competes in this market with Celanese Corporation. BASF SE and Exxon Mobil Corporation are its other primary competitors.
Eastman Chemical is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA. Founded in 1920, Eastman has 44 manufacturing sites in Asia, North America, Europe and Latin America, serving a large, international customer base. Approximately 15,000 people work at Eastman facilities around the world.
Eastman has undertaken some strategic deals in recent years to strengthen and expand its hold on the international market. In July, 2012, it acquired Solutia, Inc. at a price of $4.8 billion USD. In September, 2014 Eastman purchased Taminco Corporation for $1.8 billion USD. Taminco is one of the largest producers of alkyl amines which is incorporated in water treatment, agricultural and personal care items.
Eastman Chemical was founded in the late 1880s by George Eastman, the inventor of photographic film. In its early days, it was well known around the world as Eastman Kodak. Eastman added a chemicals subsidiary in 1920 for the purpose of manufacturing acetic acid and other chemicals necessary for the production of film. In 1994, Eastman Kodak divested itself of its chemical operations, spawning the birth of a separate Eastman Chemical Corporation. At the time, Kodak was an undisputed leader in the film industry, and its chemical operations were not performing so well. However, technology advanced, and soon film began to lose out to digital imaging. Eastman Kodak, even though it developed one of the first digital cameras in 1975, did not take advantage of the new trend, and lost significant market share. However its spin-off company, Eastman Chemical, blossomed and has become one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the world.
Eastman Chemical is divided into five segments:
• Adhesives and Plasticizers: manufacturing plasticizers and resins utilized by the building and construction, industrial chemicals, consumables and health and wellness industries, among others.
• Additives and Functional Products: manufacturing chemicals utilized in the coatings and tire industries.
• Specialty Fluids and Intermediates: manufacturing acetyl and olifins utilized, for example, by the building and construction, agriculture, industrial chemicals, and energy & fuels industries.
• Advanced Materials: manufacturing cellulose esters and copolyesters used in the electronics, building and construction, health and wellness and other industries.
• Fibers: manufacturing acetate tow and triacetin plasticizers primarily utilized in the production of cigarette filters, and acetate yarns for home furnishings, industrial fabrics and garments.
Eastman Chemical products are utilized across a wide range of international markets, including:
• 3D Printing
• Biodiesel & Agriculture
• Food & Beverage
• Adhesives & Sealants
• Building & Construction
• Consumer Durable Goods
• Graphics Arts & Printing Inks
• Fashion & Fibers
Eastman Chemical seeks to build sustainable communities and environments through cutting-edge product development, environmental stewardship and strict compliance with environmental regulations. It applies comprehensive strategies to minimize its environmental footprint and to reduce energy consumption. High level research is invested in producing product that contributes to environmentally responsible use by end-users.
Building and maintaining talent
Eastman seeks to empower its employees through continuing education, specialty training, opportunities for growth and advancement, and encouraging creativity and input.
Eastman Chemical funds local initiatives in corporate communities, through corporate volunteer programs and donations to projects focused on education, especially math, science and engineering, and youth programs, and arts and culture.