03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Nation's Top Polluters: We're Green Too!

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts compile an annual list known as the Toxic 100, which ranks the top corporate air polluters in the United States. According to the latest Toxic 100 rankings, the five worst air polluters in the country are (in order) DuPont, Archer Daniels Midland, Dow Chemical, Bayer Group, and Eastman Kodak.

But don’t expect any of these companies to admit they have a poor environmental record. In fact, to hear the top polluters tell it, they’re as green as Al Gore. Here, in each company's own words, is how the country’s top five air polluters describe their environmental policies:


DuPont has a 204-year legacy of core values, rooted strongly in safety, health and environmental stewardship. For almost 20 years, we have been reducing the environmental footprint of our own operations. The challenge – and the opportunity – is to develop products and processes that are safer, less toxic, more energy efficient, use less water, and produce fewer greenhouse gases.

Today, a holistic approach to sustainability is fully integrated into our business models.  Simultaneously, we are decreasing raw material and energy inputs into our products and reducing emissions at our manufacturing sites.  In 2006, we announced a new set of sustainability goals.  With a target date of 2015, these include additional voluntary 'footprint reduction goals,' as well as - for the first time - 'market-facing goals .' Our market-facing goals identify opportunities where we will put our research and development dollars to work to develop new products and offerings that will help meet our customers' needs and expectations for more sustainable products.

Archer Daniels Midland

ADM deeply values the Earth’s productive capacity and works to lessen our impact on the environment. The ADM Way, ADM’s foundational statement of values, includes a commitment to ‘the protection of the environment in all areas where we conduct operations.’ The implementation of this commitment is a primary management objective and the responsibility of all ADM colleagues. With resourcefulness and passion, we are focused on efficiently using water resources and minimizing the impact of our operations on the air.

ADM is implementing new practices which are setting the standard for our industry, including environmental audits at all major facilities, capital improvements and process changes to reduce emissions. More recently, rising concern about climate change has brought a new urgency to our stewardship of the air. We continue our work to reduce emissions from our operations and now are finding ways to offset greenhouse gas emissions, too.

Dow Chemical

As a part of the company’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, the people at Dow are committed to using resources more efficiently, providing value to our customers and stakeholders, delivering solutions for customer needs and enhancing the quality of life of current and future generations. Dow is committed to elevate our understanding of our impact on global ecosystems and work toward the most efficient and effective use of the planet’s precious resources.

Dow believes that providing humanity with a sustainable energy supply while addressing climate change is one of the most urgent environmental issues the world faces. Dow will contribute to slowing, stopping and reversing the growth of our green house gas footprint by reinventing the way we apply chemistry and will lead the global call for a multi-faceted approach to energy and climate change. As a world leader in chemistry, we are uniquely positioned to deliver solutions to energy alternatives, less carbon intensive raw material sources, and other solutions not yet imagined.

The Bayer Group

Bayer is committed to the concept of sustainable development: Economic, ecological and social matters are goals of equal rank in our corporate policy. With its products Bayer wants to help effectively address societal megatrends and challenges such as climate change, inadequate global health care or the scarcity of water and food. We also consistently align our own business processes to sustainable development criteria along the entire value chain. Through our social responsibility, furthermore, we also contribute to improving living conditions in the communities in which our sites are located and supporting the future prospects of others.

In order to be able to act in a goal-oriented manner in this environment, we must identify social trends and needs at an early stage. Our sustainability concept is therefore based on close, sustained dialogue with our stakeholders and society at large. Other values spelled out in our mission statement ‘Bayer: Science For A Better Life’ include integrity, openness and honesty; respect for people and nature; and sustainability of our actions.

Eastman Kodak

Kodak is committed to sustainability worldwide. We recognize that we have a role to play in helping society prosper by driving business growth in a responsible manner that creates value for all stakeholders. Kodak has recently unveiled new worldwide Sustainability Goals having surpassed current Responsible Growth Goals. For the fifth straight year, Kodak is named to “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations” list.

Kodak has long recognized that setting goals drives performance via sustainable business practices. In 1998 the company established its first set of voluntary Health, Safety, and Environmental goals. Since then, a decade of progress has produced reduced emissions, conservation of natural resources and fewer workplace injuries and illnesses.