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1999 Jury Citation

WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development

The Jury awards the 1999 WEC Gold Medal to Eastman Kodak Company for its exemplary environmental stewardship. The Kodak vision is a "Circle of Trust -- a Global Commitment," encompassing respect for individual dignity, integrity, trust, credibility, continuous improvement and personal reward.

Kodak's Signature Contribution is the assumption of responsibility for photo-processing chemicals, cameras, film and packaging beyond the traditional point of sale. The WEC Gold Medal Jury was particularly pleased by the conversion of what was initially a disposable camera into a reusable and recyclable single-use camera. Bringing back the cameras as many as 10 times to reuse and recycle its components reflects the company's extensive, worldwide commitment to sustainable development.

The Jury finds Kodak's use of innovative science, technology and management practices to achieve maximum compatibility between environmental quality, business development, and social equity establishes a benchmark for others to follow.


Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) responsibility starts at the highest level of the company with the HSE Management Council and extends to local line management. Policy, vision, guiding principles, and performance standards are defined in increasing detail at each level. Continuous and measurable improvement is the overall objective.


Kodak’s HSE performance is a factor in the compensation of line management as it is for all senior management including the CEO. Performance is measured based upon a Business Unit Evaluation Guide that measures how effectively HSE principles are integrated into business plans and according to a goal of 20% annual improvement.

A Manufacturing Key Thrust program assures the integration of HSE Strategy into worldwide manufacturing operations. Performance matrices track targets for chemical emissions, volume, toxicity, and safety performance, all of which have been surpassed regularly. Releases and use of TRI chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, methylene chloride, photoprocessing chemicals all have been reduced meaningfully.

Kodak has set a goal for all manufacturing units to be ISO 14001 certification-ready by the end of 1998 and eight are already certified. In addition, the company is seeking certification for its overall HSE Management System.

Kodak Environmental Services also works with customers to help them achieve compliance and save raw materials, energy, and money while doing a better job of protecting the environment. By helping customers and municipalities in waste management via source reduction, recycling, treatment and disposal, 22 million pounds of waste were diverted from landfills in 1997.


Kodak has formed partnerships and alliances in the quest for environmental excellence. With the help of a Kodak grant in 1992, the World Wildlife Fund produced "Windows on the Wild," a program for people of all ages to build environmental awareness and to stimulate discussion of biodiversity. Already reaching millions of children in the U.S., the program began expanding internationally in 1998.

A successful pilot program to assess suppliers' HSE performance has resulted in HSE standards for suppliers. It is being applied worldwide. Underscoring the Circle of Trust philosophy was the innovative Value Protection Plan that Kodak set up to guarantee the future value of homes affected by the 1987 discovery of organic chemicals in the groundwater in an adjacent neighborhood.

Also in 1987, Kodak realized that their highly successful single-use camera had been popularly dubbed "disposable" and, as such, was ecologically insensitive. They seized the opportunity to redesign the camera completely. The new version was launched in 1990 and since then, more than 200 million cameras have been reused and recycled.

This crowning achievement of ‘design for the environment’ required the cooperation of Kodak’s business, development, design and environmental personnel, as well as suppliers and photo finishers. Recycling and reuse of the single-use camera is 70% in the U.S. and 60% worldwide with cameras being reused up to 10 times before being ground up and remolded. Of special note is the employment of disabled persons in a sorting process, which also allows Kodak to exchange competitors’ cameras for their own.


Kodak's HSE guiding principles provide a clear framework to drive sustainable development worldwide under the leadership of top management and fully supported by employees, suppliers, customers and partners. The Signature Contribution and Sustainable Development Policies reflect Kodak's extensive worldwide efforts to reuse and recycle materials.

The Jury is proud to designate Kodak for the 1999 WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Environmental Achievement and applauds Kodak’s exemplary and global environmental commitment.


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