Paul L. Bechly papersCreation: 1965-2020 Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-2000
Paul L. Bechly worked in various positions for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company between 1980 and 1993, including research and development, engineering, distribution, sales, and product management. Bechly's papers document his efforts at developing and implementing a successful perfluorocarbon (PFC) policy for the DuPont Company in the early 1990s. The papers also reflect DuPont’s companywide initiative to be at the forefront of environmental policy with regard to the global reduction of PFC emissions.
- Creation: 1965-2020
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-2000
- Bechly, Paul L. (Person)
1.5 Linear Feet
Paul L. Bechly worked in various positions for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company between 1980 and 1993, including research and development, engineering, distribution, sales, and product management.
In the early 1990s, Bechly was the driver and leader of an effort to develop and implement a perfluorocarbon (PFC) policy for DuPont and allied industries. Bechly and his team sought to reduce the amount of PFCs - potent gases associated with global warming and ozone depletion - sold as DuPont products, such as Freon, a refrigerant commonly used in air conditioners, and as by-products of its Polymers operations. DuPont accounted for roughly 2% of all PFC emissions, with the other 98% originating from the aluminum industry.
To counter this issue, Bechly organized a roundtable of DuPont technical, environmental, and business representatives, including representation from both the Polymers and Electronics businesses. Bechly also led a team of environmental scientists to study and provide data on greenhouse gases, and their sources, their atmospheric effects, and options for control. The scientists also listed safe substitutes for the harmful gases, described the shelf life of the harmful chemicals in the atmosphere, and provided information about how industry has contributed to the global warming trend. As a result, the roundtable developed a corporate position to reduce PFC emissions where practical, or eliminate them entirely. Furthermore, Bechly worked with the sales and marketing team to develop environmentally responsible sales policy by no longer selling PFC electronic gases to those who did not contain, recycle, or destroy the compounds subsequent to use. The roundtable also worked with the Aluminum Association and related industries to develop similar policy.
In 1991, Bechly and his team developed Zyron, a specialty gas marketed to the global electronics industry that would replace Freon. It became a registered trademark of DuPont in 1993. As a result of Bechly’s work, he was awarded DuPont’s Environmental Excellence Award in 1992.
Scope and Content
The Paul L. Bechly papers document Bechly’s efforts at developing and implementing a successful perfluorocarbon (PFC) policy for the DuPont Company in the early 1990s. The papers also reflect DuPont’s companywide initiative to be at the forefront of environmental policy with regard to the global reduction of PFC emissions.
The papers are primarily composed of roundtable meeting minutes and discussions, correspondence, and data research leading to DuPont’s recommendations and policy regarding the curtailing of PFC derivatives in favor of substitute compounds to help curtail global warming. Minutes from DuPont’s Environmental Leadership Council include reports containing data of environmental incidents across most major industries, as well as PFC status reports based on contemporary studies.
Numerous reports discuss the effects of PFCs and other chemicals in the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as discussions and studies related to Freon and Zyron. There are also several drafts of DuPont’s corporate and sales policies on PFC emissions, as well as data on emissions from the aluminum industry. Documents related to Bechly's acceptance of DuPont's Environmental Excellence Award for the implementation of the PFC roundtable are also included. Lastly, there is a copy of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore’s October 1993
Climate Change Action Plan.
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Language of Materials
- E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (Organization)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Paul L. Bechly papers
- Dave Burdash; Clayton J. Ruminski
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- 2021: Laurie Sather