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Dow Reaches Midpoint of Target Goal

Monday, October 5, 2020

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Last month, The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, Michigan) announced that it had achieved $500 million in savings from its “Valuing Nature” goal. The milestone marks the midway point to its 2025 Sustainability Goal to deliver $1 billion in business value from projects that enhance nature.

“At Dow, we believe business should be a catalyst for positive change through innovation and leadership in environmental sustainability,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “That’s why we are leading the way in ensuring the value of nature is considered in our business decisions. Dow’s Valuing Nature Goal is a critical piece of our ambition to become the most sustainable materials science company in the world.”

One of seven 2025 Sustainability Goals the Company launched in 2015, which align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Dow’s “Valuing Nature” goal is the first-ever commitment by a corporation to systematically consider nature in its business decisions on such a major scale.


Last month, The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, Michigan) announced that it had achieved $500 million in savings from its “Valuing Nature” goal. The milestone marks the midway point to its 2025 Sustainability Goal to deliver $1 billion in business value from projects that enhance nature.

Through the goal, Dow has committed to deliver $1 billion in value through avoided costs in projects that are both good for business and ecosystems, in addition to screening all capital and real estate projects, business development projects and new product innovations for potential sustainability benefits and impacts. In considering operational interfaces with nature, the company believes that capital, long-term operational and maintenance costs can all be lowered.

Examples of nature projects implemented include:

  • Terneuzen, The Netherlands: Dow collaborated with Evides, a water treatment company and local water supplier, and the District Water Board to use local wastewater for industrial purposes. This collaboration was the first major-scale application of industrial water reuse from municipal effluent. The collaboration has resulted in 300 m3/h net (or 2.5 million m3/year) water reuse, a 96.5% reduction in energy consumption and lower maintenance costs. By 2025, Dow is working to replace the freshwater from the Biesbosch region completely with sustainably sourced water. Dow, also, is testing a constructed wetland to enable more efficient downstream water treatment, requiring less chemicals and energy.
  • Aratu, Brazil: Excavation to install new brine wells at Matarandiba Island resulted in unstable and unsafe embankments. Instead of complete excavation or the traditional hard armor approach with steel and concrete, Dow stabilized embankments with gabions of local, readily available stone and reinforced vegetation. By creating this “living wall,” Dow saved money compared to alternatives, while reducing carbon emissions by 90% and reducing impact to the local forest.
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas: Acidic water with high levels of zinc was seeping from an abandoned mining site in Arkansas. Rather than installing a traditional collection and lime neutralization system to treat the water, the project team diverted runoff and seepwater into a sinuous limestone channel that used nature’s biochemical processes to treat the water. The result is a natural streambed with minimal maintenance costs, and the mine seep water is treated before it enters the downstream creek.

Dow also reports that through its long-running collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, the company has been able to develop tools to help evaluate and measure the value of nature-based projects. One tool, the Ecosystem Services Identification & Inventory Tool, is available for download and allows users to generate information on the ecosystem service performance of a specified landscape.

Mary Draves, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety stated that, “By systematically providing the tools, structure and business environment, we are demonstrating how investing in nature can help businesses and other organizations save money, reduce risks and build value for all stakeholders.”

In addition to Dow’s Valuing Nature, earlier this year it announced that it also planned to achieve a set of new sustainability commitments that build upon its 2025 Sustainability Goals, putting the company on a path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Through the commitments, Dow will also eliminate plastic waste in the environment and increase the company’s positive impacts on society, its customers and its business.

For progress and results of Dow’s Sustainability Goals, readers can view its annual Sustainable Report, here.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business management; Business matters; Business operations; Dow Chemical Company; DowDuPont; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Sustainability; Z-Continents

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