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Meet GRI's latest GOLD Community Member: The Dow Chemical Company
06 December 2017

​GRI GOLD Community members are our core supporters. As leaders in sustainable development, they benefit from our latest insights and trends in sustainability and reporting, and form a global community of practice and knowledge sharing. The Dow Chemical Company, based in the US, is the latest organization to join our unique program.
​The Dow Chemical Company supplies specialty chemicals to a range of markets, including electronics, packaging and energy. By combining the power of science and technology, it aims to innovate to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency.

With a history spanning almost 125 years, Dow, a subsidiary of DowDuPont (the merged entity between Dow and DuPont, incorporated in 2017), is a leading materials science company. This was one of the drivers to join the GRI GOLD Community, according to Dow Sustainability Manager Jennifer Princing:

“Dow was primarily looking for information to help navigate our reporting strategy through the DowDuPont merger. We have had beneficial engagement with our GRI representative, who has provided relevant case studies and best practices.”

This is the aspect of the program she expects will most benefit Dow, feeding into communicating its sustainability strategy, which is vital to the company’s future.

“Our commitment to sustainability means making every decision with the future in mind – focusing on innovation that extracts value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences, and collaboration at the intersection of business, government and society,” said Princing. “We are leaders in advancing all aspects of sustainability by openly collaborating with customers, suppliers, communities, and governments to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

Dow focuses on targeted, high growth market sectors where the company is uniquely positioned to create value for its customers and society, pointing resources toward addressing global challenges and aligning the company’s investment in sustainability with strategic business opportunities. This strategic and integrated approach – together with Dow’s industry-leading research and development expertise – has enabled a portfolio of new and differentiated products aligned directly to addressing and anticipating customer needs in high-value end-markets that are strategic to Dow.

Dow continues to focus on sustainable chemistry as an area where it can have meaningful impact on world challenges, as Princing explained: “As part of the 2025 Sustainability Goal to ‘Deliver Breakthrough Innovation’, we have developed and used a Sustainable Chemistry index (SCI) to capture and publicly describe our journey toward sustainability. The SCI considers product risks, life cycle impacts, addressing world challenges, external rewards, business goals and strategy, and value chain engagement. The results of the SCI in 2016 led to the creation of scorecards, benchmarks, and lists of strengths, gaps, and opportunities for each business, so that the most effective improvements can be pursued.”

Dow’s sustainability achievements dates back to 1995 with the establishment of the company’s first set of 10-year goals to improve environmental, health and safety performance. “We were recognized for several achievements stemming from those goals, including the number of lives saved and injuries prevented, as well as the amount of waste eliminated,” said Princing.

In 2006, Dow decided to go beyond the company’s fence lines to include the value of sustainable solutions provided to customers that allows Dow to have a bigger positive impact on the world. Their 2015 Sustainability Goals expanded beyond environmental health and safety to include strengthening community relationships, improving product stewardship, innovating to solve global challenges and reducing the company’s global footprint.

In 2015, Dow announced a strategic set of commitments designed to redefine the role of business in society. Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals use a global lens to magnify the company’s impact around the world, driving collaboration to develop societal blueprints that will facilitate the transition to a sustainable planet and society.

“Throughout this journey from footprint to handprint to blueprint, Dow’s approach to sustainability has been to set clear and challenging goals, measure rigorously and report regularly,” added Princing. “This bold accountability inspires innovation in the company and builds respect among stakeholders and collaborators.”