The collaboration team has made progress in supporting the implementation of Dow's Nature Goal - both through process and culture change. As a result of the global workshops during 2016 through 2020 time period, the collaboration saw increased adoption of the tools developed within the Nature Goal process. further, Dow has updated its project delivery and capital approval processes to include the completion of the nature screen as a mandatory step for all capital and real estate projects. Consequently, there has been a rapid increase in use of the nature screen. Prior to making the screen mandatory, approximately 40 projects per year were screened or 10 projects per quarter. This however has increased to greater than 20 projects per quarter resulting in a 100% increase in the number of projects screened. This effort serves as an example to show how other companies can embed nature in their business.
The collaboration continued to have our joint efforts recognized externally. In 2019, the American Chemistry Council recognized TNC with its External Collaborator award. From the award press release: “In one of the first of its kind collaborations between a chemical company and environmental group, The Nature Conservancy committed its time, resources and reputation to work closely with Dow.“
The collaboration has also been connecting local TNC and Dow staff for collaboration on specific projects. For example, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, local TNC staff helped Dow staff design wetland plantings for the construction of a flood pond at a Dow manufacturing site. The input and expertise of the TNC staff helped ensure that the designed site included more native plantings and habitat than would otherwise have been created.
Finally, one of Dow's key metrics of success has been the monetary value generated from projects that are both improving the bottom line for Dow while also improving the nature profile of a project. With the help of engaged Dow colleagues, Dow reports that the Nature Goal surpassed its yearly target and had recognized more than $534 million in net business value through December 20202. Dow is well on its way to achieving it’s 2025 Valuing Nature Target of $1 billion in net business value.
Some examples of key Dow projects that contributed to its Nature Goal during this reporting timeframe:
- The landfill closure project in Barry, UK used a treatment wetland to process stormwater and create a wildflower meadow on the capped landfill improving the local habitat;
- Using the power of information technology to develop a control scheme for a gas turbine allowing for hydrogen to be re-used as opposed to being flared creating savings on fuel purchase while reducing emissions;
- Installing a wind turbine within the green belt area of a site to generate clean electricity at a lower cost to Dow;
- Landscaping of a green belt area from a mowed lawn into a meadow, which improved habitat locally - the project paid for itself through savings and maintenance costs of the site;
- Creating an additional source of revenue by diverting and waste from the landfill and turning it into a byproduct; and,
- Using recycled materials and engineering solutions to cut costs associated with the repair of a dike wall - this project created savings on material costs while minimizing waste to a landfill.
2 The Nature Conservancy does not audit or collaborate with Dow on the tracking of its Valuing Nature Gold metrics. The Nature Conservancy supports Dow's implementation of the Valuing Nature Goal exclusively through the development of tools and processes related to integrating nature into business decisions.
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KEYWORDS: NYSE:DOW, Dow, The Nature Conservancy