Dow combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. Europe, the Middle East and Africa account for 35% of its revenue, followed by the rest of the world (33%) and the United States (32%).
Dow operates through six main divisions: Performance Plastics, Performance Materials, Feedstocks & Energy, Coatings & Infrastructure Solutions, Agricultural Sciences and Electronic and Functional Materials.
Dow works with governmental institutions and agencies worldwide to advance the role of chemistry in solving the world’s greatest challenges. Collaborations and research partnerships enable Dow to share information and insight into key scientific applications and combine strengths in pursuit of breakthrough solutions. Dow also supports the development of responsible, science-based laws, regulations, standards, practices and procedures that safeguard the community, workplace and environment; Dow welcomes appropriate review by governments to maintain and enhance public acceptance of its operations and products.
Addressing World Challenges
World-changing sustainable chemistry means moving beyond product advancements to technologies that address the greatest needs of people across the globe. The world needs solutions for big challenges like energy, climate change, water, food, housing and health. And Dow has some of the world’s best scientists and engineers dedicated to solving world challenges through innovation.
Energy and Climate Change: The future of energy is connected to innovative technologies and materials from chemistry – from advanced batteries for next-generation hybrid cars, to materials that make homes more efficient, to solutions for capturing greenhouse gases and addressing global climate change. We believe tomorrow’s chemical advances will lead to breakthrough solutions to the world’s need for clean, sustainable and affordable energy.
Water: Water is one of life’s most basic and essential components. Yet for millions of people across the globe, clean water is not accessible. Dow is committed to developing innovative technologies and creative sustainability solutions to help solve the global water crisis, preserve and restore the world’s water supply and ensure access to clean water for millions.
Food: The challenge of feeding the world’s rapidly growing population is being met by our commitment to developing healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable solutions that produce greater crop yields, bolster harvests and enhance healthier food options across the globe. With innovative technologies and creative solutions, we are helping resolve the global food crisis.
Housing: As a leading solutions provider in the building industry, Dow understands the wide range of challenges customers and homeowners face every day, including energy efficiency, moisture management, rising energy costs and environmental responsibility. We are committed to helping homeowners – and potential homeowners – realize their housing dreams.
Health: Our commitment to healthy products, healthy people and healthy communities drives our constant drive for new innovations that will improve the quality of life for all of us, while protecting human health and the environment. By focusing on innovative solutions in agriculture, functional foods and health care – while ensuring we are meeting our chemicals management commitments and responsibilities – we remain dedicated to helping create a more sustainable world for all of us and future generations.
Transportation: Protecting people and the environment is part of everything we do and every decision we make. From powering tomorrow’s electric vehicles to keeping today’s passengers safe, we are committed to innovations that advance safety and health performance, improve energy efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions – across a range of transportation modes.
Responsible Operations: All businesses have a responsibility to operate responsibly and the chemical industry is no exception. We must ensure that our infrastructure has a positive impact on our company, our communities and ourselves. Our operations must serve as a model for others, wherever we operate. We are committed to minimizing our own footprint with technologies that reduce water waste, minimize energy consumption and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
Government policy is one of the most powerful external forces affecting The Dow Chemical Company today. New laws and changes to existing laws can fundamentally impact Dow’s operations and the markets in which we do business – and in turn, our bottom line, thereby affecting Dow employees, retirees, communities and shareholders. Because the impact of government policy is so critical to our survival and success, Dow actively participates in both the policymaking and political processes, through legally allowed advocacy efforts. Dow is committed to the highest standard of ethical conduct in our involvement in the political process.
Chemicals Management Policy includes a broad array of voluntary and regulatory efforts regarding the safe and environmentally sound manufacture, distribution, handling and disposal of chemical products, intermediates and wastes. This encompasses testing products to assess hazards, evaluating potential exposures to products in intended applications to identify and manage risks, registering new products with proper authorities and notifying all interested parties of potential hazards and safe-handling procedures.
Dow is committed to continually improving the safety of its products throughout their life-cycle through providing best-in-class product stewardship. This is exemplified by Dow’s public reporting of its performance toward Dow’s 2015 Sustainability goals.
Dow strives to develop, manufacture, transport and market its products in a safe and responsible manner. Dow works to ensure its products are handled safely and recycled or disposed of appropriately. Dow welcomes appropriate review by governments to maintain and enhance public acceptance of its operations and products.
Dow supports a consistent, coordinated regulatory environment for products at global, national and regional levels to complement industry voluntary efforts and to ensure a level playing field. Where new or updated regulations are required, they should be based on established scientific principles that define safe conditions for use and impose requirements to assure that use is controlled within predefined safe conditions. Such a system must rely on risk assessment and risk management principles that are predictable, flexible and capable of responsibly addressing society’s economic, environmental and safety requirements.
Dow’s Principles for Chemical Management Systems:
- A chemical management system should be risk-based.
- The system should screen all chemicals (new and existing) to determine further information needs in a tiered, risk-based approach.
- The system should initially leverage available information.
- The system should recognize the shared responsibilities of each party in the value-chain.
- The system should promote transparency.
Dow’s Actions and Commitments
- Dow is actively engaged globally with regulators and other stakeholders to advocate for updated and newly-developed chemical management policies that are consistent with Dow’s Principles for Chemical Management Systems.
- Dow has long been recognized as a leader in the development and implementation of product stewardship to ensure the safe manufacture, distribution, sales, use and disposal/recycle of its products globally.
- Dow is constructively engaged throughout the world in working with key stakeholders to develop risk-based chemicals management policy (e.g., EU REACH, Canadian Environmental Protection Act and US TSCA) that is predictable for industry investment and customers while meeting societal expectations.
- Dow has volunteered, either on its own or with other chemical producers, to provide health, safety and environmental information on more than 180 chemicals as part of the High Production Volume Challenge program and other voluntary test programs globally.
- Dow has been a leader and strong proponent of the industry’s Long-Range Research Initiative to ensure funding of basic toxicology and the development of environmental and exposure test methods.
- Dow is leading the global implementation of Responsible Care® and product stewardship through the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).
Energy is the single most powerful engine of growth and prosperity in our society today. This is easily illustrated by witnessing how the sharp rise and fall in U.S. energy prices over the past years has affected America’s economy.
While the U.S. is primarily concerned with oil and gasoline price instability, this is just part of the problem. The U.S. volatile natural gas prices over the past two decades have resulted in a net loss of 120,000 well-paying chemical industry jobs and more than three million jobs in the nation’s manufacturing sector. As a result, the chemical industry has gone from a $19 billion trade surplus in 1997 to becoming a net importer of chemicals from 2001-2007.
As we transition to a low-carbon future, the US economy and security are dependent upon energy. Without a national comprehensive energy policy, the US is at risk to further suffer from the current global financial crisis and recession.
Our view at The Dow Chemical Company is that we need a comprehensive national energy policy that is bolder and bipartisan.
Dow believes any comprehensive energy policy must achieve these eight goals:
- Encourage aggressive energy efficiency and conservation
- Speed more renewable energy to market
- Encourage more domestic oil and gas production
- Optimize the carbon efficiency of coal
- Prove the viability of carbon capture and storage
- Accelerate the deployment of nuclear technology
- Develop and deploy advanced energy storage technology for automotive and stationary applications.
- Recognize from the outset the interrelationship between energy policy and climate solutions
Dow’s business strategy calls for access to the 95% of world’s consumers that live outside the borders of the United States. And having a “level playing field” in which to access those markets gives us an opportunity to compete – fairly. Our ability to compete is unparalleled – with the world’s greatest workforce, highest rates of productivity and limitless capacity for innovation – we compete well, where we have access.
With trade policy comes rules and enforcement. Trade and investment agreements raise the standards in countries where we want to sell product, build plants, and access cost-advantaged feedstock. In many cases, Dow’s overseas investments become key customers for Dow US production.
Trade gives us access to export our products and creates a rules-based system where we can be local investors in key strategic countries – all aligned to our business strategy. Trade promotes jobs by creating markets, giving exports a place to get to, and making the investment climate fair for global companies like Dow.
Dow Membership in Associations
Dow participates in many trade and business associations. Engagement with trade and business associations, whose purpose is to promote common business interests, assists us in managing priorities relevant to Dow and the chemical industry. Trade associations support member companies by:
- Advocating company and industry positions
- Building critical relationships
- Educating the public
- Supporting informed, unbiased public policy decisions
Many trade and business associations have diverse memberships and diverse member views on matters of public policy. Dow endeavors to participate actively in the leadership of its key trade associations. However, we may from time to time find ourselves in disagreement with the prevailing views of the majority of the association’s membership. It is our practice, and our preference, to work within the association policy process to assure that Dow’s views are adequately communicated and represented in association policy, strategy and tactics. In all cases, any Dow position on a matter of public policy is the prevailing company position, irrespective of any trade association position to the contrary.
- American Chemistry Council
- Business Forward
- Business Roundtable
- Chlorine Institute
- Halogenated Solvents Industry Association
- Louisiana Chemical Association
- Michigan Chamber of Commerce
- National Association of Manufacturers
- North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
- Solar Energy Industry Association
- Texas Chemical Council
- US Chamber of Commerce