Dow announced aggressive new commitments to address both climate change and plastic waste on its path towards becoming carbon neutrality by 2050.
The U.S company also issued its 2019 Sustainability Report for the 17th consecutive year, outlining progress and results aligned to its 2025 Sustainability Goals.
“The announcement is the next step in our sustainability journey that began more than 30 years ago. Climate change and plastic waste are among the greatest technical, social, and economic issues the world has ever faced, and our products and technology are critical to addressing both,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow chairman and chief executive officer. “At Dow, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead in addressing these global challenges. A sustainable future is attainable, but only if we continue to tackle these issues head-on, hold ourselves accountable, and work together to enable new science- and technology-based solutions that directly address both climate change and plastic waste.”
Dow outlined three areas it will focus on to achieve its sustainability goals:
- Protect the Climate: By 2030, Dow will reduce its net annual carbon emissions by 5 million metric tons, or 15 per cent from its 2020 baseline. Additionally, Dow intends to be carbon neutral by 2050, in alignment with the Paris Agreement. The Company is committed to implementing and advancing technologies to manufacture products using fewer resources and that help customers reduce their carbon footprints.
- Stop the Waste: By 2030, Dow will help “stop the waste” by enabling 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships. The company is investing and collaborating in key technologies and infrastructure to significantly increase global recycling.
- Close the Loop: By 2035, Dow will help “close the loop” by having 100% of its products sold into packaging applications be reusable or recyclable. Dow is committed to redesigning and offering reusable or recyclable solutions for packaging applications.
In addition to numerous actions Dow has already taken around the world to achieve its sustainability targets, Dow confirmed it has entered into new renewable power agreements for its manufacturing facilities in Argentina, Brazil, Texas, and Kentucky, securing 338 more megawatts of power capacity from renewable sources, representing an expected reduction of more than 225,000 metric tons of CO2e. The Company is on track to exceed its target to source 750 MW of renewable power capacity by 2025.
Dow also introduced a new line of mechanically recycled plastic resins for flexible and rigid plastic packaging applications which have the potential to reduce carbon and energy footprints of applications by up to 20-30 per cent.
“Reducing the impact of climate change and eliminating plastic waste are societal challenges that are closely linked. As a producer of technologies that are essential to a low carbon economy, we are developing and investing in new production processes that are low-emission and optimally efficient. And we’re now looking at waste as a resource that will enable us to continue to innovate sustainable materials,” said Mary Draves, Dow vice president and chief sustainability officer.
Dow will also collaborate with leading academics, NGOs, auditing experts, technology partners and others in industry to incentivise the development and commercialisation of low-carbon products and technologies that ultimately lower global GHG emissions and to ensure that companies are able to account for those GHG reductions.