Engaging Team Dow: The Far-Reaching Impact of Embedding Sustainability Into Our Culture

Engaging Team Dow: The Far-Reaching Impact of Embedding Sustainability Into Our Culture

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“From São Paulo, Brazil, to Babakan, Indonesia, our people are fostering breakthrough innovations and community-level programs that are providing real-world solutions to tough sustainability issues,” @DowNewsroom's @Mary_Draves: https://bit.ly/3iUjkLT
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 12:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Dow Sustainability Report 2019

CONTENT: Article

How do you transform global challenges into opportunities and foster a more sustainable tomorrow? It takes collaboration, innovation and the belief that science-based solutions can make an impact.

Across the world, Dow employees are using their skills and passion to innovate solutions to help protect the climate, advance a circular economy and foster more sustainable communities. Recently, two recognition programs – #DOW2025 Breakthrough Achievement Awards and Engaging for Impact Awards – recognized a diverse group of employees and their projects for making a positive social, environmental and economic impact.

“From São Paulo, Brazil, to Babakan, Indonesia, our people are fostering breakthrough innovations and community-level programs that are providing real-world solutions to tough sustainability issues,” said Mary Draves, Dow’s chief sustainability officer and vice president, Environment, Health & Safety. “Their actions and projects are producing tangible benefits for the environment, communities, and our customers and business.”

MAKING AN IMPACT IN EVERY GEOGRAPHY

The Breakthrough Achievement Awards honors high-impact projects that deliver both significant business and sustainability benefits to Dow. It also celebrates innovative achievements aligned to one or more of our 2025 Sustainability Goals. The Engaging for Impact Award recognizes the contributions of Dow employees whose work at Dow or volunteer efforts with our communities fosters a more sustainable tomorrow.

Global winners for 2019 were engaged in projects that help communities to convert their waste into valued resources while also supporting better economic opportunities. Both projects provide replicable blueprints that can be scaled in other communities.

  • For the Breakthrough Achievement Award, a team from Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics (PS&P) partnered with Boomera in São Paulo, Brazil, to develop a low-odor, post-consumer recycled resin that can be used in greater quantities in higher-value applications, such as packaging for household goods. This provides a new, bigger sales stream for waste cooperatives in Brazil. The resin is part of a holistic, circular economy model in which Dow and its partners are bringing improved training, equipment, administration, and professionalism to waste cooperatives and workers in São Paulo. Thus far, the program has seen 70% improvements in productivity and 50% increase in sales compared to 2018. Dow aims to scale its pilot program to cooperatives in Brazil and across Latin America, where more than 4 million people take their income from sorting and selling waste.
  • For the Engaging for Impact Award, Han Zhang, project director for P&P, was recognized for his efforts to implement solutions that are closing the loop of waste management systems in Indonesia. Through a partnership with the Bandung Institute of Technology, Project MASARO was piloted in Babakan – converting 8,800 pounds of plastic waste into 8,800 liters of fertilizer and 90 liters of fuel, which has been sold or used to benefit the local community. The program has also trained more than 2,000 students and teachers in proper separation of materials for recycling and waste management behaviors. Before Dow’s involvement, there was no way to manage waste in the village, so everything was thrown away.

“If implemented widely, these projects could provide a regional framework that could reduce costs for local governments and relieve some of the burden on recycling infrastructures,” Draves said.

Award winners also were chosen from each of Dow’s four geographies (North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, Africa and India). Recognized projects include a 400-acre reforestation project in Louisiana and a program in Europe that encourages the construction value chain to optimize its use of materials and adopt high-performance building solutions that meet the latest green building certification program requirements.

Hear first-hand from our award winners about what motivates their work and how teamwork makes a difference.

“These projects are proof that when you engage and empower employees to use their skills to advance sustainability, you get more and better ideas that bubble up and make an impact – for the world and our bottom line,” Draves said.

Learn more about how our employees are engaging in our communities around the world in our 2019 Sustainability Report.