Engaging Team Dow at the INtersections of ESG
by Rebecca Bentley, Vice President, Public Affairs, Dow
The path to achieving our environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities intersects at one central point – with Team Dow.
Last week, we released “INtersections,” our first integrated ESG report, which provides a holistic look at how we are connecting environmental stewardship, positive social impact and strong governance practices throughout our operations, talent pipeline, supply chain and communities. The report not only represents what we are doing, but who we are – and what we aspire to be – as a company.
Team Dow is behind every relationship that makes our ESG priorities a success – from engaging with our communities to connecting with diverse suppliers to working alongside our customers to create products that help them address their sustainability concerns.
Recently, my colleagues Karen S. Carter, chief human resources and inclusion officer; Mary Draves, chief sustainability officer and vice president, Environment, Health & Safety; and Amy Wilson, general counsel and corporate secretary and I sat down to talk about how together our teams are advancing inclusion, environmental stewardship and accountability in Dow.
Building a culture around inclusion and diversity
Dow has been on an intentional journey to cultivate a culture of inclusion across the organization, and our ten Employee Resource Groups have been a big part of that. This foundational work was pivotal in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. In June 2020, our CEO Jim Fitterling hosted a virtual conversation attended by more than 1,000 colleagues, including Dow’s entire executive leadership team. The town hall was sponsored by the Global African Affinity Network (GAAN). From it grew Dow ACTs, a holistic plan to address systemic racism and racial inequality. During our discussion, Karen called the frank and transparent conversations, and Dow’s commitments that followed, some of the proudest moments of her 27-year career.
Embedding sustainability into everything we do
We’re a company with a simple but aspirational purpose: to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. In 2020, we accelerated our actions to address climate change and circular economy with commitments to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to stop plastic waste. In our discussion, Mary credited Team Dow with working on practical, measurable ways, both inside the company and with external partners, to advance our commitments and reduce our impact.
Guiding more transparency and accountability
A global pandemic. More than half of our workforce working from home. 2020 was a year unlike any other. Our recipe for success was having clear business and ESG metrics in place for Team Dow and a Board of Directors that held our leaders accountable for achieving them. In fact, ESG metrics were built into our Executive Compensation and employee Performance Award programs in 2020. Amy shared how having strong governance in place helped Dow navigate through challenging times.
How a company addresses ESG is one of the fundamental questions of our time, because it speaks to how sustainable and resilient a company is and the responsibility companies have to help make our fragile world a better place to live. That is a question that interests not only investors but employees, too. Employees want to know they are joining a company built for the long term – a company where they can be proud to come to work and for the contributions they can make. When purpose, culture and innovation intersect with our ESG priorities, Team Dow moves forward with intention and clarity to create a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous business.
I invite you to check out our full 2020 Dow ESG Report, or catch our entire conversation here.