The transition toward a low-carbon economy remains one of the fundamental challenges of our society. At Dow, we have set an ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2050. As a large producer and consumer of energy, this is a complex challenge and one we are determined to meet. In addition to continuously finding ways to reduce emissions from our operations, we are collaborating to invest in new technologies and processes that will decarbonize our industry. At the same time, we are helping our customers reduce their emissions by innovating lower-carbon products.
In 2020, as a tangible demonstration of our commitment to reduce emissions, Dow announced the following climate protection targets.
By 2030, Dow will reduce its net annual carbon emissions by 5 million metric tons vs. its 2019* baseline (15% reduction). By 2050, Dow aspires to be carbon neutral (Scope 1 + 2 + 3 plus product benefits).
These carbon targets are in addition to our 2025 Sustainability Goals, which have the following climate-related objectives:
Dow will obtain 750 MW of its power demand from renewable sources by 2025
Though we will grow globally over the next 10 years, Dow’s absolute greenhouse gas emissions will not exceed our 2006 baseline
Any information relating to forward looking statements, targets, goals and progress against goals, was not subject to Deloitte & Touche LLP's review and, accordingly, Deloitte & Touche LLP does not express a conclusion or any form of assurance on such information.
* Baseline reset from 2020 to 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19 on operations and production volumes. The baseline represents Scope 1 + 2 emissions in 2019, adjusted for outliers (e.g., abnormal numbers of scheduled turnarounds/ outages or unusually high production volume at a plant, etc.). The value of the baseline equals 34.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
We have a clear plan to reach our 2030 carbon emissions reduction target. We will build on our progress to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
As a materials science leader, we see opportunities to use our R&D to advance a low-carbon future. We also have identified risks associated with climate change and are taking proactive actions to address them.
Dow accepts the scientific consensus that climate change caused by increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity has serious consequences for the planet and society if left unaddressed. We also support the Paris Agreement and are committed to achieving its goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
We have been working with internal and external stakeholders to understand how a materials science company such as Dow can best demonstrate and enact our commitment to decarbonization in line with climate science. Some technologies needed for deep decarbonization, such as carbon capture, usage and storage, are not yet available at scale, which limits our ability to tackle this problem in the short term. However, through investments in longer-term innovation, such as electrifying ethylene steam crackers and circular economy projects, we are committed to transitioning to cleaner manufacturing facilities by 2050 and enabling positive climate impact across value chains through recycled feedstocks and product innovations.
In 2020, we initiated a joint development agreement with Shell to develop electrified cracking technology that could be powered by clean energy, a breakthrough that could dramatically reduce emissions across the industry. Ethylene steam crackers supply chemicals used to make products that people use every day. However, today’s steam crackers rely on fossil fuel combustion to heat their furnaces, making them CO2 intensive.
Using renewable electricity to heat steam cracker furnaces could become one of the routes to help decarbonize the chemicals industry. The challenge is to develop a technologically and economically feasible solution.
Currently, innovation project teams from both Dow and Shell in Amsterdam and Terneuzen in the Netherlands and in Texas in the United States are working to design and scale “e-cracker” technologies. A goal is to test the process technology innovations in pilot operations, and then scale to commercial crackers.
Through sport and science, our carbon partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is purposely engaging across industry value chains to drive the adoption of best-in-class, lower-carbon technologies that go beyond current industry practices.