Greenhouse gases are accounted for in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, applying the operational control approach and using emissions factors from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. Scope 1 includes Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases [carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6),and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)] as well as any non-Kyoto greenhouse gases emitted. Scope 2 includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Historical data considers any divestitures, mergers and acquisitions and may change to reflect those activities.
Reported Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions showed little change from 2019. This reflects offsetting emissions impacts from several factors including the number of scheduled outages for maintenance, COVID-19 impact on volumes, and emissions reduction projects.
Scope 2 emissions reflect power purchases to supply manufacturing operations around the world. These are calculated according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance, including both location-based and market-based methods. The market-based value is used in the corporate total for our 2030 emissions reduction target. This allows purchased and contracted renewable energy to contribute toward the goal of not exceeding our 2006 absolute emissions baseline (42.1 million MT CO2e), and accounts for the use of supplier-specific emissions factors associated with energy contracts Dow has in place.
In 2020, Dow changed the methodology used to calculate the GHG Intensity metric. Emissions used in the calculation relate to the manufacture of materials and exclude emissions associated with the production of power and steam not consumed by the company. In addition, the production volume used in this metric includes products produced by the company, including by-products and co-products generated from the production of olefins. The methodology for this calculation was applied to the presentation of historical GHG Intensity metrics.
Excluding emissions associated with the production of power and steam not consumed by Dow
Scope 3 emissions are defined by the GHG Protocol as indirect emissions from value chain activities. Understanding the relative scale of the Scope 3 categories contributes to our strategies for targeting reduction initiatives.
Our estimates of Scope 3 emissions are made according to the GHG Protocol’s Corporate Accounting Standard and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard, as well as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Guidance for Accounting and Reporting Corporate GHG Emissions in the Chemical Sector Value Chain. Estimates include all or a subset of Kyoto GHGs [carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6),and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)] depending on the category and estimation methodology. The WBCSD sector guidance deviates from the GHG Protocol in the definitions of upstream and downstream transportation and distribution. We have applied the WBCSD document definition, which states that upstream transportation and distribution applies to flows of material from a supplier to Dow, and downstream applies to flows of material from Dow to another entity.
Total Scope 3 emissions for 2020 were 69.3 million metric tons. The largest category of our Scope 3 emissions remains purchased goods and services. Differences from values reported in 2019 are largely a result of COVID-19 impacts. Although small relative to the overall Scope 3 emissions (included in “other” in the chart), the business travel and employee commute categories were most significantly impacted by COVID-19, as our employees were restricted from travel and many worked from their homes for a significant portion of the year.
Scope 3 emissions are a component of our carbon-neutral ambition. As a step toward taking meaningful action to manage our Scope 3 contributions, we are continuing to update and digitize our processes for data collection and analysis. These efforts, currently underway, will continue to improve understanding of our value chain impact and opportunities, and further enable a sustainable foundation for targeted future actions.
Dow tracks overall energy intensity and consumption year over year, as well as GHG intensity and emissions as key metrics. While many projects implemented throughout the year have an impact in reducing our energy consumption and/or our GHG emissions, the following table outlines projects completed in 2020 that will have a significant impact on these numbers.
|Project Summary||Location||Type of Energy Reduced||Amount (in millions of kJ/year)||Scope of Emissions Reduced||Approx. Amount (metric tons CO2e/year)|
|Conversion of blowing agent materials in formulated polyol products from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to lower global warming potential (GWP) chemicals||Multiple locations||N/A||N/A||Scope 1||50,000|
|Increased recovery of waste heat from gas turbines via flowgrid installations||Freeport, TX, USA||Fuel||2,000,000||Scope 1||100,000|
|Reduction in propylene loss and generation of additional steam from energy recovery unit||Map Ta Phut, Thailand||Steam||130,000||Scope 1||30,000|
|Implementation of new mono/di methyl chlorosilane distillation technology resulting in energy efficiency improvements||Zhangjiagang, China||Steam||140,000||Scope 1||20,000|
|Solar power agreements to replace conventional power usage||Kentucky and Texas, USA;
Energy and emissions savings were determined by comparing plant operating conditions before projects were implemented to conditions after implementation.
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.
*Emissions reduction projects continue to be part of our capital planning process.
#This GRI metric has been restated to correct the measurement for information received subsequent to the publication of the 2019 or 2018 Sustainability Report.
Metric tons CFC-11e
Ozone-depleting emissions include substances with ozone depletion potential greater than zero. Emissions are reported in CFC-11 equivalents using ozone depletion factors based on the Montreal Protocol. Since 2005, Dow has eliminated 97% of ozone-depleting emissions as these gases have been phased out. The remaining emissions are primarily fugitives and can vary significantly year to year. Dow seeks to minimize all releases of fugitive emissions and has a robust detection program to identify and correct leaks. In 2020, emissions were higher vs. 2019 primarily due to a single event of chlorodifluoromethane fugitive emissions release at a single site.
NOx emissions are largely driven by operation of Dow’s Hydrocarbons, Specialty Plastics and Energy assets. As a result of the change in asset mix coming out of Dow’s separation from DowDuPont, the baseline NOx emissions are 800 metric tons higher than before, as new Hydrocarbon Specialty Plastics and Energy assets were added, while lower NOx emitting assets spun off as part of Corteva or DuPont. 2020 saw a reduction in NOx emissions primarily driven by lower production demand and reduced flaring as a result of COVID-19.
Dow’s SOx emissions are largely driven by our silicon smelter operations that produce raw materials for our Consumer Solutions business, and our Acrylic Monomer production within our Performance Monomers business. SOx emissions were reduced largely in 2020 vs. 2019 due to the idling of one of our silicon smelter sites, as well as impacts due to COVID-19.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were reduced in 2020 vs. 2019 due to the implementation of emissions reduction technology, idling of a silicone smelting facility and lower production demand as a result of COVID-19.
Chemical emissions are any release or discharge to the air or water of any pollutant from a facility. This data excludes NOx, SOx, carbon monoxide, CO2, particulates, methane, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, water, aluminum and certain salts. The chemical emissions category is largely driven by emissions from our wastewater treatment operations at our large integrated sites. These emissions include the post-treatment chemical emissions from our industrial park tenant companies. 2020 chemical emissions were reduced vs. 2019 due to lower production demand as a result of COVID-19.
Priority compounds are a subset of VOCs that contain carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive hazards and/or are persistent and bioaccumulative in the environment. Emissions of priority compounds were greatly reduced in 2020 vs. 2019 due to enhancements of methodologies to include measured instead of estimated data, as well as lower-production demand as a result of COVID-19.