Materials used (GRI 102-9, 301-1, 301-2, 301-103)

Dow operates in an integrated manufacturing environment. Basic raw materials are processed through multiple operations to make products that are sold to external customers and used as intermediates to further downstream Dow operations. The major raw material stream that feeds the production of our finished goods is hydrocarbon-based raw materials.

Dow’s integrated manufacturing environment

Graphic showing Dow's use of raw materials and their outputs

Key raw materials

A chart showing materials in each of Dow's three major business units

Raw material efficiency

Raw material efficiency is tracked as part of the suite of four metrics that comprise the Environmental Stewardship Index, under our World-Leading Operations Performance Goal. To assess the raw material efficiency index, each of our business units determines a relevant material efficiency metric, sets annual commitments that translate into monetary savings, and reports regularly on progress to business and corporate leadership. Total quantity of raw material is not aggregated across the corporation. The current method used for raw material efficiency is more granular providing more clarity and opportunity for improvement to each business unit versus an aggregate total quantity.

In 2020, businesses achieved a total of $47.5 MM in raw material savings from efficiency improvements.

Measuring material efficiency provides a direct driver to improve activities such as:

  • Process parameter adjustments to improve yield
  • Increased frequency of tracking and internal reporting of specific materials uses
  • Raw material quality improvements that result in more efficient use
  • Waste minimization through equipment reliability improvements

A circular economy is one of the three sustainability focus areas that we’ve identified as critical to our business and where we can make a difference. Since announcement of our circular economy targets in June 2020, we have:

  • Enabled 8,298 metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through our direct actions and partnerships toward our target of 1 million metric tons by 2030.
  • Enabled 81% of Dow products sold into packaging applications to be reusable or recyclable toward our target of 100% by 2035.