Stakeholder engagement (GRI 102-42, 102-43, 102-44)

Engaging stakeholders and establishing collaborative partnerships is an essential element of our ESG strategy. By engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders on a regular basis, we build a clearer understanding of complex global challenges and of the local conditions in the countries where we do business. The fundamental principles of Dow’s ongoing engagement strategy are:

  • Information sharing and disclosure
  • Participating in active dialogue
  • Collaborating on issues of mutual interest
  • Acting on input provided from stakeholders
Stakeholder Group GRI 102-40 Mechanism and Frequency of Engagement
Customers Customers are engaged frequently throughout the year through events, meetings, emails, surveys and social media.
Suppliers Suppliers are engaged frequently throughout the year through calls, emails and surveys.
Employees
(and Prospective Employees)
Employees are engaged frequently throughout the year through surveys, emails, internet postings, individual conversations, meetings, training and others. Numerous opportunities are provided for employees at all levels to provide input into ESG practices and strategy.
Community/Society Communities are engaged regularly through meetings and other communication with groups such as Community Advisory Panels, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Keep America Beautiful and others. Wider communication with communities is through social media.
Regulators Regulators are engaged as part of normal operations for Dow teams through meetings, emails and calls. These engagements can be standard sharing of information or more detailed conversations about particular regulatory issues of interest.
Shareholders/Investors Shareholders and investors are engaged regularly through meetings, conferences and the media. Dow’s Investor Relations function works to deliver relevant information about Dow’s activities and collects information about shareholder and investor ESG priorities and strategies.

Customer engagement

The Customer Experience surveys are a main source of soliciting insight annually from our customers and distributors. Surveys are sent to any direct customer or distributor contact who has interacted with us over the previous 12 months at any touchpoint along the customer journey. The contact is asked about their overall experience working with Dow during that time. This provides us with the Customer Experience Index (CXi). More interaction-specific questions related to the contact’s specific role are also asked to gain further insights around their online and offline experiences with Dow. In addition to the Customer Experience Survey, Dow teams regularly engage with our customers directly. We reinforced accountability and transparency across the company by adding a CXi component to our Executive Compensation and employee Performance Award programs, recognizing that customers are critical to Dow’s success and every employee has an impact on customer loyalty.

Methods of customer engagement on ESG topics
How we engage
  • Dedicated sustainability one-to-one meetings
  • Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) meetings
  • Collaboration via external forums (e.g., World Business Council for Sustainable Development)
  • Written and electronic communications
  • EcoVadis and similar third-party platforms
  • On-site ESG audits
  • Customer events/webinars
  • Conferences
Who participates
  • Account managers
  • Corporate subject matter experts
  • Business sustainability leaders
  • TS&D
  • Product Stewardship
  • Energy group
  • ES&S
  • HR
  • Legal
  • Site operations
  • Integrated supply chain (ISC)
  • Purchasing
Key engagement resources
  • Dow website
  • EcoVadis portal
  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
  • Dow ESG Report
  • Customer Information Group (CIG) portal
  • Enterprise-level, externally approved slide decks
  • Conflict minerals reporting template
Key topics of engagement
  • Overall strategy and goals, including on ESG
  • Carbon footprint and life-cycle assessment (LCA) requests
  • Value chain transparency
  • Customer-specific questionnaires
  • On-site audits related to ESG topics (e.g., Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit 4-pillar audits, TES audits)

Shareholder engagement

Throughout the year, members of the management team and, in some cases, members of the Board, continued extensive outreach to stockholders, engaging with investors who collectively held approximately 75% of outstanding shares of common stock of the company. Through this outreach, the management team updated investors on a range of topics, and also gained an understanding of the perspectives and concerns of each investor. The Board and management team carefully consider the feedback from these meetings, as well as stockholder support for our most recent advisory vote on executive compensation, when reviewing the business, corporate governance and executive compensation profiles.

The company continually evaluates enhancements to our corporate governance, ESG and executive compensation practices, and appreciates engaging key stakeholders - including our stockholders - in the evaluation of these enhancements. For example, as we made the following recent decisions:

  • We continued our focus on Board succession planning and refreshment – electing two new directors in 2020 (Jill S. Wyant and Gaurdie Banister Jr.), updating Board qualifications and refreshment guidelines, and proving our approach with a strong and diverse group of directors, including the two directors (Debra L. Dial and Luis Alberto Moreno) elected during the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
  • We expanded disclosures regarding current Board practices in response to corporate governance trends and best practices such as oversight of risk, leadership structure, director qualifications, service on other public company boards and the self-evaluation process.
  • We demonstrated our commitment to transparency with the external publication of the U.S. EEO-1 Workforce Compliance Report.
  • We reinforced our commitment to continuous improvement of ESG reporting and disclosures — by progressing implementation of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations by 2022 and expanding the 2019 Sustainability Report to include disclosure alignment to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
  • We supported ESG accountability across the company by adding ESG metrics in our Executive Compensation and employee Performance Award programs.
Who we engage
  • Institutional investors
  • Sell-side analysts
  • Retail stockholders
  • Pension funds
  • Holders of bonds
  • Proxy advisory firms
  • Rating agencies/firms
  • Investor coalitions
How we engage
  • One-on-one and group meetings in-person and virtually
  • Quarterly earnings calls
  • Industry and sell-side presentations and conferences
  • Company-hosted events and presentations
  • Written and electronic communications
Who participates
  • Executive management
  • Investor Relations
  • Senior leadership
  • Subject matter experts
  • Board of Directors
Key engagement resources
  • Dow website (investors.dow.com)
  • Quarterly earnings
  • Annual proxy
  • Annual Meeting
  • Shine Inclusion Report
  • Sustainability Report
  • Public events and presentations
  • SEC filings
  • Disclosures to various ratings assessors
Key topics of engagement
  • Overall business strategy
  • Current business conditions
  • Financial updates
  • Business continuity and actions through the pandemic
  • Sustainability, corporate citizenship and social impact
  • Corporate governance practices
  • Executive compensation

Regulators

Engagement with regulators in all our geographies of operations throughout 2020 was primarily done via email and virtual calls on a regular basis, including direct exchanges or in conjunction with our trade associations. During 2020, many topics were covered during these interactions. These topics included COVID-19 response, safe return-to-work conditions, social justice, diversity and inclusion, voting rights, trade, climate change and plastics regulations.

External Initiatives (GRI 102-12)

Responsible Care® Management System Voluntary initiative of the global chemical industry, a requirement of membership in the American Chemistry Council
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Voluntary participant since 2007. Requires commitment to meet fundamental responsibilities and report progress in four areas: human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Caring for Climate Signatory.
Sustainable Packaging Coalition Founding partner. Helped initiate a store drop-off program for hard-to-recycle plastics.
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Voluntary commitment in 2017 to report according to the TCFD recommendations by 2022. Member of the task force that established original recommendations in 2017 and continued participation in development of additional TCFD guidance.
Trash Free Seas® Alliance (TFSA) Founding member of this voluntary, by-invitation alliance in 2012. The Alliance unites industry, science and conservation leaders who share a common goal for a healthy ocean free of trash. The Alliance provides a constructive forum focused on identifying opportunities for cross-sector solutions that drive action and foster innovation.
Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Voluntary corporate partner. Dow leaders are on the Board.
CEO Water Mandate Voluntary participant since 2008. The CEO Water Mandate mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship, in partnership with the United Nations, governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders.
Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) Pledged partner in this initiative of the American Chemistry Council designed to prevent and help keep plastic out of the marine environment.
Alliance to End Plastic Waste Founding member of organization with the goal to develop and scale solutions that manage plastic waste and promote post-use solutions of plastic.
Circulate Capital Founding investor in effort to incubate and finance companies and infrastructure that prevent waste in oceans.
Membership of Associations (GRI 102-13)
American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN)
American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA)
American Chemistry Council (ACC)
American Coatings Association
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
American Petroleum Institute
Business Roundtable
Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS)
European Chemistry Industry Council (CEFIC)
Corporate Eco Forum
Environmental Defense Fund
Flexible Packaging Association
Global Silicones Council (GSC)
International Council on Chemical Associations (ICCA)
Louisiana Chemical Association
National Association of Manufacturers
Plastics Europe
Texas Chemical Council
The Nature Conservancy
US Chamber of Commerce
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
World Economic Forum (WEF)

Financial assistance received from government (GRI 201-4)

Subsidized by Program Title Agency Contribution* ($MM)
Canadian National Innovative Transparent Barrier Multi-Layer Sheets from Starch for Food Packaging 0.25
Dutch National BioXtreme - Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment Under Extreme Conditions 0.34
Dutch National TKI HZ-UGent Wetland Project 0.06
Dutch National Constructed Wetland - Pilot Research Wetland - Mild Desalination 0.86
Dutch National Development of Heat Storage for Industrial Steam 0.49
Dutch National Compact Modular Thermo Acoustic Heat Pump 0.92
Dutch National Steel to Chemicals - On the Road to Large-Scale CO2 Emission Reduction in a Circular Economy 5.33
Dutch National Valorization of Post-Consumer Low Density Polyethylene into Higher-End Circular Packaging Material 0.55
Dutch National Heat-Integrated Distillation Enabling Innovative Ethylene Crackers 0.97
Dutch National Electrons to Close the Carbon Cycle 1.13
Dutch National Mechanical Steam Recompression 2.29
Dutch National Energy-Efficient Affinity-Driven Molecular Separation 0.66
Dutch National Steam and Condensate Quality Water Process Technology 1.10
Dutch National Debottlenecking of Chromatographic Separations 0.94
Dutch National Water Nexus - Securing Water Supply in Delta and Floodplain Areas Worldwide 7.50
European Union Photoelectrocatalytic Device for Sun-Driven CO2 Conversion into Green Chemicals 7.46
European Union Innovative Approaches Towards Prevention, Removal and Reuse of Marine Plastic Litter 6.76
European Union Advancing Sustainability of Process Industries Through Digital and Circular Water Use Innovations 12.16
European Union Circular Plastics Network for Training 4.37
European Union Plastic Waste to Syngas to Chemicals 1.44
European Union Training of a New Generation of Researchers in Innovative Electrochemical Oxidation Processes for the Removal and Analysis of Micro-Pollutants in Water Streams 4.55
European Union Planar Optical Micro-Tracking for High-Efficiency Solar Panels 1.44
European Union Alternative Freshwater Resources for Saline Coastal Areas 2.49
European Union Impact of Air Pollutants on Cutaneous Responses in Both Healthy and Compromised Skin Barrier, and Innovative Solutions to Protect Skin Against Urban Pollution 0.91
European Union Lignin Oxidation Technology for Versatile Lignin Dispersants 4.77
European Union Development and Demonstration of Low-Carbon Technologies to Transform CO2 and CO Streams from the Steel Industry into New Value Chains 7.00
European Union Integrated Model Guided Process Optimization of Steam Cracking Furnaces 7.57
European Union Compressed Natural Gas Transport System 13.20
European Union Advanced Composite Material Selection Platform with a Seamless Integration of Material Models and Multidisciplinary Design Framework 4.26
European Union Formulations & Computational Engineering 4.32
European Union Compact Retrofit Advanced Thermal Energy Storage 6.50
UK National Polyurethane Foam as a Synthetic Growth Media for Hydroponic Horticulture 0.16
US-DOD Open Architecture Testbed Framework Development 0.15
US-DOD Digital Twins for Process Manufacturing 0.90
US-DOE Responsible Innovation for Highly Recyclable Plastics 2.00
US-DOE Hydrocarbon Gas Foam Enhanced Oil Recovery and Gas Conformance Control in Bakken Formations 8.00
US-DOE Predictive Modeling of Polyurethane Foam Processes to Optimize Thermal Performance and Reduce Waste 0.30
US-DOE Efficient Chemicals Production via Chemical Looping 0.87
US-DOE Optimization Modeling for Advanced Syngas to Olefin Reactive Systems 0.48
US-DOE An Experimentally Verified Physical Properties Database for Absorbent Selection 0.15
US-DOE Multiscale Modeling Infrastructure 1.90
US-DOE Energy-Efficient Separation of Olefins and Paraffins Through a Membrane 0.66
US-DOE Dynamic Intensification of the Operation of Dividing Wall Column 0.82
US-DOE Imaging Model Ziegler Natta Catalysts with Single-Atom Sensitivity 0.27
US-DOE Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy for in Situ Studies of Heterogeneous Catalysts 0.26
US-NSF Flow-Driven Segregation at the Particle Level 0.40
US-NSF Industry/University Compact High-Performance Cooling Technologies Research Consortium 0.42
US-NSF Advancing Thermal Field-Flow Fractionation for Complex Polymers and Colloids 0.40
US-NSF Population Balance Modeling - Fundamental Closures and Experimental Validation 0.30
US-NSF Improved Association-Based Models for Separations in the Bioeconomy 0.37

*The dollar figure listed is the value of the direct government support for the total program. Several programs have multiple participants receiving assistance. These programs were active in 2020; however, many are multiyear.