At the heart of the strategy for our Dow Business Impact Fund is the belief that addressing social and environmental challenges can drive business results – benefiting both our customers and the communities in which we operate. Our newly launched Project Ybá in Brazil demonstrates exactly this by empowering Amazon communities to protect biodiversity and generate jobs.
Develop a local cooperative with the aim of income generation through forest preservation. The project will map the biodiversity within the Breu Branco site’s 38,000 hectares of rainforest for bioactive ingredients by 2023.
Peabiru Institute and The Nature Conservancy
Environmental and social benefits:
At our Breu Branco manufacturing site, we have a silicon metal facility, which produces the main raw material used in silicones production. At the site, Dow owns 45,000 hectares of land – about 80% of which is preserved native Amazon rainforest and about 20% of which is a eucalyptus plantation. Charcoal used in silicon metal production is made from eucalyptus sustainably cultivated and harvested from the plantation per Forest Stewardship Council guidelines.
It is against this backdrop that we launched Project Ybá with support from Dow’s Business Impact Fund. Implemented in collaboration with the Peabiru Institute, this innovative project will map the biodiversity of the forestland for bioactive ingredients and develop a local cooperative that will harvest and sell them. We also are collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to measure the environmental services offered to the community through Dow’s preserved areas. More than 150 families in the region are expected to benefit through employment in a sustainable industry. In turn, our customers will benefit from sustainably sourced bioactive ingredients for their personal care products, while also supporting the conservation of this unique ecosystem.
The project is receiving an investment of $1 million reais (~US $200,000) from our Business Impact Fund. The Business Impact Fund is a competitive grant program containing more than US $1 million of annual funding to support social impact projects in partnership with nonprofit or non-governmental organizations that spotlight business solutions. Since 2016, the Impact Fund has awarded $5.77 million for projects around the globe.