Message from our chairman and CEO (GRI 102-14)

“The events of 2020 remind us that we are fundamentally interconnected with one another – our actions impact those around us exponentially.”

 

2020 was a year unlike any other. The global pandemic created unprecedented health, social and economic upheavals. Racial and social injustice issues vaulted to the forefront of our collective experience. Nearly every element of the way in which we live, work and interact within the world rapidly – and fundamentally – changed.

Against this historic and challenging backdrop, one lesson was affirmed again and again: Team Dow plays an important, positive role in the lives of many stakeholders. When frontline workers needed personal protective equipment, Dow was there with innovative solutions.

When protests erupted against systemic racism across the United States, we listened to our colleagues to understand harsh truths, and committed to use our resources to foster social justice and racial equity – both within our company and in our communities. When colleagues and neighbors suffered from extreme weather events, Dow was there to aid in recovery efforts and help in the journey toward resiliency.

The events of 2020 remind us that we are fundamentally interconnected with one another – our actions impact those around us exponentially. And they bring into perfect focus our purpose as a company: To deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners.

Dow’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy reflects how we are putting our purpose into action. Every day, our Team Dow colleagues seek new and better answers to transform our world, while also making us stronger and more resilient. After all, we simply cannot thrive as a business if our colleagues, our communities and our planet do not thrive.

Dow has a long history of leadership in reporting transparency and sustainability disclosures, and we continue to build on our foundation of reporting against the GRI standards by expanding to include disclosures against SASB standards and TCFD. Going forward, we also are actively working with the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council to help consolidate reporting frameworks and arrive at a consistent and comparable international accounting standard for ESG matters.

In short, we are setting bold goals, measuring our progress and providing increased transparency on our performance.

This report represents the first time that we’ve combined ALL of our ESG priorities and actions into one holistic, transparent and comprehensive ESG report.

As you’ll see inside, even in a year overshadowed by uncertainty and volatility, Team Dow rallied to make impressive gains against our ESG priorities.

Among the 2020 highlights:

  • Building on our 2025 Sustainability Goals, we launched a new, aggressive target in line with the Paris Agreement to become carbon neutral by 2050. We also set ambitious targets to help eliminate plastic waste. Already, we’re taking action. In 2020, we tripled sales of product made with renewable biobased feedstock, helping to ensure our packaging applications will be reusable and recyclable. We also increased our agreements to purchase cost-competitive renewable energy and are investing in technologies that can help provide a path to decarbonization, such as electric cracking technology.
  • We reached the midpoint of our “Valuing Nature” Goal, achieving $530 million in savings toward our $1 billion target of finding economic value in nature-related projects that are both good for business and for ecosystems. We also celebrated our 10-year groundbreaking collaboration with The Nature Conservancy to value nature in business decisions.
  • We launched Dow ACTs, a holistic framework to address systemic racism and racial inequality by committing to actions in the areas of Advocacy, Community engagement and our own Talent pipeline. In total, we have committed more than $10 million over the next five years.
  • We were recognized as a leader in inclusion and diversity – from external organizations such as DiversityInc, Great Place to Work, Human Rights Campaign, Disability:IN, Out & Equal, INvolve, National Organization on Disability, Forbes, PEOPLE Magazine, Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE), and the Financial Times.
  • We contributed nearly $34 million to communities worldwide to address key needs such as building inclusion in our communities, STEM programming, sustainable business development and disaster relief.
  • We redesigned our 2020 annual Performance Award bonus program to include new ESG metrics. This new design holds all Dow people leaders accountable for delivering on our ambition by including targets for customer experience, sustainability, and inclusion & diversity.
  • We also welcomed additional diverse talent into key director roles as part of our board refreshment strategy and continue to be a leading company among industry peers for board diversity.

In 2020, more than ever, our world demanded solutions. Positive change – at the scale and pace we need – requires a collaborative effort, with companies, people and governments working together. As a company, we are committed to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

To meet the challenges ahead for our business and society, Team Dow is working with focus and determination to create a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous world for all. I’m immensely proud to share our ESG progress with you through this report and I welcome your feedback.

 

Best regards,

 

Jim Fitterling
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dow