Sustainability Case Study: Considering Nature in Decision-Making Across a Global Business

Riverside park illustrationThrough its Valuing Nature Goal, Dow seeks to incorporate nature into all of its business decisions. Considering the value of nature in decision-making across a global company has never been done before, so this goal represents a milestone in the business sector.

Dow is more than 25 percent of the way toward the goal of being the first company to achieve $1 billion in value, primarily through avoided costs from projects that are good for business and better for ecosystems. By working with engineers, operators and project managers, Dow was able to apply a nature lens to its operations and find value from 29 projects in 2018 that contributed to clean air, clean water, healthy soil and healthy ecosystems. 

Using Tools to Aid Decision-Making

How is Dow helping to make valuing nature become second nature? Dow has worked with The Nature Conservancy to develop specialized tools to help the Company and other businesses incorporate the value of nature into their business processes, strategies and decisions. To demonstrate the Valuing Nature methodology, our Nature team published a paper in Science of the Total Environment titled, “From ash pond to riverside wetlands: Making the business case for engineered natural technologies.” The paper showcases how the Ecosystem Services Identification & Inventory (ESII) tool was used to define the optimal restoration plan for a 23-acre site adjacent to Dow’s Michigan Operations plant along the Tittabawassee River in Midland.

Dow also conducted 22 business workshops at its sites in 2018 to identify future nature projects and educate employees about how to incorporate the value of nature into business decision-making. In addition, the Company is working on a Natural Lands Management Strategy to drive nature-based solutions on Dow properties.

Too frequently taken for granted, nature provides a variety of valuable services – such as clean air, clean water, healthy soil and functional ecosystems – to individuals, communities and businesses. Through its Valuing Nature Goal, the Company seeks to create new value for Dow and society by helping to sustain nature.

Read more about Dow's 2025 Goals progress in the 2018 Sustainability Report. Visit the Highlights and Reporting page for more case studies.