2025 Sustainability Goal: Advancing a Circular Economy

We will advance a circular economy by delivering solutions to close the resource loops in key markets.

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Many of our planet’s natural resources are increasingly in short supply – fresh water is scarce, fossil fuel supplies are finite and costs for businesses, governments and society are becoming more burdensome. More than ever, it’s clear we need to change our behavior and transition to a level of sustainable consumption.

Right now, we live in a primarily linear economy where the goods we use every day are manufactured from raw materials, sold, used and then discarded as waste. Dow is leading the transition from a linear economy to one that redesigns, recycles, reuses and remanufactures to keep materials at their highest value use for as long as possible. As a result, we’ll preserve our resources in a “circular economy” making the most of our natural resources. Applying the principles of a circular economy will allow us to optimize the use and reuse of resources and ultimately reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.

Transitioning to a circular economy is not only vital to the preservation and protection of our planet’s natural resources, but also to the success of businesses at Dow. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, circular supply chains that increase the rate of recycling, reuse and remanufacturing could generate more than $1 trillion a year by 2025. Because of our leadership position in the manufacturing of materials for use in plastic packaging and water solutions, in particular, we have a unique opportunity to take a leading role in supporting the development and implementation of the circular economy, taking into account a product’s lifecycle – from creation to use to disposal – in everything we do and create.

Dow will collaborate to implement six major projects that deliver solutions and advance the circular economy. Our key performance indicator is the number of projects implemented.


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  • Dow will partner with other industry leaders, nonprofit organizations and governments to deliver six major circular economy projects over the next 10 years.
  • Dow will partner with other industry leaders, nonprofit organizations and governments to deliver three major projects that deliver solutions and provide a blueprint for the implementation of principles of the circular economy by 2020.
  • By 2025, Dow, working with partners, will implement three additional projects located at Dow manufacturing sites or directly impacting Dow businesses.
Recent Success
  • Through the Energy Bag Pilot Program in Citrus Heights, California, Dow helped turn 6,000 pounds of previously non-recycled plastic waste –juice pouches, candy wrappers and plastic dinnerware –into 512 gallons of fuel.
  • Through a public-private partnership, Dow Terneuzen in the Netherlands, our largest chemical processing plant outside of the U.S., reuses 30,000 cubic meters of municipal wastewater each day to generate steam and supply manufacturing plants. Dow Terneuzen has reduced its energy use by 95 percent compared to the energy cost needed for conventional desalination of seawater—that’s the equivalent of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60,000 tons each year. By 2020, Dow aims to entirely eliminate its reliance on freshwater at Terneuzen. Read More
  • Dow’s SAFECHEM system, recognized by the United Nations Environment Program for environmental innovation, is a closed-loop cleaning solution that reduces the solvents needed in high-precision metal surface cleaning and dry cleaning applications up to 98 percent.