It’s just possible that the most powerful carbon capture technology is also the oldest: nature’s forests. In support of its Official Carbon Partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dow is working with Restore the Earth Foundation to replant 200 acres of native bald cypress trees to help revitalize North America’s Amazon. The project covers the Lower Mississippi River Basin, which is a critical ecosystem rich in biological diversity and is part of the third largest watershed on Earth.
The project kicked off in November 2019 with Dow volunteers planting seedlings in the Pointe-aux-Chênes Wildlife Management Area of Montegut, Louisiana. It is estimated Dow’s 200-acre commitment will generate 80,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions over a 40-year period.
Over the past 100 years, 80 percent of the southern portion of the Mississippi River Basin has been degraded or destroyed by human and industrial development, as well as major weather events including Hurricane Katrina. In addition to the carbon reduction benefits, the revitalization of native bald cypress trees serves as a line of defense to help protect more than 200,000 residents from future storms, while improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitat.
Dow’s tree-planting commitment is anticipated to generate $22 million in environmental, social and economic value in the region, as estimated by Restore the Earth’s EcoMetrics Model and outlined in the Cypress Reforestation Social Return on Investment Report.
This project with Restore the Earth Foundation is one of several projects under the Dow-IOC Official Carbon Partnership, initiated in 2017, to balance the operational carbon footprint of the IOC, and encourages companies to adopt programs for reducing carbon emissions while catalyzing change across value chains. It also supports Dow’s “Valuing Nature” 2025 Sustainability Goal.
“Our commitment with Restore the Earth goes beyond business as usual, serving as a uniting force to help bring more stakeholders into collaboration and accelerate adoption of ‘green infrastructure’ in operations around the globe,” said Dr. Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, circular economy market director for Dow.