Feb 05, 2019

Linking technology and a sustainable supply chain

Innovating for sustainability in our operations

Diagram of a supply chain

Dow procures more than 100 billion pounds of raw material and hydrocarbon feedstock from more than 1,000 suppliers worldwide. We manage about 3 million product shipments to external customers and other Dow locations annually. Put simply, we operate an extensive, integrated supply chain. And we're committed to making it more sustainable.


Business Challenge

Going beyond 'greening'


"Our vision for a sustainable supply chain goes well beyond the boundaries of 'greening' the supply chain. It addresses the fundamental attributes of sustainability-safety and security, profitability, reliability and resilience, and social and environmental responsibility."

Greg Jozwiak

Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain


Keeping such an enormous supply chain safe and sustainable is a challenge. But it's a challenge we're prepared to take on with new technologies.

It's the right thing to do, and it's a key enabler of business growth.

'Implementing technology across our supply chain is delivering tangible business benefits - like lower total cost to serve and working capital in the form of logistics costs as inventory requirements," said Jozwiak. "These tools and technologies are also helping to improve the customer experience through increased transparency and identification of improvement opportunities."

Dow has committed to more sustainable operations through our "World-Leading Operations" 2025 Sustainability Goal and our "protect the climate" targets. Ensuring the Dow ecosystem is carbon neutral by 2050 starts with a sustainable supply chain.


Solution


A multifaceted, tech-forward approach


Lowering our carbon footprint

Shifting to a low-carbon economy means reducing carbon emissions not only from our direct operations, but also that of our supply chain. For example, consolidating shipments can save on emissions during transportation. In 2019, we launched an initiative to consolidate smaller shipments to customers and reduce the number of trucks hauling material. Leveraging technology, we implemented a transportation optimization engineto identify when products can be shipped together, while respecting relevant constraints like material compatibility, route, temperature requirements, and delivery times. In 2019, the program reduced GHG emissions in North America by 4,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is equal to the carbon sequestered by 72,755 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. In 2020, we are expanding the program in North America and introducing it in Europe.

Improving safety and lowering risk

Our web-based container tracking portal gives Our company and customers the ability to track shipments no matter what mode of transportation or area of the world. GPS and RFID technologies are coupled with sensors that allow supply chain managers to monitor the condition of the material and the integrity of the container. Electronic seals can monitor whether a door has been opened and whether the sensors detect light. In 2019, we worked with intermodal and rail carriers to develop technology that will allow for temperature monitoring in route for temperature-sensitive or reactive products. When the material approaches a temperature that would require action, a notification is sent to alert the logistics service provider, so adequate risk mitigations can occur before there is a safety concern.

Implementing capacity-building programs

We're also driving sustainable business practices and imploving supply chain transparency by collaborating with others. In India, we've continued to work on transparency initiatives, shipment visibility, and emergency-response support through Nicer Globe-a Responsible Care initiative by the Indian Chemical Council. We' ve also used technology to streamline procedures and improve efficiency around paperless vehicle inspections and centralized data accessibility. For example, we are using technology to help manage safe-driving behavior in India through a sensor-enabled assessment of driving risks. This includes monitoring sharp turns, sudden braking and tailgating, and accounting for traffic patterns and uneven roads.

As we march toward our 2050 sustainability goals, we're confident new technologies will help us unlock opportunities to make our supply chain greener and lessen Dow's carbon footprint. These innovations are just the beginning.

Learn more about Dow's sustainability commitments

2019 Sustainability Report
View Report
World-Leading Operations Performance
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