Contributing to social development and Amazon forest conservation

 

Looking up at the canopy of trees in the forest from the ground

May 13, 2021 | Javier Constante

I am very proud to see the launch of this project and have Dow playing an active role in contributing to the social development of the Breu Branco community...

Latin America presents unique features when it comes to ESG: incredibly rich biodiversity – six of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries are in this region, more than on any other continent – ethnic and cultural diversity on one side and challenges in the space of social inequality and environmental issues on the other side. Society has changed and demands that companies proactively contribute to addressing these challenges; environment, social and governance ought to be business drivers.

Creating solutions to navigate these issues is part of Dow’s mission across the globe – and most certainly here in Latin America. We believe that collaboration with customers, suppliers, vendors, academia, community, governments and NGOs is the only possible way to effectively tackle these complex issues and unlock Latin America’s full potential for sustainable development. Immediate actions are required: inclusion and education are the most important enablers of this journey, where shared value is a must.

Action in the Amazon: project Ybá

We have already started this journey in Latin America. Many projects and solutions are being developed to address regional issues. Thus, I am proud to share a very special initiative in Brazil, more specifically in the state of Para, in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest: ‘project Ybá – Conservation that transforms’. This unique project will enable the mapping of local biodiversity present in Dow’s permanent conservation area in Breu Branco, to identify species of interest and also empower and facilitate the social organization of local communities. This will in turn contribute to supporting the preservation of ancestral traditions and creating expertise and autonomy to provide bio-actives to the personal care industry, while contributing to the conservation of this unique ecosystem.

To positively impact the lives of more than 150 families in the region, we are partnering with Instituto Peabiru, a local NGO, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), our long-term collaborator for valuing nature projects.

In Breu Branco, Dow has a manufacturing complex that concentrates activities for the sustainable management of planted forests, a charcoal plant and a silicon metal facility, which produces the main raw material used in silicones production. The unit holds a unique position in its segment, integrated with a global value chain in the silicone business. This operation is a global reference in sustainable silicon metal production. Forest resources are preserved in an area of about 45,000 hectares (equivalent to the area of 63,000 soccer fields), with 80% of the total area composed of preserved native forests.

I am very proud to see the launch of this project and have Dow playing an active role in contributing to the social development of the Breu Branco community through the identification and sales of bio-active products for the cosmetics industry that can increase the income of families, while contributing to the conservation of part of the Amazon rainforest.

 

Javier Constante, President, Latin America