As we celebrate our 125th anniversary, this feels like a natural moment for reflection. But also to look ahead, because that is what our ‘Imagine Better’ theme is all about. Personally, I feel that in the space of sustainability, a critical question is: what are the foundational pillars in the successes from these 125 years that can help us create a more sustainable future for all?
Protecting people and the environment is part of our DNA, part of everything we do and every decision we make. I believe that science and technology are fundamental to all we do and I believe that partnerships are the catalyst. This has been the case throughout our Company’s existence.
This focus on people and planet has been at the core of our strategy, even if activities weren’t always labelled ‘sustainability’ at that time. Everyone will have some level of familiarity with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which were first introduced in 2015. They provided an important global framework and sustainability narrative that is driving collective action. Our industry-leading sustainability goals go back a lot further to 1995 when we committed to our first set of decade-long sustainability goals. We continued to renew our 10-year commitments over the next decades, guiding our sustainability strategy and actions.
Today, the world is facing significant challenges, with climate change being a clear one to be addressed. But equally so, there is tremendous opportunity for a materials science company like Dow. To help tackle global challenges, we need to base our actions in science and engineering. We continue to strengthen our partnerships and forge new relationships to collaborate with experts who bring complementary skillsets, across the value chain, to the solutions table. Through these partnerships, we can catalyze our impact to sustainability.
Looking ahead, our teams are continuously challenging the status quo to find better, more efficient ways to deliver on our commitments that put us on a path to achieve 5 million metric ton of CO2 reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050, to eliminate plastic waste from our environment and drive circularity, and increase our positive environmental impacts on society, our customers and our business. To succeed on this mission, we are joining forces with like-minded partners, who are as invested as we are in creating that sustainable world, including customers, government organizations, NGOs, and of course, our own employees.
Particularly in a time when the climate crisis has never felt more urgent, these partnerships are more important than ever. The challenges we are solving in partnership are incredibly complex. You can't develop a new material with an improved carbon footprint without alignment across the value chain on the properties and the processability of the new material. You can't answer an energy challenge without partners in the energy sector. You can't completely redesign a process to enable an existing material to be produced with a superior CO2 footprint without understanding the impact this new process has on new feedstocks and its associated scope 3 emissions.
Despite the challenges, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the shared journey we’re on, because of the talent we have and the powerful relationships we’ve built. Together, we can imagine better and combine the power of our materials science expertise with the needs and insights of our diverse partners to deliver on the promise of a sustainable future for our people and planet for the next 125 years and beyond.
Andre Argenton, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety
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