What are we built on? The pandemic
has shown us.

Dow employees at Texas City stand in front of a railcar of IPA

We are a company built on problem solving, and our teams have searched for a better understanding of how our assets and products can help.

There’s no doubt everyone is experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 differently – by industry, business, community and individual. From my perspective, I’d describe the past several months as humbling.

It’s been a reminder of our roots as a company and the role our industry plays in society. I’d go as far to say it’s reinforced why I chose to work at Dow ten years ago.

We are a company built on the tinkering and problem solving of our founder, Herbert Henry Dow, who had a “do it better” mindset from the start. That mentality is still with us today.

Throughout the pandemic, Dow teams have searched for a better understanding of how our assets and products can help fight the virus and better serve applications in short supply.

Manufacturing of hand sanitizer–a product we haven’t produced before–is an example. We made this possible at five of our sites, and we saw others in the industry join the effort. We’ve continued to look for ways that we can make more of the materials in critical need and put them in the hands of those who need them most.

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is another one. This product has been in short supply since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, as it’s an important raw material for sanitizer, medical and pharmaceutical applications. Back in February, our Industrial Solutions team saw the coronavirus start to emerge globally and kicked off a rapid project to produce new quantities of IPA at our Texas City facility. This month, we are up and running, producing volume that will ultimately make more product available to meet needs for sanitizer, pharmaceutical and medical applications, many of which are helping to fight the virus.

To achieve this feat in just months meant that everyone needed to come to the table at the same time–our scientists and engineers along with our supply chain, stewardship and our manufacturing technical teams–to quickly find a solution and safely scale up production. I encourage you to watch this short video for a closer look.

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Overall, I feel that our sense of solidarity at Dow and in our industry has grown stronger throughout the pandemic because of examples like this. You can see and feel your purpose as an essential industry. And we’ve been reminded of our responsibility to safely and reliably produce materials that are needed to make essential products possible.

I’ve been humbled by the fact that, at the end of the day, Dow is a manufacturing company made up of roughly 36,500 individuals with thousands of unique perspectives to offer. So, while the pandemic has tested us, it has also reminded us of the entrepreneurial mindset we’re built on and what’s possible when we look for ways to “do it better” together.


Brendy Lange, Business Vice President for Industrial Solutions