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Dow Survey: Reputation is Improving

A Dow Chemical survey of residents near a California plant found that 47 percent believe the company protects and improves the environment in the community – a nine-point increase.

In the most recent survey, conducted in late 2010 in communities surrounding Dow’s site in Pittsburg, Calif., 13 percent disagreed that Dow protects the nearby environment – down from 23 percent three years ago.

The survey saw Dow improve its reputation across most measured attributes.  In 2010, 50 percent said the company operates in an ethical manner (up from 39 percent), 51 percent said it is socially responsible (up from 41 percent), and 73 percent said it is financially strong.

The company did not release similar results for its survey of residents near its plant in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, It did say that 83 percent of residents there familiar with Dow agreed that they were glad to have Dow in the community.

Dow released the survey results in its quarterly update to its 2015 sustainability goals. The update says that Dow reduced its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 41.3 million metric tons in 2009, five percent less than in 2008.

However, GHG emissions intensity in 2009 was 0.88 metric tons per metric ton of production, about a five percent increase from 2008. “The increase is largely due to the impact of operating at lower rates throughout 2009 compared to prior years,” Dow said.

The company has a goal to reduce GHG intensity by 2.5 percent per year from 2005 to 2015.

Dow cited some of its 2010 environmental achievements as:

  • Achieving Cradle to Cradle recertification for its Building Solutions products;
  • Placing Dow Water & Process Solutions membranes in the world’s largest water desalination plant, near Tel Aviv, Israel;
  • Filling 14 large concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in Spain and the U.S. with a record supply of heat transfer fluids;
  • Undertaking a project to add biomass power to the company’s largest manufacturing facility in Brazil;
  • Starting a collaboration with the Nature Conservancy to help Dow and other companies incorporate nature into business goals and strategies.
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