Nature Meets the Bottom Line: A Collaboration Between Dow and The Nature Conservancy

Saturday, February 16, 2013
Room 309 (Hynes Convention Center)
Neil Hawkins , The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI
Title:  Nature Meets The Bottom Line

In January 2011, The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced a 5-year, $10 MM breakthrough collaboration to show how factoring the value of ecosystem services into corporate decision-making is a rewarding business strategy.  Scientists from both organizations have been working together at pilot sites in the USA and Brazil to refine valuation models and build tools that are informing more sustainable business decisions at Dow. 

Dow and TNC began work in 2011 at Dow's Texas Operations site in Freeport, Texas, one of the largest integrated chemical production facilities in the world.  Dow and TNC began by identifying three critical ecosystem dependencies for Dow's Texas Operations - fresh water, coastal storm surge protection, and air quality regulation.  Project teams were then chartered to improve the valuation of these ecosystem services in the context of Dow's needs. 

In 2012, Dow and TNC began work in Santa Vitoria, Brazil at Santa Vitória Acucar eAlcool Ltda., a joint venture between Dow and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (SVAA).  SVAA will construct the world’s largest integrated plant for the production of plastics from renewable sugar cane, including the use of waste biomass to power the plant.  This work involves improving the valuation of ecosystem services at the early stages of planning for expanded agricultural production and future site development.

Dr. Hawkins will describe the work done at these pilot sites, the overall progress made in the first 2 years of the collaboration, and plans for the next 3 years.