Dow to make nature a business matterMarch 2011
Dow Chemical has entered a five-year partnership with a conservation charity to help it to place environmental protection at the heart of its business strategy and reduce its ecological footprint.
The US-based Nature Conservancy will provide Dow with technical expertise and give advice on issues across the multinational’s operations, from choosing plant sites to water management. Dow has committed $10million (£6.1m, €7.2m) to the partnership.
Dow said it wanted to show that ‘protecting nature can be a profitable global priority and can be a smart business strategy’.
At the partnership’s centre is the treatment of the ecosystem as a service, or ‘the benefits that nature provides for people, like clean air and water’, enabling them to be applied to Dow’s business decisions.
Nature Conservancy, which has previously worked with Coca-Cola and the German beverage firm Bavaria, will publish the results of the collaboration, which will be peer-reviewed. It hopes the partnership will serve as a model for similar, future projects.
Dow, which had a $45billion turnover last year, is still associated in the minds of many with the Bhopal gas leak, which killed more than 3800 people in north-western India in 1984.
Union Carbide, which caused the disaster, was bought by Dow shortly after compensation was settled, and Dow has been under pressure to provide more help to victims, and to intensify the Bhopal clean-up.
Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chief executive, said: ‘Companies that value and integrate biodiversity ... into their strategic plans are best positioned for the future.’
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