"Our Impact Fund is about helping to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges while using our products for good and unlocking innovative business opportunities with our customers," said Bob Plishka, global director of Strategic Corporate Partnerships and Dow Company Foundation president. "This year's projects focus on addressing circularity and waste transformation initiatives while seeking to support society's most vulnerable populations."
2023 Business Impact Fund projects:
- Argentina: Driving Change for Waste Traceability and Recycling Rates - Dow and Delterra are collaborating to improve the impact and transparency of waste management and recycling systems. Through an innovative material traceability tool using blockchain technology, recycled plastic can now be tracked from collection to new products and packaging. Tracking plastic allows companies to know exactly where their recycled materials are coming from. Dow also supports Delterra's Rethinking Recycling program in Bah?a Blanca, intending to triple recycling rates by 2025. The project will help improve behaviors surrounding waste separation, recycling, and collection of materials. The project will increase recycling center capacity, help find material buyers and create jobs for cooperative waste workers.
- Brazil: Project REUSE (Fridge Recycling Expansion) - The next phase of Project REUSE, which focuses on enabling a circular economy for polyurethanes, will expand to the Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil, combining efforts with an important value chain partner. The project's initial phase successfully focused on recycling mattresses and sofas in one city in Brazil. The second phase explored refrigerator recycling in multiple cities in Brazil. Now, the expanded program will focus on a larger area in Brazil, providing recycling services to more consumers and helping the industry to achieve the 2024 Brazilian Extended Producer Responsibility goal to recollect and recycle 12% of total production. The project will continue to reduce improperly disposed waste, better manage refrigerant gases and help increase the amount of polyurethane recovered from equipment.
- Mexico: Project Eztli - Eztli (an Indigenous word related to blood, life and vitality) is a shared value project focused on advancing inclusion by fostering awareness about menstrual hygiene needs, connecting Dow's silicone innovation in menstrual cups, educational campaigns, and health information initiatives. In collaboration with for-profit and nonprofit organizations such as MEXFAM and United Way Mexico, the project will donate 80,000 menstrual cups to people in need in Mexico City, the State of Mexico and Queretaro City. The project also creates a strategic business opportunity for consumer rubber in the Mexican market.
- South Africa: Soap for Hope - Through a collaboration with Diversey - A Solenis Company, a leader in cleaning and hygiene solutions for industrial and institutional markets, and the Pebbles Project, a local NGO with decades of experience in education and health work services, this project aims to give a second life to soap bar waste from local hotels to the benefit of underserved communities in South Africa. Soap For Hope will engage, train and empower unemployed young adults and women to establish a collection network and recycling facility for used soap bars. In addition, a distribution network for the upcycled soap bars will be set up to promote sustainable sanitation and create a positive impact on local communities.
- Thailand: Small Scale Pyrolysis Unit - Dow will partner with the Plastics Institute of Thailand to support a small enterprise that developed low-temperature heat induction-based pyrolysis technology to convert low-value used flexible plastic packaging into pyrolysis oil and further process into circular feedstock for the Dow-affiliated cracker in Map Ta Phut, Thailand. Reintroducing post-consumer flexible plastic film into the value chain is an opportunity to increase circularity in Thailand's community waste management system.
- Ukraine: Recyclable Grain Bags - This project aims to support small and medium-sized farms and local industry by introducing a recyclable grain bag (sleeve) storage technology. With this technology, farmers impacted by the destruction of agricultural equipment have an opportunity to store their harvest in an easy and accessible way and preserve it until the point of usage or export, which helps prevent food waste. Dow is working with the Ukrainian Agrarian Council NGO and local business partners to simultaneously integrate a recycling concept for the bags to help close the loop and reduce plastic waste.
- United States: Taking Care of our Home - This project assesses the current recycling landscape and identifies strategies to improve recycling rates in key U.S. Gulf Coast communities where Dow operates. By uniting with our NGO partner, The Recycling Partnership, our goal is to boost residential and commercial recycling rates in these communities, which contain most of Dow's manufacturing footprint in North America.
Since launching in 2016, the Impact Fund has supported 58 projects in 22 countries totaling nearly $12 million in investments. To date, the Fund's projects have achieved the following outcomes:
- >2,000 jobs created
- >13,400 MT materials recycled
- >9,500 MT of plastic diverted from a landfill or environment
- 46,000 acres of land protected
Dow employees worldwide nominate potential projects, and a diverse committee representing business and functional leadership across the Company selects the winners. Projects must meet the following criteria:
- Have the potential to address critical social issues or advance sustainability initiatives
- Be scalable in their design and impact
- Engage Dow customers and value chain partners
- And create new business opportunities for Dow
Source: Dow Thailand