NOT CURRENT YEAR
Dow produces 63 SIN List substances (including six persistent chemicals), with 13 of these officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. The company has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. It does not, however, have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Dow follows several voluntary standards of good conduct, but has, nonetheless, been involved in a couple of environmental violations over the last ten years, including damage to natural resources caused by the release of hazardous substances from a company facility in Michigan, USA.
Opportunities for improvement
- A sustainable circular economy needs products that can be safely recycled over and over again. This can only be achieved without hazardous ingredients. We therefore urge the second biggest chemical company on the planet to acknowledge its responsibility and publicly announce a phase-out strategy that dramatically reduces both the volume and the number of hazardous chemicals that the company produces.
- Dow promises to deliver “10 sustainable alternatives to the market by 2025”. Some of them are already available and marketed on the company website, but at first glance they are not recognisable as safer alternatives. A large chemical manufacturer such as Dow should definitely be able to bring more than ten safer products to the market by 2025.
- Dow needs to develop new business strategies and accelerate efforts to become “circular”. As one of the largest plastics’ producers in the world, the company should be prepared for the future. Due to the increasing plastic pollution across the globe, legislators and society in general may soon demand completely new approaches to the production of plastics.
Dow produces 63 SIN List substances, 13 of which are included on the REACH Candidate List, with three of them also found on the REACH Authorisation List. The company produces six persistent chemicals. Persistent chemicals are particularly problematic since they do not break down, but instead accumulate in humans and the environment. Because of this, persistent chemicals should be of extra concern for investors. Substances that are not considered a problem today could become huge liabilities in the future.
Dow has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. The company does not follow the principles of green chemistry or use the GreenScreen assessment tool, nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from new products. It does, however, actively market safer alternatives on its website.
The Michigan-based company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Dow Inc. is a member of Responsible Care and follows voluntary standards such as a Code of Conduct and a Supplier Code of Conduct.
In 2019, the chemical giant was fined almost 100 million USD for damage to natural resources caused by the release of hazardous substances from a company facility in Michigan, USA. According to the violation tracker project of Good Jobs First, Dow has paid over 110 million USD in penalties for 30 environmental violations between 2010 and 2019.Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 104 KB)