Dow Chemical was honored as the first recipient of the Social-Impact Changemaker award, one of four innovation categories at the inaugural Corporate Citizenship Innovation Awards.
The award was presented by Katherine Smith, Executive Director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.
The award ceremony was held at the 2022 International Corporate Citizenship Conference organized by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC).
The Social-Impact Changemaker Award recognizes companies that innovate a differentiated approach to deploying their resources to create positive social, environmental, and/or economic impact.
Dow Chemical was selected for the honor based on the achievements of its Business Impact Fund.
Dow’s Business Impact Fund
Launched in 2016, Dow’s Business Impact Fund designates corporate contributions toward new corporate citizenship initiatives that achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
These social-impact investments seek to solve societal problems via Dow’s products and technology in partnership with nonprofit or non-governmental organizations.
The Business Impact Fund is a competitive grant program that awards more than $1 million per year. Funding proposals come from Dow Chemical employees worldwide. Since 2016, the Business Impact Fund has supported 51 projects in 21 countries totaling $9.78 million in investments. According to Dow, these projects have protected 45,000 acres of land, created 590 community jobs, recycled 3,280 metric tons of materials, avoided 33,700 metric tons of CO2 emissions, and improved the lives of 1.66 million people.
The Business Impact Fund “helps position Dow as a leader in sustainability, increase brand awareness, strengthens partnerships with regulating agencies, develops customer intimacy, and creates new or expanded markets,” said Kristen Bovid, Dow’s Global Citizenship Program Officer and Executive Director of the Dow Company Foundation. The fund “also activates our employees to positively impact the social and environmental needs of their communities.”
Bovid added: “My vision for the fund is to continue to diversify both the businesses involved and the business impact created, while continuing to grow the portfolio.”
Project Masaro (India): Converting waste plastic collected from slums along the Mithi River into a second-life material (paver blocks), while both generating employment opportunities and engaging more than 40,000 residents and 100 businesses.
Zero Plastic Waste Community (Ghana): Pilot testing the first phase of a Zero Plastic Waste Community model for a community in Western Ghana which currently lacks adequate solid waste management infrastructure. If the pilot test is successful, the collection, re-use, and recycling methodology could become replicable in other, similar communities.
End-of-Life Solutions for Polyurethane Foams (Brazil): Bolstering waste delivery-point infrastructure to enable collection of large Polyurethane sources (e.g., mattresses and refrigerators) to increase the volume of waste correctly disposed. The project will also promote ways to recycle polyurethanes, avoiding waste going into landfills.
Dow’s Business Impact Fund prioritizes projects which aim to:
- increase waste collection
- support circular economy solutions (e.g., resource reduction, extended use, re-use, recycling, composting, and biodegradability)
- enable evidence-based environmental action via research and data analysis
- mitigate climate change risks
- discover new ways of using Dow products and technology to reduce environmental damage