Dow sets carbon neutral goal for 2050

The Dow Chemical Company plant sits across the ship channel from Port Freeport.

The Dow Chemical Company plant sits across the ship channel from Port Freeport.

Gary Coronado, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Dow, the chemical manufacturing giant based in Midland, Michigan, will reduce carbon emissions, make products reusable or recyclable, and increase recycling with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

As part of the sustainability plan announced Wednesday, Dow will reduce net annual carbon emissions by 5 million metric tons over the next 10 years. The company had previously cut carbon emissions by about that same amount between 2006 and 2019.

Despite the reductions, Dow’s emissions, including “scope 3” emissions, or, emissions that are a result of the use of Dow’s products or emissions along its supply chain, totaled about 125 million metric tons per year in 2019 – about four times what the entire City of Houston emits per year. About 91 million metric tons of Dow's carbon emissions were scope 3 emissions in 2019, according to its sustainability report.

Dow will also increase recycling and reuse of plastics and invest in recycling technology, and by 2035, the company aims to have all its products that are sold into packaging applications be reusable or recyclable.

“Climate change and plastic waste are among the greatest technical, social, and economic issues the world has ever faced,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our products and technology are critical to addressing both.”

Dow also said Wednesday that it has signed some renewable power purchase agreements for its manufacturing facilities, including a deal with First Solar, a solar panel manufacturing company, to supply power to Dow’s Texas facilities. Dow has chemical manufacturing facilities in La Porte and Deer Park.