Cleantech
Dow Teams Up to Advance Renewable Energy, Circular Economy Goals

This week, The Dow Chemical Company launched two new partnerships aimed at advancing two of its seven 2025 Sustainability Goals, launched last year.

First, the company announced it has stepped up its clean energy target — from 400 MW to 750 MW — in a bid to accelerate the development of cost-effective clean energy alternatives and reduce carbon emissions. To this end, Dow has teamed up with NRG Energy, Inc. and NRG Yield, Inc. on a large-scale collaboration for renewable energy. The partnership will provide clean energy to Dow’s Freeport, Texas facilities through a ten-year wind power purchase agreement from the 150 MW Goat Mountain I and II wind farms. The company increased its 400-MW goal when it was achieved within the first year of the launch of the goal.

“Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals define the path forward for our company, and today we are pleased to increase our renewable energy targets from 400 MW up to 750 MW by 2025,” said Dr. Neil Hawkins, Dow’s corporate vice president and chief sustainability officer. “Dow is proud to be the first company in the United States to power manufacturing sites with renewable energy at this kind of scale and that we’ve become one of the largest corporate purchasers of wind energy in America. We appreciate this new collaboration with NRG at our Freeport site.”

Historically, Dow has utilized grid power, fossil fuels, natural gas, coal and oil to power its plants; however, with the change in market prices and policies, the Company can now cost-effectively utilize renewable energy to operate the plants and help reduce its carbon footprint.

“This is a game-changer,” said Jack Broodo, Dow’s president of feedstocks and energy. “Through cost-advantaged power, Dow is manufacturing materials through renewable energy in one of the largest-scale industrial partnerships in the world.”

Providing the power are NRG’s 11,000-acre Goat Mountain I and II wind farms located in Coke and Sterling counties, north of San Angelo, Texas. These farms are part of the NRG renewable portfolio with 4,313MW of wind and solar generation owned either entirely or in part by NRG or NRG Yield.

Dow currently supplies its Freeport, Texas facilities with 350MW of wind power annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 50,000 homes, or one-third of a modern nuclear plant. The partnership with NRG and NRG Yield adds an additional 150MW, for a total of approximately 500MW in renewable energy.

On Wednesday, Dow also announced that it has joined the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s pre-competitive innovation program, which convenes stakeholder groups and organizations to learn, collaborate, network and build capacity in order to more quickly achieve their circular economy ambitions. The commitment aligns to Dow’s 2025 goal of advancing a circular economy; by collaborating with the EMF and joining industry partners on this endeavor, Dow will expand its efforts to lead the transition to an economy that recycles, reuses and remanufactures goods.

As part of the program, Dow will offer a platform for material and chemical innovation through which it will lend its science and innovative expertise to help develop scalable solutions to enable purity of materials, an essential aspect for effective materials flow within the circular economy.

“Dow is honored to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 network,” Hawkins said. “This is a great opportunity to foster collaborations that can advance circular economy solutions across multiple value chains and geographies.”

"The move to a circular economy will require a broad spectrum of innovation,” said Casper Jorna, CE100 program lead for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “Dow brings to the CE100 a strong track record of research and development, and we are looking forward to seeing how this expertise will contribute to the network, to open up new opportunities for collaboration and innovation.”

As part of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, the Company will partner with other industry leaders, non-profit organizations and governments to deliver six solutions that optimize the design, production, use and recovery phases of products and services, and close resource loops to benefit society.

In the meantime, Dow is proud of recent circular breakthroughs, including:

  • Dow’s Water and Process Solutions (DW&PS) business, focused on water purification technology, offers ecological and economic value by increasing sustainability over time. DOW FILMTEC™ ECO Reverse Osmosis elements deliver 40 percent improved water purification while using 30 percent less energy.
  • Dow’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics (DP&SP) business partnered with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Accredo Packaging to produce Seventh Generation’s first recyclable Dishwasher Pods packaging. The pouches, which do not sacrifice performance or aesthetics, can be recycled at more than 18,000 store drop-off locations throughout North America.
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