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Dow Among Industry Leaders on New Sustainability Innovators Working Group


Midland, MI - Fourteen major industry leaders have formed the Sustainability Innovators Working Group – aiming to define and develop state-of-the-art approaches for environmental management and corporate sustainability. Esty Environmental Partners (EEP), the organizer of the group and a premier sustainable business consulting firm, and IBM (NYSE: IBM), a participant and supporting partner, announced the launch today.

In addition to the Dow Chemical Company and IBM, industry members include a diverse combination of companies also recognized for their advanced work in sustainability practices, such as Boeing, CH2M Hill, Coca-Cola, Delhaize Group, Disney, Diversey, FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Shaklee, Unilever, Walmart, and Xerox.

“Sustainable development throughout the world will depend on science and technology innovation, which puts Dow’s capabilities and people squarely on the path toward progress,” said Neil Hawkins, Vice President of Sustainability and EH&S. “But solving world challenges will only happen when collaboration happens. Esty Environmental Partners has created a powerful forum of collaboration for sharing, challenging and elevating sustainable practices.”

“Finding the right strategic response to the sustainability imperative is a core competitive challenge for companies,” said Dan Esty, EEP Chairman and Hillhouse Professor at Yale University. “Companies that meet this challenge will find new ways to reduce risks and costs, achieve growth through innovation, and enhance the value of their brand. Through our partnership with IBM and our work with these leading companies, we plan to bring sustainability strategy and execution to a new level.”

Working together, the Sustainability Innovators Working Group participants will define a new set of management systems and tools for achieving greater value from sustainability strategy. Each company will be able to apply the best practices from this collaboration within their own organizations not only to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their operations, but also to better identify and develop related opportunities for innovation and growth.

A starting point for the group’s work will be the recently published Harvard Business Review article (May 2010), The Sustainability Imperative, written by Dan Esty and David Lubin, EEP Senior Adviser and Chairman of the Innovators program. This piece argues that companies need to have both a clear vision and a strategy for execution to deliver sustainability value.

Each of the participating companies brings a wealth of sustainability experience and expertise to the table. Esty Environmental Partners has been a pioneer in sustainability strategy development. IBM contributes consulting and analytics to improve performance through its portfolio of Sustainable Solutions and Intelligent Systems. The Innovators Working Group will generate new management tools and models for incorporating sustainability more deeply into business strategy and corporate practice.

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at


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