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The Dow Chemical Company - Dow Habitat for Humanity

Added on 22-03-2013

Company

The Dow Chemical Company

Year

Since 1983

Business challenge

Dow and the NGO “Habitat for Humanity” recognize that affordable housing is one of the world's most pressing challenges and required the efforts and synergies of different actors of society. “Union makes the Strength”. Affordable housing is a global issue, mainly affected the poor areas and more vulnerable societal groups.

Description

Dow’s commitment to Habitat for Humanity spans nearly 30 years and includes financial, product and volunteer contributions through a global partnership.

Dow was one of Habitat’s first corporate partners in 1983. For 28 years, Dow has supported the construction of more than 25,000 homes – helping families live in decent, affordable housing in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Dow engages a holistic approach with Habitat, contributing not only funds that make building possible and products that deliver reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but significant volunteer support that is needed to bring projects and the homeowners’ dreams to life.

The aggregate Dow contribution to Habitat is approximately $12.5 million in funding and more than $25 million in gift‐in‐kind product donations. Dow’s partnership with Habitat aligns with many of Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, including energy efficiency, community success and local protection of human health and the environment.

Dow will continue its efforts to grow internationally with Habitat, to work collaboratively to develop strategies and programs that deliver greater impact and to provide innovative, sustainable products and technologies that enable Habitat to build homes, change lives and provide solutions to one of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Impact

A lesson learned is to be cognizant of the community needs and adapt Dow’s response when necessary. When building trends moved toward building homes that do not use typical Dow building products, the company offered solutions from its other businesses. One example is a recent project where Dow’s Water Solutions business provided water purification technology to families who did not have access to safe, clean water.

When Dow recognized another trend, i.e. the movement away from building new homes in lieu of refurbishing existing properties – another solution emerged. Dow is now in its fourth year of sponsoring significant neighborhood revitalization efforts to meet this need. A regional build this summer in Michigan included three cities and hundreds of Dow volunteers for each project.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

Dow partnership with “Habitat for Humanity” has delivered a win‐win situation for all the stakeholders involved:

  • The families in need, who also provide their own labor in the house construction, receive an affordable and sustainable house and its community gets safer and more sustainable.
  • Dow employees feel rewarding with their contributions to their communities and society in general, getting stronger links with the Company’s identity.
  • Dow to Contribute to Community Success, one of the company's 2015 Sustainability Goals, by working with Habitat to provide affordable housing for families in need, enhancing the community’s environment. It also enhances one of its Corporate Social Responsibilities aims: employment engagement in its CSR related activities.
  • “Habitat for Humanity” can implement its projects with the human, capital and material resources provided by Dow.

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