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The Dow Chemical Company

Dow is a leading science and technology company that provides innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With 39,000 employees and annual sales of $19 billion, Dow serves customers in 162 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others.

Dow is committed to pursuing a balance of economic growth, environmental integrity and social responsibility - known as the "triple bottom line" of truly sustainable business. The company has been a leader in policy development for this concept since the early 1990s, through its involvement in the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the US President's Council on Sustainable Development, and the company's own external Environmental Advisory Council, formed in 1991. Dow was among the first in the chemical industry, and industry in general, to report its progress and challenges toward achieving balance in economic growth, environmental integrity, and social responsibility with its Public Report 1999.

Dow also actively participates in Responsible Care® since its inception in 1987. This is a voluntary initiative within the global chemical industry to safely handle products from inception in the research laboratory, through manufacture and distribution, to ultimate disposal, and to involve the public in the decision-making processes. Responsible Care goes above and beyond what is legally required in most countries, and in January 1999, Dow signed on to the even more stringent Responsible Care Guiding Principles with other members of the US Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA). Among the principles is a commitment to make continuous progress toward the vision of no accidents, injuries or harm to the environment and to publicly report global health, safety and environmental performance.

The Public Report 1999 report, along with quarterly performance reports on Dow's progress toward the company's aggressive, voluntary, global Environment, Health & Safety Goals for the Year 2005, is available on www.dow.com.

Science education is an area where Dow firmly demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility and to enhancing the quality of life in the communities where it operates. Through corporate contributions and the vast volunteer efforts of its employees, Dow has given literally generations of support to a variety of worthwhile programs in science education. As just one example, it would be difficult to count the number of Dow employees and retirees who, almost since the company began in 1897, have shared their passion for science by visiting classrooms as part of company-sponsored "Scientist in the Schools" programs.

In 1990, the company formalized a strategic commitment to support pre-college educational efforts focused on math and science education, teacher development, and parental involvement, with special attention to drawing minorities and women into the study of science. In the last 8 years alone Dow has contributed $1.2 million each year globally to these efforts.

In addition to programs supported on a corporate level, Dow looks to its employees, through their community and volunteer involvement, to bring worthwhile activities to the company's attention for financial support. These activities typically include speakers and career days; programs that help prepare minority youth for college education and careers; science competitions; teacher summer workshops; teaching materials; family science nights; pro-education advocate and business coalition support; scholarships for special program participation; and support for state and local programs.

Local efforts often tie into national programs that Dow supports, typically partnering with private or government organizations that share the same goals. Some of these include:

  • The Hands-on Science Program - National Science Resources Center (NSRC): Established in 1985, the NSRC is an educational research and development, information dissemination and outreach organization jointly operated by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences. The NSRC developed the model for implementing a hands-on science program in local communities and also develops science modules for grades one through six. Twenty-three Dow locations in North America have participated in this program.
  • MATHCOUNTS: A national math coaching and competition program that promotes seventh and eighth grade math achievement through grassroots involvement in all 50 states and several US territories. MATHCOUNTS stimulates student interest in math by making math achievement as challenging, exciting and prestigious as school sports.
  • The Presidential Classroom Scholars Program - Since 1968, this program has given the nation's most promising high school students the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, DC to observe the federal government at work, witness the development of public policy and explore the roles of citizens, lawmakers, experts, associations and businesses in the world's most successful democracy. Behind-the-scenes seminars and discussions featuring members of Congress, Presidential appointees, journalists and other Washington insiders and names in the news.
  • Keystone Summer Initiatives Workshop: This private, nonprofit organization, located in Colorado's central Rocky Mountains, has a mission to teach scientific principles to young people and teachers with intensive hands-on natural science experiences. Study of multiple ecosystems nurtures scientific inquiry and cultivates sensitivity for the natural environment.
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