The Dow Chemical Company
TypeSubsidiary of Dow Inc.
Founded1897; 124 years ago (1897)
FounderHerbert Henry Dow
HeadquartersMidland, Michigan, U.S
Area served
Key people
Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO
Howard Ungerleider, CFO
ProductsChemicals, plastics, performance chemicals, catalysts, coatings, Hydrocarbon exploration
ParentDow Inc.
SubsidiariesUnion Carbide Corporation
Rohm and Haas
Footnotes / references

The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States, and a subsidiary of Dow Inc. The company is among the three largest chemical producers in the world.[2]

Dow manufactures plastics, chemicals, and agricultural products. With a presence in about 160 countries, it employs about 54,000 people worldwide.[1] Dow has been called the "chemical companies' chemical company"[3] as its sales are to other industries rather than directly to end-use consumers. Dow is a member of the American Chemistry Council. The company tagline is "Seek Together".[4]

In 2017, the company merged into DowDuPont and in April 2019, the company's parent, Dow Inc. was separated into a public company via a corporate spin-off.[5][6][7][8]


Former Dow Chemical Corporate headquarters in Midland, Michigan.
Former Dow Chemical Corporate headquarters in Midland, Michigan.

Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber. It is also a major producer of ethylene oxide, various acrylates, surfactants, and cellulose resins. It produces agricultural chemicals including the pesticide Lorsban and consumer products including Styrofoam. Some Dow consumer products including Saran wrap, Ziploc bags and Scrubbing Bubbles were sold to S. C. Johnson & Son in 1997.[9]

Performance plastics

Performance plastics make up 25% of Dow's sales,[10] with many products designed for the automotive and construction industries. The plastics include polyolefins such as polyethylene and polypropylene, as well as polystyrene used to produce Styrofoam insulating material. Dow manufactures epoxy resin intermediates including bisphenol A and epichlorohydrin. Saran resins and films are based on polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC)

Performance chemicals

The Performance Chemicals (17 percent of sales) segment produces chemicals and materials for water purification, pharmaceuticals, paper coatings, paints and advanced electronics. Major product lines include nitroparaffins, such as nitromethane, used in the pharmaceutical industry and manufactured by Angus Chemical Company,[11] a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co. Important polymers include Dowex ion-exchange resins, acrylic and polystyrene latex, as well as Carbowax polyethylene glycols. Specialty chemicals are used as starting materials for production of agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Water purification

Dow Water and Process Solutions (DW&PS) is a business unit which manufactures Filmtec reverse osmosis membranes which are used to purify water for human use in the Middle East. The technology was used during the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics.[12] The DW&PS business unit remained with DowDuPont following the April 2019 spin-off.

Agricultural sciences

Agricultural Sciences, or (Dow AgroSciences), provides 7 percent of sales and is responsible for a range of insecticides (such as Lorsban), herbicides and fungicides. Seeds from genetically modified plants are also an important area of growth for the company.[13] Dow AgroSciences sells seeds commercially under the following brands: Mycogen (grain corn, silage corn, sunflowers, alfalfa, and sorghum), Atlas (soybean), PhytoGen (cotton) and Hyland Seeds in Canada (corn, soybean, alfalfa, navy beans and wheat). The Dow AgroSciences business unit was spun off into Corteva Inc, on June 3, 2019.[citation needed]

Basic plastics

Basic plastics (26 percent of sales) end up in everything from diaper liners to beverage bottles and oil tanks. Products are based on the three major polyolefins – polystyrene (such as Styron resins), polyethylene and polypropylene.

Basic chemicals

Basic chemicals (12 percent of sales) are used internally by Dow as raw materials and are also sold worldwide. Markets include dry cleaning, paints and coatings, snow and ice control and the food industry. Major products include ethylene glycol, caustic soda, chlorine, and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM, for making PVC). Ethylene oxide and propylene oxide and the derived alcohols ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are major feedstocks for the manufacture of plastics such as polyurethane and PET.

Hydrocarbons and energy

The Hydrocarbons and Energy operating segment (13 percent of sales) oversees energy management at Dow.[10] Fuels and oil-based raw materials are also procured. Major feedstocks for Dow are provided by this group, including ethylene, propylene, 1,3-butadiene, benzene and styrene.

Hand sanitizer

In March 2020, during the Coronavirus outbreak, Dow expanded its European hand sanitizer production, providing the product free to hospitals.[14]


Early history

Founder Herbert Henry Dow

Dow was founded in 1897 by chemist Herbert Henry Dow, who invented a new method of extracting the bromine that was trapped underground in brine at Midland, Michigan.[15] Dow originally sold only bleach and potassium bromide, achieving a bleach output of 72 tons a day in 1902. Early in the company's history, a group of British manufacturers tried to drive Dow out of the bleach business by cutting prices. Dow survived by also cutting its prices and, although losing about $90,000 in income, began to diversify its product line.[16] In 1905, German bromide producers began dumping bromides at low cost in the U.S. in an effort to prevent Dow from expanding its sales of bromides in Europe. Instead of competing directly for market share with the German producers, Dow bought the cheap German-made bromides and shipped them back to Europe. This undercut his German competitors.[17] Even in its early history, Dow set a tradition of rapidly diversifying its product line. Within twenty years, Dow had become a major producer of agricultural chemicals, elemental chlorine, phenol and other dyestuffs, and magnesium metal.[citation needed]

During World War I, Dow Chemical supplied many war materials the United States had previously imported from Germany. Dow produced magnesium for incendiary flares, monochlorobenzene and phenol for explosives, and bromine for medicines and tear gas. By 1918, 90 percent of Dow Chemical production was geared towards the war effort.[18] At this time, Dow created the diamond logo that is still used by the company.[19] After the war, Dow continued research in magnesium, and developed refined automobile pistons that produced more speed and better fuel efficiency. The Dowmetal pistons were used heavily in racing vehicles, and the 1921 winner of the Indianapolis 500 used the Dowmetal pistons in his vehicle.[18]

In the 1930s, Dow began producing plastic resins, which would grow to become one of the corporation's major businesses. Its first plastic products were ethylcellulose, made in 1935, and polystyrene, made in 1937.[20]

Diversification and expansion

From 1940 to 1941, Dow built its first plant in Freeport, Texas to produce magnesium extracted from seawater rather than underground brine.[21] The Freeport plant is Dow's largest site – and the largest integrated chemical manufacturing site in the country.[22] The site grew quickly – with power, chlorine, caustic soda and ethylene also soon in production.[23] Growth of this business made Dow a strategic business during World War II, as magnesium became important to manufacture lightweight parts for aircraft.[24] Based on 2002–2003 data, the Freeport plants produced 27 billion lbs of product – or 21% of Dow's global production.[25][better source needed] In 1942, Dow began its foreign expansion with the formation of Dow Chemical of Canada in Sarnia, Ontario to produce styrene for use in styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber.[26] Also during the war, Dow and Corning began their joint venture, Dow Corning, to produce silicones for military and, later, civilian use.

The "Ethyl-Dow Chemical Co." plant at "Kure's Beach" NC, the only plant on the East Coast producing bromine from seawater, was attacked by a German U-boat in 1942.[27]

In the post-war era, Dow began expanding outside of North America, founding its first overseas subsidiary in Japan in 1952, and in several other nations soon thereafter. Based largely on its growing plastics business, Dow opened a consumer products division beginning with Saran wrap in 1953.[28] Based on its growing chemicals and plastics businesses, Dow's sales exceeded $1 billion in 1964, $2 billion in 1971.[29]

Nuclear weapons

From 1951 to 1975, Dow managed the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, Colorado. Rocky Flats was a nuclear weapons production facility that produced plutonium triggers for hydrogen bombs.[30]

Main article: Rocky Flats Plant

Contamination from fires and radioactive waste leakage plagued the facility under Dow's management. In 1957 a fire burned plutonium dust in the facility and sent radioactive particles into the atmosphere.[30]

The Department of Energy transferred management of the facility to Rockwell International in 1975.[30] In 1990, nearby residents filed a class action lawsuit against Dow and Rockwell for environmental contamination of the area; the case was settled in 2017 for $375 million.[31] According to the Appellate Court, the owners of the 12,000 properties in the class-action area had not proved that their properties were damaged or they had suffered bodily injury.[32]

Vietnam War: napalm and Agent Orange

U.S. Army helicopter spraying Agent Orange over agricultural land during the Vietnam War
U.S. Army helicopter spraying Agent Orange over agricultural land during the Vietnam War

The United States military dropped napalm bombs on North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Dow was one of several manufacturers who began producing the napalm B compound under government contract from 1965. After experiencing protests and negative publicity, the other suppliers discontinued manufacturing the product, leaving Dow as the sole provider. The company said that it carefully considered its position, and decided, as a matter of principle, "its first obligation was to the government".[33] Despite a boycott of its products by anti-war groups and harassment of recruiters on some college campuses, Dow continued to manufacture napalm B until 1969.[33] The USA continued to drop napalm bombs on North Vietnam until 1973.

Main article: Agent Orange

Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant containing dioxin, was also manufactured by Dow in New Plymouth, New Zealand, and Midland, Michigan, in the United States for use by the British military during the Malayan Emergency and the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. In 2005, a lawsuit was filed by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange against Dow and Monsanto Co., which also supplied Agent Orange to the military. The lawsuit was dismissed.[34] In 2012, Monsanto agreed to a $93 million settlement as a result of a case pursued by ex-Monsanto employees and citizens in the city of Nitro, WV. In 1949, a chemical plant in Nitro experienced an explosion that damaged a tank containing 2,4,5-T, one of the composites that is used in the production of Agent Orange. The settlement of the case included $9 million for the cleanup of affected homes in the area, and $84 million to cover the medical monitoring and treatment of people affected by the explosion, as well as legal costs for the claimants. No care has been given for the in state damage done by the Headquarters in Midland, Michigan, and they refuse to give the evidence to the community.[35]

Dow Corning breast implants

See also: Dow Corning breast implants controversy

A major manufacturer of silicone breast implants, Dow Corning (Dow Chemical's Joint Venture with Corning Inc.) was sued for personal damages caused by ruptured implants. On October 6, 2005, all such cases pending in the District Court against the company were dismissed. A number of large, independent reviews of the scientific literature, including the Institute of Medicine in the United States, have subsequently found that silicone breast implants do not cause breast cancers or any identifiable systemic disease.[36][37]

Bhopal disaster

Main article: Bhopal disaster

Dow Chemical banner in Bhopal, India, 2010
Dow Chemical banner in Bhopal, India, 2010

Union Carbide became a subsidiary of Dow Chemical in 2001. The Bhopal disaster of 1984 occurred at a pesticide plant owned by Union Carbide India Ltd., a subsidiary of Union Carbide, 17 years before Dow Chemical Co.'s acquisition. A gas cloud containing methyl isocyanate and other chemicals spread to the neighborhoods near the plant where more than half a million people were exposed to it. More than 27 years after the event, the actual number of fatalities is still unknown.[38] The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. There are wide variations in the estimated number of individuals permanently disabled by the event. By one independent estimate, 40,000 individuals were left permanently disabled, maimed, or suffering from serious illness as a result of the disaster. A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.[39] Union Carbide was sued by the Government of India and agreed to an out-of-court settlement of US$470 million in 1989. In 2010 eight former executives of Union Carbide India Ltd. were found guilty of death by negligence. Activists sought to have Dow Chemical held responsible for the ongoing cleanup of the site,[40] now under the control of the state government of Madhya Pradesh.


Until the late 1970s, Dow produced DBCP (1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane), a soil fumigant, and nematicide, sold under the names the Nemagon and Fumazone. Plantation workers who alleged that they became sterile or were stricken with other maladies subsequently sued both Dow and Dole in Latin American courts. The cases were marred by extensive fraud, including the falsification of test results and the recruitment of plaintiffs who had never worked at Dole plantations.[41] While Nicaraguan courts awarded the plaintiffs over $600 million in damages, they have been unable to collect any payment from the companies. A group of plaintiffs then sued in the United States, and, on November 5, 2007, a Los Angeles jury awarded them $3.2 million. Dole and Dow vowed to appeal the decision.[42] On April 23, 2009 a Los Angeles judge threw out two cases against Dole and Dow due to fraud and extortion by lawyers in Nicaragua recruiting fraudulent plaintiffs to make claims against the company.[43] The ruling casts doubt on $2 billion in judgments in similar lawsuits.[44]

Tax evasion

In February 2013 a federal court rejected two tax shelter transactions entered into by Dow that created approximately $1 billion in tax deductions between 1993 and 2003. In the stated opinion, the Court termed the transactions "schemes that were designed to exploit perceived weaknesses in the tax code and not designed for legitimate business reasons". The schemes were created by Goldman Sachs and the law firm of King & Spalding, and involved creating a partnership that Dow operated out of its European headquarters in Switzerland.[45][46] Dow stated that it had paid all tax assessments with interest. The case was a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service seeking a refund of the taxes paid.[47] The case was appealed to the 5th Circuit court, where Dow's claims were again rejected. Dow has petitioned for an en banc hearing by the 5th Circuit, arguing that the decision was contrary to established case law.[48]

Price fixing

Dow Chemical was implicated in a price-fixing scheme that inflated the cost of polyurethane for customers. The U.S. Justice Department closed an investigation in 2007, but a class-action lawsuit won at a jury trial in 2013. Dow settled the suit in 2016 for $835 million.[49]

Recent mergers, acquisitions and reorganization

1990s – transition from geographic alignment to global business units

In the early 1990s, Dow embarked on a major structural reorganization.[50] The former reporting hierarchy was geographically based, with the regional president reporting directly to the overall company president and CEO. The new organization combines the same businesses from different sites, irrespective of which region they belong (i.e. the vice president for Polystyrene is now in charge of these plants all over the world).[51][52][53]

Union Carbide merger

At the beginning of August 1999, Dow agreed to purchase Union Carbide Corp. (UCC) for $9.3 billion in stock.[54] At the time, the combined company was the second largest chemical company, behind DuPont.[55] This led to protests from some stockholders, who feared that Dow did not disclose potential liabilities related to the Bhopal disaster.[56]

William S. Stavropoulos served as president and chief executive officer of Dow from 1995 to 2000, then again from 2002 to 2004.[57] He relinquished his board seat on April 1, 2006, having been a director since 1990 and chairman since 2000. During his first tenure, he led the purchase of UCC which proved controversial, as it was blamed for poor results under his successor as CEO Mike Parker.[58] Parker was dismissed and Stavropoulos returned from retirement to lead Dow.[59][60]

2006–2008 restructuring

On August 31, 2006, Dow announced that it planned to close facilities at five locations:[61]

On November 2, 2006, Dow and Izolan, the leading Russian producer of polyurethane systems, formed the joint venture Dow-Izolan and built a manufacturing facility in the city of Vladimir.[72] Also in 2006, Dow formed the Business Process Service Center (BPSC).

In December 2007, Dow announced a series of moves to revamp the company. A December 4 announcement revealed that Dow planned to exit the automotive sealers business in 2008 or 2009.[73] Within several weeks, Dow also announced the formation of a joint venture, later named K-Dow, with Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. In exchange for $9.5 billion, the agreement included Dow selling 50-percent of its interest in five global businesses: polyethylene, polypropylene and polycarbonate plastics, and ethylenamines and ethanolamines.[74] The agreement was terminated by PIC on December 28, 2008.[75]

Rohm & Haas Co. purchase

On July 10, 2008, Dow agreed to purchase all of the common equity interest of Rohm and Haas Co. for $15.4 billion, which equated to $78 per share.[76] The buyout was financed with equity investments of $3 billion by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and $1 billion by the Kuwait Investment Authority.[77] The purpose of the deal was to move Dow Chemical further into specialty chemicals, which offer higher profit margins than the commodities market and are more difficult to enter for the competition.[citation needed] The purchase was criticized by many on Wall Street who believed Dow Chemical overpaid (about a 75 percent premium on the previous day's market capital) to acquire the company; however, the high bid was needed to ward off competing bids from BASF.[78] The transaction to purchase the outstanding interest of Rohm and Haas was closed on April 1, 2009.[79]

Accelerated implementation

On December 8, 2008, Dow announced that due to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008, it would accelerate job cuts resulting from its reorganization. The announced plan included closing 20 facilities, temporarily idling 180 plants, and eliminating 5,000 full-time jobs (about 11 percent of its work-force) and 6,000 contractor positions.[80]

Strategy interruption

Citing the global recession that began in the latter half of 2008, the Kuwaiti government scuttled the K-Dow partnership on December 28, 2008.[81] The collapse of the deal dealt a blow to Dow CEO Andrew Liveris' vision of restructuring the company to make it less cyclical. However, on January 6, 2009 Dow Chemical announced they were in talks with other parties who could be interested in a major joint venture with the company.[82] Dow also announced they that it would be seeking to recover damages related to the failed joint venture from PIC.[82]

After the K-Dow deal collapsed, some speculated that the company would not complete the Rohm & Haas transaction, as the cash from the former transaction was expected to fund the latter.[83] The deal was expected to be finalized in early 2009 and was to form one of the nation's largest specialty chemicals firms in the U.S.[84][85][86] However, on January 26, 2009 the company informed Rohm and Haas that it would be unable to complete the transaction by the agreed upon deadline.[87] Dow cited a deteriorated credit market and the collapse of the K-Dow Petrochemical deal as reasons for failing to timely close the merger. Around the same time, CEO Andrew Liveris said a first- time cut to the company's 97- year- old dividend policy was not "off the table". On February 12, 2009, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.15/share, down from $0.42 the previous quarter. The cut represented the first time the company had diminished its investor payout in the dividend's 97-year history.[88][89]

The transaction to purchase the outstanding interest of Rohm and Haas closed on April 1, 2009.[90] After negotiating the sale of preferred stock with Rohm and Hass' two largest stockholders and extending their one-year bridge loan an additional year, the company purchased Rohm and Haas for $15 billion ($78 a share) on March 9, 2009.[91]

2007 dismissal of senior executives

On April 12, 2007, Dow dismissed two senior executives for "unauthorized discussions with third parties about the potential sale of the company". The two figures are executive vice president Romeo Kreinberg, and director and former CFO J. Pedro Reinhard. Dow claims they were secretly in contact with JPMorgan Chase; at the same time, a story surfaced in Britain's Sunday Express regarding a possible leveraged buyout of Dow. The two executives have since filed lawsuits claiming they were fired for being a threat to CEO Liveris, and that the allegations were concocted as a pretext.[92] However, in June 2008 Dow Chemical and the litigants announced a settlement in which Kreinberg and Reinhard dropped their lawsuits and admitted taking part in discussions "which were not authorized by, nor disclosed to, Dow's board concerning a potential LBO" and acknowledged that it would have been appropriate to have informed the CEO and board of the talks.[93]

2008 sale of zoxamide business

In summer 2008, Dow sold its zoxamide business to Gowan Company. Included in the sale were the trademarks for a potato and grape fungicide called Gavel (fungicide). It is employed by potato growers to control early and late potato blight and to suppress tuber blight, and is also registered in Canada for control of downy mildew in grapes, except in British Columbia.[94]

2014 – New operating segments

In the fourth quarter of 2014, Dow announced new operating segments in response to its previously announced leadership changes. The company stated it would give further support to its end-market orientation and increase its alignment to Dow's key value chains – ethylene and propylene.[95]

U.S. Gulf Coast investments

Several plants on the Gulf Coast of the US have been in development since 2013, as part of Dow's transition away from naphtha. Dow estimates the facilities will employ about 3000 people, and 5000 people during construction.[96] The plants will manufacture materials for several of its growing segments, including hygiene and medical, transportation, electrical and telecommunications, packaging, consumer durables and sports and leisure.[97]

Dow's new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility in Freeport, Texas, was expected to come online in 2015, with a first 750000 tonne per year unit, while other units would become available in the future.[98][99] An ethylene production facility was expected to start up in the first half of 2017.[100][101][102]

Chlorine merger

On March 27, 2015, Dow and Olin Corporation announced that the boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Dow will separate a significant portion of its chlorine business and merge that new entity with Olin in a transaction that will create an industry leader, with revenues approaching $7 billion.[103] Olin, the new partnership, became the largest chlorine producer in the world.[104]

2015 merger and 2019 separation with DuPont

Andrew N. Liveris

Main articles: DuPont and DowDuPont

On December 11, 2015, Dow announced that it would merge with DuPont, in an all-stock deal.[105] The combined company, which was known as DowDuPont, had an estimated value of $130 billion, was equally held by the shareholders of both companies, and maintained their respective headquarters in Michigan and Delaware.[105] Within two years of the merger's closure, DowDuPont was set to split into three separate public companies, focusing on the agriculture, chemical, and specialty product industries.[106] Shareholders of each company held 50% of the combined company.[107] Dow Chemical CEO Andrew N. Liveris became executive chairman of the new entity, while DuPont CEO Edward D. Breen became CEO.[108] In January 2017, the merger was pushed back a second time pending regulatory approvals.[109]

The same day, Dow also announced that it had reached a deal to acquire Corning Incorporated's stake in their joint venture Dow Corning for $4.8 billion in cash and a roughly 40% stake in Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation.[109]

In 2019, DowDuPont de-merged, forming Dow Inc.. The spin-off was completed on April 1, 2019, at which time Dow Inc. became an independent, publicly traded company, and the direct parent company of The Dow Chemical Company.[110][111]

Focus on higher margin business

Dow Chemical has begun to shed commodity chemical businesses, such as those making the basic ingredients for grocery bags and plastic pipes, because their profit margins only average 5–10%.[citation needed] Dow is, as of 2015, focusing its resources on specialty chemicals that earn profit margins of at least 20%.[104][112]

Dioxin contamination

Watershed of the Tittabawassee River, including Midland, site of the Dow Chemical works.
Watershed of the Tittabawassee River, including Midland, site of the Dow Chemical works.

See also: Dioxin controversy

Areas along Michigan's Tittabawassee River, which runs within yards of Dow's main plant in Midland, were found to contain elevated levels of the cancer-causing chemical dioxin in November 2006. The dioxin was located in sediments two to ten feet below the surface of the river, and, according to The New York Times, "there is no indication that residents or workers in the area are directly exposed to the sites".[113] However, people who often eat fish from the river had slightly elevated levels of dioxin in their blood.[113] In July 2007, Dow reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to remove 50,000 cubic yards (38,000 m3) of sediment from three areas of the riverbed and levees of the river that had been found to be contaminated.[114] In November 2008, Dow Chemical along with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality agreed to establish a Superfund to address dioxin cleanup of the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay.[115]

Sale of herbicide business

In December 2015, Dow Chemicals agreed to sell part of its global herbicide business, which had reported falling sales for nearly a year. A portfolio of weed killers known as dinitroanilines was sold to privately held Gowan Company, a family owned company located in Yuma, Arizona, which markets a variety of pesticides to the agricultural and horticultural industries.[116] The global trademarks for Treflan (pesticide)®, which can be sprayed on field corn, cotton and some fruit and vegetables, were included in the sale, as well as a formulation and packaging facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.[117] Edge (pesticide)®, Team (pesticide)®, Bonalan (pesticide)® and Sonalan (pesticide)®, intellectual property and labels for herbicides based on the molecules trifluralin, benfluralin and ethalfluralin were also included in the sale. Annual grasses and small seeded broadleaf weeds can be controlled with these products in a wide range of crops including cotton, beans, canola, cereals, crucifers, cucurbits, and vegetables. Dinitroanilines, are also known as "DNA herbicides", and have been commercialised at least since 1970.[117][118]

2020 evacuation

In May 2020, Dow Chemical and many other areas in Midland County, Michigan were forced to evacuate due to high flooding which was caused by the breach of the Edenville and Sanford dams following two days of heavy rainfall in the area.[119]


For the fiscal year 2017, Dow Chemicals reported earnings of US$1.5 billion, with an annual revenue of US$62.5 billion, an increase of 29.8% over the previous fiscal cycle. Dow Chemicals shares traded at over $67 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$121.1 billion in September 2018.[120]

Year Revenue
in mil. USD$
Net income
in mil. USD$
Total Assets
in mil. USD$
2005 46,307 4,515 45,934
2006 49,124 3,724 45,581
2007 53,375 2,887 48,801
2008 57,361 579 45,474
2009 44,875 336 66,018
2010 53,674 1,970 69,588
2011 59,985 2,402 69,224
2012 56,786 842 69,605
2013 57,080 4,447 69,501
2014 58,167 3,432 68,687
2015 48,778 7,345 67,938
2016 48,158 3,978 79,511
2017 62,484 1,460 192,164

Environmental record

Superfund site in Uravan
Superfund site in Uravan

In 2003, Dow agreed to pay $2 million, the largest penalty ever in a pesticide case,[121] to the state of New York for making illegal safety claims related to its pesticides. The New York Attorney General's Office stated that Dow AgroSciences had violated a 1994 agreement with the State of New York to stop advertisements making safety claims about its pesticide products. Dow stated that it was not admitting to any wrongdoing, and that it was agreeing to the settlement to avoid a costly court battle.[122][123]

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dow has some responsibility for 96 of the United States' Superfund toxic waste sites, placing it in 10th place by number of sites.[citation needed] One of these, a former UCC uranium and vanadium processing facility near Uravan, Colorado, is listed as the sole responsibility of Dow.[124][125] The rest are shared with numerous other companies. Fifteen sites have been listed by the EPA as finalized (cleaned up) and 69 are listed as "construction complete", meaning that all required plans and equipment for cleanup are in place.[126]

In 2007, the chemical industry trade association – the American Chemical Council – gave Dow an award of 'Exceptional Merit' in recognition of longstanding energy efficiency and conservation efforts. Between 1995 and 2005, Dow reduced energy intensity (BTU per pound produced) by 22 percent. This is equivalent to saving enough electricity to power eight million US homes for a year.[127] The same year, Dow subsidiary, Dow Agrosciences, won a United Nations Montreal Protocol Innovators Award for its efforts in helping replace methyl bromide – a compound identified as contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. In addition, Dow Agrosciences won an EPA "Best of the Best" Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award.[128] The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Dow as a 2008 Energy Star Partner of the Year for excellence in energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.[129]

Board of directors

The members of the board of directors of The Dow Chemical Co. were, prior to the closing of the merger with DuPont on September 1, 2017:[130]

Major sponsorships

In July 2010, Dow became a worldwide partner of the Olympic Games. The sponsorship extends to 2020.[136][137]

In September 2004, Dow obtained the naming rights to the Saginaw County Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan; the center is now called the Dow Event Center. The Saginaw Spirit (of the Ontario Hockey League) plays at the center, which also hosts events such as professional wrestling, live theater, and concerts.[138][139][140]

In October 2006, Dow bought the naming rights to the stadium used by the Great Lakes Loons, a Single-A minor league baseball team located in its hometown of Midland, Michigan. The stadium is called Dow Diamond. The Dow Foundation played a key role in bringing the Loons to the city.

In 2010, Dow signed a $100m (£63m) 10-year deal with the International Olympic Committee and agreed to sponsor the £7m Olympic Stadium wrap.[141]

Since 2014 Dow also sponsors Austin Dillon's #3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Major collaborations

Lab Safety Academy

On May 20, 2013, Dow launched the Dow Lab Safety Academy, a website that includes a large collection of informational videos and resources that demonstrate best practices in laboratory safety.[142] The goal of the website is to improve awareness of safety practices in academic research laboratories and to help the future chemical workforce develop a safety mindset. As such, the Dow Lab Safety Academy is primarily geared toward university students. However, Dow has made the content open to all, including those already employed in the chemical industry. The Dow Lab Safety Academy is also available through the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education program, an affiliate of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE); and The Campbell Institute, an organization focusing on environment, health and safety practices.

The Dow Lab Safety Academy is one component of Dow's larger laboratory safety initiative launched in early 2012, following a report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board[143] that highlighted the potential hazards associated with conducting research at chemical laboratories in academic institutions. Seeking to share industry best practices with academia, Dow partnered with several U.S. research universities to improve safety awareness and practices in the departments of chemistry, chemical engineering, engineering and materials. Through the pilot programs with U.C. Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of Minnesota, and Pennsylvania State University, Dow worked with graduate students and faculty to identify areas of improvement and develop a culture of laboratory safety.

Nature conservancy

In January 2011, The Nature Conservancy and The Dow Chemical Co. announced a collaboration[144] to integrate the value of nature into business decision-making. Scientists, engineers, and economists from The Nature Conservancy and Dow are working together at three pilot sites (North America, Latin America, and TBD[145]) to implement and refine models that support corporate decision-making related to the value and resources nature provides. Those ecosystem services include water, land, air, oceans and a variety of plant and animal life. These sites will serve as a “living laboratories”, to validate and test methods and models so they can be used to inform more sustainable business decisions at Dow and hopefully influence the decision-making and business practices of other companies.[146]

Part-owned companies

Companies part-owned by Dow include:[1]

Notable employees

See also


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