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DOW CSR Strategy

DOW CSR Strategy

The individual report should propose a CSR strategy for the same company you have chosen
as a group. You are required to critically discuss strengths and weaknesses of your
company�s existing CSR policy AND use concepts from CSR theories to support your
recommendation of changes in such policy. This report is neither a collective effort nor a

reflection on how your group work went.

The individual report should be up to 1,200 words, excluding references.

This paper sets out to evaluate DOW Chemical manufacturing Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) strategy in the wake of best practices in a bid to rolling back the specters of
a heating planet. The paper addresses two strategic recommendations for pioneering clean solar


energy and clean water underpinned by water treatment technologies. Dow Chemical Company
offers raw materials for virtually all industries, which makes the global giant part of the supply
chain for numerous items. As of now, DOW has the technology that helps assess novel projects
using various levels of sustainability such as social, economic, organizational, greenhouse
emission, and water and resource proficiency (Boström, 2012). The organization supports
sustainability education across the company and teamwork throughout an entire chain. At the
moment, the company is committed to curtailing its activities from hampering the environment.
The company has made it its business to ensure the corporate approach is incorporated, to
highlight the fiscal, ecological and social variables relative to the enterprise’s activities. Proceeds
are evaluated annually using a procedure that examines not just the footprint from fabricating the
product, but the positive and adverse effects it portents along the value chain. The company
realizes this objective by attempting to make the most of the prospects while curtailing the
unintended outcomes.

Company background
DOW is a US-based company that endeavors to create value using its diverse markets, a
market-based portfolio of specialized chemical, plastics, agroscience and start-of-the-art
material. It deals with the provision of raw material for nearly all organizations, making it a
global leader in the supply chain for a broad range of products. (Crane, Matten & Spence, 2013).
The firm also offers a differentiated solution to meet the growing demands of clients through
collaboration with customers, and sector leaders in R&D expertise. This is made possible by a
vibrant team of workers comprising of experts and scientists to address pressing challenging
across the world, increase the quality of life for and the creation of the firm’s sustainability,


clients, and shareholders. As the largest chemical firm across the world, the organization is
actively involved in public policy. The organization mission and vision are all about relentless
focus on excellence, creativity and sustainable performance (Wahba, 2008). While Dow has a
culture that integrates CSR and market-centered science, its operations are guided by conducting
operations and responding to the concerns of the public.
With respect to CRS, DOW engages in the development and investment in solar energy
as well as water treatment technology. In fact, the company’s senior executives indicate that there
is about one-hundred percent overlap between DOW’s business practices and its CRS. Initially,
Dow’s objective highlighted the need to reduce CO2 footprints and changed to handprints, by
responding to the environment and social issues (SAI, 2014). For instance, the company
partnered with Unilever to make quality and affordable soap for increasing personal hygiene and
prevention of the spread of infectious illnesses.
As a leading chemical company, Dow has implemented necessary steps to improve its
environmental profile, by becoming not only efficient but also reducing the wastages. The
company has taken necessary steps of sustainability objectives that will not merely reduce its
effects rather promote environmentally friendly practices. The firm’s CSR is pegged in some
objectives including reducing costs; raise the costs of rivals; risk reduction; redefining goods and
services to clients; employee participation; value nature; and extra benefits from differentiation
(Potts et al. 2014). All these objectives purpose to increase the lives of approximately 1bn while
delivering approximately USD 1bn in cost reduction and new cash flow. In fact, Dow
concentrates on using its technology and science and dedicating efforts to find innovative
techniques of operations to assist organizations collectively change their goal in the community.


These are impressive objectives; Dow joins a few firms that have implemented objectives on the
impacts of their products on the environment (Voegtlin & Pless, 2014).
Strength and weakness
The current strength of the firm’s CRS IS associated with the development and
investment in water treatments technology and solar energy imply that the degrees of the
company’s dedication to environmental protection and proactive commitments have been made.
Such strategy should not be centered on this idea rather on favor of dynamic approach. However,
the water treatment technologies greatly affected Dow’s reputation. For example, the company
did not take responsibility following gas leaks that contributed to the death of thousands of
individuals at a chemical plant in India. Additionally, the company has repeatedly, contaminated
water next to its headquarters in Michigan.
Moreover, strength is Dow’s culture of constant improvement as well as likelihood a cost
saving technology. Workers and senior management are excited with the company’s dedication
to environmental sustainability. DOW has developed and invested in water treatment and solar,
which facilitate the execution of the approach. This is the best strategy for Dow because it would
increase environmental awareness remarkably allowing the organization to benefits compared to
its clients. DOW also has the strength of focusing on OECD nations, where environmental
sustainability is highly recognized in comparison to non-OEDC countries. When it comes to
weaknesses, DOW is an intensive chemical organization, which totally contradicts
environmental protection strategy. In addition, inadequate slack time hinders the adoption of the
policy (Vallance, Perkins & Dixon, 2011).
Nevertheless, this would lead to environmental damage from DOW’s operations would
adversely affect the company’s environmental recognition if this approach is chosen. If Dow’s


rivals try to imitate this strategy, its benefits would considerably decline. While the company’s
attempts to lobby for strict environmental laws, such an effort could contribute to the reduction
of its operations. Because, developing economies are increasingly engaging in businesses,
environmental awareness of DOW’s stakeholders may decrease as awareness is remarkably low
in such economies (Dyllick & Hockerts, 2002).


Dow should implement a pioneering strategy, which involves investments and
development of solar power as well as water treatment technologies. This is to say; the
organization has to choose a strategy on how to get environmental benefits from it. This is
related to different fundamental strategies. For example, reducing costs; raise the costs of rivals;
risk reduction; redefine goods and services to clients, and get extra benefits from differentiation.
Much as these strategies can be integrated, increasing the costs of rivals and getting additional
benefits from differentiation cannot be incorporated. There the remaining three are appropriate.
Regarding competitor price and differentiation strategy, the latter is recommended. As such, the
strategy will purpose to contribute to the reduction of expenses from the firm’s operations,
minimize risks while redefining product and argument rivals’ costs. In this scenario, redefining
product implies that clients do not necessarily have to purchase conventional sources of energy,
instead use renewable energy such as solar. With regards to increasing rivals ‘cost strategy.
Nevertheless, this requires huge investment as stipulated by Caroll’s pyramid. But as Weber
(2008) alleges, this pyramid is not feasible in developing nations and contributes to
underinvestment in environment issues. Therefore, to put into consideration critics,
environmental aspects can be integrated into the pyramid and applicable in developed nations.


Refining product, in this case, means redefining solar clients’ expectations by offering them other
alternative sources of energy (UN, 2013). To increase rivals’ cost, Dow should lobby for
stringent environmental standards. In this manner, rivals that have a different strategy get extra
expenses of adherence Dow would receive. Nonetheless, competitors may transfer the cost to
clients while enabling Dow to increase its costs or get an extra market share.

The paper determined to evaluate the DOW chemical company CSR strategy. It started
with an introduction and the organization’s background, the strength and weakness of the
approach were also reviewed in line with how they impact the environment. In the end,
recommendations were outlined.


Boström, M. (2012): A missing pillar? Challenges in theorizing and practicing social
sustainability: Introduction to the special issue, Sustainability: Science, Practice, &
Policy, 8 (1), pp. 3-14.
Crane, A., Matten, D. and Spence, L. (2013), Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and
Cases in a Global Context, London: Routledge
Dyllick, T., Hockerts, K. (2002): Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability, Business
strategy and the environment, 11 (2), pp. 130-141.

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