Partnership Benefits 2,900 People and Millions of Migrating Birds
A groundbreaking partnership between Dow and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is producing real-world results in China, including enabling safer drinking water for 2,900 people, improved habitat for millions of migrating birds and expanded educational opportunities for secondary students.
Since August, Dow volunteers have been collecting water samples from Longwu Reservoir, the source of drinking water for approximately 2,900 people in three nearby villages. Fertilizers and herbicides for the area’s bamboo plants pose a real threat to water quality. TNC works with the local community and government to improve water resource management. Engineers from Dow’s Water and Process Solutions business at the Huzhou site volunteer their expertise to support TNC’s water conservation efforts, providing professional water analysis.
Jianliang Wang, a researcher in Huzhou, leads the effort to collect water samples, and encountered people who live along the river who have benefitted from their expertise.
Hundreds of miles away, progress also is being made at Shanghai’s Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve, where Dow and TNC are working together on the Birdhouse Project. Situated at the mouth of the Yangtze River, Chongming covers about 100 square miles, including the world’s largest alluvial island. Up to 290 kinds of birds have been observed there, and millions of swans, geese, and shorebirds traveling along a Pacific north-south migration route from as far away as Alaska and New Zealand use it as a staging and wintering base.
As a business partner of the Birdhouse Project, Dow has been involved from its beginning, helping to develop measurement tools through its science and sustainability expertise.
In Hong Kong, the direct recipient of the Dow/TNC partnership is a group of students. Eight Dow volunteers formed an advisory committee to mentor a student team in the Nature Works Hong Kong Environmental Innovation and Leadership program, a new community environmental initiative designed to build youth leadership for environmental protection.
Volunteers Alan Chan, Dennis Yee, Eric Chan, Bessie Kan, Chris Moy, Joanna Leung, Gigi Fung and Denise Yuen helped a group of eight students develop a project that explored plastic recycling. Students went through an experiential learning camp focusing on understanding environmental challenges and developing leadership skills.
In 2011, Dow and TNC launched an unprecedented collaboration to study how the Company’s operations rely on and affect nature, with an ultimate objective of integrating the value of nature into business decision-making. Scientists, engineers, and economists from both organizations are working together to analyze the various services that nature provides to Company operations and the community. The work involves validating tools and models that can assign a value to these ecosystem services to support Dow’s decision-making when it comes to designing, constructing and operating its manufacturing sites.