The Dow Chemical Company: The Inseparability of Safety and Business Success

by: WDI Publishing

Publication Date: January 31, 2013
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-178

Core Disciplines: Communications, Information - Technology & Management, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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It is 2005 and The Dow Chemical Company has attained most of the environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) goals laid out in its first EH&S 10-year plan, creating a library of best practices that can be applied throughout the industry. With an investment of $1 billion, the company has seen a payoff of $6.5 billion in savings. Dow is gearing up to write its next 10-year plan and Andrew Liveris, CEO, has tasked Lawrence Washington, Jr., vice president of sustainability, with developing a plan that will again set a new standard in the industry. Washington is wondering whether he should recommend that the company renew the 2005 goals to reflect new metrics or create an entirely new set of objectives.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Examine how EH&S performance positions an organization in the global marketplace.
  • Identify the potential advantages and disadvantages of an EH&S plan, and build a business case for an EH&S emphasis.
  • Predict the resource demands for an EH&S initiative.
  • Establish a plan to obtain employee commitment to an EH&S initiative, communicate progress internally and externally, and address any missed targets.