New Dow after spin-off to be more focused company chasing recycle economy
Updated 14:08, 13-Aug-2019
Global Business

The world's biggest chemical conglomerate DowDupont is being split into three standalone companies. New Dow will be a pure material firm, Dupont will specialize in chemical production and Corteva agricultural chemicals. 

Dow CEO Jim Fitterling said the initial thought is that each company will have a different multiple in the market. Dow is more focused on high volume capital intensive products and Dupont has areas like electronics and materials for making semiconductors and pharma ingredients.  

Fitterling said that New Dow is operating a similar business model. The company works with brand owners and tries to create the next generation of what the brands need to sell to their customers. 

"About 70 percent of what we sell is in some consumer brands that you buy every day and that focus will allow us to be a much more productive research company and a more productive manufacturing company," he said. 

Dow booth at AchemAsia 2019. /VCG Photo

Dow booth at AchemAsia 2019. /VCG Photo

New Dow is focused on essentially five business units – business growth, consumer goods, packaging, especially plastics, and also material for infrastructure like polyurethane for energy efficiency. 

Fitterling noted that Dow has the world’s leading acrylic which is a waterborne based paint. The technology applied in food packaging can reduce some of the harmful emissions from volatile organic compounds.  

"How do we address end of life issues like plastic waste? These are all things that we're working on today," he said. 

As awareness grows about plastics pollution especially in the ocean, environmental protection together with substantial business development is a new trend for chemical companies like Dow. 

Fitterling said, "We have responsibility to address that since it is not just an industry issue but a whole value chain issue. Today we called the way plastics move through the economy as a linear economy. The plastics get made, get used, and many times get thrown away. Some of them get recycled but not enough, and then some of them end up in the environment. 

"And what we have to try to create as a circular economy where they get collected, they get recycled or they get reused to turn into something more valuable and they don't end up in the environment. That will actually be good for the growth of the business versus not tackling the problem, which could be an existential threat to the business." 

(CGTN's Cheng Lei contributed to this story.)