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Dow unveils plans for ‘zero-carbon’ plastics plant in Canada

October 6, 2021, 9:42 AM UTC

Good morning.

Dow is announcing plans today to build the world’s first zero-carbon ethylene and polyethylene complex at its Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, facility. The project will convert emitted gas into clean hydrogen fuel and capture and store CO2 emissions, while tripling production at the site. The ambitious project will be a big step toward reaching Dow’s goal of reducing emissions from its operations 30% by 2030, on the road to carbon neutrality in 2050. It’s another sign that companies are moving from promise to action on the climate change front.

The catch, of course, is that facility will be producing materials for plastic, which many think is itself an environmental scourge. “Plastics are going to continue to grow,” CEO Jim Fitterling told me. “Plastics are already the lowest CO2 footprint of any packaging. This will take it to zero.” Dow also announced several projects to improve recycling of plastics, but on that score, the progress is harder to see. “When you are dealing with waste, it is so much more discreet, it takes a lot of projects to move the needle, and it’s very local.”

I asked Fitterling why he was making his big green investment in Canada instead of the U.S.  “First, we have access to carbon capture at Fort Saskatchewan,” he said. “The second part is, Canada has a price on carbon,” which provides an incentive to decarbonize. 

Separately, Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen, and Byron Auguste, CEO of Opportunity@Work, have written a powerful piece for Fortune arguing companies need to drop unnecessary degree requirements for jobs, and focus instead on skills. “We were both raised in Black families of moderate means, and over the course of our careers we have seen the many forms that talent, skill and potential can take…When companies require a four-year degree, they screen out more than two-thirds of today’s Black workers for a wide range of jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage without even assessing the skills that could qualify them for those roles.”

Also this morning, is the stock market bubble finally bursting? Fortune’s Shawn Tully weighs in, here.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray

alan.murray@fortune.com

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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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