Dow Chemical Canada has been a significant participant in Canada's chemical manufacturing industry since 1942. Originally based in Sarnia, Ontario, the Company's operational centre has shifted to Alberta, while it continues to operate facilities in Ontario and Québec. The Company upgrades hydrocarbon inputs with other chemical building blocks to produce intermediate chemicals, and distributes chemicals and other products to customer in sectors including personal care, transportation, health care and construction.
Located just north of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Fort Saskatchewan site comprises a total of 2,123 acres. It is Dow Chemical Canada's largest petrochemical manufacturing site. The operation marked its 50th year in service during 2011. The site engages in the production of polyethylene, a plastic with a wide variety of applications. It is also engaged in the production of ethylene, used for producing polyethylene, and in the production of hydrocarbons.
Affiliated with Dow Chemical Canada's operations in Fort Saskatchewan are the operations of MEGlobal, a 50/50 joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and Petrochemical Industries Company of Kuwait. In Fort Saskatchewan MEGlobal produces the intermediates ethylene glycol and ethylene oxide.
The Prentiss site, near Red Deer, Alberta, is the location of a second major polyethylene facility. Affiliate MEGlobal has a major presence at Prentiss, with two major ethylene glycol plants in operation.
Also located in the Red Deer, Alberta area is the E3 ethylene cracker at Joffre. E3 is jointly-owned by the Company and Nova Chemical Corporation, which is the operator of the facility.
On the 45-acre West Hill site, located in Toronto, is manufactured water-based emulsions, which are used in the manufacture of latex paint and in many other applications.
The Company's Varennes, Québec site is devoted to the production of STYROFOAM™ brand extruded polystyrene foam insulation.
Dow Chemical Canada dedicates itself to being a valued neighbour in the communities in which it operates so as to make those communities better places to live, work and play. It does this through grants, sponsorships and the volunteer efforts of its own employees. Company contributions are made largely on a local basis through the Company sites which are located in the communities.
The DowGives Community Grants Program is the Company's primary vehicle for the support of programs addressing environmental, educational and social needs in areas where Dow operations are located. The Program provides funding on a one-time basis to community projects chosen annually from among all projects submitted for consideration.
Dow Chemical Canada and MEGlobal have partnered to provide regional and provincial-level funding for Alberta 4-H, a youth development organization which was established in 1917. Funding is being used to support 4-H and its network of adult volunteers as they pursue their goal of mentoring youth in order to nurture leadership and communication skills, and help develop other life skills. Both companies have been supporters of local 4-H clubs operating at the community level.
Dow Chemical Canada is an ongoing sponsor of the annual Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic, which raises funds for the charitable foundation established by Canadian country music artist Gord Bamford. The foundation provides funds to organizations such as Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters as they work to improve the lives of underprivileged youth and single parent families in Canada. The 2013 event was held at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club in central Alberta.
Lacombe County, Alberta, the location of the Company's Prentiss site, is home to the annual Ponoka Stampede, the world's fifth-largest rodeo. There the Company sponsors the presentation of the Stu Grant Memorial belt buckle to the winner of the chuck wagon races.
Also in the vicinity of the Prentiss site is the Ellis Bird Farm, which was developed from a family farm into a bird sanctuary dedicated to the protection of mountain bluebirds, tree swallows and other indigenous cavity-nesting birds. Through the Company's sponsorship, the Robert Bateman - Get to Know Virtual Hike program offers a virtual hiking tour of the Farm as part of an effort to educate people on the importance of biodiversity conservation.
At the Prentiss site, Dow Chemical Canada and partner MEGlobal co-sponsor the Red Deer Community Advisory Panel. The Panel, which meets five times each year, draws its membership from those involved in civic and business life and education, as well as from residents of nearby properties. Its purpose is to maintain a dialogue between site management and the Red Deer community by keeping the Red Deer community informed about Company operations, and to solicit feedback. During the Panel's social event in Summer 2013, participants were given a tour of the site. There are likewise Community Advisory Panels at the Varennes site and the Fort Saskatchewan site. At the latter site a panel has existed since 2001.
The Company is a major sponsor of Fort Saskatchewan's Dow Centennial Centre, a showpiece community centre combining cultural, social, recreational and fitness centres in one 170,000 square foot complex. The Centre was launched in 2004 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fort Saskatchewan's founding. Funding for construction included a $1 million contribution from Dow and building materials in the form of Dow STYROFOAM™. The Centre has become a focus for the community, providing a place for such activities as live theatre, hobbies, crafts, art exhibition, graduation and wedding celebrations, and business workshops.
Dow Chemical Canada's participation in Canada Day activities at the Fort Saskatchewan site has become an annual activity. The Company acts as financial sponsor of the Pancake Breakfast. Company volunteers work alongside members of the Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department to feed those joining in the festivities.
In Spring 2012 Dow Chemical Canada, as one of a number of corporate sponsors working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, completed a duplex home in Fort Saskatchewan for families in need of affordable housing. The Company contributed funds and manufactured materials, while Company employees contributed their time as construction volunteers. Dow Chemical Canada and Habitat for Humanity had previously partnered to construct one home in Fort Saskatchewan in 2008 and another in Edmonton in 2002. In Summer 2013 the Company was again involved with Habitat for Humanity as it launched construction of a tri-plex building in Red Deer, Alberta, and neared completion of Neufeld Landing, a townhouse complex in Edmonton, Alberta designed to house 64 families and the largest home-building project ever undertaken by Habitat for Humanity in Canada.
During the extensive flooding in Alberta during Summer 2013, the Company and its affiliate Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. made a significant contribution to the Canadian Red Cross - Alberta Floods Relief in support of recovery efforts. Employees volunteered their time to assist the Canadian Red Cross in preparing Clean Up Kits for more than 50,000 households impacted by the flooding. The Company also planned on making use of its existing community success programs to aid in recovery efforts over the longer term.
In addition to these initiatives, the Company gives to the United Way through annual funding and thereby supports the many organizations which are affiliated with that national organization.
Dow Chemical Canada has committed itself to a "Vision of Zero", an all-encompassing approach which aims to eliminate incidents, reduce waste and emissions, make conservation a high priority throughout the product lifecycle, and prevent situations which have a negative impact on the environment and on human health.
In its operations around the world, Dow Chemical Company has set itself the goal of reducing its energy intensity by 25% within the ten year period ending in 2015. Specifically, this goal means using 25% less energy per pound of production. A reduction in energy intensity means a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in support of a solution for climate change.
At the Fort Saskatchewan and Prentiss sites, Dow Chemical Canada works in cooperation with area industries to coordinate emergency preparedness planning and provide mutual aid to deal with an incident. At Fort Saskatchewan, these activities are carried out through the Northeast Region Community Awareness and Emergency Response (NRCAER) organization, which also takes responsibility for keeping the public informed about industry operations and notifying local residents in the event of an incident.
At the Fort Saskatchewan site, the Company established a wildlife greenbelt consisting of more than 450 acres of natural remnant marshes, constructed wetlands, wooded corridors and parkland supporting a diversity of plant and animal species, including mammals and migratory birds. An interpretive walk and wildlife observation area have been provided for the use of the general public. The wildlife greenbelt acts as a noise buffer and a natural screen around the buildings on the site.
The Company actively participates in the Fort Air Partnership, a group which works to make air quality data available to the general public and to government. Two air monitoring stations are located near the Fort Saskatchewan site. These stations monitor specific gases emanating from the site in real time.
For 33 years until closure in 2006, a chlor-alkali production facility was part of the Company's operations in Fort Saskatchewan. Dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene were unwanted byproducts of production and accumulated in storage ponds and process equipment. During facility operations, the Company succeeded in achieving a 90% reduction in emissions of dioxins and furans to the air. Following facility closure, the Company's efforts shifted to safely dismantling, inspecting and cleaning equipment, removing process materials, and disposing of accumulated material either onsite in a disposal cavern and landfill or offsite at a government-approved hazardous waste incinerator.
Located in the vicinity of the Company's former Sarnia site, the Dow Wetlands is a wetlands habitat containing 8,000 native trees and shrubs and many different animal species including ducks, Canada geese, garter snakes and red foxes. The general public is invited to access the wetlands, which contains hiking trails and picnic areas and is intended to fulfill a recreational and educational purpose. The initial impetus for the wetlands came when a large quantity of clean soil was used to cap a former Dow landfill. Company employees, local environmental groups, government representatives and an environmental consultant worked to develop the wetland, which expanded in 2002 from its original seven acres to today's 20 acres.
Responsible Care® is an ethic and principles which were developed starting in 1985 by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (now the Chemical Industry Association of Canada). It is based on three fundamental principles: that the chemical industry needs to proactively conduct its business in a responsible manner above and beyond the laws and regulations which govern its member companies, that the industry's products require stewardship through the stages of production, transportation and distribution, with guidance to customers as to utilization and disposal, and that the industry must be open to public concerns and respond to them with action. From guiding principles set out in the late 1970's, through the extensive development of codes of practice during the 1980's, Responsible Care® continues to evolve into an integrated initiative covering technical processes, environmental management and social engagement. Responsible Care® is a significant achievement which demonstrates how members of an industry can work closely together to share environmental, health and safety best practices, and through ongoing improvement safeguard the industry's reputation with broader communities. Because the Canadian chemical industry is closely connected with chemical businesses globally, Responsible Care® has achieved recognition beyond Canada's borders and has now been emulated by the chemical industry associations in the United States and 50 other countries.
Dow Chemical Canada works to ensure that it meets the standards of Responsible Care® at each of its sites, and has been an active participant in and promoter of the Responsible Care® initiative. Its commitment to the communities in which it is located and to the environment is part of its every action and decision. In late 2010 Dow Chemical Canada completed its fifth verification under Responsible Care® as conducted by an independent verification team.