Dow to launch carbon neutral silicone program in 2022

By Dominic Ellis
Dow's carbon neutrality program for silicone materials covers structural glazing, insulating glass and weathersealing

Dow claims it will roll out the world’s first commercially available carbon neutrality program for silicone materials used for structural glazing, insulating glass and weathersealing next year.

Selected DOWSIL Materials will include PAS 2060-certified carbon certificates from Dow’s backward integrated siloxane productions and carbon reduction investments. This carbon offset program aims to decrease the environmental impact of buildings and achieve better green building certification ratings.

“The commercial introduction of our carbon-neutrality program for DOWSIL Silicones for building facades represents a true evolution in silicone carbon-neutrality,” said Markus Plettau, Dow’s global segment leader for building facades. “Aligned with the industry efforts towards developing net-carbon-zero buildings to reduce CO2 emissions, Dow is leading the way in decreasing the embodied carbon present in construction materials.”

According to the World Green Building Council, the building sector is responsible for approximately 39 percent of global CO2 emissions, which includes both embodied carbon and building operations.

While the production of Dow’s silicon products requires energy, the use of these products requires very low energy in applications such as prefabricated façade elements and glass insulation, helping to significantly improve the energy efficiency of buildings. In addition, their proven durability allows the insulated building envelope to last more than 50 years.

The energy or carbon ratio for silicone sealants conserves up to 20 times more energy than what is needed to produce them for insulated glass, according to the Global Silicones Council.

Carbon-neutral silicones can reduce to net zero the carbon needed to produce the silicone polymers that are the building blocks of products. Dow claims carbon neutral silicones for specific building projects is a "revolutionary offering", especially for technologies linked to the silicon metal manufacturing process.

Plettau believes silicone will remain the technology of choice when it comes to construction, not only because of its long-term performance and carbon footprint but also because it equips buildings with enhanced energy and greenhouse gas emissions performances.

“The carbon-neutrality program for DOWSIL Silicone materials is not only an advantage for architects, builders and building owners, but also a key to achieving significant ongoing carbon reduction through integrated design solutions, allowing these industry professionals to design with more freedom by engineering less impact,” added Plettau.

Backed with PAS 2060 certification, internationally recognised for organizational carbon-neutrality, Dow’s carbon-neutral silicones will be able to contribute to additional international green building certification points. Each product will have an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of our products.

On Tuesday, Dow expanded its commitment to a sustainable future by joining Together for Sustainability (TfS), a network of 34 chemical companies delivering the de facto global standard for environmental, social and governance performance of chemical supply chains.

“The transition toward a low-carbon economy remains one of the fundamental challenges of our society,” said Mary Draves, Dow’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety. “Dow stands at a critical juncture of the global supply chain, connecting thousands of suppliers with thousands more end-consumers. We need to work closely with our suppliers to deliver on our carbon emission targets. Together, we have an opportunity to make a critical and positive impact. The TfS framework and its tools are an important step.”

Dow Building & Infrastructure, part of Dow Consumer Solutions, collaborates with industry professionals to develop solutions to enhance design and aesthetics, increase durability, advance the energy efficiency of buildings, and improve the health and safety of building occupants. 

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