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Habitat for Humanity and Dow partnering for carbon mitigation program

Posted at 5:12 PM, Nov 18, 2020

Wednesday it was announced that Habitat for Humanity and Dow are partnering on a new carbon mitigation program to make homebuilding more sustainable.

The move extends the commitment of both organizations to sustainability and the impact that homebuilding has on the environment.

“We’re proud that the work we’re doing with Dow across Michigan can help improve the communities of families Habitat serves across the nation,” said Sandy Pearson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. “We will be working diligently to vet different approaches to more sustainable construction and look forward to sharing our results.”

Participants, including Habitat for Humanity of Michigan, Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Midland Habitat for Humanity, Greater Jackson Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity Grand Traverse Region, each have the appropriate construction teams and resources needed to complete and document the work of the program. The organizations are developing Habitat’s current carbon footprint and will complete the multi-phase project to establish possible revisions to Habitat’s construction process.

The initial program consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1: Measurement – Habitat assesses its current construction methods to calculate the level of greenhouse gases emitted during a typical Habitat build.
  • Phase 2: Testing – Habitat trials different building materials and construction methods to compare the emissions from each approach to the organizations' benchmark carbon footprint. Proposed solutions will be evaluated for sustainability and cost-efficiency.
  • Phase 3: Application – Habitat creates technical guides to share the most effective methods of reducing emissions with its network of U.S. affiliates.

“Dow continually searches for opportunities to amplify strategic partnerships and engage with the social sector for programs that align to shared values and expertise – and this expansion of Dow’s longstanding partnership with Habitat for Humanity is no exception," said Mary Draves, chief sustainability officer and vice president of Environment, Health and Safety, for Dow. “By working together to solve challenges, we uncover better ways to make even greater impact. This project supplements our efforts to mitigate the carbon footprint across Dow’s operations, and it also supports our communities and our partners do the same in their journeys toward a low carbon future.”

Dow is funding research that hopes to report how Habitat for Humanity can more efficiently reduce environmental impact when building homes. Most sustainability drives are focused on conservation tasks or installation of efficient products once the home building is finished, Dow and Habitat are working to address sustainability during the building process.

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