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Dow Corning Pledges Support to Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Dow Corning announced today that it has committed $5 million to the Global Alliance for
Clean Cookstoves' efforts to create a thriving global marketplace for clean
and efficient household cooking solutions. As the Alliance celebrates its
one-year anniversary, Dow Corning's donation – the largest contribution of
unrestricted funds pledged to date – will enable the Alliance to significantly
ramp up its global efforts to prevent millions of deaths per year – and
millions more sicknesses and injuries – from exposure to toxic smoke from
cooking and heating with traditional cookstoves or open fires.
Going beyond its financial commitment, Dow Corning is also
dedicating technical and human resources to make a material difference in
solving one of the world's leading environmental, health and social problems.
Providing global leadership and grassroots support, Dow Corning will embed
employees into this transformational effort and will work with the Alliance to
explore how to improve the quality of stoves, as well as how to lower the cost
of production to make the stoves more affordable to families.
"This commitment will allow us to explore how to use our technology,
business, and innovation expertise to provide a valuable contribution to
improve and even save lives of those exposed to smoke from traditional
cookstoves, especially women and children who spend hours each week collecting
fuel, often in dangerous circumstances," said Bob Hansen, president
and CEO of Dow Corning.
Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires – the primary
means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people worldwide each day
– causes two million premature deaths annually, with women and young children
the most affected. The World Health Organization currently estimates that
harmful cookstove smoke is the fifth biggest health risk in developing
countries, and contributes to a range of chronic illnesses such as early
childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis,
cardiovascular disease and low birth weight, as well as serious injuries such
as blindness and burns. Environmental impacts are equally dramatic: more than
20 percent of black carbon in the atmosphere is due to traditional cooking
More efficient solutions also reduce fuel consumption and the time that
people – usually women and girls – spend collecting fuel, allowing more time
for income generation, educational opportunities, and other activities.
"Dow Corning's generous contribution to the Global Alliance for
Clean Cookstoves demonstrates their strong commitment to saving and empowering
lives in this sector, and their leadership in sustainable development,"
said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean
Cookstoves. "We are also excited to tap Dow Corning's research, design
and testing expertise, as they will be invaluable in helping the Alliance bring
the deployment and use of clean cookstoves to scale."
Dow Corning became involved in improving cookstoves in 2010 when it
launched its Citizen Service Corps, which is designed to give the company's
employees the opportunity to discover, serve and innovate by participating in
specially designed service projects in developing countries.
The initial program gave 10 employees from Dow Corning locations across
the globe an opportunity to volunteer for a month in Bangalore, India. The
employees worked with three non-governmental agencies, two of which had a
direct link to clean cookstoves: one to develop quality control systems and
improve the supply chain for manufactured energy-efficient cookstoves, the
other to research and analyze the needs and demands of rural customers when
buying energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cookstoves to develop a
more effective marketing and sales plan.
"Dow Corning gained a fresh perspective and first-hand experiences
through the work of our colleagues, including insights on how to fuel further
innovation, and an understanding of how we can grow while addressing our social
and environmental commitments," Hansen said.
About Dow Corning
Dow Corning (dowcorning.com) provides
performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000
customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and
innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via
the company's Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is
equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than
half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.
Dow Corning's global operations adhere to the American Chemistry
Council's Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards
designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and
About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a United Nations Foundation-led
public-private partnership to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women
and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and
efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance's '100 by 20' goal calls
for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by
2020. The Alliance is working with its public, private and non-profit partners
to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production,
deployment and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries. Visit www.cleancookstoves.org for more