Dow Corning's Chairman, President and CEO Dr. Stephanie A. Burns will be the first woman to receive the International Palladium Medal Award from the New York-based Société de Chimie Industrielle. (The ceremony will take place on May 3, 2011.) The honor recognizes her contributions to the chemical industry. The award was established in 1958 and aims to promote understanding of the chemical and allied industries.
Under Burns' leadership, Dow Corning has expanded its inventory of silicon-based products to more than 7,000. She has overseen extensive diversification of the company’s reach, geographically and into new markets. Among the most significant of these transformational shifts was her foresight to commit early on to a significant stake in renewable energy, according to Dow.
Her vision has translated into business success. Dow Corning’s sales have grown to $5.09 billion in 2009 from $3.37 billion when she became CEO in 2004. Dow Corning’s 2009 net income reached $579.6 million, up from $238 million five years earlier.
Adding to the good news, Dow Corning was also named one of America’s safest companies by EHS Today. Twelve companies were selected for the 2010 honor.
EHS Today, a magazine dedicated to management of risk in the workplace and environment, created the award in 2002 to recognize companies for innovative safety solutions within their operations. It is open to all American companies, regardless of size or industry.
According to Sandy Smith, executive editor of EHS Today, “The winning companies empower their employees to play an active role in corporate safety culture; offer safety education through rigorous training programs or corporate universities; consider OSHA compliance as a starting point; and invest in safety at every level.”
Dow Corning’s comprehensive safety practices are focused on preventing accidents, eliminating their root causes, and managing chemicals responsibly throughout their life cycles.
In other news, Dow Corning recently sponsored a roundtable at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event coincided with the company's announcement that it plans to invest $13 million in a European Solar Energy Exploration & Development Center (SEED) in Seneffe, Belgium. The investment in SEED includes two new buildings that will complement the company’s existing Business & Technology Center in Seneffe.
One facility, a Synthesis Technology Center for the European area, will house laboratories and chemists focused on increasing Dow Corning’s innovation portfolio of silicon-based materials and boosting research in sustainable technologies. A second facility, a European Solar Solutions Application Center, will seek to advance the company’s technology for use in photovoltaic cells. Construction is expected to begin later in 2010.
Panel participants exchanged views on pressing issues that will be addressed this fall by European Union institutions.
“Developing effective low carbon technologies is vital to both economic recovery and environmental protection,” says Dow Corning’s Jean-Marc Gilson, executive vice president and general manager of Specialty Chemicals “We share the European Commission’s vision of increased development and deployment of such advances, and support its chosen methods including European Industrial Initiatives and funding mechanisms that aim to encourage and strengthen research and innovation in this area.”