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January 2017

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Sustainability is essential for vegetation managers

By: Casey Onstot, IVM and Range & Pasture portfolio marketing leader, Dow AgroSciences

CaseyOnstot Sustainability is a common and overused business term these days. But for those who work in vegetation management, sustainability has long been an expected way of doing business.

Vegetation management tools — mowing, herbicides, biologicals or a combination of these — all control unwanted vegetation to maintain the reliability of infrastructure. All also have an effect on surrounding ecosystems, which need to be preserved as healthy and biodiverse areas. Meeting both needs also must be accomplished with safety of the public and workers in mind. It is a big job. And it is about sustainability.

Building on a long-standing commitment
The intersection of human, wildlife and environmental needs is one reason that the potential environmental impact of vegetation management herbicides has been studied essentially as long as they have been used.

Dow AgroSciences understands the crucial role science plays in preserving our resources for future generations. So, for nearly 60 years, we have been discovering, developing and bringing sustainable solutions and better land management tools to the Vegetation Management industry. Our goal is to develop tools that leverage the power of science to control problem vegetation, while at the same time benefiting the land and its wildlife.

This long-standing commitment to sustainability has been formalized in The Dow Chemical Company’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, which serve as a corporate sustainability road map. Only a win-win approach to business can produce new opportunities and drive innovation. Our commitment to sustainability will help advance human progress by:

  • Discovering and developing solutions that help preserve the quality of our land, water and air
  • Mitigating our environmental impact in manufacturing, packaging and shipping
  • Contributing to community success through meaningful collaboration

Dow AgroSciences will continue to support vegetation management professionals through research and development of new products and innovative uses.

Blending traditional with nontraditional
Recently, you’ve likely noticed stories in this newsletter about projects beyond the traditional commercial uses of vegetation management. We’ve written about herbicide use to restore crucial endangered bird nesting habitat on the Midway Islands. We’ve reported on university researchers using targeted applications of herbicide-infused paintballs on Maui to control invasive plants and save strategic watersheds. And, in this issue, we write about the mission of a conservation group in the Bahamas.

We have made an effort to share these stories of unique, yet important, vegetation management collaborations to raise awareness of our industry’s innovative contributions to protecting and preserving our environment. We are not just in the vegetation management business. We are all in the sustainability business. It’s about more than words. It’s about actions.

We will continue to share more about how the Dow AgroSciences Industrial Vegetation Management business is continually working to improve sustainability in our environment, while supporting you in your organization’s efforts around it as well.