Haley Lowry, global sustainability director at materials maker Dow Inc., has been named a Young Global Leader for 2021 by the World Economic Forum.
Lowry was one of 112 people under age 40 recognized by the WEF.
"Over the past year, the world has dealt first-hand with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic inequalities, discrepancies in our health care systems, economic downturns and education shifting to digital," WEF officials said on the organization's website.
"Young leaders around the world are leading by example and paving the way for action on these issues," they added. "These young leaders exemplify what we need most today: hope, empathy, authenticity and the drive to develop solutions that can change the world for the better."
Lowry joined Midland, Mich.-based Dow in 2005 and has held her current position since 2016. Her experience includes creating new circular business models and products that integrate social, environmental and commercial goals across CPG, retail, and plastics sectors.
According to the WEF, Lowry "has found the intersection of business and impact by using her job for good."
"As a courageous leader in sustainability, she has shaped one of the largest company risks into a growth opportunity," officials said. They added that Lowry frequently speaks about plastic waste issues and solutions at industry events and has had multiple items published on those topics.
Most recently, during COVID-19, Lowry "catalyzed a movement for financially supporting waste pickers, among the world's most marginalized, but critical to delivering a circular economy for plastic waste."
"She is passionate about using business as a force for good to solve social and environmental challenges," WEF officials said.
In 2018, Lowry spoke with Plastics News about Pulling Our Weight, a Dow volunteer program that removed more than 40,000 pounds of waste from waterways around the world.
"As a plastics manufacturer, we want to be held to a higher standard," she said. "With all the pressure that plastics is facing, we wanted to do more to start a movement. We want to encourage our customers to start their own efforts and give them something to rally around."
WEF is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is an international organization for public-private cooperation. The organization hosts an annual event in Davos, Switzerland, that features business leaders from around the world.
Dow is one of the world's largest producers of polyethylene and specialty resins and chemicals. The firm employs almost 36,000 worldwide and posted sales of $38.5 billion in 2020.