As I begin my tenure as Koppers CEO, I am pleased to share with you our progress on growing sustainably for the benefit of our customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees, and all of the communities where we operate.
Koppers strength has always been its people. This year, we welcomed new colleagues as a result of acquisitions that will significantly enhance our product and service offerings. Our new business segment, Performance Chemicals, greatly diversifies the markets we serve and geographies in which we operate and, as a result, provides greater stability to earnings. The Railroad Structures and Ashcroft acquisitions were complementary additions to our Railroad Products and Services segment and provide a broader base from which to serve our railroad customer base.
As we continue to integrate new employees into the Koppers culture, we believe we will realize tremendous value creation. The combination of new energy and ideas within an established framework and discipline will help us to further improve upon and extend our future sustainability activities.
Even as we grow, our employees continue to deliver excellent results with regard to safety, health, and environmental efforts. This past year, among other achievements, we:
- Completed Koppers initial rollout of the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative with certification to begin in early 2015.
- Initiated Responsible Care® Product Safety Code implementation.
- Instituted safety and productivity improvements across our Carbon Materials and Chemicals business unit.
- Held two tank car safety training events in partnership with local communities and agencies.
- Significantly reduced municipal water use at Australian facilities.
- Achieved more than $1.4 million in energy efficiency-related cost savings.
I appreciate the hard work and commitment of all our employees to build a culture based on safety and environmental responsibility. As we move forward as one global team, I invite you to provide us with feedback on our efforts.
President and Chief Executive Officer