Environmental Performance

Koppers employees are charged with eliminating inefficiencies and waste of time, money or materials, including raw materials. The examples below demonstrate some of the many ways Koppers is delivering on its commitment to be responsible stewards of the environment.

Energy and GHG Emissions

Koppers recognizes the importance of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to lower costs as well as reduce the company's environmental impacts.

In 2015, the Stickney, Illinois, plant undertook a reverse osmosis project to reduce the buildup of impurities in the plant's steam lines, thereby reducing the need for daily energy-intensive cleaning. The installation is projected to reduce energy costs by more than $75,000 per year.

In 2014, Koppers partnered with the Industrial Assessment Center at West Virginia University and the Industries of the Future-West Virginia program to assess and implement energy-saving measures. The cost savings for 14 Koppers locations in the U.S. totaled more than $1.4 million, earning the company the West Virginia's Governor's Award for Excellence in Industrial Energy Efficiency.

Energy Consumption in gigajoules (GJ) 2015 2014 2013 2012
Direct (Primary) Energy Consumption 4,242,103 4,505,862 5,505,510 5,566,432
Indirect (Purchased) Energy Consumption 1,110,213 1,550,090 1,508,389 1,497,049

Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2015 2014 2013 2012
GHG Emissions* 769,310 586,761 691,159 781,322
United States 432,535 433,792 538,815 570,732
Europe 38,926 55,620 71,615 61,255
Australia 244,989 35,370 34,667 105,354
China 52,859 61,980 46,062 43,982
  • *Metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalents (CO2e), Scopes 1 and 2.

Reducing Energy Use in Australia

At the Koppers CMC Mayfield plant in Australia, total greenhouse gas emissions have declined by more than 15 percent over the past eight years. Important elements contributing to the success of this major energy use reduction included:

  • Establishing an Energy Management Plan to review usage and energy projects.
  • Identifying the optimal operational rate of running as close to 100 percent capacity as much as possible.
  • Implementing specific energy savings projects, including: installing variable speed drives on fans and pumps, replacing inefficient air compressors, improving combustion control and recovering heat from boilers and heaters, upgrading insulation, fixing and replacing steam leaks and traps, and upgrading lighting.

Recycling Railcar Residue

When chemical products are shipped in railcars, a heavy residue can build up in the cars over time. Accordingly, Koppers cleans all railcars on a ten-year cycle to remove residue and re-qualify the railcars for use. Cars may also be cleaned prior to maintenance or repair. To minimize the environmental impacts of railcar cleaning, Koppers uses qualified service companies to recycle 100 percent of residues recovered from the cars rather than sending the material for hazardous waste disposal.

In 2015, tremendous headway was made on Koppers ambitious tank car cleaning and repair plan. Thanks to the hard work of numerous employees, work was completed on nearly 40 tanks during the year.

Reusing Water in Australia

In Australia, Koppers employees are contributing to drought-alleviation efforts by conserving local water supplies.

  • At the Takura plant in Queensland, a new pump and filter station and reuse of stormwater has significantly reduced the amount of water purchased from the municipal water supply, from 3,104 kiloliters (kl) in 2013 to 792 kl in 2014 to 577 kl in 2015.
  • At the Bunbury facility in Western Australia, Koppers has continued to increase the amount of reused rain and storm water by using a filtration system, a set of storage tanks, sumps and a concrete dam.
  • At the Longford treatment plant in Tasmania, a new solar-powered pump, installed in 2013, allows the facility to meet 100 percent of its water needs through water collected on-site. The facility uses municipal supplies only when there has not been a sufficient amount of rain.
  • Koppers Grafton facility in New South Wales utilizes a rooftop rainwater collection system to reduce its dependency on the municipal water supply. During 2015, the facility reused approximately 895,000 liters of rainwater collected from shed roofs.
Bunbury Facility 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Rain and storm water reuse (kl) 6,377 6,872 6,665 5,203 1,210