Koppers Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KOP), headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds.
Our products and services are utilized in a variety of niche applications across a diverse range of end-markets including the railroad, specialty chemical, utility, residential lumber, agriculture, aluminum, steel, rubber and construction industries. With more than 2,100 employees, we serve our customers through a comprehensive global manufacturing and distribution network, with facilities located in North America, South America, Australasia, China and Europe.
As the recognized leader in wood preservation technology, it is incumbent on Koppers to lead the industry to better approaches. We understand the obligation we have as a company to People, Planet and Performance and the benefits these three pillars bring to our stakeholders when they are brought to action in a collaborative manner. Our Purpose, Mission, Vision and Values are the cornerstones of our culture and they drive our success.
Mission: Creating safe and environmentally responsible solutions that solve our customers’ most important challenges and result in superior performance for shareholders.
Vision: To be recognized as the standard-bearer for safely delivering customer-focused solutions primarily through the development and application of technologies to enhance wood.
Values: Accountability, Customer Focus, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity, Respect, Simplicity, Sustainability, Teamwork and Transparency drive our overarching Zero Harm culture.
Koppers Leadership Talks Purpose
Products and services that are essential to our world
Railroad and Utility Products and Services (RUPS)
Capturing new opportunities and lifecycle solutions
Koppers is a world-leading manufacturer of treated wood products, primarily used by the railroad and electric utility/communications industries. Treated wood makes railroad ties and utility poles more durable and resistant to decay, thereby increasing safety, reducing replacement costs, preserving valuable forests and immobilizing carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
For many years, Koppers has been supplying the railroad industry with treated wood railroad ties and railroad crossing panel products. In North America, we believe that we are the largest provider of railroad crossties for the Class I Railroads and are well-known for our pre-plated crossties. We currently serve all North American Class I railroads and have relationships with many of the approximately 560 short-line and regional rail lines. These railroads are also the primary customer base for our railroad services business, which engineers, designs, repairs and inspects railroad bridges.
Our Utility Products and Services group manufactures utility poles and cross arms for utilities across North America and Australia.
We also supply crosstie recovery services that provide railroads and utilities with integrated, environmentally friendly solutions to wood waste disposal, enabling them to work with a single vendor throughout the crosstie and utility pole lifecycle.
Performance Chemicals (PC)
Leading in water-borne wood preservatives
Koppers Performance Chemicals is a global leader in the development of progressive wood preservative systems and technologies and represents a key strategic driver for the organization. With premier research capabilities and a dedicated staff of global wood science professionals, our team works diligently to devise new uses for wood as a replacement for other, less-sustainable materials. Koppers provides wood preservatives, engineering services and award-winning marketing to our valued customers in over 70 countries.
We supply nine of the ten largest lumber treating companies in the United States and the three largest lumber treating companies in Canada with innovative products to pressure treat lumber for decks, fences, landscaping and general building uses. We offer advanced protection against termite damage, rot and fungal decay, and provide wood preservatives that meet the most demanding construction needs. Our brands include MicroPro®, MicroShades®, Naturewood®, Advance Guard® and Hi-bor®. We are also a leading supplier of fire-retardant chemicals, with brands such as FlamePro® and FirePro® for pressure treatment of wood, primarily in commercial construction. These brands carry numerous environmental certifications including National Green Building Certification and the Scientific Certification Systems’ Environmentally Preferable Product certification based on lifecycle assessments.
By treating wood and extending its uses and capabilities, Koppers is driving demand for wood products with significant environmental benefits. Multiple global trends – including shifts in demographics, accelerating urbanization and technology and climate change – are increasing demand for treated wood in residential and industrial uses as a safe, high-performing, cost-effective and sustainable alternative to materials like steel or concrete.
Carbon Materials and Chemicals (CMC)
Playing an integral role between steel and aluminum sectors
Koppers carbon materials and chemicals are essential inputs in the production of aluminum, steel, plastics, resins, treated wood and rubber products. Our products also increase the durability of many outputs including railroad ties and utility and transmission poles, leading to longer-lasting goods that protect global infrastructure.
As a leading distiller of coal tar, a by-product of the transformation of coal into coke, Koppers produces carbon pitch, refined tar, creosote, carbon black feedstock and chemical oils. The chemical oils resulting from distillation are used to produce naphthalene and phthalic anhydride. This distillation process is an example of the Koppers Sustainability business model – taking materials that would otherwise be disposed or burned (considered a mid-point in the circular carbon economy) and converting them to a productive use.
Policies, procedures and leadership
To assure accountability to our stakeholders, Koppers corporate governance structure is strategically designed to ensure we conduct business ethically and responsibly.
As a globally operating company, we recognize the variety of potential impacts our operations can have. Our comprehensive Code of Conduct, available with other governance documents in the Corporate Governance section of the Investors Relations page on our website, fully details the expectations and requirements we have for all of our employees. Reinforced by our company values, the Code of Conduct applies to all areas of our operations, whether we are engaging in peer-to-peer interactions, ensuring compliance with complex regulations, marketing our products, purchasing materials, creating new products, managing our finances or interacting with our communities. We expect our suppliers, contractors and other business partners to exhibit comparable values and principles, and to adhere to our Code of Conduct when operating on our behalf.
Training employees on the Code of Conduct is a key aspect of our approach to ethics. We require every Koppers employee to complete training on the Code of Conduct annually. We also conduct focused trainings on specific topics that are relevant to employees with particular responsibilities.
We encourage our employees who have questions regarding the Code of Conduct and other ethics issues to seek guidance on conformity. Similarly, if an employee recognizes a potential ethics violation, they are empowered to notify the appropriate management personnel so that Koppers can investigate and take appropriate corrective action. Employees can also utilize the Koppers Compliance Line, a free confidential resource available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ask questions or raise concerns. Another option for anonymous reporting is our third-party email reporting system.
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is broadly responsible for contributing to the strategic direction and oversight of the company. This includes ensuring the company operates in a legal, ethical and socially responsible manner, while maximizing long-term shareholder value. Specific duties and responsibilities of the Board include developing effective measurement systems that will evaluate and determine the company's degree of success in creating long-term economic value for its shareholders, reviewing the company's long-term strategy and overseeing risk assessment and management processes.
The Board is currently composed of eight directors, seven of which are independent. Directors are elected annually and, other than our CEO, directors who are first elected to the Board after August 2, 2017 are limited to serving 15 years. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee seeks to elect Director candidates from diverse educational and professional experiences and backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated on various criteria, such as their broad-based business skills and experiences, prominence and reputation in their profession, long-term interests and personal integrity.
In 2019, we held eight Board meetings. Board and committee meeting attendance was strong with a cumulative director attendance rate of 98 percent.
There are five board committees, including Audit; Management Development and Compensation; Nominating and Corporate Governance; Strategy and Risk; and Sustainability.
As corporate governance and performance stewards, Koppers management regularly communicates with our shareholders and other stakeholders in a variety of ways including financial reports, proxy statements and periodic filings. Koppers Leadership Council is responsible for directing the development and implementation of the company's strategic plan and business operations around the globe. These executive leaders establish and maintain Koppers commitment to ethics, integrity, fiscal responsibility, growth and Sustainability.
Detailed information about all of the Board’s committees can be found in the Investor Relations section of the company’s website.