Protecting What Matters. Preserving The Future.

People

At Koppers, enhancing the safety, well-being and success of all of our stakeholders is critical to sustaining our business. We are committed to investing in our people across all aspects of the employee experience and proactively identifying and addressing stakeholder needs in the areas where we operate. The heart of this commitment and our corporate culture is Zero Harm. We believe that placing the care and protection of our people and local communities first will lead to a better, brighter future for our company and stakeholders alike.

The importance of this belief has become ever more apparent with the inexcusable racial injustice we have seen in the United States. The abhorrent treatment of the African American community that has long existed and that continues across the country is undeniable. People should not have to live in fear based on their color of skin or gender, race, religion, sexual preference or any other affinity that makes up a person’s identity. We are proud to have built a culture rooted in care, respect, dignity and diversity of thought, opinion and background. We must continue to strengthen this culture in light of the challenging circumstances we face. Koppers will continue to stand together in rejecting racial injustice and will take an active part in working towards solutions rather than dissonance. As global citizens we must come together and be the ray of hope that unites rather than divides.

Public Health and Safety

Delivering on our responsibility

As a company we are driven to be recognized as a leader for safely delivering customer-focused solutions through wood products enhanced by the application of innovative technologies. Our customers and stakeholders trust us to provide safe and reliable products and, as part of our purpose, we strive to deliver on this trust. Our Quality Policy exemplifies this, building upon the Zero Harm foundation, our culture, processes and management are embedded within it as essential components to bring our purpose to reality. As a company, we will not compromise safety, compliance or quality for fleeting advantage. Each Koppers employee is empowered to take action to protect any stakeholder who may be affected by our products or operations. Together, we embrace the responsibility we share to achieve our objectives and maintain our standards.

Koppers customers value us for our attention to detail and innovative solutions, which drive quality and address complex issues in a timely fashion. At our facilities across our global reach, we train our employees to consistently deliver on quality standards, while placing the safety and health of our people and communities at the forefront.

At our facilities, we strive to ensure overall safety as well as the safety of surrounding communities. One way we do this is through regular safety trainings with local first responders. In 2019, our Mayfield, New South Wales, Australia facility collaborated with the local Fire Brigade to conduct a full-scale emergency exercise to help both parties prepare for a potential emergency. The exercise used a simulated emergency scenario where a crack opened in an oil line causing it to run directly into a hot furnace, resulting in an explosion. The Fire Brigade and the Koppers team worked together to locate and ensure the safety of employees who may have been affected, and to extinguish the simulated fire. The exercise was a tremendous success and served as an invaluable learning experience for the participants.

Product Safety

2019 2018 2017
Percentage of Products and Services Assessed for Improvement 100 100 100

 

  2019 2018 2017
Product Incidents Resulting in a Fine or Penalty 0 0 0
Product Incidents Resulting in a Warning 0 0 0
Product Incidents Violating Voluntary Codes 0 0 0

 

Zero Harm

Our Zero Harm culture is the foundation of our business. We put the safety and well-being of our employees, the protection of the environment and the strength of our communities ahead of all other priorities. Our employees bring this commitment to life with whole-hearted passion and process-oriented discipline, while understanding the importance of embodying Zero Harm every day.

We codify our approach to Zero Harm through our Safety, Health and Environmental Program, which reflects our commitment to:

Safety Performance

Employees 2019 2018 2017 2016
Total Recordable Injuries and Illnesses 73 64 58 60
Days Away Injury Count 27 25 20 19
Restricted/Transferred Injury Count 10 16 18 21
Other Recordable Injury Count 31 23 18 19
Recordable Cases of Work-related Ill Health 5 0 2 1

 

Employees 2019 2018 2017 2016
Main Types of Work- related Injuries Sprains/Strains and Cuts/Lacerations Sprains/Strains and Bruises/Contusions Sprains/Strains and Cuts/Lacerations No Data
Number of Hours Worked  4,839,565  4,785,340 3,878,948 4,088,945
Total Recordable Rate 3.02 2.67 2.99 2.96
Total High-Consequence Injuries 2 4 5 4
Total High-Consequence Rate 0.08 0.17 0.26 0.20
Number of Fatalities 0 0 0 0
Fatality Rate 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Main Types of Work-related Ill Health Respiratory Disorder N/A Dermatitis and Irritation No Data
Work-related Ill Health Fatalities  0 0 0 0

 

Contractors        
Total Recordable Injuries and Illnesses 7 2 1 0
Recordable Cases of Work-related Ill Health 1 0 0 0

 

Contractors 2019 2018 2017 2016
Main Types of Work-related Injuries Bruises/Contusions Fractures and Burns Cut Lacerations No Data
Number of Fatalities 0 0 0 0
Work-related Ill Health Fatalities  0 0 0 0

 

Leading Activities 2019 2018 2017 2016
Near Misses Reported 375 217 129 147
Physical Hazards Identified 1,862 782 No Data No Data
Employees Observed 12,455 11,737 7,585 No Data
Contractors Observed 2,208 1,907 1,118 No Data

 

Occupational Health and Safety
Safety is who we are and in everything we do. As exemplified by our Zero Harm culture, we strive to ensure all of our employees work safely and return home in the same condition as when they left. Safety at Koppers is governed through four levels of the business. These four levels include our on-site SHE Councils, business unit SHE Councils, executive SHE Council chaired by CEO Leroy Ball, and the Board Sustainability Committee chaired by board member Sharon Feng. Every serious safety incident is discussed at each of these levels as required by our Safety, Health and Environmental policy and program. The councils at the different levels of the company provide oversight, a conduit for feedback regarding operational and policy impacts on employee safety and dialogue related to resource needs to protect people and communities.

Our Zero Harm team supports our safety focus by providing all of our operations with the tools and information they need to be safe and successful in accordance with regulatory requirements and established best practices. We regularly evaluate the safety of our processes, products and raw materials to understand what we are doing well and where we can make improvements. When these evaluations find areas where safety can be improved, we make every effort to correct the issues in a timely manner.

Reporting and Training
We require our employees to report every incident that occurs at our facilities. When an incident is reported, we take immediate action to investigate its root causes. We then develop strategies to reduce the likelihood of the incident occurring again and introduce these strategies across our operations to ensure safety.

To ensure our employees are aware of the potential safety risks of their work activities and the actions they can take to mitigate hazards, we conduct regular safety trainings. These trainings take place at every facility, every year, and follow an observations-driven process. This process starts with trainings for our management who we work with through online-based trainings on facility safety evaluation best practices. Our Zero Harm team then works side-by-side with our managers during their interactions with frontline employees and guides them on ways to be more effective in their safety discussions. The managers then take this information and deliver it to our employees through interactive observations where potential hazards are identified and resolving actions are discussed. These trainings are designed to be constructive and to positively reinforce safe behaviors, while also helping to develop risk identification skills. Utilizing these skills, our employees also proactively reported 12,445 safety observations across our global footprint in 2019. We have also begun to include contractors in these trainings and we plan to increase their involvement in the future. Additionally, all of our employees have access to a comprehensive online library of safety and environmental trainings as well as other job-related training topics that they can take to further their development.

We also utilize a web-based training program to help new employees develop their safety practices. These modules teach best practices and how to constructively engage with other employees on safety issues. In addition to these on-boarding trainings, new employees learn about and discuss Koppers approach to safety on day one. We subsequently send follow-up surveys to employees 30, 60 and 90 days after their start date to better understand their training experiences and what we can do to improve.

Management of Change
In 2019, we developed a new global policy that requires Management of Change (MOC) trainings and processes to be utilized across all of our operations. MOC is required whenever personnel changes occur, new equipment is utilized, new materials are introduced to a process, or when equipment is relocated at our facilities. These practices are proactive and help ensure the safety of our employees and contractors by identifying and anticipating hazards that may have been introduced by a change. The potential hazards identified are then assessed and an appropriate mitigation strategy is developed and introduced.

Our Goal: Zero
Our Zero Harm culture drove considerable safety improvements in 2019. Although we have not yet achieved our goal of Zero, we continued to make significant progress.

Highlights of our safety strategy include:

Koppers Life Saving Rules
The heart of our Zero Harm culture is protecting lives. Our Seven Life Saving Rules represent what we believe to be the most effective strategy to prevent serious injuries. Built on an evaluation of company-wide accident data and on-site safety observations, the rules highlight the seven most dangerous activities inherent in the work we do. Each rule gives precise guidance regarding what is required while completing these hazardous tasks. The rules also provide a structure for all Koppers employees to identify hazardous tasks and stop work when the proper safeguards are not in place.

Every Koppers employee is trained on the Seven Rules and how they work, and empowered to stop work wherever and whenever they observe or suspect a deviation from the Rules. Based on our foundational belief of the unacceptability of exposure to a life-threatening hazard to anyone within our facilities, we work to leverage learning experiences by launching investigations into any deviation from the Seven Rules whether or not a reportable incident resulted. Additionally, when a life-threating hazard is detected we immediately suspend work until we are confident the hazard has been effectively resolved.

Zero Harm Culture
Our leadership is fully committed to promoting our Zero Harm culture. This commitment is exhibited annually at our Zero Harm Leadership Forum where leaders from across our global footprint, including plant managers, come together for an in-person idea exchange. The Forum serves as an excellent opportunity to facilitate meaningful interactions among our top global leaders around our commitment to the continued improvement of our safety, environmental and Sustainability management. It also provides a platform to recognize our teams and employees who have demonstrated exceptional safety and environmental leadership. Our CEO, Leroy Ball, leads and actively participates in this weeklong gathering. Overall, the Forum provides tremendous learning opportunities through hands-on exercises, presentations and activities that are aimed at developing our top leaders. With this and our educational efforts at our facilities, we are working diligently toward the goal of operating our business within a culture of Zero Harm to our employees, the environment and the communities where we operate.

Another way we cultivate our Zero Harm culture is through our annual Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) Coordinators Conference. 2019’s Conference was held in Norfolk, Virginia and brought together SHE Coordinators from around the world for a week of idea-sharing, learning and connecting. The event kicked-off with welcome remarks from CEO Leroy Ball and Zero Harm Vice President Joe Dowd. Throughout the week, participants took part in sessions and activities focused around three key themes.

For the first theme, “Making safety personal,” Zero Harm team members reviewed numerous safety topics related to the Life Saving Rules, hazardous materials, transportation and process safety. “Reducing our company’s impact on the environment” was the second theme, and during related sessions, a Virginia Tech professor spoke about steps coordinators can take to reduce environmental impacts at Koppers. The group also traveled to our Newsoms, Virginia facility to create floating wetlands. These floating wetlands were manufactured rafts composed of native wetland plants that float on the water’s surface and, similar to a natural wetland, provide homes to beneficial, water-cleaning microorganisms. With the last theme, “Using technology to improve capabilities and communication,” Wes Turner, the SHE Coordinator for our Rock Hill, South Carolina, facility, led a session for fellow coordinators on creating custom training videos at their facilities. Other sessions around the theme involved ways to utilize iPad apps and tools to help improve SHE capabilities and create tailored trainings at their facilities.

Bringing Zero Harm to Life
Our achievements in 2019 included multiple awards in recognition of our commitment to Zero and to safety this past year.

For the National Safety Council Occupational Excellence Award, 27 of our operating sites qualified. To be recognized for the award, the National Safety Council requires sites to have injury and illness rates that are better than or equal to 50 percent of other companies classified within its North American Industry Classification System (NACIS) code.

For the fourth time in the past five years, Koppers earned the Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Award from the Association of American Railroads for a perfect record of safety transporting hazardous materials. To win the annual award, a company must record zero non-accident releases with its shipments and be recognized for its safe practices by four Class I railroads. Each Koppers facility involved with rail shipping was awarded for its contribution with a trophy at a celebratory team lunch.

Our Railroad Structures division, based in Madison, Wisconsin, was presented with the Safety Award of Excellence by the Wisconsin chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. To be selected for the award, which is presented at the organization’s annual Safety Awards luncheon, companies must have incident rates for OSHA recordables and lost work day cases that are at least 25 percent better than the industry average, have over 200,000 hours worked by employees, and a model safety program.

In addition, President and CEO Leroy Ball was presented with the 2019 Safety in Action ICON Award by DEKRA Organizational Safety and Reliability. The award recognizes workplace leaders who make innovative contributions to organizational safety cultures within their organizations.

Our Employees

At Koppers, our ability to positively affect our communities and our planet starts with investing in our people. We put the health, safety and well-being of our employees at the forefront of everything we do as part of our Zero Harm culture. Our people-focused strategy considers all aspects of the employee experience, from hiring practices and onboarding to health and wellness and talent management.

We seek to create and foster an inclusive and welcoming culture where all employees feel empowered and can directly impact and share in the organization’s success. Key to this effort is delivering a consistent onboarding experience, as well as communications and safety training in all facilities across the globe. Every decision we make as a company has our employees at the front of mind and for every action we take, employee health and well-being are always our first priority. To accomplish all this, and to better reflect the importance of our employees, we recently transformed our Human Resources functions into a Culture and Engagement team to enhance the employee experience. This transformation is one of mentality and action in how we approach our corporate culture, and how we engage with and support all employees on the job and in other aspects of their lives.

At the end of 2019, our workforce included 990 salaried employees and 1,130 non-salaried employees. Approximately 523 of our employees are represented by a number of different labor unions and are covered under numerous labor agreements.

Workforce Breakdown

Business Salaried Non-Salaried Total
Railroad and Utility Products and Services 363 753 1,116
Performance Chemicals 227 150 377
Carbon Materials and Chemicals 284 216 500
Administration 116 11 127
Total Employees 990 1,130 2,120

 

Employee Engagement
In 2019, CEO Leroy Ball visited 36 of our global locations where he spent time talking with the facility leadership teams, sitting in on Safety Committee meetings, participating in plant tours to get feedback from frontline employees and enjoying lunches or breakfasts with the entire facility team.
 
Out of these 36 visits, 21 were a part of the CEO Roadtrip. During the Roadtrip, Leroy took to the open road (just him and a car!) from March 11 to April 3, 2019 to visit many of our U.S.-based employees. At each facility, he shared a meal with employees, engaged in some kind of fun team building activity – from Jenga to a safety-themed scavenger hunt – and listened to employees’ impressions, frustrations, hopes and ideas. Conversations during these visits deepened his understanding and appreciation of what makes this organization succeed and what will be required to be even better moving forward.

Some highlights of the Roadtrip include: 

Employee Communication
Koppers prioritizes and promotes collaboration and communication through a strategic plan that engages employees at all levels in multiple ways. In addition to executive messages, videos and visits, all-employee company meetings, newsletters and our intranet keep people connected to the latest information. Communication boards have also been recently introduced at our facilities to share news and updates.

Engagement Survey
As part of our annual engagement survey, Koppers employees have the opportunity to provide direct feedback to our leadership team. In 2019, we began using a new platform to deliver the engagement survey, which enabled employees to complete it by phone or computer. By enabling employees to complete the survey on their phone, rather than solely on a computer, we hope to increase responses from workers at our manufacturing facilities who may not always have regular access to a computer. The survey program is promoted through internal communication channels and face-to-face conversations. The 2019 survey had a 60 percent participation rate, which provides an opportunity for improvement. In future surveys we will look to continue to implement measures to further expand survey participation, particularly at our facility locations.

Upon completion of the annual survey, results are then communicated with action plans that lay out our strategies to address survey focus areas and employee feedback.

Health and Wellness
Koppers believes a robust wellness program that encourages employee participation is key to promoting healthy lifestyles and decision-making.

Our wellness screening program for our U.S.-based employees provides employees the opportunity to learn more about their health and daily routines. As part of this program, employees can earn incentives for completing a variety of wellness initiatives. In 2019, each U.S.-based Koppers location that achieved at least a 50 percent participation rate in our wellness program was eligible to elect a representative to send to our corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a Wellness Appreciation Event. Twelve locations hit the mark and selected a representative based on criteria such as participating in the program, showing a commitment to their personal health, serving as a role model for the challenge, and displaying enthusiasm for wellness. Elected participants traveled to Pittsburgh in October to meet with company leaders, take part in unique development opportunities and be recognized for their efforts in supporting our wellness initiatives. The participants also had dinner with CEO Leroy Ball and enjoyed a day of fishing, clay shooting and camaraderie around the campfire in the Pennsylvania mountains.

Our Hubbell, Michigan facility took our belief in a robust wellness program to the next level with an employee vegetable garden. The idea for the garden was sparked through our iShare portal. A garden was suggested as a potential remedy to stabilize erosion from storm water at the Hubbell yard, while also promoting healthy habits and team-building. The idea was enthusiastically accepted, and the Hubbell team immediately started building garden boxes in the outdoor break area. Employees had the opportunity to harvest an assorted bounty of vegetables once they had ripened.

Recognizing the importance of supporting our employees in all aspects of their lives, we provide an Employee Assistance Program with a full range of supportive resources including financial wellness, mental health and family services. Koppers also offers four weeks of paid time-off for mothers and fathers who have a birth or adoption for our U.S.-based employees, as part of our parental bonding leave program. Additionally, we offer flexible work schedules with core work hours at our office locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Full-time employees at these locations can then decide whether to work their additional hours either before 9 or after 3, or a split between them.

Koppers encourages employee participation in the company’s success through robust 401(k) and stock purchase programs. The U.S. 401(k) program includes both traditional matching and an additional non-elective company contribution based on organizational performance. When employees help the company achieve the established performance target, an additional contribution to their accounts is automatically triggered.

We are proud to offer our employees the option to acquire Koppers stock through an employee purchase program. The program gives our employees the opportunity to buy shares at a discount through payroll deductions during defined offering periods.

Talent Attraction and Retention
Our talented employees are what make our business successful, and it is essential that we set them up for success as well. It is also important that we continue attracting top talent to our workforce. Our Culture and Engagement team leads these efforts to attract, retain and develop our employees and has created various programs to enhance our workforce.

Recognizing the importance of a consistent and comprehensive onboarding and safety training experience for new hires across our facility footprint, our now fully implemented web-based training program ensures every employee receives the same messaging from the start of their employment. The new program includes two videos detailing Koppers and its primary business lines as well as a new hire folder filled with information on employee programs, services, benefits and more. We have also implemented a toolkit to help managers set up new employees for success and have begun to conduct regular new hire surveys to solicit feedback and identify opportunities for improvement.

We also continue to evaluate and employ methods to identify at-risk behaviors during the hiring process to place prospective employees in appropriately suited positions where they can be successful and workplace injuries can be avoided. This behavioral data also enables us to tailor training and onboarding based on the opportunities it highlights.

Performance Management
To ensure our employees are set up for success, our performance development process includes periodic meetings between employees and managers to discuss their goals and strategies to achieve them. We no longer conduct traditional annual reviews and instead opt for these more frequent two-way discussions focused on fostering ideas that will enable employee success. Each manager is expected to meet at least monthly with their employees to discuss tailored strategies to encourage employee success like trainings, conferences or connection introductions. These monthly meetings also help managers gauge employee engagement and develop approaches to increase and sustain fruitful engagement.

We have also implemented a New Hire Mentoring Program as another component of our development process. The program provides both hourly and salaried employees an extra opportunity to receive support from experienced employees and discuss any ideas they may have for improving our operations. Prior to participating, mentors and mentees will receive training on getting the most out of the Program and surveys are conducted throughout to measure success.

Training and Education
As a part of our people focused approach to our operations, we are dedicated to helping our employees thrive in their roles and grow both personally and professionally. A major component of this dedication is our commitment to providing each employee with the training and education they need to be successful.

Koppers fosters innovation and develops our next wave of talented employees through the Koppers Leadership Forum, an intensive 9-month program conducted in partnership with Robert Morris University. Approximately 10-12 Koppers employees from across the world are chosen for each cohort. Selected participants travel to our corporate headquarters to take part in workshops facilitated by university professors and business leaders. We also offer our employees a tuition reimbursement program for them to pursue degrees and certifications related to relevant skills they utilize for their positions to further personal and company success.

At Koppers, we are committed to developing the next-generation of talent. Today, technology is rapidly transforming manufacturing and trade jobs and they now require a strong background in high demand technical and manual skills. As part of our work to attract our next-generation of talent, Dan Baade-Pedersen, a plant manager at our Nyborg facility in Denmark, and three Koppers apprentices represented our company at a local vocation-training fair. For the fair, Koppers joined forces with local industrial companies and high schools to highlight skilled trades opportunities to students and their parents. Our participating Koppers employees shared their on-the-job experiences and the various career paths available.

In another example of our commitment to developing the workforce of the future, our employees at our Hubbell, Michigan facility hosted a group of 38 students and their mentors from the TRIO Program at Finlandia University. TRIO is a federal outreach and student services program designed to identify and provide support for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. The students participated in a tour of the Koppers plant, a career choices conversation about degrees in the STEM field and had the opportunity to partake in an interactive science activity.

Inclusion and Diversity
At Koppers, we are proud to support an inclusive and diverse work environment across our company through a range of strategic programs. Our internal processes and programs target inclusion and diversity as a key area of importance and externally we place emphasis on the topic during philanthropic activities. In early 2020, we hired our first Director for Global Inclusion and Diversity, who is focused on supporting Koppers strategy to be an employer of choice and will chair the company's Inclusion and Diversity committee, which will help to ensure that all employees feel they are heard and valued to harness the full power of an engaged workforce.

We are committed to building and sustaining a corporate culture where people of all backgrounds are valued and are successful no matter their background. It is our aim for prospective employees to recognize this, and our recent partnership with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh (ULGP) for the “All One Pittsburgh” COVID-19 campaign embodies our commitment. Recognizing both the health and economic challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brings to underserved neighborhoods, the partnership launched a community-wide fund to obtain and distribute essential household products. The fund is focused on distributing disinfectants, hand sanitizers, paper towels and toilet paper to neighborhoods with acute supply shortages including Duquesne, the Hill District, Homewood and the Northside to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to supporting these communities through the distribution of essentials, the fund accepted financial contributions from individuals who wanted to help.

“Working in support of the ULGP, our employees and others across the region can and will make a difference for our neighbors in need during this crisis. We are All One Pittsburgh – with a long history of rising up together with compassion and generosity to meet any challenge that comes our way. I know this time will be no different and we all will get through this together.” – CEO Leroy Ball

Our focus on developing diverse talent starts before a prospective employee even joins the company. Taking inspiration from best practices and well-known programs, the company’s employment pipeline must provide each hiring manager with a diverse slate of candidates to ensure representative access and opportunity.

LINKwomen, our first employee resource group, aims to increase the visibility and development of women within the company. To do this, the group provides programming to build leadership and spotlight development opportunities for participants. LINKwomen recently won the “On The Rise” Award in the Employee Business Resource Group category at Vibrant Pittsburgh’s Inclusion Summit. The Award was given in recognition for LINKwomen’s work to advance inclusion and diversity, overall performance, innovation and company growth. Additionally, LINKwomen invites and encourages both female and male employees to participate in all events – it truly is inclusive.

We are proud to partner with The Advanced Leadership Initiative in Pittsburgh as they work to develop African American business leaders. The Initiative, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, executes their work through their Executive Leadership Academy, which provides local African Americans in leadership roles with the tools, exposure and training necessary to contribute to their organizations and communities at the highest levels. CEO Leroy Ball and Vice President of Culture and Engagement Dan Groves participate in the Initiative through the Corporate CEO Council and Advisory Board, respectively, and two of our own employees have also been a part of Initiative cohorts.

Our Workplace Violence Policy, which we updated in 2018, is another way we work to create an inclusive and welcoming work environment. The Policy includes guidance related to workplace and domestic violence, including what it is, how to report it and where to access trusted tools and resources. Training was also provided to the Culture and Engagement team on how to manage employee concerns about safety. Additionally, Koppers provided partner violence prevention training for all Pittsburgh-area employees and employees at operating facilities in the U.S.

Board Diversity
Our Board of Directors provides oversight of our continued efforts to build strength through diversity of talent and experience. We are proud of our Board’s recent recognition by the Pittsburgh Business Times, ranking third for diversity on boards and ranking first for women on boards at Pittsburgh public companies. The Koppers Board was nominated for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) NXT Award for displaying excellence in utilizing board diversity and innovation as a strategy for building long-term value. Koppers was one of only six honorees from across the United States to be selected as a finalist in the small-cap category.

In addition, three members of the company's Board of Directors were named to WomenInc. magazine's 2019 Most Influential Corporate Directors. Those receiving this recognition include Sharon Feng, Ph.D., Traci L. Jensen and Sonja M. Wilkerson. “At Koppers, we have a dynamic and diverse board of highly-accomplished leaders whose contributions are vital to our company's success,” said CEO Leroy Ball. “To have Sharon, Traci, and Sonja spotlighted this way only proves what we already know in that we are fortunate to benefit from their unique perspectives and professional excellence. We congratulate these Board members and are honored to have them as part of our team.”

Inclusion and Diversity Metrics
Please note: All data as of December 31 for each year. Includes contingent workers.

Number of Employees by Gender 2019 2018 2017 2016
Female 308 310 244 241
Male 1,746 1,822 1,494 1,544
Undisclosed 70 69 61 55
Total 2,124 2,201 1,799 1,840

 

Number of Employees by Region 2019 2018 2017 2016
Australia/New Zealand 184 188 181 178
China 99 99 100 108
Europe 155 154 167 158
North America 1,668 1,742 1,331 1,379
South America 18 18 20 17
Total 2,124 2,201 1,799 1,840

 

Employee Demographics 2019 2018 2017 2016
American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 7 8 5 3
Asian – Chinese (United Kingdom) 1 0 0 0
Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 16 17 18 15
Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 288 311 211 218
Decline to State (Australia) 110 119 123 128
Decline to State (Denmark) 52 53 52 56
Decline to State (Netherlands) 7 7 7 7
Han (China) 16 16 15 15
Hani (China) 1 1 2 2
Hispanic or Latino (United States of America) 86 76 65 74
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 2 0 2 1
Other (United Kingdom) 1 1 1 1
Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 6 3 3 4
White – British (United Kingdom) 22 20 23 17
White – Irish (United Kingdom) 1 1 2 2
White – Other (United Kingdom) 1 0 0 0
White – Other European (United Kingdom) 1 1 2 2
White (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 1,147 1,212 939 985
Undisclosed 359 355 329 310
Total 2,124 2,201 1,799 1840

 

Employees by Age Group  2019 2018 2017 2016
<30 years old 354 406 340 370
30-50 years old 926 941 797 825
>50 years old 844 854 662 645
Total 2,124 2,201 1,799 1,840

 

Manager Demographics* 2019 2018 2017 2016
American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 2 1 1 1
Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 7 8 7 6
Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 22 19 13 13
Decline to State (Australia) 39 41 40 38
Decline to State (Denmark) 16 15 15 16
Decline to State (Netherlands) 5 5 5 5
Han (China) 4 9 8 6
Hispanic or Latino (United States of America) 5 5 6 7
Other (United Kingdom) 0 1 1 0
Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 1 1 1 1
White – British (United Kingdom) 11 20 22 8
White – Irish (United Kingdom) 1 1 2 2
White – Other European (United Kingdom) 1 1 2 1
White (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) 371 391 301 294
Undisclosed 88 133 125 78
Total 573 651 549 476

 

Managers by Age Group*  2019 2018 2017 2016
<30 years old 44 88 87 48
30-50 years old 271 296 243 236
>50 years old 258 267 219 192
Total 573 651 549 476

*U.S.-based employees

The company’s efforts to invest in its people continue to drive meaningful results. In 2019, Koppers’ headquarters operations ranked as the No. 8 midsize company on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Top Workplaces list, marking the third year in a row Koppers has made the list.

Community Engagement

Our employees are passionate about making a positive and lasting impact in the communities where they work and live. Koppers is a key contributor to local economies and in many instances, a major employer to the areas in which we operate. Our teams are committed to being responsible neighbors and we regularly engage with our community members to ensure we remain transparent with them about ongoing operations. In addition, we seek to understand and support the causes that are most important to both our employees and our communities, so that we may raise the standard of living and increase well-being wherever we operate.

Philanthropy and Volunteering
Koppers community impact is exemplified by the enthusiastic efforts of our employees and the success of our corporate philanthropy program. Our employees worldwide are committed to improving their communities, volunteering to assemble charitable walk teams, mentor students, enhance local STEM education initiatives, care for the elderly, assist at homeless shelters and provide hands-on help to those affected by natural disasters. The company maintains strong, long-standing relationships with organizations like the United Way, and many employees volunteer their time to serve on boards of local organizations and nonprofits. Our philanthropy program also supports worthy causes that align with our corporate values, including STEM education, and inclusion and diversity initiatives.

Griffin Employees Hit the Ground Running
A team of employees from our Griffin, Georgia facility and their families participated in their local Hero Run 5K in September. Eighteen enthusiastic runners from the Griffin team participated in the Hero Run and two employees placed in their respective age groups, while one employee finished third overall! Proceeds from the event benefited the Spalding County Jr. Deputy Program, which encourages middle school children to interact with positive role models and engage with their community. The program culminated with a five-day educational trip for 300 children, three of which were family members of Koppers employees, to Washington, D.C where they visited many notable landmarks including The White House, Vietnam War Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Somerville Employees Lend Helping Hands to Beautify Community
Earlier this year, the Somerville, Texas community joined together for their annual “Spring into Clean” event to keep their city looking its best. Residents took on a number of different projects including repainting buildings, clearing overgrown lots, planting flowers and more. Several employees from our Somerville location donated their time to the cause by picking up litter around the city. To acknowledge their kindness and generosity, the City of Somerville awarded the employees with a special certificate of appreciation!

Koppers “Adopts a Highway” in Hubbell, Michigan
This year our Hubbell, Michigan facility was accepted into the Michigan “Adopt a Highway” program. As part of the program the facility was assigned a two-mile stretch of highway that participating employees picked up trash along during scheduled periods. Fourteen employees volunteered for the cleanup activities in total and, during two collection periods, picked up 70 bags of trash.  

Opening Doors for Future STEM Workers
Koppers Global Technology Center (KGTC) teamed up with the Carnegie Science Center for the Tour Your Future career exploration program. The program gives middle and high school girls the opportunity to participate in unique learning experiences while meeting female professionals who work in STEM-related fields. The KGTC team set up a “crime scene investigation” and 30 girls used their STEM skills to determine who stole the Koppers mascot. To crack the case the girls engaged in interactive experiments involving Gas and Thin Layer Chromatography, and Microscopic, Staining, FTIR and Melting Point Identification.

Standing Firm Against Domestic Violence
For the third time in as many years, our Pittsburgh employees participated in the Southwest Pennsylvania Says No More Father’s Day Pledge event. The event, which seeks to inspire community members to take action to end violence against women, was attended by over 60 employees and CEO Leroy Ball. The program also gathered business and community leaders who delivered speeches on how their organizations are creating supportive environments where every individual feels secure. Each leader, along with Leroy Ball, also declared a personal statement about why they support the “NO MORE” campaign to end gender violence.

“I say no more because I care about our people and I am tired of every day having to hear about another tragedy that should have been prevented.” – CEO Leroy Ball

National Giving and Local Connections
CEO Leroy Ball again issued a fundraising challenge for the third year in a row to all Koppers U.S. locations in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Over the Edge Event held at the Koppers Building in Pittsburgh. All locations which raised funds for LLS received a match of corporate donation dollars to be used for local community involvement activities of their choice. In 2019, 18 Koppers facilities in the U.S. raised over $38,000 in support of LLS, 12 of which raised more than $1,500. These top 12 facilities were able to select at least one courageous employee from their location to visit Pittsburgh and rappel 22 stories down the historic Koppers Building in September. During their travels, employees also enjoyed meeting fellow colleagues from across the U.S. and a group dinner in The ATTIC (Koppers innovation space) with Leroy, as well as a sightseeing tour of Pittsburgh.

Global Economic Impact
We are proud of the worldwide benefits our business creates. By supporting our employees and their families and meaningfully contributing to tax bases, we help to strengthen the financial foundations of the communities where we operate and our employees live.