A Message from our CEO A Message from our CSO A Message from our Board Our Response to Covid-19 About Koppers Sustainability Strategy People Planet Performance GRI Content Index
Our Response to COVID-19
Our Response to COVID-19

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been wide-ranging, affecting everything from our health and safety practices to how we communicate with all stakeholders, including employees, investors, customers and suppliers. At Koppers, we acted quickly to protect the health of our employees and ensure operational continuity by initiating COVID-19 health and safety protocols and increasing the frequency of real-time communications, among other key steps. Our actions, along with the determined efforts of our employees, enabled us to deliver on our commitments and continue to provide products and services essential to our world.

Overall, our response to COVID-19 centers around five interwoven efforts:

  • Protecting the health and safety of our employees, customers and supply chain partners.
  • Providing critical products and ongoing support to our essential customer base.
  • Maintaining adequate liquidity and financial flexibility.
  • Providing frequent and transparent communication to our key stakeholders.
  • Advancing key initiatives in order to emerge stronger from the crisis.

A Zero Harm Focus

No part of our response to COVID-19 was more important than protecting the health and safety of our employees. Our approach extended our existing Zero Harm focus to the new circumstances created by the pandemic. From the start, we provided health and safety guidance and made operational changes globally to protect our employees.

At our facilities, we mandated face masks and proper personal protective equipment, implemented stringent social distancing and hygiene practices, and employed thorough disinfection measures. We also conducted COVID-19 testing in our North American facilities and established a new Life Saving Rule for COVID-19 focused on raising awareness of infection hazards, applying additional operational discipline and requiring higher respiratory protection for high-risk tasks. To protect against workplace spread, we utilized self-administered saliva COVID-19 test kits in North America and pool-testing methods for periodic COVID-19 screenings of our U.S. plant employees. Internationally, we followed all government-issued mandates, including lockdowns and travel restrictions.

For our office-based employees, we implemented work-from-home practices and required face coverings and social distancing for employees coming into the office. Our Information Technology infrastructure accommodated the transition to a fully remote working environment for our office-based employees.

In the U.S., we are establishing vaccination sites for our employees through engagements with state and federal Point of Dispensary (POD) programs, county health departments and local clinics. Our employees are also eligible for a $250 COVID-19 vaccine incentive, which they can receive by providing their full dose vaccination card to their area wellness coordinator.

Proactive Communication

Recognizing that swift changes would occur due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, we operationalized a communications strategy focused on frequency, honesty and transparency. Every week, CEO Leroy Ball provides updates to our employees and other stakeholders on company happenings through a video message shared on our internal channels and social media accounts. He also participates in virtual chats and feedback sessions with our facility-based and remote-work employees on topics related to work and well-being in order to stay connected in the absence of travel. Additionally, we moved from one global quarterly all-employee meeting to three regional meetings to allow for discussion of business topics most relevant to employees in each geography. For our investment community, we pivoted to provide monthly financial updates through December 2020, in addition to our regular quarterly schedule, to keep our investors informed during the periods of higher uncertainty. As our business outlook became clearer, we returned to quarterly reporting in 2021.

Supporting Our Communities

Koppers employees rose to the challenges of 2020 to support local communities impacted by COVID-19. We partnered with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh for the “All One Pittsburgh” COVID-19 campaign, which worked to obtain and distribute essential household products like hand sanitizers and face masks in underserved communities. The campaign raised $67,000 for the cause and distributed more than 45,000 household products to five Pittsburgh communities in need.