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
People

At Koppers, we work diligently to put the care and protection of our employees above all else. Our people-focused strategy considers all aspects of the employee experience as we seek to provide secure and rewarding work as well as growth opportunities to a team that feels engaged, included and valued. Our focus on people also extends to our relationships with the communities near our facilities. We work to minimize our public health and safety impacts and share our success through investments in the communities where our employees live.


Our Strategic Sustainability Goals

PEOPLE: Protecting people and communities while preserving our future.


People Functional Area Sustainability Tactical (FAST) Teams

Our people-focused FAST Teams work to create an inclusive culture where all employees have equal opportunity for career advancement, strong wellness benefits and a safe work environment.

Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equality

Team Summary: Incorporate equality principles into policies and processes throughout our operations and supply chain, including in recruitment, remuneration/benefits, training, promotion and development reviews.

“The Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equality FAST Team envisions Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) as a social and economic vehicle that will strengthen Koppers culture, elevate our brand, positively differentiate us in the marketplace and reinforce our Sustainability strategy.”
— Lance Hyde, Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equality FAST Team Leader

UN SDG Focus: Goal 5: Gender Equality

Focus Areas:
  • Leadership and talent pipelines
  • Pay parity
  • Inclusive culture
  • Inclusion and Diversity policies

Quality Education and Lifelong Learning

Team Summary: Identify opportunity areas and develop actions to:

  • Substantially increase the number of adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
  • Ensure a substantial proportion of adults achieve literacy and numeracy.

“The Quality Education and Lifelong Learning FAST Team works to provide employees with opportunities to develop and grow their careers at Koppers by offering various education-based programs and initiatives. By investing in our people and providing secure and meaningful work, we will help Koppers and our employees to succeed together and build strong communities in the areas where we live and work.”
— Ashley Everman, Quality Education and Lifelong Learning FAST Team Leader

UN SDG Focus: Goal 4: Quality Education

Focus Areas:
  • Raising literacy awareness
  • Developing training programs for hourly employees
  • Establishing educational partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Developing a global education program to provide tuition assistance for continued education among our international employees

Universal Quality Healthcare

Team Summary: Ensuring universal access to healthcare services, information and education. Achieving universal health coverage and access to quality essential healthcare services.

“The Universal Quality Healthcare FAST Team is working to foster resilience in our employees and to help educate and support their physical and emotional well-being. By creating a supportive environment for our employees, we believe we will sustain a highly-engaged and high-performing workforce to advance our success together.”
— Shirley Chabalie, Universal Quality Healthcare FAST Team Leader

UN SDG Focus: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Focus Areas:
  • Ensuring all Koppers employees have access to Employee Assistance Programs
  • Ensuring all Koppers employees have access to Wellness Programs
  • Developing programs and support designed to eliminate employee substance abuse

Zero Harm

Team Summary: Eliminate injuries/illnesses and significantly reduce operational risks for our facilities and fleet and rail operations.

“The Zero Harm FAST Team focuses on setting goals to protect our people and our planet, while maintaining a healthy business. Zero Harm is our cultural driving force and we embed it in everything we do and every decision we make.”
— Beau VanDyke, Zero Harm FAST Team Leader

UN SDG Focus: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Focus Areas:
  • Implement Zero Harm strategy and initiatives
  • Reduce road accidents involving Koppers vehicles
  • Reduce Process Safety incidents
  • Improve railcar fleet safety


Public Health and Safety

Delivering on our responsibility to our stakeholders

At Koppers, we strive to optimize the health and safety performance of our products and operations and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Our Quality Policy outlines this commitment and our approach to delivering innovative products that meet the needs of our various customers.

As detailed in the Policy, we will not compromise on the safety, compliance or quality of our products, no matter the advantage it might bring. Our employees exhibit this uncompromising approach daily as they deliver on our quality objectives. We also empower our employees to take action to ensure product quality and to protect our stakeholders, as necessary. To foster quality performance ownership, we encourage all Koppers employees to participate in training and education opportunities, as well as in the development of quality standards and supervision. The Policy also challenges us to continuously improve through its requirements for regular quality objectives and results reviews. In addition to our Policy, all of the quality management systems at our Carbon Materials and Chemicals, Railroad and Utility Products and Services and Wood Products facilities are certified under the ISO 9001 quality management standard. Koppers periodically assesses our entire product portfolio to identify opportunities for health and safety improvement.

Safely operating our facilities contributes to public health and safety in our communities. To ensure we prepare for potential emergencies, we conduct safety training and emergency response drills with employees and local first responders across our global footprint. Our exercises help familiarize first responders with Koppers operations and the types of incidents to which they might respond.

Product Safety202020192018
Product Incidents Resulting in a Fine or Penalty000
Product Incidents Resulting in a Warning000
Product Incidents Violating Voluntary Code000


Zero Harm

Protecting our employees

Employee health and safety is embedded in our values and is foremost in everything we do through our Zero Harm culture at Koppers. In 2020, health and safety was complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the globe, impacting almost every aspect of society. Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, we saw strong safety performance across Koppers, recording our lowest recordable injury rate in our history.*

While we faced new challenges over the past year, our Zero Harm culture still drove our behaviors. We continue to put the safety and well-being of our employees above all else, while every day our employees exhibit their steadfast commitment to safety performance excellence.

Our Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) Policy defines our commitment to Zero Harm and governs our related actions. In support of the Policy, we established a comprehensive set of ISO-compliant management systems, processes and procedures that clearly outline our expectations around Zero Harm. While the SHE Policy defines our expectations, we make every effort to go above and beyond and drive meaningful improvement.

Koppers Safety, Health and Environmental Policy commitment:

  • Compliance with all applicable safety, health, environmental and security laws, regulations and other requirements to which Koppers subscribes.
  • Pollution prevention in order to preserve the environment for the health, productivity and enjoyment of future generations.
  • Protection of people through the management of product, process and other safety risks.
  • Continuous improvement of our safety, health, environmental and security systems and performance.
  • Communication regarding our business operations and potential risks, both internally and externally, to promote openness with our stakeholders.

Our recently established Zero Harm FAST Team furthers our commitment to Zero Harm through its work to eliminate injuries/illnesses and significantly reduce operational risks. The Team’s efforts to improve safety contribute to UNSDG 3 “Good Health and Well-Being,” and center on strategies such as safety data analysis, safety training, and alerts and incident briefings.

*Does not include COVID-19-related illnesses.

Our Zero Harm Culture

Everyone at Koppers — from our CEO to our frontline employees — works to realize and promote our Zero Harm culture. We host an annual Leadership Forum focused on Zero Harm that brings together more than 100 global Koppers leaders, including our plant managers. Koppers CEO Leroy Ball actively participates in all events throughout the week. The Forum includes several days of skill-building and learning sessions related to new and ongoing safety, health and environmental topics. More importantly, it provides a good opportunity for our global leaders to connect over shared challenges and opportunities. In 2020, the Forum was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We also host an annual SHE Coordinators Conference that brings together SHE Coordinators from around the world. The virtual 2020 Conference discussed a range of Zero Harm topics, including incident investigations, Enterprise Risk Management, COVID-19 precautions and management of change processes. Participants also learned more about our ongoing Sustainability efforts.

Our Approach to Occupational Health and Safety

At Koppers, our Zero Harm culture guides everything we do. These behaviors and their safety and health benefits are measured and directed through four separate, but intertwined, levels of governance. Ultimate oversight of health and safety management rests with the Koppers Board of Directors. The Board executes its oversight through its Sustainability Committee, which reviews Koppers programs and performance related to health and safety. In its reviews, the Committee evaluates the effectiveness of Koppers health and safety management systems, along with the Company’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations, achievement of health and safety goals, and performance metrics. Koppers managers also meet with the Committee on a regular basis to discuss health and safety matters.

Our Executive Zero Harm Council, chaired by our CEO, maintains responsibility for Koppers Zero Harm approach to health and safety. Each business unit has its own Zero Harm Council, which manages health and safety within its own operations. Lastly, our larger facilities have a Zero Harm Council that carries out health and safety guidance from the other councils and implements its own health and safety processes tailored to the circumstances of the facility. Each of our four levels of governance review every significant safety incident that occurs across the Company as required by our SHE policy.

Our corporate Zero Harm Department works across each level of our health and safety governance structure to protect our employees and contractors. The Department provides guidance and tools to all of our facilities to help them operate safely, effectively and in accordance with regulatory requirements. Department members regularly review Koppers operational processes, products and raw materials for opportunities to improve safety performance.

Exhibiting Zero Harm

While COVID-19 ensured 2020 was not without challenges, we are proud of what we accomplished regarding Zero Harm. Over the past year, we recorded our lowest 12-month Total Recordable and Days Away and Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rates in company history. Serious incidents also dropped across Koppers, falling from 17 events in 2019 to 11 events in 2020. Overall, we experienced a 20 percent drop in recordable cases and saw an 18 percent increase in leading activity observations.* We have demonstrated that active employee safety engagement to report near misses, to offer improvement ideas and to identify physical hazards is highly correlated to the reduction of serious injuries. The continued trend of increasing, quality-leading activities has resulted in a long-term trend of reduced serious injury as demonstrated by Days Away injury cases.

Our Ashcroft, British Columbia, railroad crosstie treating facility won Koppers 2019 Zero Harm President’s Award for achieving the highest rate of leading activities identified. CEO Leroy Ball, COO Jim Sullivan and Zero Harm VP Joe Dowd participated in a virtual visit to congratulate the Ashcroft team on their achievement.

We awarded the 2020 Zero Harm President’s Award to our L’Anse, Michigan, railroad crosstie recovery facility for reporting the most leading activities and experiencing zero lagging indicators (i.e., recordable injuries, property damage, vehicle incidents, spills and permit exceedances). Additionally, the L’Anse team surpassed three calendar years without an OSHA recordable incident. Mr. Ball presented the team with the award in April, along with individual recognition prizes and $5,000 to donate to a local charity of their choice. Speaking of their accomplishments, Mr. Ball said “We are grateful to our L’Anse team for their commitment to living out our Zero Harm culture, and ultimately creating a safer, stronger workplace and community one day at a time.”

*Excludes COVID-19-related illnesses.

Grafton, Australia Facility Reduces Employee Exposure to Heat Illness

During the summer, temperatures at Australian facilities can get extremely hot. In 2020, the Grafton team worked on ways to reduce heat illness risk, particularly for employees working in the facility’s outdoor fabrication area. The team purchased mobile mist cooling fans and installed a permanent mist cooling system in each of the facility’s fabrication sheds. Other Koppers Australia facilities are following Grafton’s example by installing similar permanent mist cooling systems.

Koppers Life Saving Rules

Koppers Life Saving Rules protect our employees and contractors. We built the rules to address the eight most dangerous activities intrinsic to our operations after evaluating company-wide safety data and observations. In 2020, we added a temporary Life Saving Rule focused on addressing COVID-19 by: raising awareness of infection hazards; applying additional discipline to operational routines; and requiring higher respiratory protection for job tasks with higher risks.

Each of the rules outlines detailed instructions for safely completing the most dangerous activities. The rules also empower all Koppers employees to proactively identify hazardous tasks and stop work when a potentially dangerous situation arises or if proper precautions are not in place.

Our Zero Harm teams train all Koppers employees on how the rules work and the steps they should take to stop work whenever they observe or suspect a deviation from the rules. When an employee observes a deviation from the rules, we quickly launch an investigation to ensure safe conditions. We also immediately suspend work whenever employees detect a life-threatening hazard and we will not recommence work until the hazard is safely mitigated.

Our Safety Performance

Employee Recordable Injuries and Illnesses202020192018
Recordable Injuries546968
    Days Away Injuries172827
    Restricted/Transferred Injuries141016
    Other Recordable Injuries233125
Recordable Cases of Work-related Ill Health450
Recordable Cases of Work-related Ill Health from COVID-1933
Total917468
Employee Recordable Injuries and Illnesses202020192018
Number of Hours Worked4,725,3984,854,6374,785,340
Total Recordable Rate2.453.052.84
Total Recordable Rate including COVID-193.85
Total High-Consequence Injuries/Illnesses354
Total High-Consequence Rate0.130.210.25
Number of Fatalities000
Work-Related Ill Health Fatalities000
Fatality Rate000
Main Types of Work-Related InjuriesSprains/Strains and Cuts/LacerationsSprains/Strains and Cuts/LacerationsSprains/Strains and Bruises/Contusions
Main Types of Work-Related Ill HealthCOVID-19 InfectionRespiratory DisorderN/A
Contractors202020192018
Total Recordable Injuries and Illnesses072
Recordable Cases of Work-Related Ill Health000
Contractors 202020192018
Main Types of Work-Related InjuriesN/ABruises/ContusionsFractures and Burns
Number of Fatalities000
Work-Related Ill Health Fatalities000
Leading Activities202020192018
Near Misses Reported238374217
Physical Hazards Identified2,6431,863782
Employees Observed14,40412,45511,737
Contractors Observed2,6832,2081,907

Occupational Health and Safety Reporting and Training

We require every serious health and safety incident and every breach of a Life Saving Rule to be investigated to find root causes. The root cause corrective actions are then managed through our FOCUS information management system. Additionally, minor incidents and corrective measures are recorded in the FOCUS system. Each of our larger facilities has a Zero Harm council composed of employees and management of the site. The councils are involved in the investigations of serious incidents, follow-ups on corrective actions and the development of safety procedures for the site.

At Koppers, we know our leading activities directly influence our lagging indicators. Once each manager understands this mechanism, it enables them to work proactively on behavior-based safety improvements. When our employees recognize safety observations and coaching are in their best interest towards living an injury-free life, they are more receptive to the coaching. We conduct the coaching in a non-disciplinary environment, focusing on positive behaviors and improvement opportunities in a collaborative engagement with the employee.

In 2020, we were proud to see our focus on safety training continue to pay off, with our employees reporting a record-setting 17,285 safety observations and other leading activities across our global operating footprint.

Koppers maintains a robust Industrial Hygiene program to monitor and prevent employee workplace exposures to harmful materials and noise. Each facility undergoes periodic exposure monitoring targeting chemicals, noise and other materials that could be present on that site. Recently we have targeted Respirable Crystalline Silica at several of our sites where sandy soils and other sources have been determined to exist through surveying methods. This work has been done in conjunction with monitoring and prevention activities for other materials and process-generated noise.

Over the last four years, Koppers deployed six Zero Harm training modules to all Koppers leaders (executives, business leaders, site managers and supervisors). In 2020, we developed two training modules specifically for our frontline employees. The first introduces the foundational concepts that drive Zero Harm. The course helps each employee develop the empathy required to intervene and help each other live a life free of serious injury. The second course teaches effective methods to conduct safety observations with co-workers. The first module recently launched and received strong positive reception from frontline employees.

Our contractors also take part in our safety training at the facilities where they work. The extent of contractor training varies depending on the facility and the type of work the contractor conducts. For example, contractors involved in major projects will receive extensive health and safety training to ensure we protect them and Koppers employees. In addition to situation-dependent training, we train all contractors on facility-specific hazards, incident investigations and PPE requirements.

Process Safety

Our Global Process Safety team governs our approach to Process Safety and implements measures across Koppers to ensure effective Process Safety Management. Due to the inherent hazards associated with our production processes, we must identify and mitigate the risks associated with Process Safety incidents. Presently, regulations require Process Safety Management programs at some of our Australian and European facilities; however, we proactively established Process Safety Management programs at our Koppers Performance Chemicals and Carbon Materials and Chemicals facilities globally. We are also working to implement management programs at our Railroad Products and Services and Utility and Industrial Products facilities specifically targeting pressure treating processes. Moving forward, we plan to conduct revolving process hazard analyses across all of our facilities to pinpoint process hazards and develop safeguards against them. We also intend to enhance our Mechanical Integrity program, which we use to evaluate equipment integrity, to further improve Process Safety.

Management of Change

One element of maintaining safe processes is managing change. Our global Management of Change (MOC) Policy requires MOC reviews and training to take place when we are: managing personnel changes, utilizing new equipment, introducing new materials to a process or relocating equipment at our facilities. We developed the Policy to protect the health and safety of our employees and contractors through the identification and anticipation of hazards that occur from changes we make in our operations. We recently began auditing our MOC reviews utilizing a new electronic tracking system. The new system speeds up our audit process and helps us be more responsive in our evaluations of actions identified from the MOC process.


Our Employees

Supporting our workforce

At Koppers, our success would not be possible without our employees. As such, we strive to put them at the forefront of everything we do and every decision we make. Our people-driven business approach centers on creating an inclusive workplace culture where all employees have the opportunities and tools they need to contribute directly to our company’s success.

Our Culture and Engagement (C&E) function oversees all areas of the employee experience and works hard to enhance our people-related practices and performance. With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, our C&E team’s work centers on supporting the physical, mental and financial health of all our employees. Decisions over the past year were made with our employees front and center, building on our belief that when we place the well-being of our people first, success will follow.

At the end of 2020, our workforce included 921 salaried employees and 1,140 non-salaried employees. Of our 2,061 employees in total, approximately 648, or 31 percent, are represented by a number of different labor unions and covered under numerous labor agreements.

Our Workforce

Business SalariedNon-SalariedTotal
Railroad and Utility Products and Services3547451,099
Performance Chemicals237157394
Carbon Materials and Chemicals203229432
Administration1279136
Total Employees9211,1402,061
Permanent Employees by Gender202020192018
Female283308310
Male1,6811,7461,822
Undisclosed687069
Temporary Employees by Gender2020
Female10
Male15
Undisclosed4
Permanent Employees by Region202020192018
Australia/New Zealand179184188
China169999
Europe151155154
North America1,6671,6681,742
South America191818
Temporary Employees by Region2020
Australia/New Zealand15
China0
Europe1
North America13
South America0
Full-time Employees by Gender2020
Female275
Male1,675
Undisclosed68
Part-time Employees by Gender2020
Female18
Male21
Undisclosed4

Employee Communication & Engagement

We strive to create an open and communicative workplace environment where our employees are actively engaged in all aspects of our business. As a company, we emphasize transparent communication to ensure we inform our entire workforce of the latest internal and external developments. In 2020, COVID-19 drove us to communicate in new ways. We began sharing weekly video updates with our employees, outlining our financial performance and health and safety efforts in light of the pandemic. We also adapted our global quarterly all-employee meeting model, moving to three different regional meetings to better address information most relevant to each geographical region. Recognizing that many times our employees find it easier to access information from social media, we began posting our CEO’s weekly video communications on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

CEO Leroy Ball also connected with facility-based and remote-work employees through CEO Virtual Chats. During his virtual visit to our Roanoke, Virginia, facility, Mr. Ball spent a half-day touring the facility to see recent investments, talked one-on-one with employees, joined a Safety, Health and Environmental Council meeting, and participated in a management roundtable.

To ensure we give every employee the opportunity to share their feedback, we conduct an annual employee engagement survey. In 2020, 67 percent of our employees participated in the survey, a 7-point increase over 2019. Overall, we received an engagement score of 76 and over 1,600 employee comments, an increase of almost 400 from the previous year. Engagement survey questions with the most significant year-over-year increase related to leadership and inclusion and diversity, with many employees proud of the direction Koppers was moving. Our Zero Harm focus drove the highest-scoring items, with employees noting they feel safe, and that safety is an overarching value embedded in everything we do. Survey results also presented opportunities for improvement, including the need to continue building direct connections between employees and leaders, especially between our facilities and corporate leadership. Looking ahead, we will work to increase check-ins and discussions across all levels of the organization.

Health and Wellness

At Koppers, we promote healthy lifestyles and decision-making among our employees. We recognize every employee also needs a full and happy life outside of work. The ability to detach from work to take care of oneself and to be present with loved ones makes us all better, happier, more productive versions of ourselves.

In the U.S., our Employee Wellness Program drives our emphasis on healthy living by providing employees the opportunity to learn more about their health. Through the program, employees can complete a variety of health and wellness activities and earn health-related incentives. For example, employees who participate in onsite confidential biometric screenings receive a cash reward. Employees can also receive a cash reward by completing all activities in our year-long wellness challenge.

In 2020, a major focus of our health and wellness efforts was ensuring all our employees can access our employee assistance programs (EAPs). Our EAPs offer a full range of supportive resources to our employees worldwide, including financial wellness, mental health and family services. Our Universal Quality Healthcare FAST Team drives our EAP focus, working to increase awareness and usage of our EAPs and Employee Wellness Program.

This year, we held a number of webinars on pandemic-related health and wellness topics, including how to increase focus and happiness while reducing stress and tips for parenting during the pandemic. We also launched our second employee resource group, LINKparents, which will create a sustainable platform that builds a network for parents, guardians and other caregivers of children while supporting their challenges and providing resources to enhance the success of Koppers and our stakeholders. Moreover, we added a parental bonding leave program which offers four weeks of paid time-off for eligible hourly and salaried U.S. employees with a recent birth or adoption. 

Employees Entitled to Parental Leave by Gender2020
Female211
Male924
Undisclosed0
Employees Who Took Parental Leave by Gender2020
Female3
Male15
Employees Who Took Parental Leave and Returned to Work by Gender2020
Female3
Male15
Employees Who Took Parental Leave and Were Still Employed 12 Months after Return by Gender2020
Female3
Male15
Return to Work and Retention Rate of Employees Who Took Parental Leave2020
Female100%
Male100%

To better connect employees, we created dedicated wellness and working-parents channels on our internal communications app, One Koppers, to help employees create a stronger internal support system among employees facing similar challenges.

We also established our Substance Abuse FAST Team to ensure our programs provide resources to address substance abuse among our employees. In the future, the FAST Team will work to reduce substance abuse through targeted goals and assistance programs. By working to fight against substance abuse, we can improve our employees’ health and safety, reduce their healthcare costs, and improve their quality of life.

As before the pandemic, all our office-based employees have access to flexible work schedules. With many office employees also working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we helped employees set up their home work environment, providing tips and equipment to ensure good ergonomics and to help them be effective in a new situation.

Recognizing the outstanding contributions of our employees, we offer robust 401(k) and employee stock purchase programs. Our U.S. employees can participate in our 401(k) program, which offers both traditional matching and an additional non-elective company contribution based on organizational performance. For the non-elective company contribution, additional contributions are made when we achieve a pre-determined company performance target. All of our full-time employees also have access to our employee stock purchase program through which they can acquire shares of Koppers stock through payroll deductions during defined offering periods.

As part of our ongoing commitment to support our employees, we established the Koppers Kindness Fund. Major, life-changing events beyond our control such as floods, fires or serious illness can happen to anyone. The Koppers Kindness Fund provides relief by offering financial grants to our employees experiencing unexpected financial hardship. The Fund is administered by a third-party non-profit organization, and Koppers, employees and external stakeholders can contribute to the fund. All full-time and part-time Koppers employees who have a qualifying event or expense can apply for a grant from the fund.

Talent Attraction and Retention

Our business would not succeed without the skills and hard work of our employees. As such, we commit to attracting the best talent and providing them with the tools and resources they need to be the best versions of themselves. Our Culture and Engagement team leads our talent attraction and retention efforts by working to create programs to grow our workforce and enhance their skills.

Our focus on retention begins from a new employee’s first day on the job. Our web-based training program helps acclimate new employees to Koppers and our Zero Harm culture through various onboarding and safety-related training sessions. The training program includes videos showcasing Koppers and our primary business units and a new-hire information packet containing information on our employee programs, services, benefits and more. Our managers utilize an onboarding toolkit to set new employees up for success. The toolkit provides a number of resources on topics such as tips for onboarding remote employees and creating development plans, and templates to help managers map the key stakeholders who make up their new hire’s internal network. We also conduct new-hire surveys to understand how employees are adjusting to Koppers and to gauge where we can improve our onboarding process.

Employee New Hires by Age2020
Under 30 years old120
30-50 years old108
Over 50 years old42
Employee New Hires by Gender2020
Female27
Male228
Undisclosed15
Employee New Hires by Region2020
U.S.239
Global31
Employee Turnover by Age2020
Under 30 years old35%
30-50 years old12%
Over 50 years old5%
Employee Turnover by Gender2020
Female9%
Male13%
Undisclosed21%
Employee Turnover by Region2020
U.S.15%
Global7%

We offer a New Hire Mentoring Program for our full-time salaried employees interested in receiving support from experienced employees. With the program, we aim to increase engagement and retention among new hires and to help them transition into their roles by partnering them with mentors. To be a mentor, candidates must have at least one year of continuous service, be familiar with Koppers policies and programs, and be willing to share their experiences to assist others. Potential mentors are nominated by their supervisor or by themselves and then complete a mentor questionnaire for mentor/mentee matching purposes. We then connect mentees and mentors and conduct follow-up surveys throughout the relationship to measure success and identify improvement areas for the program.

Performance Development

Our performance development process fosters employee development through regular meetings between employees and their managers. We evolved our approach from a traditional annual review process to one based on recurring discussions throughout the year. Our new Lead-Empower-Aspire-Perform (LEAP) development program defines our approach, emphasizing trust and teamwork as requirements for accomplishing common goals and finding new ideas to shape our future. Every job matters at Koppers, and through LEAP, we ensure employees’ opinions are heard and meaningful performance conversations take place.

At the core of LEAP is our expectation that all Koppers managers meet at least monthly with their employees to develop personal goals and strategies aimed at enabling success. As leaders, we expect managers to initiate meetings; however, employees are also encouraged to initiate discussions when they see fit. We structure LEAP performance development meetings as a three-step process. First, managers and employees meet to align on expectations moving forward by identifying key focus areas, resources and development opportunities for success. Second, managers and employees meet the following month to discuss what they accomplished in terms of development over the previous month and how they accomplished it. Lastly, the process repeats itself with managers meeting again to align on expectations and discuss feedback.

To help drive conversations within LEAP, we developed a set of sample questions for employees to ask their managers and a conversation guide for managers. Further, managers can access resources on providing constructive feedback to help improve employee performance. LEAP also provides guidance for managers on developing a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) when employee performance needs to improve.

We value our employees for the unique talents they bring to our company, and encourage our hourly employees to pursue opportunities to be supervisors. Internal supervisory positions are posted on each of our facilities’ communication boards to increase visibility to our hourly employees. We are confident that elevating our hourly employees to supervisor roles will benefit Koppers by building on our employees’ in-depth knowledge of our business, while also increasing employee inclusion and retention. Going forward, our Quality Education FAST Team will work toward creating a formal leadership development program for our hourly employees to enhance their leadership skills and prepare for future leadership roles.

Percentage of Employees Who Received a Regular Performance Review*2020
Employee100%

*Koppers recently pivoted to recurrent discussion-based performance feedback instead of traditional annual reviews. All Koppers employees now receive performance feedback in this manner.

Training and Education

At Koppers, we are committed to helping our employees be the best versions of themselves — on and off the job — through a comprehensive program for training and education. By focusing on employee development, we not only improve the skills of our workforce, but also increase employee inclusion and retention, attract diverse talent, and improve employee engagement.

In January 2021, we launched a web-based training program for all our leaders across the world. The program’s online portal offers live and prerecorded training for leaders, along with leadership resources. Moving forward, we will look to expand the program’s offerings to further support our leaders’ development.

Our annual Koppers Leadership Forum is one way we develop talented employees. Each year, we select approximately 10-12 Koppers employees from around the world to participate in the intensive 9-month training program conducted in partnership with Robert Morris University, a private university near our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, headquarters. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees selected to be part of the Forum in 2021 will participate in virtual workshops led by Robert Morris University professors and business leaders. We plan to conduct Forum activities in person again when it is safe to do so.

Koppers employees can pursue degrees and certifications focused on the skills they utilize for their positions through our tuition reimbursement program. The program helps foster both personal and company success by helping employees elevate their skills while encouraging lifelong learning. Our Quality Education FAST Team is in the process of developing a global education program for our employees.

In addition to developing our own employees, we focus on developing the next generation of talent. In 2020, we conducted virtual career fairs for students, and plan to continue our in-person student education events in the future.

Average Hours of Training per Employee2020
Employee35
Average Hours of Training per Employee2020
Female35
Male35

Inclusion and Diversity

Celebrating our differences

At Koppers, we take pride in our commitment to building an inclusive and diverse workforce where all of our employees feel engaged, included and valued. We strive to build and sustain an inclusive corporate culture where employees of all backgrounds can be successful.

To drive our inclusion and diversity initiatives and to support our efforts to be an employer of choice, we hired our first Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity in 2020. The Director works closely with our CEO, Leroy Ball, to make recommendations on the direction of inclusion and diversity efforts at Koppers. We also established our first companywide Inclusion and Diversity Committee in 2020. Seven subcommittees support the Committee’s efforts including: Communications, Education, Analytics/Metrics, Governance/Policy, Programming, Talent and Outreach, and Treasury. Committee members were purposely selected to ensure diverse demographic and gender representation from across our business units and staff functions. The diversity of the members and the breadth of experience they bring will help ensure we design and execute our inclusion and diversity initiatives to meet the needs of all our employees.

Together, the Director and Committee created a vision and mission statement to guide Koppers inclusion and diversity efforts.

Koppers Inclusion and Diversity Vision Statement:

To be recognized as the industry leader that promotes a culture of inclusion, engagement and empowerment for employees of all backgrounds. To be the company whose collaborative efforts attract, advance and retain diverse employees who are valued corporate citizens around the world.

Koppers Inclusion and Diversity Mission Statement:

Creating and sustaining an inclusive and diverse workplace where all employees feel a sense of safety, purpose, opportunity, belonging and respect, and leveraging our collaborative talents to achieve a competitive advantage.


The Director and the Committee publish a quarterly report for our Board of Directors with updates on Koppers work to realize the vision statement, and also meet quarterly with Koppers senior leaders to discuss progress toward inclusion and diversity initiatives.

Our recently established Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equality FAST Team will help guide our initiatives through a focus on incorporating equality principles into our policies and processes across our operations and supply chain. The Team aims to increase our ability to successfully recruit, retain and develop women in our workforce, while also positioning Koppers as an employer of choice for women.

Going forward, we plan to set quantitative workforce diversity goals to ensure our workforce reflects the demographics of the regions in which we operate.

Raising Awareness

Raising awareness around inclusion and diversity is central to creating a workplace where every employee feels valued. To drive awareness and understanding in 2020, our CEO and Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity visited numerous Koppers facilities to speak with team members on inclusion and diversity.

To gain external perspectives, the Inclusion and Diversity Committee hosted a discussion forum for Koppers employees with former NFL Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis. During the event, Mr. Bettis and employees discussed discrimination, race, supplier diversity and the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions.

Another former NFL player, Charlie Batch, attended a November 2020 Inclusion and Diversity Committee meeting to raise awareness around the topic. During the meeting, Mr. Batch congratulated Committee members on their work creating a more inclusive workplace, took questions and shared personal advice on teamwork, leading from behind and charting new paths.

Building Inclusion and Diversity

At Koppers, we focus on supporting inclusion and diversity both inside and outside the Company. Internally, our focus begins before a prospective employee officially joins the Company and continues into the employment process. As an equal opportunity employer, our recruitment efforts for each open position include consideration of a diverse slate of candidates.

This past year, we launched an employee mentorship program for women of color within our organization, pairing them with a mentor who is also a woman of color. Recognizing the varying experiences in the workplace, we designed the program to better foster development and inclusion by focusing on shared experiences both inside and outside Koppers. To gauge program effectiveness, we asked participating employees how included they felt at Koppers before and after the program. Based on the results of our measurements and participant feedback, we are working to enhance the mentor program and increase inclusivity.

In addition to our mentorship program for women of color, our Inclusion and Diversity Committee is working to develop a similar program open to all women at Koppers.

Another way we support inclusion and diversity is through our employee resource groups (ERGs). For example, our LINKwomen ERG works to increase the visibility and professional development of women across Koppers. Open to both women and men, LINKwomen holds regular development activities and speaker events to increase inclusion and build connections. In 2020, LINKwomen held a “Women’s Empowerment Series,” which brought together panels of accomplished leaders for a series of quarterly virtual conversations.

Koppers Employees Recognized by the STEP Ahead Awards

We are proud of the Koppers employees recognized over the last few years by The Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Awards, which recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies. The national honors also encourage winners to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers. In each of the last three years, a Koppers employee was selected as one of the honorees by the Step Ahead Awards. Two former Koppers honorees also serve on the Selection Committee for the Awards.

Supporting the Advanced Leadership Initiative

Koppers supports The Advanced Leadership Initiative (TALI), which aims to build a pipeline of African American leaders who positively impact their organizations and communities. Koppers CEO Leroy Ball and our Vice President of Culture and Engagement also participate in TALI through the Corporate CEO Council and Advisory Board, respectively.

We are proud that one of 28 people included in the 2021 TALI cohort is a Koppers employee. The cohort will participate in an eight- month executive education program through Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. In addition to leadership development training, the program includes a curriculum targeting challenges faced by African Americans in the workplace. TALI also matches participants with a professional coach and an executive mentor to leverage relationships and maximize their experience.

CEO Receives Chuck Cooper Foundation Leadership Award

In 2020, Koppers CEO Leroy Ball received the Chuck Cooper Foundation Leadership Award. Named for the first African American drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the annual award recognizes a commitment to promoting diversity and making a positive impact on the community. According to Mr. Ball, the award is an “endorsement of the work [Koppers has] begun — realizing that, as Chuck Cooper himself knew, we must push forward with intention and thoughtfulness to bring a more inclusive and equitable society closer to reality.”

Supplier Diversity

Our dedication to inclusion and diversity extends beyond our own operations to our suppliers as well. We are proud members of the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and National Veteran Owned Business Association. Our membership in supplier diversity organizations helps us to identify diverse-owned businesses that provide products, services, business solutions and economical cost structures that enable us to drive long-term value. Outside our organization memberships, our Director for Global Inclusion and Diversity participates in the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council’s National Awards Selection Committee, which honors corporate executives and minority business owners for their supplier diversity accomplishments.

Inclusion and Diversity Performance

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

Employees by Gender202020192018
Female14%15%14%
Male83%82%83%
Undisclosed3%3%3%
Employees by Age Group202020192018
Under 30 years old19%17%18%
30-50 years old42%44%43%
Over 50 years old39%40%39%
Employee Demographics202020192018
American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)0.3%0.3%0.4%
Asian – Chinese (United Kingdom)0.06%0.05%0%
Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)0.9%0.8%0.8%
Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)17%14%14%
Decline to State (Australia)4%5%5%
Decline to State (Denmark)2%2%2%
Decline to State (Netherlands)0.06%0.3%0.3%
Han (China)0%0.7%0.7%
Hani (China)0%0.05%0.05%
Hispanic or Latino (United States of America)5%4%4%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)0%0.09%0%
Other (United Kingdom)0%0.05%0.05%
Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)0.4%0.3%0.1%
White – British (United Kingdom)0.6%1%0.9%
White – Irish (United Kingdom)0%0.05%0.05%
White – Other (United Kingdom).06%0.05%0%
White – Other European (United Kingdom)0%0.05%0.05%
White (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)52%54%55%
Undisclosed17%17%16%
Managers by Gender2020
Female14%
Male81%
Undisclosed5%
Managers by Age Group202020192018
Under 30 years old9%8%4%
30-50 years old48%47%45%
Over 50 years old43%45%41%
Manager Demographics202020192018
American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)0.2%0.4%0.2%
Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)2%1%1%
Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)5%4%3%
Decline to State (Australia)7%7%6%
Decline to State (Denmark)3%3%2%
Decline to State (Netherlands)1%0.9%0.8%
Han (China)0%0.7%1%
Hispanic or Latino (United States of America)0.9%0.9%0.8%
Other (United Kingdom)0%0%0.2%
Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)0%0.2%0.2%
White – British (United Kingdom)2%2%3%
White – Irish (United Kingdom)0.2%0.2%0.2%
White – Other European (United Kingdom)0%0.2%0.2%
White (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)64%65%60%
Undisclosed14%15%20%
Executives by Gender2020
Female17%
Male83%
Undisclosed0%
Executives by Age Group2020
Under 30 years old0%
30-50 years old23%
Over 50 years old77%
Executive Demographics2020
Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)3%
Decline to State (Australia)3%
Decline to State (Denmark)3%
White – Other European (United Kingdom)3%
White (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America)71%
Undisclosed17%

Community Engagement

Sharing our success

Koppers is committed to engaging with and supporting the communities in which we live and work. Our employees drive our community engagement commitment through their efforts to foster an enduring impact in their local areas. As a company, we are a key contributor to local economies and are often a major employer in many of our operating areas.

We aim to proactively engage with our communities to ensure we stay attuned to their views on our operations and our local interactions. We build our engagements on transparency, knowing that when a community feels comfortable with our operations, we are more likely to develop a productive relationship for all. In our engagements, we strive to connect with community members and understand the local issues they value.

Many of our facilities have a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) or Community Reference Group (CRG), which serve as the first point of contact for people wishing to engage with Koppers. A diverse group of local community members composes each community group to ensure that a cross-section of various interests and views are represented and heard. Community group members regularly meet with our facility managers and company representatives to discuss matters of mutual interest. Overall, the community groups provide a direct channel for engagement for us to build strong partnerships that support the growth and development of our local communities and Koppers.

Philanthropy and Volunteering

Giving back to our local communities is a defining aspect of Koppers approach to community engagement. We support our communities through a mix of volunteerism and funding for causes that are meaningful to our employees and in alignment with our values. Employees worldwide commit to assembling charitable walk teams, mentoring students, enhancing local STEM education initiatives, caring for the elderly, assisting at homeless shelters and providing hands-on help to people affected by natural disasters. Many Koppers employees also serve on the boards or in other leadership roles for charitable organizations.

Koppers Australia Helps Keep Rescue Helicopters Flying

Giving a few dollars a week out of their paychecks, Koppers Australia employees are doing their part to keep the vital Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service in the air. Westpac in northern New South Wales, Australia, experienced a decline in donations essential to the service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Westpac plays a vital role in saving lives by flying over 1,500 missions every year; however, raising money through face-to-face fundraising and events was difficult in 2020. Through their long-standing partnership with Westpac, Koppers Australia stepped up to help the service keep saving lives across the region. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the partnership, a Koppers plant manager and operator visited Westpac at its Broadmeadow, New South Wales facility to see how Koppers staff donations were making a difference.


Supporting March of Dimes in Pittsburgh

Koppers Pittsburgh employees teamed up with March of Dimes Pennsylvania to deliver sweet treats to local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses and staff. Employees also participated in the virtual March of Dimes March for Babies, raising more than $7,000.


Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night in Madison

Koppers Railroad Services employees in Madison, Wisconsin, made the world a little brighter, proudly sponsoring and participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light the Night fundraising event, which was held virtually due to COVID-19.


Rock Hill Facility Makes an Impact

Rock Hill, South Carolina, employees donated school supplies to local students in need for the fourth year in a row. The employees’ 2020 donations went to York Prep, a local school close to many Rock Hill employees’ hearts — as some employees’ children or grandchildren attend the school. The employees donated the supplies to teachers in the elementary, middle and high schools at York Prep.


LINKwomen and United Way Provide “Tools for Schools”

While the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the 2020-21 school year, one constant was the need for school supplies. With many families struggling with financial hardship during the pandemic, obtaining school supplies was a challenge.

Members of Koppers employee resource group, LINKwomen, and their fellow employees participated in the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s “Tools for Schools” event to help deliver school supplies to families in need. During the event the volunteers sorted and assembled boxes of school supplies like notebooks and hand sanitizers for distribution to over 6,000 local students.


Koppers Australia Supports Wildfire Relief

In the aftermath of the devastating wildfires that struck Australia in 2019 and 2020, Koppers Australia employees participated in relief efforts to support people affected by the wildfires. Employees donated more than $26,000 to BlazeAid, a volunteer-based organization that helps families living in rural Australia rebuild after natural disasters affect their homes. The donations will help the organization purchase a trailer fitted with tools for use at rebuilding sites. Employees also donated $4,000 to WIRES, the largest wildlife rescue organization, to support its work rehabilitating and preserving wildlife affected by the wildfires.


Hubbell Employees Bring the Smiles

Employees at our Hubbell, Michigan facility brought smiles to residents of the Lighthouse Senior Living Home during a drive-by parade. The parade lifted the spirits of the residents who were unable to have visits or leave the residence because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees wrote the name of each resident on a heart decorating their vehicle. Families of residents also made signs in support of their loved ones and the fire department joined in the festivities as well.