Koppers Holdings Inc. Issues Annual Corporate Sustainability Report
Enhanced Strategy to Create a More Sustainable Future
PITTSBURGH, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Koppers Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KOP) today announced that it has published its annual Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR), which details the company's comprehensive efforts and enhanced strategy to create a more sustainable future through: establishing new governance structures; fostering organizational alignment; conducting an updated materiality assessment; and developing more forward-looking environmental, social and governance goals.
Traditionally, the CSR would primarily review Sustainability priorities in the previous year; however, given the unprecedented challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing issues concerning racial equity and social justice, the report also includes commentary related to events occurring thus far in 2020. This year's theme is the company's guiding purpose of "Protecting What Matters. Preserving The Future." which ultimately drives decision-making throughout the organization. The report aims to share full details on how Koppers employees are working together to identify opportunities as well as address challenges to meaningfully contribute to society at large.
Commenting on the CSR, President and Chief Executive Officer Leroy Ball said, "The challenges of today fully illustrate the need for purposeful, strategic efforts around Sustainability. The interconnection of People, Planet, and Performance must be the driving force behind our actions as an organization as we navigate these challenges, create opportunities for long-term growth, and ensure success for generations to come."
Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Leslie Hyde said, "Koppers aspires to be a leader in Sustainability in the ways we operate our business, care for our communities, and secure success for all our stakeholders. We undertake this journey with a steadfast commitment to—and belief in—our ability to create positive change. I am proud of the actions we've taken this year to advance our Sustainability efforts and am excited about our path forward."
Representative of Koppers ongoing work to integrate long-term Sustainability into day-to-day operations, the company took the following actions over the last 18 months.
Strengthening Corporate Governance Transforming from the top, Koppers added to the responsibilities of the Safety, Health and Environmental Committee of its Board of Directors and renamed it the Sustainability Committee to intentionally prioritize Sustainability concepts including climate change, resource protection, human rights, human dignity, and the promotion of inclusion and diversity. Koppers also established a Chief Sustainability Officer position, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer.
Conducting a Global Reporting Initiative Materiality Assessment To ensure its efforts have the most impact, Koppers conducted a materiality assessment using universally accepted practices as defined by the Global Reporting Initiative. After extensive work with internal and external stakeholders, along with applying leading frameworks and guidance, the company is prioritizing its most important Sustainability topics based on this vital assessment.
Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation, Koppers will be announcing long-term, aspirational Sustainability goals that will focus its efforts and guide development of the necessary infrastructure to attain them. This process will connect the company's aspirational commitment to the daily work of its employees worldwide.
At Koppers, sustainability efforts are centered on continually improving how the company operates, whether it be related to people, planet, or performance. In 2019, the company's Sustainability strategy manifested in a number of ways, some of which include:
Implementing action plans to manage the issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as placing top priority on protecting the health and safety of employees, customers, and supply chain partners; providing critical products and ongoing support to its essential customer base; maintaining adequate liquidity and financial flexibility; providing frequent and accurate communication to stakeholders; and advancing key initiatives in order to emerge stronger from the crisis.
Achieving a record of no recordable injuries at nearly half (49 percent) of its facilities worldwide and reaching a 14 percent reduction in the rate of injuries causing an employee to lose time from work.
Recognizing the potential impacts of climate change on society and business, Koppers continued to identify and take appropriate measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and overall carbon footprint and saw a 47 percent decrease in reportable chemical releases.
Strengthening our commitment to Inclusion and Diversity (I&D), we took several actions including hiring our first Global Director of I&D in early March; establishing an inaugural I&D Committee; and releasing disaggregated data on our employee demographics to ensure full transparency in measuring progress. Additionally, we took a firm and public stand against racial injustice, and invited corporate directors, officers, and employees to sign a virtual pledge to do what's right when witnessing the mistreatment of any individual.
Serving as a key contributor to local economies and a major employer, Koppers works to remain a responsible neighbor by engaging with community members, remaining transparent about ongoing operations, supporting local causes, and raising the standard of living and well-being wherever it operates.
Koppers, with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds. Our products and services are used in a variety of niche applications in a diverse range of end-markets, including the railroad, specialty chemical, utility, residential lumber, agriculture, aluminum, steel, rubber, and construction industries. Including our joint ventures, we serve our customers through a comprehensive global manufacturing and distribution network, with facilities located in North America, South America, Australasia, China and Europe. The stock of Koppers Holdings Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "KOP."
For more information, visit: www.koppers.com. Inquiries from the media should be directed to Ms. Jessica Franklin at 412-227-2025. Inquiries from the investment community should be directed to Ms. Quynh McGuire at 412-227-2049.
Jessica M. Black, Manager, Corporate Communications, Brand and Giving