As a global leader in our field, we are committed to advancing sustainability in our industry across the value chain.
For many years, we have supported the principles of the U.N. Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. These principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption have long been part of our strategy, culture and daily operations. In 2021, we also formally and publicly aligned ourselves with our peers and further committed ourselves to advancing societal goals by signing the U.N.Global Compact.
In 2022, we were awarded the Gold Medal by EcoVadis, one of the world's most trusted sustainability ratings. EcoVadis evaluates companies’ sustainability performance in the areas of environment, labour & human rights, ethics, sustainable procurement and overall sustainability governance. Our Gold Medal places us among the top 3% of companies assessed by EcoVadis.
We also transparently disclose our carbon performance through the CDP, a not-for-profit organization that runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions.
Our sustainability framework is based on environmental impact, social issues and governance practices across our value chain. It is used to identify areas of risks and concern to develop focus areas of our attention. We have grouped these focus areas into four sustainability themes:
- Sustainable growth
- Living our values
- Value chain participation
We are performance driven. It is part of our core being. It drives our growth. However, growth must be sustainable – we are committed to responsible use of resources for our business (whether in products and services we procure or at our operating sites) and also to providing solutions to our customers’ sustainable agenda through our products. Our growth model is founded on being responsible for both capital and natural resources.
Within our operations, our focus areas on sustainability are (1) energy and emissions, (2) water and (3) waste. We have set reduction targets on intensity basis against 2014 baseline for emissions of greenhouse gas, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matters. Since 2011, approximately 45 percent of all approved capital investments have been for projects with some measure of impact on our environmental performance. Going forward, we plan to invest about $190 million over a 5-year period in emissions reduction projects at our U.S. operating sites. Similar projects are also being executed in other locations such as China, Italy and South Korea.
We have also set an improvement target for energy recovery rate – i.e., in the percentage of percentage of energy input that is converted to other useful forms of energy, including carbon black, electric power, high pressure steam and hot water for district heating.
We are also committed to advancing sustainable growth along the value chain through the deployment of our technology and innovation to develop and introduce products specifically engineered to enhance the performance and life cycle of our customers’ products. In the tire application, our products are contributing to enhancing tire performance that improves vehicle fuel economy and tire life cycle. In the battery space, we have product offerings for ultra-clean, highly conductive materials for lithium ion batteries to advance the electrification of motor vehicles.
Compliance provides assurance. It is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted. We comply with laws and regulations that govern our operations, including the boundaries set in the permits and licenses in effect. In the space of business conduct, while respecting cultural differences, we have elected to adopt best practices that may go beyond legal compliance and have codified them in our Code of Conduct. At the core of our Code of Conduct is the belief that trust – the founding cornerstone of our relationships with our investors, lenders, business partners, regulators, and others – is nurtured by transparency.
Compliance with our Code of Conduct is mandatory to all Orion employees worldwide and to all associated persons who provide services for or on behalf of Orion. To ensure compliance is practiced as intended, we conduct mandatory trainings and verify compliance periodically through local compliance officers. Our General Counsel is also the Chief Compliance Officer. Compliance is reviewed by the Nominating, Sustainability, and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors.
Living our values
Orion is a carbon black specialist. We are a group of people who are simply passionate about carbon black. We are also committed to the following values.
- Enduring relationships
These values are the result of our own internal discovery process. They are the values our employees have identified as being core to who we are, and to what we are committed to becoming.
We recognize our success is predicated on recruiting and developing a diverse global workforce. Orion’s aspirational goal is to be the employer of choice and to become the model of inclusion and diversity for our industry.
We believe that inclusion and diversity – in nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, and age, among others – are essential to our success. Openness to diversity widens our access to the best talent; and inclusion allows us to fully engage that talent. Our intention is to be known for the way we welcome and develop all people, and continually strive for an environment where all our employees have an opportunity to achieve their highest potential.
Value Chain Participation
We are committed to promoting sustainability across our supply chain. We have built our sustainability efforts in procurement around four pillars:
- Sustainable procurement policy
- Minimizing environmental footprint across our supply chain
- Enhancing our capability to identify sustainable procurement risks and to support our suppliers to achieve compliance with our standards
- Ensuring supplier data transparency and accuracy
Our procurement strategy is founded on quality, cost, delivery, and compliance. Our commitment to sustainability extends across the value chain, including our suppliers and subcontractors. It begins with our vetting process. For instance, we implemented a global program to assure that all raw material suppliers are meeting our Code of Conduct and Environmental Health & Safety Guidelines.
We also assess their compliance assurance basis. For suppliers with less robust foundations, we help them to establish a compliance assurance baseline at an acceptable level. Their performance is monitored periodically. This process allows us to work with suppliers from developing economies where our engagement offers quality employment opportunities to the local economies.
- 75 percent of pallets used at all sites to be reused
- 95 percent of paper bags used all sites to be made from recycled paper
- 100 percent of packaging bags used at all sites to be reused or sent to recycling centers
- 30 percent reduction in our CO2 emissions from freight
Greenhouse Gas Intensity SO2 Intensity NOx Intensity PM Intensity Energy Recovery
CO2 ton / production ton SO2 kg / production ton NOx kg / production ton PM kg / Production ton Useful energy / Energy input normalized basis
8%↓ 50%↓ 25%↓ 15%↓ 2%↑
by 2029 by 2029 by 2029 by 2029 by 2029