Caring for Our People and Communities
We recognize that our people are key to our ability to execute on our sustainability agenda. Our commitment to providing safe working conditions and involving all our employees in our safety efforts has been a fundamental part of our history.
This focus on safety helps us attract and retain top talent from around the world and helps ensure reliable performance in our manufacturing operations. We also offer our employees professional development opportunities and competitive compensation and benefits. We are committed to increasing employee engagement by leveraging the diversity and aspirations of our people and developing their talents by fostering an inclusive acceptance of diversity in its many forms throughout our workplace. To remain a competitive employer, we acknowledge the importance of our company values, vision and sustainability program to our employees as we aim to continuously demonstrate our commitments and enhance our performance.
Our commitments extend to our communities where we strive to be a good neighbor through our active engagement and responsible business practices. We seek input and feedback from our communities and look for opportunities to contribute our time and resources so we can play a role in the growth and success of the areas where we operate.
We are caring for our people and communities by:
The Safety, Health, Environment and Sustainability Committee of our Board of Directors has oversight of health and safety issues at the highest governance level. Executive leadership for implementing related strategies and policies is provided by the senior vice president for Safety, Health and Environment (SH&E), who is responsible for technical guidance on all matters related to SH&E performance and who oversees a global team of SH&E professionals including regional directors.
SH&E and site security are critical components of our culture. As part of our Drive to Zero initiative, we have set a long-term goal of having no injuries at our facilities worldwide. Recognizing that it may take many years to achieve this ambitious goal, we also established a nearer-term target of being among the top 10% of our peer chemical companies for safety performance. To help meet these goals, we provide training to all employees on safety procedures that meets or exceeds all applicable government regulations and internal standards.
Through our global SH&E Policy, which is endorsed by our executive leadership, we hold ourselves accountable to demonstrate our company values and continuously improve the way we operate. The policy includes guidance on complying with all applicable regulations, sharing complete information about the safe handling of our products, maintaining the safety and security of our employees, contractors and neighbors, minimizing impacts on our communities, exemplifying the Responsible Care® Guiding Principles, partnering with customers to develop innovative and sustainable solutions, improving efficiencies, and reducing environmental impacts and preparing for emergencies.
Our facilities are required to develop and implement a safety program that upholds the SH&E Policy and meets all applicable health and safety laws, as well as our company standards, which may exceed those regulations. This program provides oversight for all direct activities occurring in our facilities and within our operational control, including those that could impact employees, contractors and visitors. Additionally, the majority of our facilities organize local health and safety committees representing employees, including those in formal joint management agreements.
As part of our commitment to Responsible Care®, we remain focused on continuously improving the health and safety of our technologies, processes and products. In accordance with this certification, we report our performance metrics annually and undergo external audits regularly to evaluate our program, identify gaps and undertake corrective actions as needed. In addition to the Responsible Care audits, our sites routinely undergo robust internal SH&E audits, which evaluate procedures, practices and site conditions in accordance with SH&E regulations, internal company standards and industry-recognized best practices. These risk-based audits are conducted by teams of internal subject matter experts who are supported by external resources as needed.
Additionally, a key factor in keeping employees safe at our manufacturing facilities is our careful attention to process safety. This entails monitoring the condition and functionality of our processes, equipment and infrastructure to ensure our operations are as safe and efficient as possible. Prior to initial unit startups and when significant changes to operations are required, preparedness assessments are conducted by subject matter experts. We also carefully track process safety events, defined by the Center for Chemical Process Safety as any release of material or energy from a process that results in injury, fire, explosion or release of flammable, combustible or toxic chemicals. In accordance with the American Petroleum Institute’s recommended practice RP-754, we utilize the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categorization approach to track our performance and report externally. Tier 1 events are considered more severe cases occurring from the loss of primary containment, while Tier 2 events have less significant consequences.
In the event of a process safety incident or high-potential near miss, a thorough incident evaluation is conducted to understand the root cause of the issue and assess how we may implement measures to avoid similar safety risks in the future. We share the results of these evaluations globally, so all our sites can learn from the event and reduce similar risks.
Reporting to the CHRO, the director of talent management and development is responsible for developing and leading the execution of our talent strategy, focused on building our current and future talent pipeline through the development of our employees as well as the recruitment of external candidates.
Employment decisions are based on merit and qualifications, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected status. An in-house talent acquisition team leads outreach and recruitment efforts suited to local market dynamics and business needs. We develop a talent pipeline by offering internships, apprenticeships and training to students in many of the communities in which we operate.
To ensure employees have their basic needs met in order to live healthy and productive lives, we offer comprehensive benefits programs that are designed to meet or exceed requirements and standards for the countries in which we operate. While our benefits vary by location, we typically provide healthcare, life and accidental insurance, disability, retirement and pension plans, business travel accident insurance, medical travel insurance, vacation time, holiday and leave entitlement, educational financial assistance, and access to retiree medical coverage.
We recognize the potential each employee brings to our company and we are committed to helping them realize their potential to the fullest. Our approach to development is multifaceted and encourages:on-the-job development, including stretch assignments and rotations, continuous feedback from managers, mentors and peers, and formal learning opportunities including leadership development programs, functional and technical skills training, and professional conferences We utilize a performance-based management (PBM) approach, which is a cyclical, year-round process through which managers and employees work together to plan work and set expectations, review progress and results, reward performance, and discuss development areas to support performance improvement and career growth.
With respect as one of our core values, we were proud to formally launch a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council in the beginning of 2018. The Council comprises a cross-section of business leaders from across our company, with the directive to examine how we promote and support diversity in all its forms. Policies and practices were reviewed from both global and local perspectives with the objective of ensuring that we build an inclusive
environment in which employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences feel valued and welcome to share new ideas, challenge the status quo, and collaborate broadly within and across their teams.
In September 2018, we hired our first diversity and inclusion director to further advance the work of the D&I Council, including championing a strategy and setting goals and objectives to drive a more inclusive and diverse culture. The director partners with Human Resources and business leadership to design strategies that attract and retain diverse employees, deploy related trainings, and develop and track metrics to ensure accountability and monitoring of D&I efforts.
Supporting our communities through our active engagement and commitment to being a responsible neighbor
There are two primary conduits for our community engagement efforts. The first is giving at the corporate level by the Cabot Foundation, and the second is through facility-led initiatives.
The Cabot Foundation was established in 1953 to support qualified charitable, nonprofit organizations in the United States. The charter was amended in 1992 to include grant to qualified charitable organizations outside of the United States in support of our intent to have meaningful impacts across our global footprint. Our Board of Directors annually approves a budget for the Foundation's donations. Decisions for how these funds are distributed is the responsibility of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, which meets quarterly to review grant proposals and evaluate the impact of this giving to ensure funds are used in ways that align with our company’s overall values and address the needs of our communities.
Our facilities are responsible for developing and fostering relationships in their local community, and they are committed to making a meaningful difference in many ways. At some locations, company representatives are involved in local industry associations. Active community engagement teams at many of our locations take the lead in evaluating the needs of the community and identifying organizations the facility may partner with to deliver a lasting and meaningful impact. Our community engagement activities take the form of volunteer events, charitable giving and sponsorship of local causes. In the case of monetary contributions, funds are typically managed as part of facility budgets, with additional resources available through the Cabot Foundation.
More than half of our facilities globally have dedicated community outreach teams responsible for preparing local community engagement plans.