Quiver Quantitative

Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - KOP

-New additions in green
-Changes in blue
-Hover to see similar sentence in last filing

Item 1A. Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Business – Demand for our products is cyclical and we may experience prolonged depressed market conditions for our products.”

Non-U.S. Operations

Koppers has a significant investment in non-U.S. operations. Therefore, we are subject to certain risks that are inherent to foreign operations, including complying with applicable laws relating to foreign practices, the laws of foreign countries in which we operate, political and economic conditions in international markets, the imposition of tariffs and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. See also “Item 1A. Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Business – We are subject to risks inherent in foreign operations, including additional legal regulation, changes in social, political and economic conditions.”

Environmental Matters

Our operations and properties are subject to extensive federal, state, local and foreign environmental laws and regulations relating to protection of the environment and human health and safety, including those concerning the treatment, storage and disposal of wastes, the investigation and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, the discharge of effluents into waterways, the emission of substances into the air, as well as various health and safety matters. Environmental laws and regulations are subject to frequent amendment and have historically become more stringent over time. We have incurred and could incur in the future significant costs if we fail to comply with regulations and responsibilities under environmental laws and regulations, including cleanup costs, civil and criminal penalties, injunctive relief and denial or loss of, or imposition of significant restrictions on, environmental permits. In addition, we have been and could in the future be subject to suit by private parties in connection with alleged violations of, or liabilities under, environmental laws and regulations. Additional information on environmental matters is available in Item 1A under “Risks Related to Our Business” and Note 19 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, “Commitments and Contingent Liabilities.”

Employees and Employee Relations

As of December 31, 2021, we had 945 salaried employees and 1,143 non-salaried employees. Listed below is a breakdown of employees by our businesses, including administration.

Approximately 424 of our employees are represented by a number of different labor unions and are covered under numerous labor agreements. The labor contracts at three of our facilities covering approximately 132 employees are scheduled to expire during 2022.

Human Capital Management

Our ability to positively affect our communities starts with investing in our people. We put the health, safety and well-being of our employees at the forefront of everything we do as part of our Zero Harm culture. Our people-focused strategy considers all aspects of the employee experience, from hiring practices and onboarding to health and wellness and talent management. We seek to create and foster an inclusive and welcoming culture where all employees feel empowered and can directly impact and share in the organization’s success. Key to this effort is delivering a consistent onboarding experience, as well as communications and safety training in all of our facilities across the globe.

Talent Attraction and Retention

Our talented employees are a critical element to make our business successful, so it is essential that we position them for success. It is also important that we continue attracting top talent to our workforce. Our Culture and Engagement team leads these efforts to attract, retain and develop our employees and has created various programs to enhance the skill set of our workforce. Recognizing the importance of a consistent and comprehensive onboarding and safety training experience for new hires across our facility footprint, we have a web-based training program to ensure every employee receives a consistent message from the start of their employment. Recognizing the importance of a consistent and comprehensive onboarding and safety training experience for new hires across our facility footprint, we have implemented a web-based training program to ensure every employee receives a consistent message from the start of their employment. The program includes videos detailing our company and our primary business lines as well as a new hire folder filled with information on employee programs, services, benefits and more.

9


We also have a toolkit to help managers guide new employees for success and we conduct regular new hire surveys to solicit feedback and identify opportunities for improvement. We continue to evaluate and employ methods to identify at-risk behaviors during the hiring process to place prospective employees in appropriately suited positions where they can be successful and workplace injuries can be avoided. This behavioral data also enables us to tailor training and onboarding based on the opportunities it highlights.

Performance Management

To ensure our employees have the best opportunity for success, our performance development process includes periodic meetings between employees and managers to discuss their goals and strategies to achieve them. We no longer conduct traditional annual reviews and instead opt for these more frequent two-way discussions focused on fostering ideas that will enable employee success. Each manager is expected to meet one-on-one at least monthly with their employees to discuss tailored strategies to encourage employee success like additional training, attendance at conferences or establishing connections to others within our company. These monthly meetings also help managers gauge employee engagement and develop approaches to increase and sustain positive engagement.

We also have a New Hire Mentoring Program as another component of our development process. The program provides both hourly and salaried employees an extra opportunity to receive support from experienced employees and discuss any ideas they may have for improving our operations or their work experience. Prior to participating, mentors and mentees receive training on getting the most out of the program. Prior to participating, mentors and mentees receive training on getting the most out of the program and surveys are conducted throughout to measure success.

Training and Education

As a part of our people-focused approach to our operations, we are committed to helping our employees thrive in their roles and grow both personally and professionally. A major component of this plan is our commitment to providing each employee with the training and education they need to be successful. A major component of this prerogative is our commitment to providing each employee with the training and education they need to be successful. Under the umbrella of our Koppers College, we provide leadership development training to our front-line employees to expand their growth opportunities within the organization. We also foster innovation and develop our next wave of high-potential employees through our leadership forum, an intensive nine-month program conducted in partnership with a university local to our corporate headquarters. We foster innovation and develop our next wave of high-potential employees through our leadership forum, an intensive nine-month program conducted in partnership with a university local to our corporate headquarters. Approximately ten to twelve employees from across the world are chosen annually for each cohort. Selected participants travel to our corporate headquarters to take part in workshops facilitated by university professors and business leaders. We also offer our employees a tuition reimbursement program to help them pursue degrees and certifications related to relevant skills they utilize for their positions to further personal and company success.

Inclusion and Diversity

We support an inclusive and diverse work environment across our company through a range of strategic programs. Our internal processes and programs target inclusion and diversity as a key area of importance and externally we place emphasis on the topic during philanthropic activities. Our Director for Global Inclusion and Diversity focuses on supporting our strategy to be an employer of choice, and helps to ensure that all employees feel they are heard and valued to harness the power of an engaged workforce. Our Director for Global Inclusion and Diversity focuses on supporting our strategy to be an employer of choice, chairs the company's Inclusion and Diversity Committee, and helps to ensure that all employees feel they are heard and valued to harness the power of an engaged workforce.

Compensation and Benefits

We encourage employee participation in our benefit programs for saving for retirement through robust defined contribution and employee stock purchase programs. The U.S. 401(k) program includes both traditional matching and an additional non-elective company contribution based on organizational performance. When the company achieves the established performance target, employees share in this success through an automatic contribution to their 401(k) accounts. We also offer our employees the option to acquire Koppers stock through an employee stock purchase program. The program gives our employees the opportunity to buy shares at a discount through payroll deductions during defined quarterly offering periods.

Health and Safety

We believe a robust wellness program that encourages employee participation is key to promoting healthy lifestyles and decision-making. Our wellness screening program for our U.S.-based employees provides employees the opportunity to learn more about their health and daily routines. As part of this program, employees can earn financial incentives for completing a variety of wellness initiatives. Recognizing the importance of supporting our employees in all aspects of their lives, we provide an Employee Assistance Program with a full range of supportive resources including financial wellness, mental health and family services. For our U.S.-based employees, we also offer four weeks of paid time-off for mothers and fathers who have a birth or adoption as part of our parental bonding leave program. Additionally, we offer work schedule flexibility including the opportunity to work remotely when conditions allow.


10


Koppers Holdings Inc. 2021 Annual Report

We work with a Zero Harm approach to every employee’s health and safety. Zero Harm includes policies that guide our safety practices and procedures throughout all of our facilities, a focus on leading activities that prevent accidents and a leadership culture that insists the health and safety of our employees comes ahead of everything we do.

Environmental, Social and Governance Matters

Corporate social responsibility, our obligation to people, the environment, and to good corporate governance processes, has been a part of our culture for many years. We believe this culture, supported by a spirit of collaboration and innovation, allows us to decrease our impact on the environment and create value for all of our stakeholders. We published our first Corporate Social Responsibility report (CSR) in 2008 and our historical CSR reports are available on www.koppers.com/pages/sustainability. The contents of our corporate website are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We have established a governance structure to support and develop our sustainability practices. In 2020, we established a Sustainability Committee of the board of directors to provide oversight of our programs. Management provides direction through its Leadership Council, chaired by the CEO. Our Sustainability Steering Committee provides guidance on goals and programs designed to improve our performance against those expectations. Toward this goal in 2019, we conducted a materiality analysis, both internal and external, that highlighted the areas where we can most effectively address the needs of our stakeholders. Toward this goal and starting in 2019, we began work on a materiality analysis, both internal and external, that highlighted the areas where we can most effectively address the needs of our stakeholders.

Environmental

The circular nature of our business starts with our raw materials, the majority of which are by-products generated by other industries (including scrap copper and coal tar) and renewable resources (trees). We purchase approximately 32 million pounds of scrap copper per year which is postconsumer or post-industrial in nature. We purchase approximately 33 million pounds of scrap copper which is postconsumer or post-industrial in nature. We believe this places Koppers in the center of what is known as the “circular economy” that emphasizes the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mentality that continues to frame global conservation efforts. Our wood-treatment solutions, while supporting an important role in our global infrastructure across multiple industries, also support an important role in the carbon cycle. Treating wood significantly increases its useful lifespan, allowing the carbon stored within the wood to be immobilized for up to 50 years, keeping it out of the atmosphere and limiting its impact on the environment. In addition, we have businesses which have product life cycle management capabilities to help solve our customers’ challenge of responsibly disposing of end-of-life crossties and utility poles by repurposing used wood products, including as a fuel source. This reduces the end-of-life impact of our ties and poles, contributing to greater product sustainability.

Social

We are committed to proactively evaluating and addressing community needs in the areas where we operate. Many of our locations have made strong connections with local community members, allowing Koppers representatives to share facility information and address any questions, observations, concerns and ideas. Our community impact is demonstrated through our employees’ volunteer commitments and a corporate philanthropy program. Employees worldwide volunteer their time to mentor students, enhance local education initiatives, take care of the elderly, assist at homeless shelters and provide hands-on help to those affected by natural disasters.

We believe our ability to positively impact our communities and environment starts with investing in our employees. Our people-focused strategy considers all aspects of the employee experience, from hiring practices and onboarding to health and wellness and talent management.

Collaboration – Communication across our global footprint drives our efforts. All Koppers employees take part in safety training programs and provide direct feedback to leadership as part of the company’s annual engagement survey.

Inclusion and Diversity – We are committed to supporting inclusion and diversity in process and practice. Our Culture and Engagement team ensures that a diverse slate of candidates is considered for open positions. Our employee resource groups, LINKWomen, which was launched in 2018, and LINKParents, which was launched in 2021, provide an important development forum for employees and serve as a model for future initiatives. Our first employee resource group, LINKWomen, which was launched in 2018, provides an important development forum for employees and serves as a model for future initiatives. Additionally, the composition of our board of directors has been recognized for gender and racial diversity.

Governance

We believe our corporate governance structure is designed to assure accountability to our stakeholders and to make certain that we conduct business in a responsible, ethical way. We maintain a comprehensive Code of Conduct that details the expectations and requirements we have as an organization for our employees. This Code of Conduct applies to all employees, whether we are engaging in peer-to-peer interactions, working to comply with complex regulations, marketing our products, purchasing materials, creating new products, managing our finances or interacting with our communities.


11


Our board of directors is broadly responsible for contributing to the strategic direction and oversight of the company. There are five board committees, including: Audit; Nominating and Corporate Governance; Management Development and Compensation; Strategy and Risk; and Sustainability. Among its duties and responsibilities, the Board oversees management’s direction of the legal, ethical and socially responsible behavior of the company, such as developing effective performance measurement systems, reviewing the company's long-term strategy and overseeing risk management processes.

Our Leadership Council is responsible for directing the development and implementation of the company's strategic plan and business operations around the globe. These executive leaders establish and maintain our commitment to ethics, integrity, fiscal responsibility, growth and sustainability.

Internet Access

Our Internet address is www.koppers.com. Our recent filings on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K and any amendments to those documents can be accessed without charge on our website under Investor Relations – SEC Filings as soon as reasonably practicable after such filings are made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The contents of our Internet site are not incorporated by reference into this document. The contents of our internet site are not incorporated by reference into this document.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider the risks described below before investing in our publicly traded securities. Our business is subject to the risks that affect many other companies, such as competition, technological obsolescence, labor relations, general economic conditions, geopolitical events and international operations.

Risks Related to Our Business

Fluctuations in the price, quality and availability of our primary raw materials could reduce our profitability.

Our operations depend on an adequate supply of quality raw materials being available on a timely basis. The loss of a key source of supply or a delay in shipments could cause a significant increase in our operating expenses. For example, our operations are highly dependent on a relatively small number of freight transportation services. We are also dependent on specialized ocean-going transport vessels that we lease to deliver raw materials to our facilities and finished goods to our customers. Interruptions in such freight services could impair our ability to receive raw materials and ship finished products in a timely manner. We are also exposed to price and quality risks associated with raw material purchases. Such risks include the following:

The availability and cost of lumber are critical elements in our production of railroad crossties and pole products for our RUPS business. Historically, the supply and cost of hardwood for railroad crossties have been subject to availability and price pressures. We may not be able to obtain wood raw materials at economical prices in the future or be able to pass on higher raw material costs to our customers. We may not be able to obtain wood raw materials at economical prices in the future.

The availability of scrap copper is a critical element in our production of copper-based wood preservation chemicals for our PC business. Our purchase price for scrap copper is based upon spot prices in the copper market, which may be subject to sudden price changes. We may not be able to obtain scrap copper at prices that match underlying pricing commitments to our customers.

Pentachlorophenol had a significant market share for the treatment of utility poles in the United States and was a treatment preservative, in addition to chromated copper arsenate and creosote, that we used to treat utility poles. In 2021, the only North American manufacturer of pentachlorophenol ceased production. End-users of treated utility poles who required the use of pentachlorophenol-treated utility poles have adopted or are in the process of adopting other available treatment systems for their electrical transmission and distribution networks. Although we have converted a substantial number of customers to alternative treatment systems, we may lose market share if some of our customers select, or subsequently switch to, a treatment system that we do not offer.

The primary raw material used by our CMC business is coal tar, a by-product of furnace coke production. Currently, our CMC business supplies our North American RUPS business with 100 percent of its creosote requirements. A shortage in the supply of domestic coal tar or a reduction in the quality of coal tar could require us to increase coal tar or creosote imports to meet future creosote demand. This could cause a significant increase in our operating expenses and we may be unable to pass some or all of these costs on to our customers.

In certain circumstances coal tar may also be used as an alternative to fuel. In the past, increases in energy prices have resulted in higher coal tar costs which we have attempted to pass through to our customers. If these increased costs cannot be passed through to our customers, it could result in reduced profitability for our coal tar-based products. If these increased costs cannot be passed through to our customers, it could result in margin reductions for our coal tar-based products.

Our price realizations and profit margins for phthalic anhydride have historically fluctuated with the price of orthoxylene and its relationship with phthalic anhydride; however, during periods of excess supplies of phthalic anhydride, profitability may be reduced despite high levels for orthoxylene prices.

12


Koppers Holdings Inc. 2021 Annual Report

Our price realizations and profit margins for phthalic anhydride, naphthalene and carbon black feedstock have historically fluctuated with the market price of crude oil, market prices for chemicals derived from crude oil, such as orthoxylene, or market indices derived from crude oil.

We import certain raw materials that are used in our products that are, or may become, subject to tariffs, trade restrictions or supply chain disruptions.

We experienced supply chain disruptions during 2021 with respect to key chemicals that we utilize in our business and items necessary for the completion of key capital improvement projects. For example, in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, our PC and utility and industrial products businesses were negatively impacted when late deliveries of chromic acid, which is used in a key wood treatment chemical, resulted in lost sales and higher costs to serve customers with limited supply. We may continue to experience such disruptions and those disruptions could have a material impact on our results of operations.

If the costs of raw materials increase significantly and we are unable to offset the increased costs with higher selling prices, our profitability will decline.

We face risks related to our substantial indebtedness.

As of December 31, 2021, we had total outstanding debt of $789.1 million, and approximately $305.2 million of additional unused borrowing capacity under our $600.0 million senior secured revolving credit facility and $100.0 million secured term loan facility (collectively, the “Credit Facility”). Our substantial leverage could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry, expose us to interest rate risk associated with our variable rate debt and prevent us from meeting our obligations under the Senior Notes due 2025 (the “2025 Notes”) and the Credit Facility as described in Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. Our high level of debt can result and in the past has resulted in a substantial portion of cash flow from operations being dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on our debt, thereby reducing our ability to use our cash flow to fund our operations, including paying our vendors within agreed upon terms, capital expenditures, and business opportunities.

A high level of indebtedness could have other adverse consequences to us, including:

making it more difficult for us to make payments on our debt;

increasing our vulnerability to general economic and industry conditions;

exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates as certain of our borrowings under our Credit Facility are at variable rates;

restricting us from making strategic acquisitions or causing us to make non-strategic divestitures;

limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, product development, debt service requirements, acquisitions, and general corporate or other purposes; and

limiting our ability to adjust to changing market conditions and placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors who may be less highly leveraged.

We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, subject to the restrictions contained in our Credit Facility and the indenture governing the 2025 Notes. If new indebtedness is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.

Our debt agreements contain restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business.

Our Credit Facility and the indenture governing the 2025 Notes contain various covenants that limit our ability to engage in specified types of transactions. These covenants limit our ability and the ability of our restricted subsidiaries to, among other things:

incur additional debt;

pay dividends or distributions on our capital stock or repurchase our capital stock;

issue stock of subsidiaries;

make certain investments;

create liens on our assets to secure debt;

enter into transactions with affiliates;