Governance

Birla Carbon’s success depends on a strong, effective and responsive management structure. Our organizational governance supports regional autonomy for efficient decision making, as well as communication with global functional leaders, to share and implement best practices across the company. This structure also enables the integration of Sustainable Operational Excellence throughout Birla Carbon.

How is our Governance Organized?

Each of the various legal entities that comprise Birla Carbon is governed by a Board of Directors, led by our Senior Management Team (SMT). The SMT is made up of Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Santrupt Misra; Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Boyle; five Regional Presidents; Chief Functional Officers; and a Specialty Blacks Business Head.

The diagram below illustrates how we organize our governance.

Governance structure

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Sustainability Steering Committee

Our sustainability strategy is directed by the Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC), which includes internal representatives from each business area and external consultants. The SSC has a dual role: it reports on Birla Carbon’s sustainability journey, and helps to define and integrate sustainability in strategic business decisions.

The SSC establishes working groups to focus on specific subjects, consisting of the sustainability team, subject experts, non-SSC employees with relevant expertise and occasionally third-party advisors. Through the SSC working groups, we identify areas of opportunity to integrate sustainability further into the business and develop action plans for implementation. The working groups maintain contact throughout the year and meet when needed. Ideas and plans generated by the working groups are ultimately presented to the entire SSC and evaluated.

The SSC also ensures that Birla Carbon’s sustainability strategy is aligned with the sustainability vision and approach of our parent company, the Aditya Birla Group.

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All locations have a comprehensive Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to prepare for interruptions due to natural disasters or other types of business disruption

Customers and Suppliers

Key topics discussed by SSC in FY2016Decisions madeImpact on business
Supplier sustainability risk: how to make our supply chain more resilient. We defined supplier criteria, which we will trial in North America through SAP. A more resilient supply chain will enable us to achieve business continuity.
Supply chain ethics. We modified the Terms and Conditions of our contracts with suppliers to include a paragraph on business ethics. Ensures our suppliers uphold our values and meet regulatory requirements and protects our reputation and that of our customers.

Environment

Key topics discussed by SSC in FY2016Decisions madeImpact on business
Reviewed the relevance of our solid waste KPI due to the evolving air emission control regulations that force us to adopt new technologies generating large amount of inert solid waste. We decided to remove our solid waste KPI and reassess the issue with the engineering group. Transparency on the relative success and relevance of our KPIs makes our business more robust and more trustworthy.
Revisit and refine water management issues at a more local level and consider it more as a risk to manage. We refined the Aqueduct assessment for our high risk sites. By focusing on the areas where water issues are most significant, we can have a greater impact on the preservation of this essential natural resource.
Focus on the costs associated with our water cycle. We have started working with our engineers to determine the overall cost of water at our various locations. By focusing on the areas where water issues are most significant, we can have a greater impact on the preservation of this essential natural resource.

Our People

Key topics discussed by SSC in FY2016Decisions madeImpact on business
Wash Pledge (Phase 2). We implemented WASH Pledge action plans based on the preliminary assessments through local multidisciplinary teams composed of HS&E, HR and utility professionals. We have also initiated various projects of different scales to help improve our WASH Pledge efforts. As part of our commitment to employee wellbeing, we are working to fulfil the WASH Pledge to provide safe access to drinking water to all Birla Carbon employees by 2018.
Employee engagement. We publish three new stories on our sustainability webpage every quarter to stimulate employees’ appetite for sustainability issues. As part of our employee engagement, it is important that we keep our people fully informed about our sustainability activities.

Governance and Ethics

Key topics discussed by SSC in FY2016Decisions madeImpact on business
Future-proofing. We began preliminary discussions with Forum for the Future via the Aditya Birla Group. Through this engagement, we hope to begin the process of future-proofing our business by considering potential future trends and their impacts.

Internal Audit Committees

Under the guidance of our Internal Audit Department, various internal teams carry out regular audits and investigations across the business, covering financial, compliance and operational reviews. In addition, regions complete key control tests. The findings are submitted to the SMT on a quarterly basis for review and direction if any actions are required.


Enterprise Risk Management and Business Continuity Committee

Ensuring that we maintain uninterrupted operations and a constant supply of carbon black to our customers is a key priority. Our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) system helps us to identify and anticipate risks across our business, enabling preparation for possible disruptions.

ERM Committee

The ERM committee, which meets three times per year, engages annually with regional and corporate function directors to identify potential risks and define mitigation strategies. The Chief Risk Officer then presents these risks and strategies to the SMT.

Participants from other business areas may be invited to attend specific parts of or entire ERM committee meetings, to clarify points under discussion or provide input on specific issues that require expert views. Furthermore, ERM committee meetings now include the evaluation of risks identified by the SSC. At least one Regional President is invited to attend each meeting.

Business continuity planning

Each of Birla Carbon’s locations has a comprehensive Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to prepare for interruptions due to natural disasters or other types of business disruption. Our business continuity approach has been developed over the years with a built-in local aspect, where each plant has focused on key prevention elements and the ability to maintain our supply should disruption occur. Read more in our BCP statement.

In early FY2015, we began an initiative based on ISO 22301, which serves as the new international standard for Business Continuity Management System (BCMS). The BCMS will form the cornerstone for specific recovery strategies for processes and activities deemed to be most crucial to our business and ensuring the continuous supply of product to our customers. In FY2016, our Europe and Africa region, comprising five manufacturing facilities, gained ISO 22301 accreditation.

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Planning for the Unexpected: Europe and Africa Lead the Way

Our customers need to know that Birla Carbon is future-proofing its business: not just for the long term, but also for any potential disruption. Customers increasingly focus on resilience in their supply chain, which in turn enables us to demonstrate excellence in terms of our own preparedness.

Our Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) are designed to safeguard our operations and ensure that we can serve our customers, whatever may occur. The plans are centred on two main aspects: identifying threats and areas of risk to the business; and ensuring that operations can continue in a crisis.

We ask each facility to identify the following through a business impact analysis:

  • Their core services
  • What and who they depend upon to provide these services.
  • What the impact on the company would be if these services were disrupted.
  • What resources are required to keep these services running.

The BCPs formulated as a result contain incident response and management procedures, and a designated business continuity team with clearly defined recovery objectives. These are regularly tested through drills, and are audited against a recognized benchmark.

The Europe and Africa region has led the way in test-driving BCPs. The five facilities and headquarters in this region are now ISO 22301-certified, which has been well received by our customers.


All locations have a comprehensive Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to prepare for interruptions due to natural disasters or other types of business disruption