Governance

Our success depends on strong, effective and responsive management of our global operations. We support regional autonomy, which allows for efficient decision-making that is responsive to local needs and effective communication between global functional leaders. This structure also enables sharing and implementation of best practices and integration of Sustainable Operational Excellence throughout Birla Carbon.

How is our governance organized?

Our agile and streamlined governance system enables us to react quickly to challenges and build a stronger, more transparent company. Each of the 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 Dr. Santrupt Misra, Chief Executive Officer; John Loudermilk, Chief Operating Officer; five Regional Presidents; Chief Functional Officers; and a Specialty Blacks Business President.

The diagram below illustrates how we organize our governance.

Governance structure diagram

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Santrupt Misra

Chief Operating Officer John Loudermilk

  • Regional Presidents
  • Chief Functional Officers
  • Specialty Blacks Business Head

Our business committees ensure we uphold world-class standards

  • Sustainability Steering Committee
  • Enterprise Risk Management & Business Continuity Committee
  • IT Steering Committee
  • Internal Audit Committees

Within this structure, the Chief Sustainability Officer’s (CSO) role is twofold: firstly, communicating the work of the Sustainability Steering Committee to the SMT; and secondly, acting as the guardian of sustainability principles and best practices and supporting the SMT to adopt them within their business decisions.

Sustainability Steering Committee

Our sustainability strategy is directed by the Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC), which ensures it is aligned with the sustainability vision and approach of our parent company, the Aditya Birla Group.

The SSC is responsible for reporting, fulfilled through the annual Sustainability Report, quarterly meetings with the SMT, and through ad hoc communications to Birla Carbon employees. Another role of the SSC is to influence the integration of sustainability concepts into the company’s strategic business decisions.

The SSC tackles specific issues through dedicated working groups. Each working group is made up of the Global Sustainability Director, the Sustainability Analyst, subject matter experts, employees with relevant expertise and occasional third-party advisors.

Through these working groups, we identify areas of opportunity for integrating sustainability further into the business and develop action plans for implementation. The working groups maintain contact throughout the year and meet when needed. Their ideas and plans are ultimately presented to and evaluated by the entire SSC, with final approval or rejection of projects lying with the SMT.

505 best practices implemented through the World Class Manufacturing group.

  • Governance and Ethics

    Key topics discussed by the SSC in FY2018Decisions madeImpact on business
    To review and refresh existing policies and approve new policies where relevantDiscussed and approved policies on: Sustainability; Product Stewardship; Supply Chain and Procurement; Human Rights; Energy and Carbon; Environmental Management; Health; Water Stewardship; and Transportation.Clear and effective policies ensure everyone who works with, or on behalf of, Birla Carbon understands the standards and commitments we expect.
  • Customers and Suppliers

    Key topics discussed by the SSC in FY2018Decisions madeImpact on business
    Customer engagementIntroduce customer satisfaction KPI based on NPS®.We aim to develop long-term relationships with our customers.
    Supplier risk assessmentTo implement a sustainability risk-based supplier engagement system in addition to legal, third-party due diligence screening.A more resilient and ethical supply chain will enable us to achieve business continuity.
  • Environment

    Key topics discussed by the SSC in FY2018Decisions madeImpact on business
    Solid waste managementRe-evaluated materiality of hazardous waste KPI. The decision was to drop it and to focus on management through implementation of HSE Waste Standard while also maintaining the KPI for the percentage of waste repurposed.We seek to drive improvements around key stakeholder concerns.
    Water risk assessmentUpdated and developed water flow diagrams for all medium- and high-risk sites.
    Energy and emissions KPIsExtended KPIs to 2030 and evaluated challenges in meeting goals.
  • Our Product

    Key topics discussed by the SSC in FY2018Decisions madeImpact on business
    Product stewardshipApproved the roll-out of internal and external training on carbon black product safety and its regulated applications.We aim to ensure people understand how our carbon black is made and their role in its safe manufacturing, as well as helping our customers handle and use carbon black effectively and safely.
  • Our People

    Key topics discussed by the SSC in FY2018Decisions madeImpact on business
    Engaging our employeesEnsured that all sites have safe access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) by the end of FY2018.A motivated workforce is instrumental to business success. We seek to engage our people and support them and their lifestyles.

Internal audit committees

Under the guidance of our Internal Audit Department, we carry out regular audits and investigations across the business, covering financial, compliance and operational reviews.

In FY2018, 33 audits were conducted, covering both global and region perspectives. Twenty-six were global audits and focused on Sales and Marketing, Procure to Pay, Fixed Assets, IT Security Awareness, Insurance and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) processes. The remaining seven audits were region-specific and covered Inventory, Projects and IT Controls. Results were shared with the SMT; the Risk Committee is updated quarterly on the implementation progress of the related management action plans.

Enterprise Risk Management and Business Continuity Committee

One of our top priorities is to maintain uninterrupted operations and ensure a constant supply of carbon black to our customers. Our ERM system helps us identify and anticipate risks to our business, enabling preparation for possible disruptions to ensure our resilience.

ERM Committee

The Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC) was restructured in February 2018. It now includes the entire Senior Management Team and will meet twice annually as part of the quarterly SMT meetings. In addition to regular agenda items, each regional president will discuss two risks impacting their region, including potential impacts, mitigation strategies and business continuity planning. The ERMC approved a revised framework document during its February meeting which clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities for enterprise risk management.

Business continuity planning

Each of Birla Carbon’s locations has a comprehensive Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to ensure it is prepared for interruptions due to natural disasters or disruptions. Read more in our BCP statement (pdf, 83KB). Since FY2015, we have been rolling out a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) based on ISO 22301. The BCMS guides recovery strategies for our most crucial processes and activities to ensure the continuous supply of carbon black to our customers. We continue this effort through FY2018 into FY2019. Several regions held intensive business continuity planning workshops, using the information gained to standardize business continuity planning processes globally and ensure a thorough risk identification and assessment process, with each critical business risk accompanied by a comprehensive business continuity plan. Information on material risks identified at the site and regional level is captured on a risk register that is maintained at the enterprise level and reviewed as part of the ERMC meetings.

IT Steering Committee

Established in FY2018, the role of the IT Steering Committee is to ensure we leverage the potential offered by the latest innovative technology and provide governance and oversight to ensure IT strategy and integration is aligned with business and sustainability goals. The IT Steering Committee feeds directly into the SMT, is made up of representative leaders from all business functions and includes a regional president and Head of Human Resources.

World Class Manufacturing: empowering our people and sharing best practices

We expect our facilities to reach the highest standards – both externally and internally. One internal certification is the Aditya Birla Group’s corporate World Class Manufacturing (WCM) standard. The WCM initiative promotes and supports the highest standards in manufacturing and production. Its framework deals with all aspects of business excellence, focusing on leadership, stakeholders, operational and financial performance, customers and markets, processes, employees and society.

WCM began in the Aditya Birla Group in 1996, and has since matured, allowing all our sites to gain a greater understanding of the significance of business excellence. Five plants were included in the Chairman’s WCM award process in FY2018 and all achieved silver level certification (Patalganga, Renukoot, Weifang, Yeosu and Santander). These award-winning plants and previous award winners are working towards achieving higher levels of accomplishment, while others incorporate WCM concepts in their day-to-day operations.

Fifty-two new best practices in supply chain management and systematic improvement were implemented in FY2018, bringing the total to 505.

Progress on implementation of best practices is monitored via semi-annual assessments and scorecards detailing the status of implementation by each manufacturing facility. Biannual on-site assessments are also conducted to ensure that local management fully understands best practices.

Striving for world-class standards in information technology

At Birla Carbon, we strive to leverage world-class information technology (IT) standards and infrastructure to provide a single source of truth for our global business. This means we can be confident in the information which we base our decisions on, and which we share with our customers.

From an infrastructure perspective, we must ensure a high level of performance and security, while at the same time implementing best practice standards across all our businesses and sites during the collection, analysis and sharing of data.

We have established a robust IT organization, led by the IT Steering Committee, that is focused on driving technology optimization across everything from procurement and manufacturing to logistics and customer invoicing. Managing cybersecurity is a vital priority as we strive to deliver a secure environment for our employees, our customers and all our stakeholders.

We’ve made some significant strides in the past five years. One of the key initiatives was to establish a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system through which we can manage our processes and function globally. It plays a key role in ensuring business continuity and provides a robust foundation upon which we can grow and enable more value-added capabilities in the future.

As we continue to evolve, we are working to enhance and develop our solutions by taking a step-wise view and looking across our processes to identify opportunities. One example is the work we are doing to present quality, real-time information to the control rooms in manufacturing facilities so that they can make effective and timely interventions and we are able to provide the assurances and information our customers require.

“Leveraging the opportunities of digitization is central to advancing corporate sustainability and driving positive change at Birla Carbon. By investing in our technology infrastructure and capabilities, our aim is to be the most agile, responsive and innovative in the industry.”

Robyn Hooker-McCall, Chief Information Officer

  • Governance, Ethics and Compliance