Focusing on what matters

Discovering who we are

In FY2018, we worked with an independent consultant to implement a robust process to uncover Birla Carbon’s core purpose. We began by carrying out an in-depth review including 27 stakeholder interviews, 539 surveys, more than 60 corporate and historic documents, and engagement of external and internal subject matter experts. We used what we learned to articulate our purpose and supporting principles.

Our Purpose: Share the Strength


Our global collaborations focus on what we can do for our customers, and their customers. We exchange ideas and aim to communicate with humility so that we continue to stand strong as industry leaders and responsible members of society.

The Strength:

Through our long history of balanced and shared leadership, we maximize the strength that carbon black brings to products and the dependability and stability we bring to employees, customers and communities.

Purpose Principles

Familiar Bonds

Like the products we make, our value is enhanced through the bonds we form with each other.

Compound Knowledge

From the plant floor to the sales floor, our passion for learning has no ceiling. We’re constantly searching for a deeper understanding of our products and their applications.

Micro Matters

We are a team of forward-thinking regional operators, making an international impact. We push the industry beyond its limits to deliver limitless value.

Beyond Durable

Carbon black has been part of human life for centuries. Knowing that, Birla Carbon makes every decision through a lens that anticipates future needs.

Challenge Tested

We rise to the challenge and deliver a better way – a better way to keep our product moving, and a better way to come together for our customers and communities.

Our key sustainability issues

Our sustainability strategy is fundamental to our purpose. It is shaped by what matters to our stakeholders, along with the areas that have a material impact on our business. We continually review these issues and, in determining their boundaries, we consider both their internal and external impact.

Our Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC) uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine the materiality of each issue. Quantitative analysis looks at data sources such as employee surveys and health, safety and environmental (HSE) metrics, while qualitative analysis focuses on customer feedback and community input about the issues that matter to these groups. The SSC reviews each issue for materiality by considering the influence of stakeholder assessments and decisions on our business, and the significance of our economic, environmental and social impacts.

To validate our assessment and ensure our reporting achieves Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Principles of Completeness, we regularly evaluate the scope and boundaries of our material issues and the timescale considered. The SSC attributes each material issue to a relevant material topic – be it internal or external to the organization – as per the GRI Standards. The result of the process is approved by the Chief Legal, Sustainability and Risk Officer, Joe Gaynor, on behalf of Birla Carbon’s Senior Management Team (SMT).

The issues listed below were reviewed in FY2017 and confirmed as the most relevant and significant for Birla Carbon and our key stakeholders. They are ranked according to the level of interest to stakeholders and business impact.

Materiality wordle image

The importance

Explore which issues are of the greatest importance to each of our stakeholder groups:

Overall average

Customers and suppliers

ABG and employees


NGO and regulators

Governance and Ethics

  • A
    Business continuity
  • B
  • C
    Governance framework
  • D
    Human rights

Our Product

  • E
  • F
    Product stewardship
  • G
    Product consistency


  • H
    Air emissions
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L

Customers and Suppliers

  • M
    Customer engagement
  • N
    Global presence
  • O
    Sustainable procurement

Our people

  • P
    Employee engagement
  • Q


  • R
    Community engagement

For clarity, we explain below our interpretation of each issue, grouped by our six focus areas: Governance and Ethics; Our Product; Environment; Customers and Suppliers; Our People; and Communities.

  • Governance and Ethics


    Business continuity

    The ability to meet customer supply requirements, despite negative or damaging events.



    Ensuring labor and fair business practices, including anti-corruption, anti-competitive behavior, antitrust and collective bargaining, among others.


    Governance framework

    Our management structure, including policies, standards, compliance mechanisms and world-class manufacturing processes.


    Human rights

    Maintaining full respect for economic, social and cultural rights, including no child labor, fair wages and decent working conditions.

  • Our Product



    Developing our processes, technology and products to meet the evolving market, regulatory and societal demands.


    Product stewardship

    Proactive care to ensure our products reach high standards, incorporating health, safety, environmental and regulatory considerations in our product development and maintenance.


    Product consistency

    Our efforts to guarantee that our product continues to meet high quality standards while meeting market demands.

  • Environment


    Air emissions

    Non-greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our operations, including sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.



    The efficient use of energy resources, including consumption, recovery and generation.



    Direct and indirect GHG emissions, focusing on CO2 as other GHGs emitted by our operations are negligible.



    Our water supply, collection and wastewater management practices and governance systems.



    The minimizing of solid waste generation, both hazardous and non-hazardous, and the optimization of our management processes, including recycling, reuse and reduction of waste to landfill.

  • Customers and Suppliers


    Customer engagement

    How we build, nurture and manage relationships with customers, including aligning our sustainability agenda with theirs.


    Global presence

    Our manufacturing and distribution footprint, relevant to customer locations, resources and suppliers.


    Sustainable procurement

    Maintaining a supply chain that is ethical, resilient and viable in the context of risks and opportunities that may arise from external legal, technical, environmental and social megatrends.

  • Our People


    Employee engagement

    How we build, nurture and manage relationships with our people through training and development, recognition and feedback mechanisms.



    The health and safety of our employees, from the moment they arrive at work each day to when they leave.

  • Communities


    Community engagement

    Building, nurturing and managing relationships with the communities we impact by understanding and responding to their expectations.

A crucial aspect of our materiality process is monitoring and predicting the development of future issues and trends. Through horizon scanning, we aim to identify the wider impact that external factors could have on our business – and that our business could have on them. This process, which we describe as future-proofing, enables us to plan scenarios for the long term by developing our future materiality matrix.