KOPPERS NAMED ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES, RESIDENTS SAY ITS A JOKE
Statista and Newsweek magazine assessed corporations across the country for their second annual list of America’s most responsible companies, honoring Koppers, and some residents are not happy.
For almost a century, the land located where the former Koppers wood-treating plant once operated contaminated land with creosote and other dangerous carcinogens in Carbondale, Illinois.
Marilyn Tipton, a resident of the neighborhood where the Koppers facility was operational, said Koppers being honored as one of the most responsible companies in the country is a slap in the face to the community who still lives near the site today.
“Really now…this a slap in the face.”Tipton
Tipton asked, do the people who awarded Koppers know who these people are?
Tipton also asked, is the honor based on the old Koppers or the new Koppers?
“When they gave them this award…did they know the history of the company and what they’ve done to people for years?” Tipton said. “They’re looking at what they are now, not what they’ve been.”
The award Koppers received is a joke.Tipton
“I think that Newsweek should’ve done more research to see how many lives they affected,” Tipton said.
Melissa McCutchen, a member of Concerned Citizens of Carbondale (CCC), said the award might have assessed Kopper’s company morale but not its history.
McCutchen said her father, William McCutchen, the founder of the CCC, was active in the community regarding the Koppers controversy over environmental pollution.
McCutchen, who graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a degree in social work and another degree in workforce education and development, said she became a part of CCC when the community first learned about the contaminants at the site.
“I was at the meeting when we first found out about the dioxin and creosote poisoning.”McCutchen
McCutchen also said Koppers had received an award, and environmental responsibility is a component while the past is not.
“You know how those awards work,” McCutchen said.
McCutchen said Newsweek may not have assessed Kopper’s past practices or whether the company is best improved now.
“Maybe they are not aware of the years of contamination of employees in Carbondale, Illinois,” McCutchen said.
“So, I would hope that they are not aware and it was a decision made without having the full spectrum,” McCutchen said.
Newsweek honors Koppers
The Koppers company, currently owned by Beazer East Inc., which are the company successors focusing on environmental management, received an award for being the most responsible company among almost 400 other companies nationwide this year and in 2021.
“Koppers, an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds, has been named by the magazine in recognition of its corporate performance in environmental, social and governance areas,” according to a 2020 press release.
Statista is the leading market and consumer data provider, while Newsweek provides the latest news, in-depth analysis, and ideas about international issues, technology, business, culture, and politics.
According to Statista, the data provider based most of the responsible companies listed in their report on publicly available key performance indicators derived from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports, sustainability reports, corporate citizenship reports, and an independent survey.
According to Havard Business School, CSR is an internal, and external-facing document companies use to communicate CSR efforts and impact the environment and community.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Koppers, and Beazer East Inc. ranked 178th in 2021 and placed in the top half of 399 companies making a list from a pool of 2,000 United States-based publicly traded companies, according to Nancy Cooper, editor and Chief of Newsweek.
“The company ranked 30th overall in the social category and placed in the top 10 among Pennsylvania-based companies included,” according to the Cooper.
This year, Koppers ranked 376th among the most responsible companies in the U.S, according to Nancy Cooper, editor and chief of Newsweek.Cooper
McCutchen said she would like to know why Kopper’s ranking dropped because the difference within a year is interesting.
McCutchen also said it is kind of cut and dry to say that a company gets awards for environmental and social responsibilities.
“Like Germany, for example, I’ve never been there, but from what I’ve heard it’s a pretty groovy country…but that doesn’t negate the fact that there was a whole Holocaust that went on there.”McCutchen