2007 EHS Progress Report from
John Richter, Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety

In this Progress Report, my aim is to give a flavor of our ongoing efforts in PPG that are designed to address our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy:

”PPG will market, distribute and manufacture products globally in a responsible manner that protects employees, neighbors, customers and the environment”.

2007 was another year of progress in EHS in PPG. It was also a year in which PPG continued to integrate a number of acquired businesses and announced the acquisition of SigmaKalon, by far the largest acquisition in PPG’s history.

Our environment, health and safety (EHS) plans and programs have once again led to year-over-year improvements in the following key performance areas:

Spills and Releases:
The PPG measure is a stringent one that captures more events than our reporting obligations around the world. Our 5-year target is a 25 percent reduction in PPG Spills and Releases from 15.9 per month in 2005 to 11.9 per month in 2010. We finished 2007with a score of 14.7 per month. This represents an increase from 2006 (13.9/month); an increase that is attributable to the increased number of PPG facilities worldwide. During 2007, we redesigned our Spills and Releases measure in order to improve the information it gives us. One of those improvements addresses the issue of our increasing number of plants by calculating a rate, similar to the rate measurements used for injury reporting. We will report using the new metric during this year.

Injuries and Illnesses:
Our 5-year goal is a 25 percent reduction in PPG Injury and Illness (I&I) rate from 0.85 in 2005 to 0.64 in 2010. We ended 2007 with a rate of 0.71, beating the intermediate target of 0.76 and on track to hit the 5-year target. Our 2007 performance represents a 43 percent reduction since 2002, when our rate was 1.24. We are very proud of our improvements. However, I regret to report that we suffered an employee fatality during 2007. This occurred at our Crestline, Ohio, U.S. glass plant.

Employee Wellness:
We have a goal to reach 80 percent participation by our employees in our online Health Risk Assessment (measured over a three-year rolling average). We use data from this to target beneficial non-occupational health programs for our employees, tailoring the programs to the specific needs of each facility population. By the end of 2007, 28,161 employees had completed the assessment at least once (this represented approximately 85% of our global personnel at that time). Although we are justifiably proud of this voluntary mobilization of PPG people, we now need to sustain this engagement over a sustained period.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Energy Security
PPG committed under the Business Roundtable’s Climate RESOLVE initiative to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 18 percent. This is an intensity metric – meaning that the measure is expressed in tonnes CO2 equivalent per million dollars of revenue. Starting from our 2002 baseline of 1,242 tonnes, we agreed to reach 1,018 tonnes by 2012. By the end of 2006, we had already reached 1,017 tonnes, attaining our commitment six years early. Data for 2007 will be available soon; we will report on it when it becomes available.

With the formation of our multidisciplinary Energy Security and Climate Change Committee, led by senior business and technology executives, PPG has greatly increased focus in this area, communicating our position and beliefs and backing these up with demanding new corporate targets, notably: 

  • a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity from 2006-2016
  • a 10 percent absolute reduction in CO2 equivalents from 2006-2011

PPG has joined Energy Star® and also became a Founding Reporter of the Climate Registry.

Technology and Environment Committee

The Technology and Environment Board Committee, formed in late 2006, has rapidly become an active part of our EHS Governance. This committee has a charter that includes reviewing the status of the Company’s environment, health, safety and product stewardship policies, programs and practices. It complements the Environment, Health and Safety Committee co-chaired by two senior vice presidents of the company.

A major new regulation affecting product registration is now in place in the European Union, with full implementation scheduled over an extended time period. It is the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) program and it is one of the most significant regulatory developments globally in years. We have prepared for REACH for some time and established a dedicated organization as well as senior level sponsors for this critical activity. CLICK HERE to read more. 
Over the years, we developed robust processes for EHS integration of acquisitions and we are now deploying them in integration of the SigmaKalon businesses.


  • PPG committed to sponsor 25 current products that are part of the global chemical industry’s High Production Volume and the Extended High Production Volume programs, assessing potential health and environmental impacts of those products. We have completed our commitment for 12 of these chemicals and we are actively working on completing the remaining commitments. Additionally, PPG is currently preparing information for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on health effects, exposure and risk on three of our products as part of the Voluntary Children’s Chemical Evaluation Program.
  • In 2005, we announced our plans to eliminate the mercury cell technology used for chlorine production at our Lake Charles, La, U.S. chemicals complex. A new $100 million investment in state-of-the-art membrane cell technology is now up and running. This innovative technology eliminates mercury emissions and reduces operating costs, enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of PPG’s largest chemicals facility.
  • PPG is a leader in the field of nanotechnology, the science of engineering very small particles to develop products that can have a positive impact on society. In fostering these nanomaterial technologies, we are committed to their responsible stewardship. As governments around the world determine the best methods to regulate the use of these materials, we at PPG are playing our part through involvement in meaningful dialogues on this subject with other companies and with regulators.

More information
I invite you to explore the information we provide about EHS in PPG on our website. You will find more information on our values, how we conduct our business, relevant press releases and news items as well as more information on our performance metrics. Where possible, the format of performance data on the website aligns with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. We welcome feedback and questions – we can be contacted by clicking the ‘Contact Us’ link.