Environmental – Social – Governance
Click into this interactive document for our initial priorities for addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters related to our business and the communities in which we operate. The document summarizes key areas of focus with respect to LSB’s sustainability initiatives that are associated with thirteen of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Clicking the U.N. specific icons within the document enables readers to learn more about the purpose and progress of each of the U.N. goals.
As a public company and as a member of the communities where we live and work, it is our obligation to maximize long-term value of the company for all of our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, stockholders, the communities where we operate and the environment. We do this by focusing on safety throughout the company, on efficiently operating our business and on actively implementing efficient capital management strategies. As we work to achieve success in these endeavors, in everything we do, we are constantly mindful of our responsibility as an organization to be a good corporate citizen. What that means to us at LSB is that, in every facet of operating our company, we base our decisions on a set of core values that we’ve established that lead us to strive to not only minimize any negative impacts of our operations on the aspects of our society and environment that we come in contact with, but to also improve society and the environment as much as possible.
LSB Vice President of Clean Energy, Jakob Krummenacher recently participated in Ammonia Energy Association (AEA)’s January webinar: “Solid Oxide Electrolysis for Ammonia Production” with Bloom Energy’s VP of Business Development, Rick Beuttel and AEA’s Technology Manager Kevin Rouwenhorst.
LSB President and CEO Mark Behrman recently appeared on the ESG Decoded Podcast, where he joined Bill Flederbach, President and CEO of ClimeCo and host Kaitlyn Allen for a discussion on the long-standing relationship between LSB and ClimeCo, how carbon credits are generated, and opportunities in industrial decarbonization
In our daily efforts to be good corporate citizens, we seek to produce positive outcomes for the world around us in five main areas:
- Environmental Stewardship
- Employee Well-Being
- Community Enhancement
- Product Stewardship
- Strong Corporate Governance
As an operator of chemical manufacturing facilities, we are acutely aware of our responsibility to maintain the health of the environment and improve it where possible. To that end, we have invested in equipment and technology systems that reduce our greenhouse gas and other emissions. Examples of our commitment to an improved environment include:
- Installed control equipment that reduces the nitrous oxide (N2O) greenhouse gas emissions from our El Dorado facility’s recently constructed Nitric Acid plant by 98%
- Are working with other companies to reduce our greenhouse gas emission by installing carbon dioxide (CO2) facilities that will recover CO2 for beneficial uses such as dry ice and refrigeration
- Installed an electrical generation facility at our El Dorado facility to more efficiently use the energy consumed at the site
- Installed additional pollution control equipment on our ammonium nitrate production plants that reduces our particulate emissions on our El Dorado facility by over 70% while increasing production by 25%
- Installed flare systems at our Cherokee and Pryor facilities that will provide better management of releases and emissions under emergency situations
Responsible Care® is the chemical manufacturing industry’s environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative. For more than 30 years, Responsible Care has helped American Chemistry Council (ACC) member companies significantly enhance their performance and improve the health and safety of their employees, the communities in which they operate and the environment as a whole. At the facility which we operate in Baytown, Texas, we have earned the prestigious status of being a Responsible Care Management Systems certified producer. Such certification demonstrates that we are committed to worker and plant safety. We voluntarily track process safety incidents, we have held a 0.0 recordable injury rate for more than 4 years, and we continue to work toward energy efficiency improvements. We are the leader in the industry with our voluntary (N2O) reduction program, generating more than 600 thousand carbon credits each year.
We continually work to go beyond federal and state regulations for the betterment of the land, air and water in the areas surrounding our facilities. With respect to wastewater, which is typically a major challenge for chemical manufacturers, we have an outstanding record. Fresh water is one of mankind’s most critical, and limited resources, and we continue to take steps to reduce our water usage at our facilities including the use of some storm water as a raw material input, displacing a portion of the freshwater demand at our El Dorado facility.
At LSB, our vision is to become a “best-in-class” diversified chemical manufacturer that constantly strives to be a good corporate citizen. We place a strong focus on the aspects of our operations where we believe we can have the greatest impact, and to-date, have been successful in this regard. But our endeavors to become a better employer, a better community member, a better champion for the environment have no end points. Our pursuit of “best-in-class” is never completed, but rather is a journey that we walk each and every day, and we thank every person in our organization, as well as our suppliers and customers for their partnership, support and persistence on this journey.
Our employees are our most valuable asset. They are fundamental to our success, and we strive to sustain a culture that is inclusive, diverse, respectful, and safe. LSB’s cornerstone values have enabled our employees to grow and contribute day after day, year after year. They include:
Our job, first and foremost, in running our operations is to make sure that our employees go home to their loved ones at the end of each work day in the same physical and mental condition that they were in when they came to work that morning. As such, we are keenly focused on our safety performance by enacting policies, processes and procedures that help our employees succeed in their respective roles at our company, while remaining injury free.
In our manufacturing operations, we assess risk based on its highest consequence and as part of implementing this approach, we apply a comprehensive risk matrix to assess actual incidents and near misses and then develop a plan based on the actual and potential consequence. In other words, we ensure our investigations and controls are robust enough to prevent the actual event and potential worse case consequences. In addition, we share our events and controls with leadership and all operating sites for review and critique to prevent reoccurrence. We have also implemented our Cardinal Rules for Safety, highlighting and focusing on practices and behaviors that are best known to impact safety. In addition, we have enhanced our personal protective equipment (PPE) policy to complement our safety-focused procedures, ensuring all sites have best practice PPE based on similar operations and tasks. With these, and other measures we’ve put in place, we strive to lower our recordable and lost time injury rates and raise safety awareness. We are extremely proud of our entire team for the focus on continuous improvement in safety, while at the same time, driving our operating efficiency, the combination of which has come to define LSB’s “best-in-class” corporate culture over the past several years. We ‘Protect What Matters!’
Historically, when we referred to safety, we were typically talking about preventing employee injuries. Since the onset of the pandemic crisis in early 2020, however, our safety efforts also encompass our duty to keep everyone at LSB, and all those we come in contact with in the course of running our business, free of illness, particularly COVID-19. Since the pandemic hit in March, we have been strongly committed to doing everything we can to keep our employees, contractors, vendors, and customers safe and healthy. As the virus has spread more significantly into the states where we operate, we have doubled down on the measures we have put in place. We’ve continued with strict protocols at all of our facilities including: mandatory masks, social distancing and regular health monitoring for our personnel, extra cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and work spaces, working from home for employees not necessary to be onsite at our facilities, adjustments to the manner in which our personnel interact with delivery drivers, and restrictions and guidelines around travel, among other measures. For a further review of the protocols that we’ve enacted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the link below.
In addition to a safe work environment, we place significant emphasis on employees’ experience at the workplace. Fundamentally, it begins with ensuring that there is respect for all employees and their differences, unique capabilities, and individual achievements. Providing challenging and meaningful work enables employees to grow and be engaged in the attainment of common company goals. Our flat organization structure and practice of open lines of communication allow our employees to come forward with ideas and solutions. It is not uncommon for an employee to communicate new ideas directly with our CEO. While we are ambitious about meeting our work goals, LSB has not lost its family feel and camaraderie. Employees gather routinely around other employees in times of celebration and when in need of support or going through personal difficulties. The workplace and employees at LSB make it a uniquely attractive place to work all of which is supported by a benefits package that contains competitive compensation and an extensive range of benefits options. Ultimately, we aim to perpetuate a diverse, respected, and trusted culture while cultivating a high performing work environment.
As a company, we believe the backbone of our success is a strong community where our employees live and work. It is no surprise that our employees impact those communities, demonstrating care and compassion for their neighbors. Our community outreach efforts include support of STEM projects, local schools and universities, United Way, Boys and Girls Club of America, local charities and community health initiatives. We recognize and respect the symbiotic relationship between our company and the communities where we operate.
Our products play a vital role in the manufacture of many industrial and consumer products — including their use as fertilizers in the global agriculture market.
In the industrial markets, we are a supplier of industrial and high purity metallurgical grade ammonia for many specialty applications, including the reduction of air emissions from power plants, water treatment and refrigeration. Our Earthpure DEF ™, a urea based solution, is used to reduce emissions from diesel engines. CO2 is produced in the manufacture of our ammonia and we sell CO2, primarily for use in the refrigeration for the food and beverage industries. Finally, our Specialty E-2 ™ grade of ammonium nitrate is used for high purity horticultural applications for greenhouses and nurseries, as well as, for animal antibiotics and conductivity enhancement.
In the agriculture market, nitrogen is used as fertilizer, a key nutrient necessary for crop growth and soil quality. Our agricultural products are primarily used for growing corn, the most economically important crop in the U.S., if not the world. Corn is a primary input in an extremely wide range of food products, from cereals to snack foods to sweeteners and beyond. People consume corn in a variety of ways every day. Not only do humans enjoy corn and corn products, but so do animals such as cows and chickens. So, corn is a vital part of the massive global livestock industry that provides necessary protein to people around the world. But corn isn’t just food, it’s also fuel. In fact, 40% of the corn grown in the U.S. is used in the production of ethanol, a gasoline additive that enables gasoline to burn more cleanly in cars and trucks. As a result, corn plays an important role in keeping Americans rolling, and reducing emissions while they’re doing it. Our fertilizers enable farmers to realize higher yields to fulfill these multiple uses from this versatile crop. We are extremely proud to be a critical partner to farmers in their role in the American economy, but we are also mindful of the importance of our products in supporting the ever increasing global demand for food, particularly in light of food shortages and widespread hunger in many countries. Of great importance to us is the way in which our products are used. We work with our customers to ensure that our fertilizers are used in the most effective, safe, and environmentally friendly way possible.
Strong Corporate Governance
Our ability to be successful in fulfilling our obligations to our key stakeholders relies upon a framework of corporate processes and controls that guide how we conduct our business and set long term objectives. The foundation of strong governance is our Board of Directors, which is comprised of a diverse group of highly qualified and experienced individuals that collectively oversee our efforts to serve the best interests of our employees, customers, communities, shareholders and others in an effective and balanced manner.