Leadership within our company and in our markets is defined by how we respond to external forces and our customers and communities needs. Our responsiveness is rooted in preparedness and thoughtfulness, which provides the ability to adjust to new realities and new requirements.

Our Board of Directors re-emphasized its focus on ESG with the expanded charter and name of the Corporate Risk and Sustainability Committee. We also created a new executive leadership role, Vice President Sustainability, which reports directly to our CFO, with oversight and responsibility to advance our ESG efforts.

 

Policies  Policies, Ethics and Compliance

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Business Ethics and Global Code of Conduct

Our Global Code of Conduct applies to all employees, directors and officers, and governs individual behavior and ethical practices for company actions. The Global Code of Conduct covers Health, Safety and Environment; Our People, which includes a range of concerns, such as non-discrimination, data privacy and conflicts of interest; Quality and Continuous Improvement; Competitiveness; and Citizenship, which includes several areas, including fair dealing and human rights.

Environmental Management System

Fundamental to our operations and our focus on continuous improvement is our environmental management system. ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems are in place across our compounding facilities.

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rss  Responsible Sourcing and Supply Chain Management

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Suppliers Code of Conduct

Our Suppliers Code of Conduct applies to all of our suppliers and their manufacturing facilities, including any subcontracting and packaging facilities. It explicitly sets forth our expectation of compliance with applicable laws and regulations including, but not limited to, those related to labor, immigration, health and safety, and the environment; and expectations around conducting business in an ethical and safe manner. Conflicts of interest, corruption, unfair wages and any form of forced labor or human trafficking are expressly prohibited.

Human Rights and Vendor Screening

In 2021, we added more supplier screenings, such as the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). The majority of our suppliers are in what are deemed low-risk countries in terms of the dimensions of human development (life expectancy, education, and per capita income). Screenings such as this help us ensure our suppliers act responsibly on a local level. By emphasizing local sourcing for procurement, we also have meaningful opportunities to identify and recruit suppliers who are minority, women and veteran-owned business enterprises.

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Climate

GHG Emissions and Climate Impacts

Climate change is a serious global issue. It tests our resilience, and it tests our collective commitment to support the future health of the world. As a major manufacturer, we recognize the role we can play in reducing our own environmental footprint and encouraging others to do so, whether they are our suppliers, customers or end-use consumers. When we undertake major plant improvements, key criteria are efficiency, cost, safety and sustainability. We continue to enhance our efforts at collecting and disclosing our carbon footprint. This is the first year Westlake has included carbon emissions attributed to the building products segment in our reporting.

To learn more about our carbon footprint, please visit our operations page or ESG report.

Responsible Logistics

Our environmental footprint extends beyond the perimeters of our plants. In this regard, we recognize the importance of smart logistics and transportation and have been working for years to reduce their climate impact. Currently, all Westlake U.S. chemical locations have on-site rail access with most of our product by tonnage moved by rail rather than truck. Westlake owns approximately 14,200 railcars in the U.S. to safely ship product with lower emissions.

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Cyber Security

Keeping our operations secure from cyber threats protects the health and safety of our workers and our neighbors, and helps us to avoid disruptions of our business processes. It is critical to keep our chemical plants running properly without interference so that we only scale back those operations in a controlled, orderly fashion. Our employees are trained on how to identify and report attempted cyber incursions through quarterly global training. In addition, as we add more digital enhancements to our operations, such as machine learning for certain processes, we are addressing cybersecurity concerns as well.

In our current report, you'll find more detailed information about our governance, our efforts to make Westlake resilience towards any external forces, and the progress we've made over the past year. Westlake 2020 ESG Report.