Leslie Hyde

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
Koppers Inc.

I love to solve problems.  Manufacturing gives me the creative outlet to look at things differently; to find more effective ways of doing things; to investigate a problem and find a solution.  There’s immediate gratification in knowing that you are part of a process that creates products people need.

Leslie is currently the senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for Koppers.   Leslie developed the safety and environmental programs now engrained in Koppers values and operating systems and led the company’s certification to the ISO 14001 standard and to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® Code.  She also introduced and championed sustainability concepts encompassing the spectrum of environmental, social and governance topics and published the company’s first Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) compliant Sustainability Report in 2013.  These initiatives led to a 32% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a 99.96% reduction in incidents where permit limits were exceeded, and a 53% reduction in OSHA-recordable injuries over a five-year period.

Leslie leverages her decades of experience to support the development of the next generation of female talent.  She was a founding member of Koppers’ first Employee Resource Group, named LINKwomen, which focuses on providing professional development and networking opportunities for the women of Koppers.  She has also been a longtime member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) “Future of Board Leadership” initiative, the mission of which is to support diversity in Boards of Directors.

Community outreach is one of Leslie’s passions.  Through Koppers Community Advisory Panel (CAP) initiative, she developed and nurtured programs designed to connect Koppers manufacturing sites to the surrounding stakeholder communities and focused on developing open and mutually supportive relationships.    Beyond education about Koppers processes, the CAP groups reach out into the community and partner with local organizations to assist in a variety of community centered projects.   She serves on the Leadership Committee of the United Way of Allegheny County’s United for Children initiative and is an Executive Committee member and Co-chair of the HR Committee of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.   Leslie volunteers with a number of local organizations.  Her favorite outreach activity is River Sweep, in which volunteers clean up the stream and river banks in the Ohio River watershed.  Leslie has participated in River Sweep with her daughters for 15 years.