Cabot Corporation

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Cabot Corporation
Traded as NYSECBT
Founded 1882
Founder Godfrey Lowell Cabot
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Patrick Prevost, CEO
Products Activated Carbon, Aerogel, Cesium Formate, Elastomer Composites, Masterbatches, Rubber Carbon Black, Security Materials, Silicas and Aluminas
Revenue USD$ 3.3 billion (2012)[1]
Number of employees

Cabot Corporation is a specialty chemicals and performance materials company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. According to the company's 2011 Annual Report, Cabot's "principal products are rubber and specialty grade carbon blacks, fumed silica, cesium formate drilling fluids, inkjet colorants, and aerogels. The company operates in over 20 countries with 36 manufacturing plants, eight research and development facilities and 28 sales offices."[2]


Cabot Corporation was founded by Godfrey Lowell Cabot in 1882 when he applied for a patent for a "carbon black making apparatus.” The company incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1960.[3] According to Cabot's corporate history, "Godfrey combined his knowledge of pigmentation and chemistry with an understanding of natural gas to become an early producer of carbon black, which was a key ingredient for the growing applications of Godfrey's era, including newspaper and magazine printing inks as well as tires and other rubber goods needed for the fledgling automotive industry."[4]

In 1993, a team of Cabot researchers developed a process for modifying the surface of carbon, something scientists had been trying to do for decades. With this critical breakthrough, Cabot chemists and researchers could prepare surface modified carbon black products with properties never before associated with carbon materials.[5] This breakthrough lead to the development of new technologies and products including aqueous inkjet colorants[6] for printer ink – the basis of Cabot’s Inkjet Colorants business unit founded in 1996.

In 2003, Cabot developed a commercialized process that allows continuous production of aerogels under ambient conditions, which was the start of the company’s Aerogel business.[7][8] In FY 2009, Cabot completed construction of and began operating two additional rubber black production plants at its carbon black plant in Tianjin, China, increasing capacity to 150,000 metric tons.[2] In July 2012, Cabot purchased Norit NV, the largest producer of activated carbon, for $1.1 billion.[9]

Cabot sold its Supermetals business in FY 2011 to Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd. This business produced tantalum, niobium and related alloys.[10]

The historical logo


Cabot produces and supplies the following products:

1. Activated Carbon
This material is used to remove pollutants, contaminants and other impurities from water, air, food and beverages, pharmaceutical products and other liquids and gases in an efficient and cost-effective manner.[11]

2. Aerogel
A certified Silver Cradle-to-cradle design material, Cabot aerogels consist of approximately 95% air contained in nano-sized pores that inhibit heat transfer through the aerogel material.[12]

3. Cesium Formate
Cesium formate brines are used in challenging high-pressure, high-temperature oil drilling applications.[13]

4. Elastomer composites
A carbon black additive mixed with rubber latex that allows rubber manufacturers to improve the life of rubber-based products, including tires.[14]

5. Masterbatches
White and black additives that were developed in 1961 for the plastics industry.[15]

6. Performance Materials
Used in a variety of specialty and customizable applications, such as toners, coatings, batteries, printing inks and more.[16]

7. Reinforced Materials
Carbons for tires and industrial rubber applications. Cabot is the world’s largest supplier.[17]

8. Security Materials
Cabot is the world’s largest producer of covert taggant, unique, hard-to-replicate particles added to inks, paper, films and other materials that can only be detected with a specialized reader.[18]

9. Silicas and Aluminas
These products are used in dozens of applications, including adhesives, pharmaceutical products and coatings.[19]

Safety, Health and Environmental[edit]

Safety Record[edit]

Cabot has incorporated a Drive to Zero safety goal. Its total recordable incident rate is measured at .31 – a world-class metric.[20] The company has reduced total recordable injuries by over 25% in the last five years.[21] However, the company experienced two fatalities in 2011. The severity of incidents has caused the company to look at all aspects of workplace safety.[22]

Environmental Record[edit]

Cabot reduced its Environmental Non-Conformance events (ENCs), from a high of over 80 incidences in 2008, to 17 in FY 2012.[23] The company defines an environmental non-conformance event as a reportable spill or release, a Notice of Violation, a public complaint or certain permit deviations.

The company invested over $35 million in FY 2011 on environmentally-related capital projects to improve efficiency and maintain regulatory compliance. The company’s goal is a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emission intensity by 2020, using 2005 as the baseline year. One example of greenhouse gas reduction is a heat recovery advancement project to convert exhaust heat to steam at the company’s fumed metal oxides plant in Rheinfelden, Germany. The steam produced is used in the plant if needed or sold to a neighboring company. The project has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 1,400 MTs each year.[24]

Responsible Care[edit]

In 2010 Cabot joined the American Chemistry Council. All ACC members must implement the Council’s Responsible Care program as part of a global initiative.[25] Cabot is implementing RC 14001, which incorporates the requirements of both the ACC Responsible Care and the ISO 14001 Management Systems, for all its manufacturing facilities, beginning with those in North America.[26]


Cabot’s 2010/2011 sustainability report, titled “Sustainability Matters: Cabot Corporation’s 2010/2011 Sustainability Report,” met all the informational requirements to receive an Application Level C certification from the Global Reporting Initiatives. Cabot’s adherence to GRI reporting standards affirms its commitment to more transparent and thorough reporting.[27]


Cabot Corporation was selected as a Bronze Winner for the Ninth Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards in October 2012. The awards recognize companies that have made significant contributions to the Massachusetts economy.[28]

Cabot was selected as one of CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2012.[29]

The American Chemistry Council honored Cabot with the Responsible Care Performance Award in April 2012 for helping the ACC meet industry-wide safety and product stewardship targets.[30]

In April 2012, Cabot was named to the Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes (CII) Cycle 3 as a Maplecroft CII Leader. Cabot ranked forty-fourth among the top 100 leading companies that demonstrated superior management, mitigation and adaptation in the field of climate innovation.[31][32]

Cabot was awarded a 2012 Leadership Award for the Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options Awards. The ECO Awards recognizes organizations in Massachusetts who have excelled in engaging and encouraging their employees to travel by public transit, carpools, vanpools, or by bicycling or walking.[33]

Board of Directors[edit]

Cabot Corporation’s Board of Directors is chaired by non-executive John F. O'Brien, retired President and Chief Executive Officer Allmerica Financial Corp.[34][35]

Cabot Foundation[edit]

In 1953, the non-profit Cabot Corporation Foundation, Inc. was established to support qualified charitable, non-profit organizations in the United States. The Foundation's charter was amended in 1992 to permit grants to qualified charitable organizations outside of the United States.[36] Cabot has offered aid to earthquake victims in Japan[37] and the Outward Bound organization.[38]



Sam Bodman, CEO of Cabot during the coltan boom, was appointed in December 2004 to serve as President Bush’s Secretary of Energy. Under Bodman’s leadership from 1987 to 2000, according to Jason Leopold in a Huffington Post article, Cabot was one of the U.S.’s largest polluters, accounting for 60,000 tons of airborne toxic emissions annually.[39]


  1. ^ "Cabot Corp. (CBT: New York)". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  2. ^ a b Cabot Corporation 2011 Annual Report. Cabot Corporation. 2011. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Sustainability Matters" (PDF). Cabot Corporation's Sustainability 2011/2012 Update. Cabot Corporation. 
  4. ^ "Creating What Matters . . . Since 1882". Cabot Corporation. 
  5. ^ "Particle Design for Performance". Cabot Corporation. 
  6. ^ "Surface Modification". OCP Inks. 
  7. ^ "Aerogel History, Part II". NMC Netlink. 
  8. ^ "History of Aerogels". Cabot Corporation. 
  9. ^ Resnick-Ault, Jessica (June 21, 2012). "Cabot Corp. to Buy Norit for $1.1 Billion, Add Activated Carbon". Bloomberg. 
  10. ^ "Cabot Supermetals unit now part of GAM family". MetalBulletin. 
  11. ^ Booton, Jennifer. "Cabot Buys Norit for $1.1B". Fox Business. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Product Scorecard: Cabot Aerogels". Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Instutite. Retrieved 2011. 
  13. ^ Martial Brangetto, Christian Pasturel; Michel Gregoire, John Ligertwood, John Downs, Mike Harris and Jim Turner (May–June 2007). "Caesium formate brines used as workover, suspension fluids in HPHT field development". Drilling Contractor: 108–111. 
  14. ^ McNulty, Mike. "Cabot Launches Transfinity Class of Materials". Rubber News. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Masterbatch". 
  16. ^ "Cabot Corp. (CBT) Company Profile". Reuters. 
  17. ^ "Rubber Carbon Blacks". Cabot Corp. 
  18. ^ "Cabot Corporation Acquires Oxonica Materials Inc.". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Silicas and Aluminas". Cabot Corporation. 
  20. ^ "Cabot Corporation 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  21. ^ "Sustainability Matters - 2011 - 2012 Sustainability Update" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  22. ^ "Safety Performance". Cabot Corporation. 
  23. ^ "Cabot 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  24. ^ "Sustainability Matters - 2011 Sustainability Update" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  25. ^ "Responsible Care". International Council of Chemical Associations. 
  26. ^ "Cabot Corporation to Implement Responsible Care in North America". BusinessWire. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Cabot Issues 2012 Sustainability Report Update". MarketWatch. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Cabot Corporation Selected as a Bronze Winner for the Ninth Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards". MSN Money. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  29. ^ "CR's 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2012" (PDF). CR Magazine. Retrieved 2012. 
  30. ^ Heumann, Jenny. "Chemical Industry Honors Companies for Excellent Performance and Commitment to Health and Safety". American Chemistry Council. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Cabot Ranks 44th in Maplecroft Climate Innovation Index". BusinessWire. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Climate Innovation Indexes". Maplecroft. 
  33. ^ "Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) Awards". MassRIDES. 
  34. ^ "John F. O'Brien". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  35. ^ "Governance". Cabot Corporation. 
  36. ^ "Corporate Giving". Cabot Corporation. 
  37. ^ Alspach, Kyle. "Cabot offers $500K to aid Japan earthquake victims". MassHighTech. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Corporations, Foundations, and Trusts". Thompson Island, Outward Bound. 
  39. ^ "The Environment is Doomed". The Huffington Post. 2005-09-25. Retrieved 2005-09-29. 

External links[edit]