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. 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".[citation needed] The company incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1960.[3][better source needed]

In 1993, a team of Cabot researchers developed a process for modifying the surface of carbon, allowing chemists and researchers to prepare surface modified carbon black products with properties never before associated with carbon materials.[4][better source needed] This breakthrough led to the development of new technologies and products including aqueous inkjet colorants,[5] for printer ink the basis of Cabot’s Inkjet Colorants business unit, which was 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.[6][7] In 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.[8]

Cabot sold its Supermetals business, which produced tantalum, niobium and related alloys, in 2011 to Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd.[9]

Safety, Health and Environmental[edit]

Safety Record[edit]

The company has reduced total recordable injuries by over 25% in the last five years.[10] However, the company experienced two fatalities in 2011. The severity of incidents has caused the company to look at all aspects of workplace safety.[11][better source needed]

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.[12][better source needed] A 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.[13][better source needed]

Responsible Care[edit]

In 2010 Cabot joined the American Chemistry Council,[citation needed] and as such is obliged to implement the Council’s Responsible Care program as part of a global initiative.[14] 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.[15]


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.[16]


In 2012, Cabot Corporation was selected as a Bronze Winner for the Ninth Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards.[17] They were also selected as one of CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2012.[18]

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.[19] In April 2012, Cabot ranked forty-fourth among the top 100 leading companies that demonstrated superior management, mitigation and adaptation in the field of climate innovation.[20][21] Cabot was awarded a 2012 Leadership Award for the Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options Awards.[22]

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.[23][24]

Cabot Foundation[edit]

In 1953, the non-profit Cabot Corporation Foundation, Inc. was established, and the Foundation's charter was amended in 1992 to permit grants to qualified charitable organizations outside of the United States.[25][better source needed] Cabot has offered aid to earthquake victims in Japan,[26] and the Outward Bound organization.[27]



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, Cabot was one of the U.S.’s largest polluters, accounting for 60,000 tons of airborne toxic emissions annually.[28]


  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. ^ "Particle Design for Performance". Cabot Corporation. 
  5. ^ "Surface Modification". OCP Inks. 
  6. ^ "Aerogel History, Part II". NMC Netlink. 
  7. ^ "History of Aerogels". Cabot Corporation. 
  8. ^ Resnick-Ault, Jessica (June 21, 2012). "Cabot Corp. to Buy Norit for $1.1 Billion, Add Activated Carbon". Bloomberg. 
  9. ^ "Cabot Supermetals unit now part of GAM family". MetalBulletin. 
  10. ^ "Sustainability Matters - 2011 - 2012 Sustainability Update" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  11. ^ "Safety Performance". Cabot Corporation. 
  12. ^ "Cabot 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  13. ^ "Sustainability Matters - 2011 Sustainability Update" (PDF). Cabot Corporation. 
  14. ^ "Responsible Care". International Council of Chemical Associations. 
  15. ^ "Cabot Corporation to Implement Responsible Care in North America". BusinessWire. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cabot Issues 2012 Sustainability Report Update". MarketWatch. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Cabot Corporation Selected as a Bronze Winner for the Ninth Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards". MSN Money. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  18. ^ "CR's 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2012" (PDF). CR Magazine. Retrieved 2012. 
  19. ^ Heumann, Jenny. "Chemical Industry Honors Companies for Excellent Performance and Commitment to Health and Safety". American Chemistry Council. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Cabot Ranks 44th in Maplecroft Climate Innovation Index". BusinessWire. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Climate Innovation Indexes". Maplecroft. 
  22. ^ "Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) Awards". MassRIDES. 
  23. ^ "John F. O'Brien". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  24. ^ "Governance". Cabot Corporation. 
  25. ^ "Corporate Giving". Cabot Corporation. 
  26. ^ Alspach, Kyle. "Cabot offers $500K to aid Japan earthquake victims". MassHighTech. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Corporations, Foundations, and Trusts". Thompson Island, Outward Bound. 
  28. ^ "The Environment is Doomed". The Huffington Post. 2005-09-25. Retrieved 2005-09-29. 

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