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PPG Industries VP of Global Sustainability: Peter Votruba-Drzal to Succeed Diane Kappas

January 10, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

PPG Industries, a provider of paints, coatings and specialty materials, has named Peter Votruba-Drzal to succeed Diane Kappas as VP of global sustainability. Kappas is set to retire on July 1, 2024.

Here are five things to know about Votruba-Drzal's expertise and experience; Kappas's career achievements; and PPG's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: PPG, founded in 1883, is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The firm's original name was Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. PPG has roughly 52,000 employees, and the company generated $17.7 billion in revenue for 2022.

2. Sustainability Goals: PPG in May 2023 set numerous science-based decarbonization targets for 2030. Indeed, PPG's sustainability targets include:

  • Reduce absolute emissions from its own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 50% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.
  • It has also committed to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, processing of sold products, and end-of-life treatment of sold products by 30% within the same timeframe. 
Peter Votruba-Drzal, VP-elect, global sustainability, PPG

Additional 2030 goals vs. the 2019 baseline included:

  • 50% of sales from sustainably advantaged products
  • 15% reduction in water intensity at priority sites
  • 25% reduction in waste intensity
  • Reuse, recycle or recover 100% of process waste
  • $5 million additional COLORFUL COMMUNITIES funding, with each project incorporating an element of sustainability, making the total investment $15 million since 2015
  • 100% of key suppliers assessed against sustainability and social responsibility criteria
  • 100% of employees go home safely each day
  • 5% annual reduction in spill and release rate

3. Peter Votruba-Drzal's Experience and Focus: Votruba-Drzal joined PPG in 2005, and has held various manager, senior scientist, research director and global roles. He has also held key posts at Protection Engineering Consultants and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).

Kappas Diane
Kappas Diane, retiring VP of global sustainability, PPG

Each management role at PPG has involved increasing responsibility, the company noted. Most recently, he led the technical activities for PPG's architectural coatings and traffic solutions businesses. Earlier, Votruba-Drzal led the research and product development activities for PPG’s mobility initiatives in addition to the Automotive and Industrial Coatings segments, the company said.

In his new role, Votruba-Drzal will report to Irene Tasi, PPG senior vice president and chief growth officer.

4. Diane Kappas's Track Record: Kappas has nearly 40 years of experience at PPG, spanning key roles in sustainability, manufacturing, supply chain, procurement, human resources, and environment, health and safety (EHS), the company said. She founded PPG’s Women’s Leadership Council, and a founding member of the LGBTQ Council, PPG noted. More recently, she was named PPG's first VP of global sustainability in 2021.

Irene Tasi, senior VP and chief growth officer, PPG

5. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement about Votruba-Drzal's new role and and Kappas's retirement, Irene Tasi, PPG senior vice president and chief growth officer, said: "In addition to continuing to integrate sustainability into all facets of how we operate, PPG remains steadfast in our commitment to develop innovative paints, coatings and specialty materials and sustainable solutions that create value for our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. Peter’s diverse experience at PPG will further strengthen our capabilities and drive growth in this critical area. We thank Diane for her many important contributions in sustainability and in several leadership roles across PPG, congratulate her on a successful career, and wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement."

PPG's New VP of Global Sustainability: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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