Sustainability Overview

Message from CEO David Grzebinski

After a year like 2020, the word sustainable has taken on a whole new meaning. With the world adjusting to a new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all experienced many challenges on a personal and professional level. Both our business segments, marine transportation and distribution and services, were adversely impacted due to depressed demand for our products which was amplified by low oil prices and an intense hurricane season in the late summer. Despite all the “shocks” to our Company, Kirby proved to be resilient. By exercising our pandemic response plan, Kirby continued to seamlessly deliver critical products and services to our customers while promoting safe work practices to our employees. Our commitment to a Zero Harm culture, including: No Harm to People, No Harm to Equipment, and No Harm to the Environment, remained unwavering and steadfast.

I am extremely proud of the initiative, dedication, and commitment our employees demonstrated during these difficult times. During the pandemic, we limited the direct impact of COVID-19 on our Company through exercising workplace strategies including quarantining, remote work practices and other key actions to maintain business continuity. Through a partnership with Rice University, our Stewart & Stevenson team used its ingenuity and designed and built an advanced version of the ApolloBVM ventilator in an effort to help with the low supply around the U.S. and the world during the height of the pandemic. Following the historic 2020 hurricane season, Kirby’s employees, including the Company match, raised a record$325,000 for our Kirby Disaster Relief Fund to assist their fellow employees in times of need. Recovery aid and material assistance were in high demand due to the destruction in our Gulf Coast communities, and Kirby employees stepped up to the plate. I’m pleased that in a year filled with significant economic hardships, the Kirbyspirit of helping our employees and our communities in need continued.

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Despite the challenges of 2020, Kirby was able to make significant progress in its ESG journey. Last year, the Company published our most robust
Sustainability report featuring our first-ever emissions disclosures and emissions reduction target. We continued to advance our ESG strategies and aligned our disclosures with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board(“SASB”) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”). Both can be found in the Sustainability section of our website. In 2021, a team of Kirbyemployees are taking our macro level emissions data to a micro level in order to better understand our emissions footprint. We also intend to broaden the scope of our TCFD report to include our distribution and services business. Beyond Kirby, we proudly serve in participatory and leadership roles in various maritime industry coalitions that are tackling marine decarbonization efforts. Kirby will continue to play a key role in these initiatives and coalitions as an industry leader and to advance industry’s focus on climate change.

With respect to Kirby’s emissions, we had set a goal to reduce our marine emissions on a per barrel of capacity basis by 25% compared to 2015. In 2020, we met this goal a few years ahead of schedule. While the Company has made significant progress improving the efficiency of our fleet through new construction and acquisitions, as well as retiring aging and inefficient boats and barge capacity in our fleet, we believe that our fuel consumption and emissions reductions were somewhat impacted by reduced utilization of the marine fleet associated with the demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With economic activity recovering and Kirby’s business activity levels ramping up this year, we expect our fuel consumption will increase in 2021. Therefore, in the spirit of transparency and realism, we intend to keep our current emissions reduction target through 2024. As we gain more information about our emissions footprint in the next year or two, we will reevaluate our target and continue to implement additional emissions reduction strategies.

In 2020, we also enhanced several policies that best underscored our commitment to a variety of topics including human rights, vendor code of conduct and business ethics guidelines. Making it clear Kirby’s continued commitment to doing business the right way, or “The Kirby Way”,has been further underscored through our core values which serve as the guiding principles to preserve the culture and establish expectations of performance.The core values apply to Kirby directors, executives and employees and establish the foundation upon which we operate. In 2020, Kirby also elected its firstlead independent director to serve on our Board of Directors. During this year, we also continued to focus on our employees by providing a platform for personal and professional development. Part of that initiative is embodied in our diversity initiatives. I am proud that women represent more than 20% of our Board of Directors, executive leadership, and managerial or professional roles at Kirby. 

I’m proud of the progress we made in 2020 despite its challenges and want to recognize those involved in helping Kirby’s advance its ESG journey, including shareholders, customers, employees, and ESG rating agencies. Kirby is committed to continuous improvement from the board roomtothe boats. As 2021 progresses, we will continue to engage with individuals and communities that may be impacted by our Company so we can learn and understand their concerns and priorities. Looking forward, our contribution to society will continue to come in many forms and evolve as the world changes.  We will continue to advance Kirby’s sustainability program and strive to run our businesses in a way that we and our stakeholders can be proud. We hope this presentation highlights our Sustainability program and our commitment to “Do the Right Thing”. 

Sustainability Report Highlights

Guiding ESG Frameworks & Standards

Kirby is relying on the following frameworks and standards to guide our ESG journey

“The Kirby Way”


Our guiding principle is No Harm to people, the environment or equipment. Safety is at the core of everything we do and always drives our decision making.


Our people make the difference. We invest in the tools and resources to empower our employees and we promote a workplace that values mutual respect, knowledge, and teamwork.


Do the right thing by having the highest ethical standards whilealways being transparent and accountable for our actions.


Creating value for our customers and shareholders by providing the highest quality service and products.


Sharing our success with each other and the communities we live and work in by protecting the environment and encouraging volunteerism.