The Regeneration and Resilience series of articles contain “Forward Looking Statements”, including “future-orientated information” aimed to start new debates. These statements are formed from the beliefs and opinions of the AG team in respect of their own perspective of the future and may change over time. COVID-19 is a rapidly changing landscape and information that is published is not a guarantee of future performance, therefore undue reliance should not be placed on them due to unknown risks and changing information as we all learn more about the virus and its impacts.
We have put together a round-up of how the organisations who have ESG-profiles with us have responded to the global pandemic, COVID-19. This isn’t designed to be an exhaustive list and it isn’t designed to cover every activity that these organisations are taking in these extraordinary times, instead, we put this list together to explore what innovations and ethical decisions are taking place. The list is designed to inspire you and your organisation to take action or to highlight areas where you believe you could help provide something that this list of organisations are missing in the response to the virus.
Actions have been categorised to match the 5 cornerstones of sustainability which we use to evaluate an organisations sustainable practices. These cornerstones are developed alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and are matched to global standards to support people, benchmark performance, regenerate the environment, establish partnerships to support the community and foster growth through increased social value.
Head office teams are working from home with a wellbeing sessions online for employees
Kept distribution centers open with new health and safety measures
Extended product returns policy for customers to 90 days
NHS staff have a 25% discount on items ordered online
Suspending payments to suppliers indefinitely, these suppliers can collect stock
Requesting 3 month payment holiday from landlords
13,000 staff offered voluntary unpaid leave
Perishable items donated to food banks, hospitals and emergency services
Halted current and future production
Young Greens of Canada (Green Party of Canada)
Urged the Canadian government to declare Public Welfare Emergency
All party consensus to suspend parliament during COVID
US Citizens should be included in border ban
Cross party collaboration for an Emergency Wage Subsidy of 73 billion CAD. The bill is for businesses that have lost 3-% of revenue due to COVID-19 and will receive a 75% wage subsidy for 3 months
Proposed that now is the time for Guaranteed Liveable Income (Basic Universal Income)
Question decision to use Amazon to disrupted PPE versus Candian postal service
Fossil fuels must not get a lifeline due to COVID-19
Promoting more robust protection for front-line health-care workers
Leadership race continues despite COVID-19
Working 100% remotely, bolstering a pre-existing work from home policy
No face to face meetings, all furher meetings are conducted via video conferencing
Podcasts for marketing during COVID-19 (strategies and tactics for marketing during COVID-19, Google My Business policy changes, advice on shutting e-commerce store during COVID lockdown)
Staff are working remotely
Published COVID-19 guidelines to support customers
No longer staffing retail or event kiosks in any markets
Discontinued home visits for new customer sign-ups and smart thermostat installations
Redeployed sales team to support retail partners with restocking and assist essential operations in partner stores, including curbside pick-up supporting communities affected by the pandemic and also supports team members with sustained income
Matching upto 25,000USD in donations from employees, members and partners with a goal to raise 50,000USD. 100% donations go to benefitting organisations (to International Medical Corps, Direct relief, Team Rubinon, Save the Children/No Kid Hungry and Feeding Amazeria via Omaze, visiting bespoke donation page)
Additional support and training to help staff contribute time and effort to local organisations impacted most by the pandemic
Anna Lindh Foundation
Annual forum postponed
Staysafe campaign designed to show solidarity from all corners of the Anna Lindh Foundation Network
Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange launched in 2018 as a remote learning platform being used during the lockdown in Libya, Germany, Syria, Italy, Morocco, Turkey and Finland
Enacted a work at home plan for staff who are able to work from home
Implemented HSE procedures to ensure operations can continue with health and safety in place, including sanitizer to stop the spread of the virus
Heightened level of emergency response preparedness, communicating with public health authorities and medical experts
Strict limits on business travel and the cancellation of group meetings
Advice and information to employees on cold and flu precautions such as frequent hand washing and self-isolation measures
No employees or contractors that are feeling ill or have been exposed to any COVID-19 risk factors can conduct work in customer homes or businesses
Financial strength and low-risk business model built for resiliency and generating predictable and growing cash flows through commodity cycles - learning from previous tough markets, financial crises and previous commodity downturns, underscored by 70 years in business
Non-priority work has been postponed, such as meter changes
Utilising robust pandemic and business continuity plans to support customers, preparation experience from managing operations through large-scale crises such as H1N1
Working with regional operations to support nonprofit community partners, indigenous and tribal communities and local governments to direct resources where they are needed most such as food banks, social service agencies, mental health organisations, first responders and healthcare providers
Low-income customers who are having trouble paying bills may qualify for relief through the low-income Energy Assistance Program. This provides a on-time financial grant of up to $500 for eligible customers and is supported by Enbridge - also won’t disconnect customers for non-payment until the beginning of August with additional support and help available
Contribution to the COVID-19 Resource Channel, an industry-led news and information microsite providing help, advice, support and content to supporting the printing industry
750 staff are able to continue working from home due to large scale IT infrastructure refit
Company is protecting employees with a Protect and Preserve strategy, publishing regular updates, downloads and guidance for staff members on wellbeing, working from home and employee assistance
Closure of facilities, access only for essential skeleton staff. Prior to the facilities being closed, a range of special measures had been brought in, including new hand sanitizer stations, closure of food canteen and social areas, minimised physical meetings and increased disinfected cleaning
Employees required to self-isolate who have less than six months service and therefore receive SSP only, we will provide two weeks full pay for these specific circumstances
Employee Assistance Programme, which provides a free and confidential support service
600 production staff furloughed with the company paying the remaining 20% to full pay under UK furloughed pay scheme
Gheely testing drone delivery of car key replacements
Hethel base offered as a temporary hospital
Gheely, Lotus owners supporting NHS Norfolk & Norwich Hospital with 50,000 surgical-grade masks and 1,000 gowns
Lotus designers and engineers tasked with delivery of ventilators
Norfolk Community Foundation
Launched the COVID-19 Community Response fund to support local charities and voluntary groups, including those working tto supply food to the vulnerable, support child services, support vulnerable people who have recently left hospital, supporting mental health, helping those people in debt
Producing affordable facemasks for the De Regenboog Group that supplies people in need working in homeless centers, homecare facilities and walk-in homes. Customers can donate a mask to the group for €1
Smith & Pinching
Implemented a business continuity plan which consists of staff working from home until the government provides clearance to return. The investment, planning and support staff will continue operations via video communication. Existing customers will be contacted via email or phone with no further in person meeting until further notice
Carl Lamb provided financial advice via local news circulation to people worried about the financial implications of COVID-19
Closed stores until further notice
Implemented 90 days return policy
Online orders continuing with special measures in place to protect warehouse staff and delivery/couriers
‘Stay Together, by standing further apart’ via social media to promote social distancing whilst outdoors as per the government's current guidelines
What have we done at AG?
As a small, growing business we took the decision early on to stay at home and protect the NHS. All staff have been working from home and following the NHS guidelines in place for self-isolation if they have any symptoms. Video conferencing has been put in place to continue working remotely with our customers. Non-essential staff have been furloughed on the governments 80% furloughed pay scheme. During these times we appreciate the mental and physical impacts of staying at home, isolated from friends and family so we have provided advice and support.
Following UK Government guidelines we have closed our office locations for the foreseeable future and we have applied for government support. Our fantastic office landlords have provided us with a 3 month payment holiday which has enabled us to develop new digital products, provide special COVID-19 services and support our NHS.
Audits, assurance reports and workshops are now all available through a virtual delivery service and we have included an additional 10% discount on top of any ongoing promotions.
We have offered facemasks and hand sanitisers to local healthcare organisations and supported local healthcare charities by offering data services and free data visualisation consultancy.
Looking towards the COVID-19 economic recovering we have submitted applications to work with leading academic, financial and business groups to produce a revolutionary technology designed to better equip businesses in the future and build a more resilient economy. When ready, start-ups and fast growing small businesses will have free access to profiles and information to support their own development and the building of resilience programmes.
Using our audit and reporting sotware in conjunction with our virtual workshops, we have created a new COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience programme for businesses impacted by the virus looking for guidance. For every customer working with us via any of our products and services on this programme we will match donations up to £1,000 contributing to the United Nations World Health Organisation COVID-19 fund.
Additionally, we have supported local equine charity Redwings so they can continue to look after abandoned and mistreated horses, our animals are suffering too during this crisis.
We know we can do more so we are constantly inventing new ways to support our staff, partners, customers and our community. There’s a lot of misinformation about the impacts of the virus and we don’t want to add to that, all the guidance we provide will be specifically regarding the business landscape and we recognise the incredible work being done every day by our scientists to design new testing measures, therapeutics and vaccines, by our politicians who have to make the tough choices to keep us safe, by our emergency services and those who provide us with food, energy, waste services and water but and most importantly of all our healthcare professionals and careers who are keeping our loved ones safe and saving the lives of thousands of others everyday.