How Companies are Responding to COVID-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is creating disruptions for all of us. Companies need to adapt faster than ever before. In doing so, many are showing how business can be done differently. 

This page puts a spotlight on the ESG initiatives undertaken by companies in recent days. It showcases how companies are playing a positive role in the fight.

Below are examples of initiatives undertaken by our community of corporate clients in recent days. These also include other company initiatives that are worth celebrating. We will continue to update it as the coronavirus crisis continues, since we all need something positive to work for and towards.

Datamaran clients initiatives

  • 7 April - Vertex Pharmaceuticals has committed $5 million to support global coronavirus relief efforts. This donation will include medical gear and personal protective equipment - including testing capabilities for the most vulnerable.
  • 6 April - Enel Italia is working with trade unions to protect its workers and their livelihoods. Employees will be granted PTO to offset periods of inactivity caused by the coronavirus, which will be partially provided for via a solidarity system in which certain employees can donate already accrued PTO. This "Vacation Day Bank" will start with a number of days equal to the total workforce.
  • 6 April - Banco Santander has launched “Overcome Together”, an open and accessible space for individuals and companies, which contains information and resources to help support the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). The resource center, which can be accessed by anyone, is adapted to local needs with country-specific websites with information from official sources and digital resources focused and updated to address the most critical local needs. It is already available in Spain, Portugal and Mexico, and will very soon be available in other European and American countries.
  • 1 April - Metlife is pledging $25 million to the fight against COVID-19. This pledge is targeted toward helping communities and people with urgent needs for food, healthcare, childcare, and more.
  • 25 March - Nasdaq has made a $6 million USD cash and in-kind donation to the WHO Solidarity Fund and small business assistance organizations. This donation includes $1 million USD of advertising space in Times Square, helping to make people aware of the tools and strategies they need to stop the spread of the virus.
  • 24 March - BBVA’s has increased its initial €25 million commitment to €35 million to be used in to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the countries within its operating footprint. BBVA is also instituting a loan deferral program for private clients affected by the coronavirus crisis - helping communities and individuals focus on putting health first. 
  • 24 March - PSEG is committed to responding to the coronavirus crisis. They have already donated nearly 50,000 high quality N95 masks, made a number of grants to local businesses in their communities, and redoubled efforts to support the needy by helping to stock local food pantries. 
  • 24 March - Comerica,  is investing $4 million USD in community and small business support, aiming to provide business continuity during the crisis.
  • 24 March - American Express plans to provide up to $5 million USD to help feed and support local communities, including by a matching donation program for certain cardholders. 
  • 24 March - Unilever is taking action, starting with consumers and communities, to whom they have committed to provide free soap, sanitiser, bleach, and food to the value of €100 million ($106 million USD). Unilever is earmarking $536 Million for coronavirus relief, and stepping up food production at facilities across the world.
  • 23 March - Deloitte has donated over a million Euro to the Italian Civil Protection Agency, leveraging its own resources with those of its employees, who have donated hours of their own salary to the cause of fighting the coronavirus. 
  • 23 March - Ferrovie dello Stato has opened up its railways lines to doctors and healthcare workers, so that they can cheaply and easily reach the most affected areas in the European hotspot. 
  • 22 March - Merck has already provided half a million personal protective masks to New York City, a coronavirus epicenter. They promise additional donations as equipment becomes available.
  • 22 March - Philips is ramping up production of ventilators and other critical products used to diagnose and treat coronavirus. They are aiming to double production in the next two months by increasing production capacity and by hiring additional staff.  Philips is working with peers and competitors to meet demand, with CEO Franz van Houten expressing the strong hope that by working together, they can meet demand and turn the tide.
  • 21 March - Atlantia has extended the healthcare coverage it provides to its 13,500 employees in Italy, including in this package a wide series of health and social services in case of hospitalisation or inability to work.
  • 21 March - AT&T has taken a variety of steps to protect its employees and communities. They have extended free unlimited data service to first responders and healthcare organizations for the duration of the crisis, donated laptops and tech support to schools, and given their front line employees a 20% bonus for work done during the outbreak.
  • 20 March - Intesa Sanpaolo is pledging 100 MM € (USD$106 million) to combat the effects of the coronavirus, along with up to 5 billion Euro in loans. Intesa is focusing on specific industries with these funds, particularly the tourism sector, which has taken a beating. Intesa Sanpaolo also launched a crowdfunding campaign to collect additional donations for the field hospital on forfunding.it, the Bank's fundraising platform.
  • 19 March - TD Bank is donating $250k USD to the National Association of Community Health Centers, helping to support frontline healthcare providers.
  • 19 March - Morgan Stanley has announced a $10 million commitment in cash aid to support frontline coronavirus relief efforts. Previously in February the firm had provided grants of $500,000 as well as an additional $500,000 in employee matching to charities working to mitigate the effects of the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
  • 18 March - Nike has pledged over $15 million to hospitals, community organizations, and charities, especially those in the Oregon area. They are also offering a 2-to-1 employee donation matching program with no cap to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
  • 18 March - Manulife and John Hancock have donated $2 million to support the availability of and safe access to food for communities in need across Canada and the US. These donations focus on the most vulnerable, including children and seniors in already food-insecure areas.
  • 17 March - Novartis has created a $20 million global fund to support communities impacted by Covid-19, together with an accelerated global review process that will allow the quick distribution of grants up to $1 million. Furthermore Novartis has committed itself to maintaining the price stability of critical medicines as wells as a strong focus on employee health.
  • 17 March - Bank of America has pledged $100 million to global communities impacted by the crisis. Additionally, while they have shortened branch hours, they are planning on giving front line workers biweekly bonuses to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. Bank of America is one of a number of banks who have stopped all stock buybacks to increase liquidity. 
  • 13 March - Assicurazioni Generali is creating a 100 MM € (USD$106 million) fund to help local communities. At a time when many insurance payments are being deferred, this represents an even larger community investment than it seems at first. Says CEO Philippe Donnet: “Generali is strongly committed to support[ing] the communities around us, especially the hardest-hit.”
  • 13 March - UniCredit, donated €2 million directly to the Civil Protection Agency in Italy, and has set up a fundraising initiative supporting three local area hospitals. This initiative promises that for every €1 donated by a UniCredit employee, UniCredit will match that donation - 10x over. To help employees navigate through the currently challenging times of COVID-19 and share useful infos, a digital platform has been created.

Pharmaceutical and healthcare equipment initiatives

  • 6 April - McDonald's and its network of franchises are lending support to communities across the US by donating masks, food, and donations to charitable organizations in local areas.
  • 1 April - Oracle is designing a series of cloud based platforms to assess the effectiveness of drugs in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. The Clinical Trial System will collect data on drug safety. The Therapeutic Learning System will allow physicians and patients to record the effectiveness of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine treatments which are not yet approved by the FDA.
  • 31 March - Under Armour is manufacturing 500,000 face masks and produce thousands of hospital gowns and face shields to address coronavirus.
  • 31 March - Honeywell is focuses ramping up production of N95-rated medical masks at locations across the globe. These masks have rapidly become essential in the fight against coronavirus. 
  • 27 March - GAP has connected their global supply chain and longstanding suppliers with California hospital networks to deliver millions masks and protective gowns and goggles. 
  • 27 March - Toyota is making face masks in U.S. to aid in the coronavirus battle, as well as running a public service ad campaign that is replacing regular Toyota ads.
  • 26 March - Henry Schein has developed a test that can determine coronavirus positivity within 15 minutes with just a pinprick, and is focusing on getting that test into the hands of healthcare workers.
  • 24 March - Ford, in a spirit of global collaboration, is working with 3M, GE, and the UAW to produce respirators and ventilators as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.
  • 24 March - Tesla CEO Elon Musk acquires 1,200-plus ventilators from China to help alleviate coronavirus shortage
  • 24 March - Estée Lauder is reopening a Long Island factory to assist with the production of hand sanitizer for relief efforts, in addition to a $2 million USD donation to Doctors Without Borders.
  • 24 March - HP is taking an innovative approach, working with hospitals and other healthcare providers to design and provide 3D printed parts for ventilators, masks, and more.
  • 24 March - Decathlon has transformed a line of scuba masks into vital medical equipment through the use of 3D printing, helping to ensure an adequate supply of ventilator masks. 
  • 23 March - Dyson has designed a new type of ventilator in response to increased demand. The battery-powered machine is ideal for field hospitals and transporting patients. The UK has already ordered 10,000. 
  • 23 March - Diageo has pledged more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser for frontline healthcare workers.
  • 21 March - LVMH has ordered nearly 40 million medical masks to donate to the French public health authorities. They have also begun retooling factories to produce hand sanitizer, which are also to be given to the French government. 
  • 19 March - Fiat Chrysler and its associated brand are retooling manufacturing capabilties in order to produce badly needed masks and ventilators. They are also working to support local communities by providing millions of meals to schoolchildren.
  • 19 March - 3M, Since the COVID-19 outbreak, has doubled its global output of N95 respirators to nearly 100 million per month. 
  • 18 March - L’Oreal has launched a Europe-wide solidarity program, supporting health workers, authorities, communities, and partners with hand sanitizer, deferred payments, and 1 million Euro to the most needy.
  • 18 March - Inditex has provided at least 300,000 surgical masks for health workers in Spain, and has promised additional ones as they become available.
  • 18 March - Medtronic has increased its production of ventilarors by 40%, and intends to double its capacity to manufacture and supply ventilators, while the company has committed $10 million to charitable relief efforts.
  • 16 March - Dell is donating millions of dollars worth of medical and technical supplies to hard hit hospitals and communities in global coronavirus hotspots.
  • 16 March - Thermo Fisher has received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to market its diagnostic test for the coronavirus. The company hopes to produce 5 million tests a week in April. 

Wider corporate initiatives

  • 4 April - Salesforce has donated $3million to UCSF’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and is working to ensure the wellbeing of its local communities and workforce.
  • 2 April - Google is providing $6.5 million to combat misinformation related to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as providing Google Insights free of charge to fact-checkers and researchers.
  • 1 April - Microsoft is taking steps to ensure that its workforce is fully equipped to work remotely, as well as lending huge amounts of processing power to coronavirus researchers.
  • 31 March -  Blackrock, the world's largest asset manager, committed $50 million to relief efforts as the coronavirus pandemic leads to job losses and unexpected medical costs.
  • 30 March - Facebook pledges $100 Million to news outlets hit by coronavirus outbreak, in addition to new rules designed to fight the spread of false or misleading information regarding the pandemic.
  • 30 March - Uber supports NHS Staff with 300,000 Free Trips and Meals.
  • 30 March - Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc. will waive all out-of-pocket expenses for novel COVID-19 patients. The expenses would be covered entirely by the companies for any individual who is insured directly with them or is on an employer plan.
  • 26 March - Airbnb announced a global initiative to help connect those responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with safe and convenient places to stay. The company’s goal is to help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders around the world - for free.
  • 26 March - Wendy's has ease payments for franchisees to stem coronavirus fallout.
  • 26 March - H&M Foundation has donated $500,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. It is also offering social media exposure to the Red Cross and others in order to provide public health alerts.
  • 24 March - TikTok, the current social media craze, has promised $10 million USD to fight the effects of coronavirus, and has directed the money to the WHO Global Solidarity Response Fund.
  • 24 March - Costco is running special opening hours for elderly and disabled customers during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as providing bonuses for frontline workers.
  • 23 March - Intel has added a donation of a million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE, including masks, gloves, and other gear) to a previous donation of $1 million USD to the Red Cross.
  • 23 March - Cisco Systems is dedicating $225 million in cash and product donations to support both global and local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic .
  • 23 March - CVS is hiring 50,000 workers and delivering bonuses to employees who are required to work on-site during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 23 March - Starbucks has provided its frontline employees a pay bump in the face of the coronavirus, in addition to offering free coffee to medical staff across the globe.
  • 21 March - Tesco is giving all frontline staff a 10% bonus tin recognition of their efforts, as well as creating special shopping hours for healthcare workers
  • 20 March - Netflix has pledged a $100 million fund to support hardest hit workers in the creative community, as well as donations to the following the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, and the AFC and Fondation des Artistes in Canada.
  • 20 March - Apple has launched an app and a website to allow users to screen themselves for coronavirus symptoms - without even an Apple account. Apple has partnered with government agencies including the CDC and FEMA in order to develop this functionality.
  • 19 March - Alibaba's cloud business unit is offering its artificial intelligence-powered technologies to provide data insights on the current coronavirus pandemic and speed up diagnosis. The Chinese tech giant is hoping a suite of applications jointly developed by its cloud experts, researchers from its subsidiary DAMO Academy, and engineers from its communications platform DingTalk will support medical professionals worldwide in combating the virus. 
  • 17 March - Twitter bans users from posting misleading information about the novel coronavirus, in addition to a $1 million donation to protect journalists during the pandemic.
  • 17 March -​ Disney is focusing on supporting impacted communities through donations of critical supplies such as N95 masks, food, and entertainment.

An additional note

The perspective of a company on emergency aid is usually implemented in these ways: 

  • to support humanitarian efforts by making a financial or in-kind contribution, 
  • providing a pro-bono service, 
  • supporting humanitarian appeals, 
  • engaging in advocacy and awareness of crises and promoting philanthropy amongst staff, clients and networks, 
  • providing logistics, transport and other services to affected areas and redirecting production to meet the emergency needs of society, using innovation.

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