Manufacturers of all sizes and in myriad industries have jumped into action to provide relief in the form of monetary and product donations, repurposed production lines, and more in order to combat the global threat of COVID-19. Below is a sampling of some of the news that I’ve seen in just the past couple of days regarding companies’ coronavirus-related relief efforts.

I’d love to hear from you regarding some of the initiatives your company has undertaken in response to COVID-19. Please share your story by leaving a comment, or feel free to reach out to me directly.

Dow Commits $3 Million to Aid COVID-19 Relief Efforts and Adjusts Manufacturing Processes to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Dow has announced a commitment of $3 million to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts with donations going toward global relief organizations, as well as non-profits in communities where Dow operates. In addition, the company announced it has begun producing hand sanitizer at its manufacturing site in Stade, Germany, and is repurposing an existing facility to produce hand sanitizer in the U.S. as well.

Relief efforts include:

  • $2 million for immediate support of impacts caused by COVID-19—donation to COVID-19 Solidarity Fund to support World Health Organization (WHO) efforts around the world; donation to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization, to distribute medical supplies; support for local and regional non-profit organizations in Dow communities around the globe; other funds earmarked for emerging needs
  • $1 million to build community resilience in the recovery phase
  • Production of 300 tons of hand sanitizer per month, equivalent to 600,000 standard bottles (500 ml each), for donation to pharmacies and hospitals in Stade, Germany, and other regions in Germany; an existing facility in the U.S. is also being rapidly repurposes to produce hand sanitizer

These donations will help distribute essential supplies, such as personal protective equipment to frontline health workers. They will also help protect the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources.

“Safety is our top priority at Dow,” said Jim Fitterling, CEO. “With the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 impacting our world, we are committed to helping protect the health and safety of our employees and communities, while deploying our business solutions where they are needed most. We appreciate this crisis places extreme stress on nonprofits, social services, small business and health care sectors, and we are working to provide fast, flexible funding, as well as adjusting our manufacturing processes where we are able to help address those needs.”

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Henkel Launches Comprehensive Global Solidarity Program to Support Employees, Customers, and Affected Communities

Henkel has announced a comprehensive global solidarity program to support employees, customers, and communities facing the global COVID-19 pandemic. The program consists of:

  • Donation to WHO/UN Foundation fund and other organizations—An amount of €2 million will be donated to different funds and organizations to help fight the pandemic. The Fritz Henkel Foundation will donate €1 million directly to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) Foundation. This donation will help to provide protective equipment for frontline health workers, equip diagnostic laboratories, improve data collection and analysis, and establish and maintain intensive care units, as well as to accelerate research and development of potential vaccines and therapeutics. In addition, €1 million will be distributed by the Fritz Henkel Foundation globally to different organizations and partners, as well as to support the personal commitment and voluntary engagement of employees fighting the crisis.
  • Donation of personal and household hygiene products—Henkel will also donate 5 million units of personal and household hygiene products globally. This includes hand sanitizers, soaps, and protective equipment, as well as detergents, disinfectants, and other household cleaning products. Henkel’s corporate citizenship team will implement these donations in close coordination with charity organizations, local authorities, and partners around the world.
  • Shifting production facilities to produce disinfectants—In addition, Henkel plans to produce disinfectants in selected production sites. The products are intended to help public institutions and professional groups in the fight against the coronavirus.
  • Improved payment terms for selected business partners—Henkel will also consider improved payment terms for small and mid-sized hairdressers to support them during the current challenging situation.
  • Ongoing crisis management and safety measures for employees—Since the onset of the crisis, Henkel has addressed the situation proactively through its crisis management teams on country, regional, and global levels. The primary objective of the crisis management is to do everything possible to ensure the safety of employees, customers, and business partners and to maintain operations under these challenging circumstances.

“At Henkel, we are committed to help addressing this unprecedented challenge,” said Carsten Knobel, CEO. “In line with our values, we want to make a contribution through a comprehensive global solidarity program. We stand united in our fight against the pandemic, striving to protect our employees and their jobs, serving our customers and supporting the communities in which we operate.

“I would also like to thank our global and local crisis teams which have been active since the coronavirus began to spread. For our employees who continue to work on site to maintain our operations we have taken extra measures to reduce infection risks. For example, strict protocols in case of suspected infections, increased hygiene, separating shifts and reducing the number of employees working on site by requesting home office work wherever possible.”

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Huntsman Answers Urgent Calls for Help in the Fight Against Coronavirus COVID-19

In response to an urgent appeal by Swiss authorities, Huntsman Corp. announced it will begin making hydro alcoholic solution to produce hand sanitizer in the Swiss Canton of Vaud and the General Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. At its manufacturing site in Monthey, Switzerland, Huntsman will produce approximately 50 tons of hand sanitizer to donate free of charge to hospitals and pharmacies, which are now facing increasing shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and constrained supply of the product.

The first shipment of five tons is expected to be delivered immediately. More production is planned to ensure a stable supply of between 3-5 tons per week as required to help safeguard medical staff, patients, and the public.

In recent weeks, Huntsman contributed its chemical products to the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19 in China. The company donated methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) to enable the manufacture of prefabricated polyurethane insulation panels for hospital construction, as well as TEROL® polyester polyols, ZEROSTAT® NW, and PHOBOL® NW-MD to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel fighting the coronavirus.

“We are very humbled to be in a position to contribute what we do every day to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter Huntsman, chairman, president and CEO. “As this virus makes its way to every continent, we will continue to leverage our experience and knowledge in other regions, including the U.S.”

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3M Outlines Actions to Support Healthcare Effort to Combat COVID-19

3M reports it is fully committed to fight the spread of COVID-19 by supporting the healthcare workers in the U.S. and worldwide. “This pandemic is affecting us all, and we are doing all we can to support public health and especially our first-responders and those impacted by this global health crisis,” said Mike Roman, chairman and CEO. “We are mobilizing all available resources and rapidly increasing output of critical supplies healthcare workers in the United States and around the world need to help protect their lives as they treat others.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, 3M has doubled its global output of N95 respirators to an annual rate of over 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month. In the U.S., 3M currently manufactures more than 400 million N95 respirators annually, which is increasingly being directed to support both government and public health response. The company also manufactures respirators at locations in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. In addition, 3M is increasing its investments, primarily in the U.S., to expand its global capacity by over 30% in the next 12 months.

The company is also maximizing production of a wide range of other products used in the COVID-19 response globally, including hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and filtration solutions as the pharmaceutical industry works to find a vaccine to fight the virus. 3M is working with governments, medical officials, customers, and distributors around the world to help get supplies where they are needed most.

In addition, 3M and Ford Motor Co. are partnering to increase the production of 3M’s powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs). 3M and Ford are collaborating on specific ways the companies can rapidly combine complementary capabilities and resources to help meet a surge in demand for personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

3M’s PAPRs use a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in healthcare. 3M’s PAPR systems can offer a more comfortable user experience for wearers who need respiratory protection for an extended period of time.

“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get healthcare supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most—which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Roman. “It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership.”

“3M is providing vital personal protective equipment for medical workers and we’ve empowered our engineers and designers to move as quickly as possible to help 3M grow PAPR production using common parts to speed this up,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “We are also volunteering our facilities for additional production.”

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More COVID-19 coverage from ASI