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International firms champion CSR as they join fight against CVOID-19
International companies cherish corporate social responsibility (CSR) by joining the world fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Companies realized the importance of committing to their social role to save the communities where they exist.
Companies came to understand that their support to the anti-COVID-19 efforts became essential, especially after the pandemic cast its shadow on the international economy. Thus, accelerating efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak would help curbing the losses being incurred every day due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The pandemic crisis brought CSR to the heart of companies’ strategies.
Major world companies were quick to move to encourage more companies to join the march to save the world and contain the crisis.
Facebook and Whatsapp as key social media networks which can reach the largest number of people worldwide shouldered their responsibility towards containing the crisis.
Facebook worked on ensuring that everyone has access to accurate information and removed harmful content. Within this context, it decided to invest $100 million in the news industry in addition to supporting fact-checkers.
Also, Sony Corporation established a 100-million-dollar Global Relief Fund for COVID-19 to support international fights against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Through this fund, Sony will provide support in three areas; assistance for those individuals engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts to fight the virus, support for children and educators who must now work remotely, and support for members of the creative community in the entertainment industry, which has been greatly impacted by the spread of the virus.
Building on these efforts, WhatsApp launched the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
It has also donated $1m to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organizations in at least 45 countries.
Within this context, the Intel Foundation pledged $4 million to support coronavirus relief efforts in communities where the company has significant presence.
Mircorsoft has also joined hands with The Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, Amazon and Starbucks to launch a regional COVID-19 Response Fund (CRF) in coordination with King County and the City of Seattle. Microsoft decided making an initial $1 million anchor donation to help launch this effort immediately.
Given that the outbreak will impact many communities that are already facing health and economic disparities, the fund will provide financial support to nonprofits and community-based organizations on the frontlines of the response. This support will include rental assistance to keep people housed; help ensure children, seniors and families have access to food; and support healthcare workers on the front line.
Building on these efforts, Apple has released a website and an iOS app that allows users to screen themselves for coronavirus symptoms, marking another response to the pandemic by a major tech platform.
Moreover, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has announced that Apple will be donating 10 million face masks across Europe and the United States.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG Formula One team has broke records by taking fewer than 100 hours for engineers at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains and University College London Hospital (UCLH) to produce a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), a type of breathing aid that can assist COVID-19 patients, from the teams’ initial meeting on March 18.
Engineers analyzed and disassembled an off-patent device and deployed computer simulations to enhance the device’s design for state-of-the-art mass production.
Now, 100 breathing aids will be delivered to UCLH for clinical trials with the goal of a rapid rollout in the coming weeks.
Johnson & Johnson was also keen to join this international drive through announcing a $50 million commitment to support frontline health workers battling COVID-19.
Moreover, Johnson & Johnson announced on March 30 that a lead vaccine candidate against COVID-19 has been selected to move into clinical trials by September 2020 at the latest, alongside news of a landmark $1 billion commitment to vaccine research and development between the Company and BARDA and plans for Johnson & Johnson to supply one billion vaccines worldwide for emergency pandemic use.
PepsiCo has also shouldered its responsibility by committing more than $45 million to combat the impacts of COVID-19, especially through helping helping people and communities most affected by this devastating virus. The company is also funding vital support including protective gear for healthcare workers, testing and screening services, and distributed more than 50 million nutritious meals to at-risk populations by supporting food banks and other partners around the world.
Also, Unilever and the UK’s Department for International Development allocated £100 million for launching a global handwashing campaign targeting a billion people.
The campaign aimed at raising awareness and changing behavior, to make sure people are washing their hands with soap regularly and disinfecting surfaces.
It also meant to provide over 20 million hygiene products in the developing world, including in areas where there is little or no sanitation.
Meanwhile, Nestlé joined forces with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide urgent help for emergency services and caregivers and strengthen healthcare systems.
This includes donations of food, medical nutrition and bottled water in addition to Nestlé’s logistics support for IFRC operations.
Nestlé has also donated CHF 10 million for immediate deployment in countries where it is most needed.
Heavyweight world companies have been keen to shoulder their social responsibility and encourage more companies to embrace CSR which is no more a luxury.