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We are all facing the same challenge and the moment demands reflection and caution. We have taken steps to keep our employees safe, even as we guarantee the normality of our operations, which are essential for society. From home offices to the teams on the ground at our clients and plants, we are doing everything in the most responsible, safest, and most efficient way possible.
We know that, in sensitive times like this, we must be more attentive and united than ever. We would like to take the opportunity to underscore our thanks to all the workers and businesses that continue to fight #COVID19 with great dedication and commitment.
Energy for Caring
ENGIE has joined forces with five other companies in the electric energy industry – Enel Brasil, Grupo Energisa, Light, Neoenergia and Isa Cteep – in a fundraising effort for the Oswaldo Cruz Institute Foundation (Fiocruz) emergency fund. The purpose is to increase production of Covid-19 testing kits. Donations have already reached R$ 9 million.
In a second stage, TAG, Transportadora Associada de Gás, company of natural gas transport which belong to ENGIE Group, has also entered an agreement with Fiocruz, donating more than R$ 1 million to the installation of the Institute’s Covid-19 Molecular Diagnostics Support Unit in the state of Bahia.
The project is under the coordination of the Acende Brasil Institute. With this contribution, we hope to assist in the fight against the novel Coronavirus, and invite other companies to join us in the campaign. To become part of the mobilization, call the Acende Brasil Institute at +55 11 964290559.
ENGIE supports initiative for expedited credit to small businesses
ENGIE joined other major companies mindful of small businesspersons’ difficult situation in the city and became a donor to the Estímulo 2020 credit platform, contributing with BRL 1 million to the initiative.
Estímulo 2020 is Brazil’s first 100% private-sector fund in support of small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, offering credit under beneficial terms. The initiative is already available in São Paulo and Minas Gerais. With donations from companies like Vale, Dasa and ENGIE, among others, the initiative was released in Rio with BRL 10 million in funding to financially assist businesses in the state.
Estímulo 2020 provides working capital in an amount equivalent to up to one month of a firm’s (pre-pandemic) sales, charging 6.5% annual interest, a 3-month grace period and payment in up to 15 installments. Approval criteria take account of applicant businesses’ operational indicators and background. The movement continues to raise donations and attract new partners from the market. To gain access to financial support and other benefits, businesses must register at www.estimulo2020.org.
In April, we developed a campaign with our employees in Brazil to encourage them to make cash donations to one of our partner institutions, with ENGIE matching the donations Real-for-Real. The total funds raised were R$ 250,440.00, with the participation of 1,160 employees who helped 33 institutions in ENGIE’s area of operations across Brazil. The amounts were allocated to purchasing staple foods and cleaning products for families experiencing vulnerable circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In June, a second phase of the campaign took place, with ENGIE donating three times the amount donated by the employees. This phase of the campaign had the participation of 920 employees and raised R$ 701,000.00, adding the employees’ donations, ENGIE’s and the donations made by the Board members of ENGIE Brasil Energia, who donated their honoraries of June, July and August. The campaign helped several needy institutions with food baskets as well as more than 40 hospitals and health centers with protection equipments.
ENGIE Foundation donates 100 thousand Euros to a Rio de Janeiro hospital
An injection of 100 thousand Euros was made into Rio de Janeiro’s Fundão University Hospital through the ENGIE Foundation. The initiative provided the funding for expanding and preparing ICUs to be allocated to treating Covid-19 patients. The donation is equivalent to approximately 10% of the funds released by the Foundation worldwide.
Social actions from the Energy Business Line’s regions
ENGIE Brasil donated approximately R$ 540 thousand to institutions in areas neighboring the company’s power plants through its energy generation and trading company. The main focus of the effort was on city halls, and municipal hospitals and health bureaus, for the purchase of PPEs, hand sanitizer and respirators. The company also donated by means of its consortiums Itá, Machadinho and CESTE (from Estreito hydropower plant) R$ 300 thousand to communities neighboring its power plants.
These initiatives reinforce the ties between the plants and their neighboring communities, which are historic partners in preserving the environment, fostering education and culture, and executing infrastructure investments.
Support creating a new wing at the Albert Einstein Hospital (SP)
As one of the main energy traders in the Free Contracting Environment, ENGIE joined the initiative of the Abraceel (Brazilian Energy Traders’ Association) to create an Abraceel ICU at São Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital. ENGIE donated R$ 150 thousand. The new wing will have 20 intensive-care beds.
Donation of a test equipment for COVID-19 diagnostics for the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Through a partnership with the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, ENGIE has acquired and donated test equipment for COVID-19 diagnostics. The equipment employs a semi-automated system for purification of nucleic acids, proteins and cells, ensuring reproducibility and eliminating imprecisions when manual testing methods are used.
In addition, the Company has also donated reagents and other materials for performing 2500 tests. The donations are worth R$ 503 thousand and the donated equipment will be assigned to the Basic Health Sciences Institute of the Universidade Federal so Rio Grande do Sul.
Social security coverage for all Group employees throughout the world
The Group has decided to accelerate the implementation of a minimum social protection for all its employees worldwide (ENGIE Care) and has recorded this through a joint declaration with the international trade union federations. This program was discussed during the negotiation of a global CSR agreement.
Under this scheme, the Group will cover:
– Hospital expenses – in full for Covid-19 and at least 75% for other conditions;
– Life insurance equivalent to 12 months of gross salary;
This scheme will also cover, until the end of the year, employees who have been furloughed due to the crisis.
Financial support for smaller suppliers
The Group has decided to earmark €250 million to speed up payment of its suppliers – small and very small companies – in order to help their cash flow situation at this difficult time In France and Belgium, this applies to companies of fewer than 250 people which generate turnover of under €50 million. Comparable criteria will be applied in other countries.
Judith Hartmann, Chief Financial Officer and member of ENGIE’s executive leadership team added: “Based on its values of solidarity and its solid liquidity, ENGIE has decided to implement an accelerated payment scheme for all its small and very suppliers. €250 million will thus be dedicated to supporting the cash flow of its most fragile partners. This measure will benefit more than 75,000 companies in France and Belgium.”
Reduction in managers’ pay
Finally, the 13 members of the Executive Committee and the chairman of the Board of Directors have together decided to take a 15% pay cut for a period of two months, effective immediately. Furthermore, the Group’s top management team across the globe has been asked to adopt a similar initiative. The money saved in this way will go towards aid initiatives to help people and communities left vulnerable by this health and economic crisis.
According to Claire Waysand, ENGIE’s interim CEO: “The Covid-19 crisis calls for new forms of solidarity. At Group level, ENGIE has decided to provide welfare coverage for all employees and will extend this coverage until the end of the year to those who have been furloughed due to the crisis. We have also set aside €250 million to accelerate the payment of our smaller suppliers faster. By taking this action, the Group is showing responsibility and solidarity, in line with its purpose statement.”
These three new global measures build on the aid initiatives introduced at the start of the pandemic. In France, these include refunding two months of electricity supply for its more vulnerable customers and introducing bill payment holidays for smaller companies hit by the crisis, before the government’s ruling. The Group is also listening to customers, households and companies experiencing difficulties and enabling them to stagger their bill payments at no extra cost and without incurring penalties. Elsewhere, via its Foundation, the Group has implemented local aid initiatives to help hospitals, care homes and people experiencing major difficulties.