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.
In addition, we strengthened the solidary chain formed to fight the pandemic in Brazil through social action, operating together with the communities where we are embedded and with organizations dedicated to research into ways out of the public health crisis. Overall, from March to December 2020, ENGIE allocated approximately BRL 10.2 million to anti-pandemic measures.
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 and action for enterprise
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.
Fostering entrepreneurship is another axis of the Mulheres do Nosso Bairro (“Neighborhood Women”) project, launched in October to help women in local communities to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic. These initiatives include entrepreneurial support, free on-line skills building courses, information on support networks, domestic violence sensitization and awareness building actions, and support to health during expectancy. The project launched with an injection of BRL 770 thousand and covers more than 100 municipalities in 13 Brazilian states.
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.
The campaign’s success led to two more Solidary Campaigns deployed in the following months, when ENGIE double- and then triple-matched its employees’ donations. All told, over the course of the three campaigns, approximately 1,000 employees took part in the initiative, raising a total BRL 1,236,000.00.
In another effort, 25 hospitals in the state of Paraná benefitted from a BRL 500 thousand donation from ENGIE to the Salvando Vidas (“Saving Lives”) program of Federal development bank BNDES – which matched the donations, so that Paraná healthcare institutions received a total BRL 1 million.
ENGIE and L´Oréal Brasil
ENGIE is donating the necessary electrical energy in the production of 750 thousand units of alcohol based hand sanitizer and other hygiene products from L’Oréal. L’Oréal Brasil is producing 170 tons of alcohol based hand sanitizer at its São Paulo Factory to donate to public hospitals and vulnerable communities. In addition to the free distribution of hand sanitizers, the company will also donate other hygiene and personal care products. The first delivery of these products was made last week, in the Rocinha community.
“We are very proud of our solidarity plan and we are happy to have once again ENGIE’s partnership in such a challenging context, in which we have to join forces”, highlights An Verhulst-Santos, president of L’Oréal Brasil.
“This action is part of our company’s effort, first, to provide an essential service, at such a sensitive time, and also to contribute to an efficient response in the fight against COVID-19, with the donation of energy in order to produce the hand sanitizers and hygiene products”, says Maurício Bähr, CEO of ENGIE Brasil.
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, made in partnership with the Instituto da Criança, 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)
s 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.
Actions in the North Region
In the catchment area of the Jirau Hydroelectric Plant, on the Madeira River (state of Rondônia), initiatives led by the project have been helping communities in more than 16 locations, including districts and rural zones. Approximately BRL 850 thousand have been invested in social projects, with at least 35 thousand individual beneficiaries.
Furthermore, also in the North region of Brazil, funds from the BNDES’s social subcredit have been allocated to assist endangered groups, including Native Brazilians, fishermen, farmers, vulnerable communities, and healthcare providers.
Actions also included the donation of staple items, personal care kits, personal protection equipment and testing kits.
In the state of Amazonas, a donation from TAG in the amount of BRL 235.2 thousand became 2.5 thousand individual staples kits, 2.5 units of hand sanitizer and 10 facemasks for distribution to 18 communities in four municipalities – Coari, Manacapuru, Iranduba and Caapiranga. The contribution was in partnership with Transpetro, SESC – Mesa Brasil, and the Brazilian Navy, which played a key role distributing the donated items.
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.