How can businesses be a force for good in a time of crisis? What can companies concretely do to innovate, contribute and be of service during and in preparation for the times after COVID-19?
This is what we’ve set out to explore with our Corporate Corona Actions series, where we’ve compiled a list of 50 cases of responsible corporate corona actions from around the world.
Although there are many other amazing examples that deserve to be shared, we hope that our list of 50 will inspire you and spark new ideas for how to take action.
So dive into our 50 cases that have been divided into the following categories:
• Small & local business
• Supply chains
• In-kind donations
• Core business in new ways
• Funding & support
• Collaboration & crowdsourcing platforms
• Employees & employment
• Mental & physical health
• Building Back Better
Click on the cards to read the full case descriptions (that link to our open network forum on LinkedIn, The Social Business Club, where we’ve originally shared the cases).
Small & local business
The more people buy local, the more local jobs can be preserved. The corona crisis has made it clear how dependent we are on thriving local businesses, and how important it is to support them.
#1 – GoGreen [Denmark]
#2 – Your Local Hero [Sweden]
#3 – GiftLocal [UK / Europe]
Bottega Ventures, a venture consultancy & studio that helps to build and grow businesses, have created an online platform GiftLocal which provides gift cards for customers to support struggling local businesses. The cards can be used in person when Covid-19 lockdown measures are revoked.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of our global value chains. Here are some examples of innovative and responsible procurement and supply chain efforts.
#4 – CARCEL [Thailand / Denmark]
#5 – Krishan [Bangladesh]
#6 – Scoutbee [Germany / International]
Scoutbee, a centralised platform developed for procurement needs, offers a Covid-19 Emergency Supply Chain Support. It provides NGOs, healthcare organisations and governments with free access to its services to help them source urgent medical supplies.
#7 – ELSK [Denmark]
#8 – The Body Shop [UK / International]
The Body Shop, the iconic retailer of cruelty-free make-up, skincare, and hair care products, is approaching to their staff worldwide – communicating throughout their supply chain: with suppliers from tier 1 to raw materials regarding payment terms; the impact on suppliers’ production capacity; their interaction with ETI and more.
#9 – 8 tips for responsible supply chain actions [DK / International]
What can companies do to show extraordinary responsibility in this extraordinary situation? Here are our 8 tips for responsible supply chain actions during COVID-19, produced in collaboration with the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative.
Many businesses want to help, but may not be able to produce hand sanitizers, safety equipment or other direct health-related products. But as these examples show, they can contribute in so many other ways.
#10 – Simple Feast [Denmark]
#11 – 7Peaks Brasserie [Switzerland]
7Peaks Brasserie, a family owned brewery with focus on their local market and local communities, launched a “Beer of solidarity” initiative. For every bottle they sell, 0.20 CHF will be donated to the Foundation Mère Sofia, which is currently working to protect the homeless during COVID-19.
#12 – MiiMOSA [France]
MiiMOSA, a French crowdfunding platform for food and agriculture, have created a campaign to attract volunteers and financial support for cooking and delivering more than 50,000 meals to hospitals and caregivers.
#13 – Food4Heroes [Spain]
Food4Heroes initiative, founded by Teresa Carles, the chef of many vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, including Teresa Carles Healthy Foods, takes free food from restaurants to doctors in various hospitals in Barcelona and to people in need, thus creating a network of more than 35 businesses.
#14 – IKEA [Indonesia]
Sweden-based furniture giant IKEA has donated household items (blankets, sheets, towels and so) to the Indonesian Hospital Association (PERSI) to support COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta. In addition, IKEA Indonesia runs a social initiative to stop the spread of the virus in the West Java. Through this initiative, it donates personal protective equipment for those situated at high risk.
Core business in new ways
The corona pandemic has not only disrupted our lives, but also many businesses. Some are re-directing their production lines to provide medical and hygiene supplies, others are offering their services in new ways.
#15 – LVMH [France / International]
#16 – Airbnb [International]
#17 – Mascherine Italia [Italy]
Eligo Milano, a Milanese retail community for custom-made fashion, have created an online shop, Mascherine Italia, in support of textile businesses all over Italy, who can now keep business going by converting a part of their production to making stylish face masks.
#18 – Virgin Orbit [UK]
Virgin Orbit, an aerospace focused company with an aim to provide launch services and small satellites, has developed a new bridge ventilator that can be mass produced to help in the fight against the global virus pandemic.
#19 – Nike [USA]
The global footwear company Nike has transformed Nike Air to help frontline healthcare workers. The manufacturing and product teams have come together to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against the coronavirus (COVID-19)
#20 – Neoenergia [Brazil]
Electric sector companies in Brazil, such as Brookfield Energia Renovável, Comerc, Enel, Energisa, Engie, Isa Cteep, Light, Neoenergia and Statkraf have joined forces in a fundraising campaign to support the production and acquisition of diagnostic test kits for Covid-19.
It’s not only big business that are making a difference. Entrepreneurial startups are also contributing positively by offering their unique products or knowhow to help those in need during the corona pandemic.
#21 – Plant Jammer [Denmark / International]
Plant Jammer is a Danish startup through which people can generate plant-based recipes built from ingredients that are left in one’s fridge. When corona pandemic hit Denmark, the app has opened all of its paid features for free to everyone. It made it easier for people staying at home most of the time to plan their meals and help them to cook.
#22 – GigsGuide [International]
GigsGuide, an online music search website helping people discover and enjoy more music, is streaming live music from all over the world since music makers are moving their live performances online amid the COVID-19.
#23 – SafetyWing [US / Norway]
SafetyWing, a travel medical insurance for nomads, has developed an interactive map for everyone – and especially travellers – to find the latest information about the spread of Covid-19, and to be aware of what is each country doing to mitigate the pandemic.
#24 – Lua (formerly Whispr) [Denmark]
Lua is a platform that focuses on improving frontline operations in hotels, offices or nursery homes. As a response to the Covid pandemic, it has developed Covid Clean, a free checklist app to help hotel housekeeping teams and hospitality businesses clean to global standards and to help them contain the spread of the virus. The app is for free during the crisis.
#25 – Biolinker [Brazil]
Biolinker, a biotech startup based in Sao Paolo, are developing a low-cost high-performance COVID-19 diagnostic test using only locally sources inputs.
Funding & support
Money makes the world go around – also in a time of crisis. So different kinds of funding and support for impact startups, small businesses and NGOs around the world have emerged to keep up the good work.
#26 – Social Change Agency [UK]
#27 – Action Against Corona [Sweden / International]
#28 – Corona Funding [Europe]
#29 – Covid Cap [USA / International]
#30 – Start Fund Covid-19 [Low-income countries]
The Swedish-origin furniture company, IKEA, has contributed through its IKEA Foundation to a fund called Start Fund COVID-19, that was created to provide rapid funds for small and medium responses by local organisations working on the frontline in low-income countries. Cameroon and Bangladesh were the first countries to benefit from this assistance.
#31 – IIX COVID Resilience Tool [Asia]
Asian pioneer within impact investing, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), have launched an online COVID-19 Resilience Tool, which allows businesses to quickly determine their resilience and offers practical tips for how to navigate the downturn and improve business results.
Collaboration & crowdsourcing platforms
It is crucial to share knowledge, inspiration and support as well as to join forces to take collective action during the corona pandemic. Here are some examples of some of the platforms that are ensuring exactly that.
#32 – World Economic Forum [International]
#33 – UN Global Compact [International]
#34 – Changemakers United [International]
Changemakers United is a collective effort to support social entrepreneurs at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis. These entrepreneurs are developing new solutions to problems they were already working on by adapting their holistic approaches to the current situation.
#35 – Corona Tech Handbook [International]
New technological solutions have seen the light during Covid-19 – often at high speed and in unexpected collaborations.
#36 – Hackathons [International]
#37 – Fourthman App [Nigeria]
#38 – Lifeline Robotics [Denmark]
#39 – Issinova [Italy]
To fix Italy’s shortage of oxygen masks, engineering and design firm Isinnova, helped a former hospital physician with his idea: 3D-printable valves that connect a snorkeling mask to oxygen supply.
Employees & employment
Avoiding to fire employees during Covid-19, or providing employment to those who have been unfortunate to lose their jobs, is another way that companies are taking responsible action.
#40 – Co-op [UK]
#41 – Nao Demita [Brazil]
Não Demita (“Don’t Fire”) formed an inspiring network of companies driven by the mission of supporting society during one of the most challenging periods of recent decades. Over 4,000 Brazilian companies signed a manifesto pledging to avoid firing employees for two months.
#42 – Baker McKenzie [Latin America]
US-origin general practice law firm Baker McKenzie has use its Latin America Employment and Compensation Team to create a quick guide for employers from Latin America who are dealing with some of the most pressing issues in light of the global crisis.
#43 – Amazon [USA]
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has opened 100,000 new roles to address the increased demand and to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also increased the pay of employees and partners who are in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores, or those making deliveries so that others can remain at home.
Mental & physical health
Being in a lockdown can be tough both mentally and physically. Here’s what some companies are doing to help us to keep our minds and bodies fit through these challenging times.
#44 – Qoorio [Lithuania / International]
#45 – Sport Tech Hub [UK / International]
Sport Tech Hub, an UK-based incubator for sport tech startups, has gathered a long list of free/feremium “Active at Home” tech tools that can help keep people physically at home, manage health conditions, or combat social isolation.
#46 – Headspace [UK / International]
The popular mindfulness and meditation app, Headspace, offers a large collection of its meditations for free for the unemployed, healthcare professionals, educators and employees at workplaces during Covid-19, in order to support and guide them through the stress and anxiety of the current global crisis.
#47 – Mindhope [Spain]
Mindhope is a Spanish online therapy platform that has been initiated to mitigate the psychological effects that the corona pandemic has had on some individuals by connecting volunteering professional psychologists with those in a vulnerable state. All for free.
In a time of crisis, people look to leaders for compassion, confidence and clear communication about navigating the company into the future.
#48 – Virgin Group [UK & International]
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the British multinational venture capital conglomerate Virgin Group, releases an open letter to his employees to thank them and to reassure them that he is working hard to safeguard their livelihoods.
#49 – Wise leadership infographic
Wise leaders build agile, inclusive and sustainable businesses. But how can you do that in times of crisis? Here’s our own infographic with 8 mental models for building inner resilience to take responsible and sustainable actions in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) situations.
Building back better
#50 – B Corp infographic
To ensure a durable and resilient economic recovery from Covid-19, we must avoid returning to unsustainable ‘business as usual’ practices. So we’ve joined our good business forces with B Corp to create an infographic with 7 principles for responsible business in support of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system that benefits both people, profit and planet.
The Corporate Corona Actions series has been initiated by TANIA ELLIS – The Social Business Company, a Scandinavian-based B Corp-certified speaking, training and consulting company specialized in linking business, sustainability, and innovation. Our mission is to inspire & help companies create value for society and the bottom line.
The Social Business Club is our open inspirational network forum on LinkedIn for more than 3,000 professionals from around the world with an interest in innovative and sustainable business practices that create value for society and the bottom line. Learn more and join us at www.thesocialbusinessclub.com