These are unprecedented times. COVID-19 has entered our lives and disrupted the world around us. A crisis that started around health quickly became economic and social. Across the world, the rate of impact and recovery is diverse, but it is affecting us all. Our first priority is the health of people, but we also assume the responsibility of ensuring the continuity of service of mission critical infrastructure, as well as the financial sustainability of our company. Each is a vital consideration, factoring in new conditions evolving on the hour. They all require responsive actions. And they all depend on increased collaboration and trust.
Health is our priority
Health and safety is our priority during this time. Health of our loved ones, of our colleagues, of all those working with us, and of the communities we belong to. We are implementing, in close coordination with local authorities, measures and protocols to manage this rapidly evolving situation. We’re contributing to industrial mobilization actions to produce specific medical equipment including ventilators and masks. We know we can only make an impact together. Unity, solidarity and care for each other are critical right now.
We are responsible for mission critical infrastructure
We all have a role to play in the fight against COVID-19. From the front line medical professionals, to the supermarket operators, to public and private organizations, we are all linked in a chain of responsibility and collaboration.
At Schneider, our role is to ensure that mission critical infrastructure keeps running and can adapt to the new daily reality the crisis brings. It is our duty and responsibility to ensure power continuity for hospitals, to support increased traffic in data centers and networks, to ensure that critical networks and facilities supporting life at home, such as the grid for electrical distribution, water and wastewater plants, or cold chains for food and pharmaceuticals keep operating.
I am proud of our teams in the field, our technicians and electricians, our service teams, and our partners, for ensuring power continuity where it is needed most. They worked in record time to deliver and serve new hospitals, and critical health and grid infrastructure in China, Italy and India. They join forces in France with other industrial companies to manufacture ventilators. They are ensuring power and IT connectivity in US Field Hospitals. This is our main contribution to the fight against COVID-19.
We are humbled by all the professionals working tirelessly to fight the virus and care for the sick. In this chain of responsibility and collaboration, our mission, more than ever, is to ensure that Life Is On, everywhere, for everyone, at every moment.
The time of People for People
Times of crisis are indicative of identity. People reveal themselves. They care for their neighbor and their colleague. They show they are mobilized and committed. The call for volunteers to produce ventilators we launched in France was completed in just a few hours. Our Indian colleagues contribute one day of their salary to a solidarity fund launched by the Indian government.
We see a lot of energy, dedication and commitment to find solutions to the crisis. The capabilities of creativity, resilience and reactivity are the best proof of our collective humanity. What is true for individuals is also true for companies. During the times of crisis, we have responded with our core values and unique culture.
We have enhanced our existing global benefit standards (Life Insurance, Healthcare and Global Family Leave) for all our employees worldwide for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis and deployed special measures to maintain business continuity with our partners, paying special attention to small and medium enterprises.
A COVID-19 Initiative of our Foundation
For years, we have been committed to the communities around us. We have always acted, through speciﬁc and local entity-supported initiatives, to provide under privileged communities access to energy, disaster relief and education. Today, our Foundation implements our next initiative to help the most vulnerable, launching a fund dedicated to COVID-19 support. This is to assist emergency actions in all territories where Schneider Electric operates.
The fund is focused around three priorities
- Response, supporting the most vulnerable in each country to have a decent life, especially as the economy slows.
- Recovery, supporting the education of the disadvantaged youth, with ambition to train 1 million people at bottom of the pyramid before 2025.
- Resilience, supporting communities to become stronger in the long run, through online or remote missions.
Schneider Electric commits the first investment to the fund and will match donations of employees. Our stakeholders, shareholders, suppliers and clients, will also have the opportunity to participate.
Trust and Collaboration
These difficult times confirm the importance of trust and solidarity in our societies. We must count on each other. We share information and rely on each others’ expertise. We have to collaborate and complement one another. Public and private engage together. Collaboration and trust become the golden rules for survival.
There is only one way to exit this crisis, it is to rely on each other. We will come out of this together and stronger.