Companies Use Core Competencies for Earthquake Response

January 31, 2010

The business response to Haiti has been extraordinary – in fact, it ranks as the private sector’s third-most generous outpouring of aid following a natural disaster.

BCLC has been offering regular briefings on the aggregate amount of giving, as well as cross-sector briefings to help coordinate business assistance. Now I’d like to give much-deserved attention to various companies that have found opportunities to leverage their core competencies to provide assistance in the earthquake response.

By no means is this an exhaustive list – hundreds of companies are stepping up, and BCLC’s full list of nearly 300 corporate donors is here.

3M, Abbott, and GlaxoSmithKline provided medicine and supplies to support initial life-saving and stabilizing efforts. GSK has said that as local infrastructure and capacity improves, it will offer further assistance. AT&T, Motorola, SES World Skies made in-kind product and service donations that enable on-the-ground communications in an impact zone where connectivity and reliable communication were spotty even before the disaster.

In addition to cash donations by the company and employees, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., sent a team to Port-au-Prince equipped with four devices that can detect human heartbeats buried under rubble or underground.
Procter & Gamble, Siemens USA and Worldwater & Solar Technologies Inc. have provide water purification systems in Haiti, to help combat the disaster-within-a-disaster stemming from a critical lack of clean water.

FedEx has moved more than 850,000 pounds of supplies for relief organizations, and DHL deployed a Disaster Response Team to manage logistics for inbound freight at the Port-au-Prince airport. Merck is allowing employees who are licensed health professionals or allied health services providers, as well as qualified translators (Creole/French), to take one paid week of release time to participate in disaster relief efforts with approved nonprofit organizations on the ground in Haiti.

The Jefferies Group, aside from cash donations by the company, employees, and board members, also donated $5.5 million in trading commissions from the 1/15 trading day. This brought the corporate and employee cash total to $7.5 million!

In the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, Discovery has partnered with NGOs to air public service announcements across its networks and to post banner ads on websites. Discovery also participated in the Help for Haiti Telethon, airing the program on Planet Green and Discovery Health in the U.S. and on Discovery Home & Health and People+Arts in Latin America.

American Airlines, American Eagle, and Spirit Airlines have all offered their customer the highly-desirable bonus miles on their respective airlines, if the customers donated funds to NGOs responding to Haiti.

Verizon and the Verizon Foundation opened a Haiti Relief Connection Center in Miami, providing free technology to Haitian Americans who need to send voice calls or text messages, or who need Internet access, to connect with loved ones in Haiti.

In times of disaster, business responds. Please join BCLC in thanking all corporate citizens  for stepping up in Haiti’s time of need.