This article discusses some of the measures adopted and implemented by Spanish multinational utility Iberdrola, to address the impact of COVID-19 within its business and communities, as well as the firm’s operations at local, regional, and global levels.
The utility launched its Global action plan against the coronavirus with the main aim to ensure there are no shortages in the energy supply and to help address the needs of stakeholders and communities served.
The plan includes donating healthcare products, reinforcing the power supply in essential infrastructures like hospitals and medical facilities, and helping the most vulnerable customers through this crisis.
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With more than 90% of staff working from home, Iberdrola has managed to implement 107 measures to combat the pandemic worldwide.
Healthcare equipment valued at €25 million ($27.1 million) has so far been donated to the Spanish Ministry of Interior and Health by the utility. The equipment includes 4.6 million face masks, 438 ventilators donated in addition to €100,000 ($108,000) worth of coveralls (120,000 pairs) and 20,000 protective goggles.
Some 8,000 blankets have also been donated by Iberdrola.
Fighting for the elderly
As part of the SpainWithin initiative, the utility unveiled more than 20 projects through the ‘Volunteers against COVID‘, campaign to accelerate the making of COVID-19 protective gear.
Over 1,000 workers volunteered to make 5,000 face masks for people with hearing loss, virtually check on the elderly people in nursing homes (as part of the Smiles against Coronavirus), organise storytelling for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and make financial donations to support those at risk of exclusion.
The aim is to avoid loneliness amongst the elderly and disabled people since they are the ones at most risks of dying from the virus compared to younger counterparts.
The projects are supported by the Foundation to Foster Development and Integration, Voluntariado y Estrategia consultancy firm, the Adecco Foundation and the Juan XXIII Foundation.
Iberdrola donated free emergency electricity service to two million elderly customers and in addition, has set up a telephone channel exclusively for this group of customers.
The plan supports people over 65 years of age in Spain. Outside Spain, Iberdrola has also promised free energy to nearly 100 million elderly people worldwide in countries such as Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, Italy and France.
The telephone channel will solve problems related to the lack of electricity supply in the home. The utility covers both the travel costs of the technician, as well as the labour cost in the event there is a power cut.
The technicians follow a strict health and safety protocol for the provision of this service.
For customers with payment difficulties and who request it, the company makes payments more flexible by splitting bills into up to 12 months at no cost, both in the open and regulated markets.
Iberdrola suspended supply cuts before lockdowns in all the countries where it operates commercially.