Covid-19 has forced governments around the world to implement restrictions that have reduced man's environmental impact to a level not seen in decades. Months of empty roads, clear skies and subdued economic activity have reduced global greenhouse gas emissions by 7%, the strongest annual decline ever recorded.
Covid -19 emergency management system
We, like everyone, found ourselves facing a moment never experienced before and as a Group we have implemented a series of global and local measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
Since the first quarter of 2020, a Group-wide team and local working groups have been established to address this challenge. The local working groups were coordinated by the central team and each company had to comply with the national regulatory requirements on health matters and put into practice the guidelines provided by the Group.
We followed the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the provisions of the governments and health authorities of each country in which the Group operates. A wide range of precautionary and business continuity measures have been put in place across all of our operations globally.
In 2020 and until the end of the first quarter of 2021, all business travel was suspended, smart working was encouraged as much as possible and specific training courses were organized for employees, with information material to highlight the importance of basic hygiene measures, such as washing hands often and wearing a face mask constantly.
Activities that don't stop
With the spread of the pandemic, we have implemented a contingency plan to mitigate its implications, such as the postponement or suspension of relevant training programs and initiatives.
Nonetheless, for example, the Cementir Academy continued its extended mission to support the Group's strategy and business results, develop the global leaders of today and tomorrow, accelerate the transformation of the Group and promote diversity and inclusion in the whole Group.
We also continued to work on the Cementir 4.0 program to improve our operational efficiency in the Technical and Supply Chain organizations in two pilot plants, Gaurain and Aalborg.
A push to digital
We took the opportunity to promote digital initiatives as much as possible in each country. Looking on the positive side of the situation, we decided to implement and accelerate the adoption of digital tools for collaboration, document sharing and reporting, which, although already present in the company, have seen their use grow exponentially.
For an important part of Cementir's staff it was an opportunity to increase the level of knowledge and mastery of digital tools, making the most of the application of the agile working model that guaranteed operational continuity and production efficiency to the business.
Support to local communities
Our employees around the world have mobilized to support our local communities. In Denmark, our facility has donated more than 2,000 masks to a local hospital. In the UK, the company donated laptops to local schools to allow pupils who did not have a device to participate in distance learning.
Additionally, all staff have access to an Employee Assistance Program that offers the ability to confidentially talk to an outside counselor about their financial difficulties or mental health problems. In Turkey, the Elazig plant has donated disinfectant products to local schools.