SB'24 San Diego is open for registration. Register early and save!

Walking the Talk
12 More Brands Using Their Powers for Good During the Pandemic

As the COVID crisis wears on, we wanted to applaud 10 more of our Sustainable Brands community members that have donated their time, money and products and/or pivoted their business models to get people in need what they need, fast.

Last month, we were delighted to highlight a host of SB Corporate Members that were going above and beyond to come to the aid of communities in need as COVID-19 strengthened its grip on the world. Now, as the crisis continues to wear on, we wanted to applaud 10 more of our community members that have donated their time, money and products and/or pivoted their business models to get people in need what they need, fast.

BASF donates over 100 million protective masks

Earlier this month, as part of BASF’s “Helping Hands” campaign in the fight against the corona pandemic, BASF donated 100 million protective masks to the Federal Republic of Germany; and 1 million masks to the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where its corporate headquarters and largest production site are located. The masks were purchased in China and shipped to Germany.

Convoy pays 100% of trucking costs for full truckload donations to food banks

In an effort to address the growing food shortages facing millions of people across the US impacted by COVID-19, Convoy — the most efficient digital freight network — announced earlier this month that it will pay the trucking costs for any US business wanting to donate a truckload of product to its local food bank. Companies such as Land O’Lakes Inc. are partnering with Convoy to donate critical items to food banks across the nation.

Driscoll’s gives over $4 million in funds and berries globally during pandemic

Image credit: Santa Cruz Tech Beat

Family-owned berry giant Driscoll’s has committed over $2.5 million in support to initiatives in the US and Canada, $1 million to central Mexico and Baja, and $500,000 to Europe and Morocco. And just this week, the company teamed up with PRO*ACT — a nationwide fresh food supply chain management network — to donate more than $1 million to support frontline healthcare responders. The “Feeding Our Frontlines” initiative has distributed more than 35,000 boxes of fruit and veggies to healthcare establishments at the epicenter of the COVID crisis — including in Manhattan, Baltimore, Boston; and hospitals in 16 other states — with Driscoll’s already donating more than $350,000 in berries.

Estee Lauder donates millions in relief funds and product around the world

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., its brands and The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation have, among other things:

  • awarded a $2 million grant to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières to support its ongoing work around the world and response to coronavirus in under-resourced and highly impacted countries.

  • provided a grant to support the establishment of The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund — which has now raised more than $95 million — to provide critical support for New York City’s vital social services and cultural community organizations.

  • awarded over $800,000 to relief efforts in China.

Individual brand efforts include:

  • The Estée Lauder brand is donating two million surgical masks for those on the front-lines in New York.

  • M∙A∙C Cosmetics' VIVA GLAM Fund will allocate $10 million to 250 local organizations all over the world that are providing essentials needs and services to people at higher risk during the pandemic. 

  • Clinique is donating 50,000 skin care products as a thank you to the doctors and nurses in NYC's hospitals.

  • Aveda has donated over 123,000 bottles of shampoo, lotion and other Aveda products to organizations and nonprofits helping those on the frontlines all over the world.

  • In partnership with Jo Malone London, Estée Lauder’s Whitman manufacturing facility in the UK is also producing hand sanitizer, to be donated to frontline workers.

Fabri-Kal partners to provide medical face shields for Michigan healthcare workers

Fabri-Kal — a leading provider of foodservice and custom thermoformed packaging solutions — is producing medical face shields for healthcare workers in southwest Michigan. In less than one week, the Fabri-Kal team — along with Schupan & Sons and Tekna — went from prototype to production on face shields that will be provided to workers treating COVID patients.

Click here to learn more about the partnership

HP to donate nearly $8M in products and grants globally to support students, schools

Image credit: HP Inc

As schools remain closed due to COVID-19, parents, teachers and students have been thrust into a time of remote teaching and learning — but, while free digital content remains useful, it eludes those students lacking the connectivity or device access to complete schoolwork at home. So, HP Inc. and its partners are working to close the homework and digital access gap during the pandemic: HP has launched HP Turn to Learn — a program that will deliver educational content curated from leading scientific, publishing and media companies to support teachers and students in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. HP is partnering with TIME for Kids, Britannica and NASA on the program, which will focus on providing critical resources to Title I school districts and underserved students across the US. HP has removed the paywall from its TIME for Kids digital content and will ensure immediate access to printed classroom materials (textbooks, workbooks and other paper-based assignments). The program will ensure K-Grade 3 learners in select school districts will have access to TIME for Kids, Britannica and NASA for the rest of the school year, with the program expanding to K-12 soon.

The tech giant has also announced a series of school district donations, partnerships and new blended learning programs globally to respond to COVID-19.

Read about these and additional partnerships and donations here.

Humana Foundation commits $50M to coronavirus relief, recovery efforts

The Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., has committed $50 million in immediate short-term and long-term relief funds, and partner with national and community service organizations to help those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. The commitment, the largest in the Foundation’s 38-year history, will be split between organizations that support essential workers, food security, behavioral health and community-based organizations (CBO).

$34 million of the $50 million commitment will be distributed to the immediate short-term response efforts of service organizations on the frontlines of the health crisis.

The remaining $16 million will go towards long-term recovery and rebuilding support for service organizations helping to battle the virus. These partnerships — including with March of Dimes and Federally Qualified Health Centers, among others — will focus on food security needs, holistic behavioral health services and supporting CBOs in their efforts to address intentionally social determinants of health needs in local communities across the country.

The KIND Foundation’s 'Frontline Impact Project' aims to support the people risking their lives to keep us safe

KIND SnacksKIND Foundation and Project N95 — the National COVID-19 Clearinghouse for critical and personal protective equipment (PPE) — have partnered to launch the Frontline Impact Project, a platform whereby healthcare institutions and other frontline response organizations can request resources to help meet their greatest needs in the face of the pandemic. Furthering the work of Project N95, which to date has focused on performing supply chain diligence and helping healthcare workers who need PPE, the partnership will extend an opportunity to the thousands of healthcare facilities already in Project N95's network to also request donations in the areas of nourishment, lodging, transportation, among others.

The KIND Foundation has committed up to $1 million to expand upon Project N95's current efforts, to develop the Frontline Impact Project; and together with Lubetzky Family Foundation, to build a civic network to source additional resources. Additionally, KIND Snacks has committed to donate a minimum of 5 million KIND bars to distribute to those on the front lines — 1 million of which have already been distributed.

Keurig Dr Pepper ‘fueling the frontline’ with free beverages

Image credit: Global Coffee Report

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) recently launched a “Fueling the Frontline” initiative to provide Keurig brewers, coffee and other beverages to healthcare workers nationwide. To date, thousands of breakrooms in approximately 250 hospitals have been supplied with beverages, and the company expects to donate millions of cups of coffee and thousands of bottled beverages during this crisis. Those hard-hit communities most in need – including New York, New Jersey, Detroit, Seattle and Los Angeles – were targeted first.

MGM Resorts supports NV healthcare workers and communities in need

MGM Resorts International has committed a broad range of donations and initiatives to help alleviate supply shortages and support local communities throughout Nevada through the pandemic. By leveraging its supply chain, procurement capabilities, distribution systems, supplier network and other resources, MGM is delivering daily urgent logistical support to help manage supply shortages of critical items.

MGM provided logistical support helping the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force transport 250,000 COVID-19 rapid test kits and meet vital storage needs — the tests must remain frozen to be viable — for the State of Nevada. The company donated large freezer and refrigeration units from its Mandalay Bay property to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for COVID-19 rapid test storage. MGM partnered with Penske Trucks to meet the demand for freezer and refrigerated storage. The company is also working closely with MGM Macau to source and ship much-needed PPE for healthcare workers in Nevada, including 200,000 gloves and 261,000 gowns.

MGM has also donated more than 555,405 pounds of food, which equates to 462,837 meals. Earlier this month, chefs from the company's resorts began to cook and donate 1,000 hot meals a day for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada through April 30. The effort meets an essential need for the facility, which just recently reopened its Emergency Night Shelter after a shelter client tested positive for COVID-19.

Panera expands fresh food delivery options for COVID-restricted diners

As restaurants continue to struggle with dining room closures, Panera Bread has re-thought its model to provide needed services to consumers during the pandemic. Panera Grocery offers contactless pickup or delivery of grocery items at a time when individuals are attempting to shop less to reduce exposure to coronavirus. Consumers can order produce and dairy items; as well as bread, bagels, sandwiches and soups through Panera’s website, app or GrubHub.

UPS’ ‘Brown Army’ showing the power of logistics in supporting frontline workers, communities, business, government

Image credit: UPS

UPS has outlined a comprehensive set of actions it has taken to fight COVID-19 and to keep the US and global economies moving. In partnership with local, state and federal governments, NGOs, and healthcare and pharmaceutical providers, UPS is facilitating the delivery of critical goods and equipment to health care professionals, first responders, law enforcement authorities, and government officials around the world, while also providing basic essentials to people in the US who are staying at home to stop the spread of the virus. Efforts include:

  • As part of FEMA Project Airbridge, UPS has added over 200 flights to transport critical cargo from around the world to the US, to meet demand for test kits, PPE and other supplies.

  • Partnered with 3M and FEMA to ship millions of masks to the US for use by healthcare professionals and other frontline heroes.

  • Delivered over 250 drums of hand sanitizer to healthcare providers and first responders, with plans to deliver more across the country.

  • Delivering the inaugural shipments of 50 ventilators manufactured by GM in partnership with Ventec Life Systems to US hospitals in areas hard hit by the virus.

  • Delivering a total of 1.2 million test kits in the U.S., with millions of kits in the pipeline.

Read about these and many other partnerships and efforts here.

This post was updated on April 30, 2020.