When the spread of the coronavirus across Europe was reaching a critical point in mid-March, Corbion employees in the region were advised: “For those who do not need to go to your Corbion location, please work from home.”
A lot has happened since then. Massive work was undertaken to ensure everyone’s health and well-being. Incredible efforts in Operations kept our production running, with all necessary precautions in place. Intense focus by IT enabled the majority of Corbion employees to work from home. Continuous monitoring and scenario planning helped Logistics and Procurement stay on target worldwide. Frequent communications kept everyone informed and engaged.
But Corbion employees also went beyond their usual job duties to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Colleagues in Montmeló, led by Plant Technologist Joan Miquel Roig, offered the use of their industrial centrifuge to sterilize masks for a neighboring community in Spain. The team initially sterilized and packed 2,000 masks brought to them by the town’s mayor so they could be used primarily in local elder-care facilities. That number has eventually reached 30,000!
Our employees have also found creative ways to take care of themselves. A group of more than 100 in the Netherlands raised a virtual toast together, enjoying care packages hand-delivered to their respective homes on a Friday afternoon. Local teams in Corbion Gorinchem and Amsterdam also organized bouquets of tulips to be delivered to the heroes working on-site to keep operations running through the lockdown. Similar initiatives included a flat sheet of apple pie delivered through the mail slot and a “1.5-meter package” containing sanitizing spray made in our labs. These surprises have not only helped boost morale among Corbion employees working in the Netherlands, but supported the local economy we are a part of.