Our response to Covid-19: caring for our people, customers, partners and communities
Since the beginning of the outbreak, we at Imerys have been focused on ensuring the safety of our employees and partners while maintaining business continuity.
As an industrial company providing raw materials to industries whose work is crucial at this time, such as blood filtration, packaging, agriculture, transportation, animal feed and energy storage, keeping our sites running with minimal interruption is key to supporting the economies of the countries in which we operate.
At the same time, we are mindful that local and national regulations around the opening or closure of sites vary from one country to another. We continue to monitor the situation, day after day, country by country, and follow the advice of the relevant national health authorities.
Given the very volatile situation, we are also in regular contact with our suppliers and key customers.
We have established a Crisis Management Team to handle this unprecedented situation and have set up a strict monitoring process under the supervision of the Executive Committee. Local management teams are adapting their activities every day depending on the guidelines of the Crisis Management Team. Through our extensive presence in China, we learned a great deal about the seriousness of the epidemic and about the necessary measures to contain it.
We expect the coronavirus outbreak to cause a drop in activity; the Group is taking all measures to preserve profitability, liquidity and a solid financial structure.
Our first priority will always remain the safety and health of our people.
With this in mind, all employees who can are working from home for the foreseeable future.
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Our people involved in or supporting critical operations continue to work at their workplace and we have processes in place to help protect them. We have set up our own Covid-19 specific protocol, compliant with international and national authorities. This protocol outlines recommendations for the management and control of the specific Covid-19 epidemic within all our operations, technology centers and offices.
The protocol includes information on:
- Who is permitted to visit Imerys’ sites
- How to deal with suspected or confirmed infections
- Home and remote working for office-based employees
- Personal Protective Equipment use and purchasing
- Business travel guidelines
Our suppliers and partners
The safety of our suppliers and partners is equally our priority. We want our sites to be safe places for people to work. In this context, we ask all those on our sites - employees, partners and suppliers - to apply the advice on hygienic best practices that are vital for the continued health and safety of all:
- For business-critical interactions, keep a distance of one or two meters and avoid physical contact; insist on recommended hygiene procedures and provide alcohol-based sanitizers; ask visitors to confirm in writing that they have not been to a high epidemic area in the previous two weeks.
- Insist visitors wear masks, where available. Provide a dedicated waste container for the disposal of face masks.
- Insist contractors working on premises for long periods have a body temperature check.
- Anyone who has traveled to a high epidemic area or shows symptoms of infection must not enter Imerys’ sites.
- Postpone non-business-critical visits.
- Postpone non-business-critical work by contractors.
At every operating site, we have robust business continuity plans in place to make sure we can continue to provide the minerals our customers need. We have implemented serious hygiene measures to respect the local health authorities’ regulations such as:
- Ensuring adequate ventilation of rooms to reduce the multiplication of bacteria and viruses
- Maintaining and disinfecting air conditioning systems regularly
- Ensuring disinfection of surfaces
- Requiring regular cleaning of facilities, canteens and toilets
- Providing a dedicated waste container for the disposal of used masks
- Displaying the posters describing the basic hygiene measures (at the entry point to the site, restrooms, canteen etc)
The spread of the Covid-19 outbreak is expected to cause a drop in activity, potentially resulting in temporary plant shutdowns due to a decline in demand in certain end markets (automotive, iron & steel, construction), legal containment measures ordered by local authorities and/or supply and logistical difficulties.
All of us are impacted by the global spread of Covid-19 in some way. Imerys stands ready to help the communities where our people live and our businesses operate.
We want to express our immense gratitude, especially to caregivers of sick people and are looking at the best possible way to support local medical workers and hospitals through donations.
We will continue to focus on keeping people around the world safe and healthy. We will provide regular updates on our actions to our employees and customers as the situation develops.