Staying resilient and safe during the COVID-19 crisis
During the COVID-19 health crisis, Saft's commitment to protecting the health of our employees and communities became more important than ever. We focused on the safety and security of our workplaces, and continuing to serve our customers, particularly in critical industries fighting against the coronavirus pandemic.
Health and workplace safety
We cannot repeat it enough; the health and safety of all our employees worldwide is our priority. That's why we took unprecedented decisions to protect our colleagues, their loved ones and our customers.
Following governmental restrictions, we were obliged to temporarily close our factories in China, France and lndia. ln all other countries, production ran according to the country's specific guidelines to avoid the risk of contamination. ln the US, for example, Saft's activities are considered essential, whether it's batteries for medical equipment manufacturers, for critical infrastructure or for the US Military. Our US sites all continued to run almost normally, depending on safety measures, logistics' issues and customer demand.
Working from home became the new normal for employees who could do their jobs remotely. From factory management to support functions and R&D, about 50% of our global workforce worked from home.
At the time of going to print, all our plants and offices have reopened, or are reopening progressively with robust health and safety plans, which include health education, hygienic practices and stringent contamination prevention measures.
Actions to support our communities
Saft's plants have a long history and a close connection to their local communities. During the pandemic, many initiatives flourished ta provide crucial supplies and support to those on the frontline.
Right from the start of the crisis our plants across the globe donated spare gloves, goggles, protective gowns and 30 printed face shields to health professionals, local hospitals, emergency medical responders and even a local firefighter brigade facing shortages. Our colleagues in Valdese, US also organized a voluntary food bank. We greatly appreciate the generous actions of all our employees.
As a battery company, maintaining business continuity is vital for the entire manufacturing sector, as we are an essential partner in our customers' supply chains and many of our products serve applications necessary for our daily lives. ln fact, several Saft business units have put in place emergency product offerings to customers serving healthcare and other sectors who have urgent needs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As an example, our business prioritized and maximized the production of critical batteries used for a mobile X-ray unit manufacturer in Sweden who saw a significant increase in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis.
To stay close to our customers and partners our marketing and sales forces launched many online training sessions and webinars with a high level of participants, whether for a rail customer in lndia or engineering companies in Ecuador and Peru.
At Saft we stay positive about what will come next, believing that with the help of our strong company culture - a blend of teamwork and forward thinking - we will overcome this challenging period and work together with our communities, customers and partners towards a brighter future.