When the novel coronavirus started spreading globally, Novozymes immediately set out to develop a comprehensive plan to deal with the difficult situation. Ensuring the safety of the company’s workforce was at the forefront of this response strategy and, as an example, Novozymes moved very early to protect its employees by enabling them to work from home. Novozymes is helping communities with the production of hand sanitizer; the company is involved in the production of ethanol, a key ingredient in sanitizer, and has been procuring ethanol for producers.
When the novel coronavirus started spreading globally, Novozymes immediately set out to develop a comprehensive plan to deal with the difficult situation. Ensuring the safety of the company’s workforce was at the forefront of this response strategy and, as an example, Novozymes moved very early to protect its employees by enabling them to work from home. The company also quickly limited business travel and started offering useful tools and resources to help employees deal with the fear and loneliness sparked by the unprecedented situation.
“COVID-19 is an awful experience for everyone, but that said it is also an opportunity to think outside the box and discover how we can work together in new ways – and ultimately better reach societies with the technology they need,” said Jeppe Glahn, Novozymes’ vice president of global communications and brand.
Already in January, the company activated its Global Crisis Response Team to work dedicatedly with the consequences of the pandemic. As the COVID-19 crisis continued to develop, Novozymes also formed Regional Crisis Response Teams in order to more effectively tackle the effects of the ever-evolving situation.
Under overall guidance from the global team, the Regional Crisis Response Teams handled the pandemic according to local circumstances and dynamics. This decentralized, more hands-off-like approach proved to be highly effective.
Novozymes also worked hard to explore ways to help others, including healthcare workers and communities in need. For example, as many health centers in Denmark faced test plate shortages, Novozymes provided guidance, from its biotech toolbox, to local hospitals on how to adequately wash and reuse test plates for COVID-19 – instead of throwing these away after a single use.
Novozymes is also helping communities through the production of hand sanitizer – which is in short supply in many countries around the world. The company is involved in the production of ethanol, an alcohol key to hand sanitizer, and is helping procure this ingredient for producers.
“As COVID-19 continues to unfold, Novozymes is not focused on implementing necessarily the easiest solutions but, rather, implementing more sustainable change in the organization that we know will not have a long-term negative imprint,” said Glahn. “As so many other organizations, we are very likely to move to much more agility, including by working from home.
However, we want to do this right and ensure we have thought through how such a fundamental shift affects employees’ well-being, while ensuring that everyone still has a strong feeling of belonging to a very purpose-driven organization.”