In response to the unprecedented threat to public health, society and business activity caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, ACCIONA is taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of its employees, while ensuring the continuity of its businesses and services, some of which are essential to life in the community. ACCIONA is also working together with public institutions and social actors to help combat this pandemic.
Our main responsibility, as a company and as citizens, is to help stop the spread of this disease. We are doing so by complying at all times with the recommendations of governments and health authorities in all the countries where we are present.
And because ACCIONA operates critical infrastructure in renewable energy, water and transport, and provides essential services such as hospital management, ambulance and cleaning services, we are making every effort to ensure the continuity and quality of services which are, today more than ever, absolutely essential for the safety and well-being of our citizens.
Health, safety and business continuity
ACCIONA has implemented all the measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and national health authorities to minimize the risk of contagion among our employees. The company has also anticipated in several countries some of these measures based on the experience gained particularly in Spain.
These measures include:
- Protocol of action. It formalizes the different risk mitigation procedures to safeguard occupational health, and the security and safety of the company, and follows the recommendations of the WHO and national health authorities. The goal is to minimize health risks and identify how the health crisis might affect the company's activities. It also establishes the management processes required to comply with the measures decreed by authorities.
- Guidelines for the event of possible contagion. These guidelines help employees prevent contagion and identify its symptoms and provides information on how to stay safe.
- Working from home. ACCIONA is making resources, technology and communication tools available for employees who are able to work from home. In this way, we are complying with government requests to reduce travel and the possibility of contagion as much as possible. In addition to Spain, working remotely has been introduced, as a precautionary measure, in every country in which the company is present. More than 95% of our office staff are now working from home–a key weapon in the fight against the pandemic. We have increased the number of VPNs five-fold, reinforced our technical support services, and doubled the number of company laptops to enable this change in working patterns.
- Safety on-site. Because Acciona operates critical infrastructure and essential services that are indispensable in a crisis, a significant number of our employees work onsite.
For example, ACCIONA operates a Control Centre for Renewable Energy (CECOER), with offices in Pamplona, Santiago de Chile and Chicago, which manages more than 15,000MW. Our wind farms or solar plants require Operation and Maintenance services to guarantee the supply.
In Spain alone, ACCIONA operates 150 wastewater treatment plants, 20 drinking water treatment plants, and manages just over 80 water management services for 750,000 inhabitants.
The company also manages and provides services in several hospitals in Spain, Mexico, Canada and Qatar, as well as healthcare assistance and transport services at Barajas airport and the Autonomous Community of Aragon. The company operates handling services at several airports in Spain, Europe and Latin America. And it is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of more than 1,800 railway stations and for waste management and street cleaning in various municipalities in Spain.
Electricity, water, hospitals, airports, railways, waste management: these and other services must be fully available in this health crisis. They may not be always visible, but they are indispensable in that they allow our communities to function as normally as possible, given the circumstances.
On the other hand, ACCIONA has temporarily suspended its bike sharing service in all Spanish cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Zaragoza) and in the rest of the European Union (Milan and Lisbon).
To guarantee the health and safety of our employees in all services that remain operational, the company has provided protective equipment and all the necessary hygiene measures. Workspaces have been reorganized to ensure adequate social distancing.
In addition, ACCIONA's Security Centre (CSA) monitors the situation 24 hours a day and offers the necessary support to those employees who need to resolve situations or have doubts about the best way to proceed. So far, the CSA has dealt with more than 2,500 e-mails and 3,350 calls.
- Health Clinic: ACCIONA has reinforced its medical video consultation service for employees. It is currently staffed by a team of six doctors, supported by health and administrative personnel. This service is dealing with more than 1,000 queries per week from employees in a number of countries.
- Travel restrictions: Business travel has been suspended during the crisis.
ACCIONA is working with a number of public institutions and social agents to help mitigate the effects of the virus. The company has put together a dedicated taskforce, specifically created and organized for this purpose.
- In view of the critical situation faced by many small and medium-sized enterprises in Spain, we are giving our clients the option to postpone the payment of electricity bills until the second half of the year.
- At the Infanta Sofía Hospital in San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid), managed by ACCIONA, we are taking steps to reinforce our services (some 300 employees in this hospital), while giving staff more rest and salary recognition for their work. As a general rule, all staffers are being given free access to vending machines, and we are making fruit and other food freely available to our employees. In addition, we have donated masks to the hospital and have given patients free access to the television service.
- We are helping to set up the field hospital in Ifema, Madrid’s convention centre, with staff, resources and technical assistance for the installation of medical gases for patients. We are also helping La Paz Hospital to transport Personal Protection Equipment to this field hospital utilizing the staff and vans from our suspended bike sharing service.
- We are assisting the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid by delivering medication to the homes of patients who would be at risk of contagion if they came to collect it from the hospital. The delivery is made without physical contact with the patient.
- We have donated masks to the National Police Force, to the San Francisco de Asís Hospital in Madrid and to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Madrid, in addition to food donations to the latter.
- We have supplied more than 20,000 disposable head nets, usually used with the helmet of our motosharing services, which serve as health protection, to hospitals in Zaragoza and Madrid (soon to reach 100,000 units supplied).
- We are providing cleaning services in the Room Mate hotels that are housing health personnel. The service is provided by personnel who were going to be affected by the temporary job reduction programs related to this crisis.
- We are helping the Red Cross with the disinfection of premises in various locations in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
- In Seville, we are working with the Food Bank, collecting and delivering food from suppliers or entities with logistical constraints. We are using vans and volunteer staff from ACCIONA's bike sharing service, which has been suspended.
- Bodegas Palacio will donate 10% of its sales through https://bodegadirecta.es to the Hogar Sí Foundation, with the aim of helping the homeless, a group greatly affected in this health crisis. In addition, Almudena Alberca, the wineries' technical director, is offering a mini-series of video tastings via social media with the aim of entertaining homebound citizens.
- In Panama, we are collaborating with the authorities in the execution, maintenance and supply of a 100-bed field hospital and 10 ICUs.
- We are making our capacities, resources and personnel available to public administrations in terms of transport (vans or motorbikes), logistics (storage spaces), structures (positioning of work booths), normal and specialized cleaning and maintenance services for institutions that do not have resources at the moment.
Our goal is to assist in every possible way with our expertise in palpable actions that have positive social benefits. We are also asking our employees to suggest new ways in which we can help.
The response of everyone in our company in the face of this situation is outstanding, both for the responsibility they have shown in their jobs, and for their solidarity and generosity. To further encourage this spirit of collaboration, we have taken the following steps:
- We have promoted a Notice Board on our internal communication channels, which includes all kinds of initiatives for collaboration by our human teams. Employees are contributing their ideas and skills to help others and contribute to the well-being of all. Strengthening communication tools also helps to maintain team spirit and the ability to be there for each other, giving support, advice, sharing images or simply talking.
- Wherever possible, we are giving people affected by temporary layoffs the option to continue working in another essential service in need reinforcement, or to take part in the rest of the activities we have set up in collaboration with the authorities.
- Thanks to the Fundación José Manuel Entrecanales, we are making two state-of-the-art technological platforms available to employees and their families while the health emergency lasts:
- Lingokids: Application for children between 2 and 8 years old to learn English in a fun way. https://www.lingokids.com/es
- Odilo: Leading provider of intelligent digital library https://www.odilo.es/