The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound effect on lives around the world. The unprecedented health, economic and social impact of the pandemic has resulted in hardships within many communities – and this situation is likely to persist for some time to come. Throughout the pandemic, we have been committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work. These efforts have taken many forms and been led by our portfolio companies, staff, and our work through the Macquarie Group Foundation. As we look back over the last six months, we wanted to highlight and celebrate these efforts.
Portfolio company community efforts
Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) is proud of the initiatives our portfolio companies have driven in their communities over the past six months. Their commitment to serve and support the communities in which they operate during these difficult times has been steadfast.
Hull and East Yorkshire phone and broadband provider KCOM lifted data caps for customers on fixed usage packages, provided grants to local foodbanks, supported the HEY Smile Foundation with staff and vans to deliver groceries and medical supplies to vulnerable residents and donated £10,000 of digital tablets to Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
In Austria, ESTAG donated PPE to the Austrian Air Ambulance’s operations in Styria and partnered with a church organisation to establish a €100,000 fund to support those facing financial difficulties as a result of the crisis through monetary and counselling measures.
In Spain, CLH donated €1 million of medical equipment in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, volunteered its car fleet to deliver medical supplies and groceries, donated to Madrid’s largest temporary hospital and volunteered with the Spanish Red Cross.
Viesgo supported local charities in Spain with the aim of aiding people at risk of social exclusion due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Additionally, the company donated to ‘Energy Without Borders’, which builds solar PV electricity in rural areas of Benin, to combat the secondary impact of COVID-19 on charities operating in Africa.
In the Czech Republic, CRA provided schools and the Government with complimentary OTT (over-the-top media services) solutions and partnered with the Red Cross to provide care homes and hospitals with a free IoT (Internet of Things) emergency services platform.
TDC in Denmark supported customers abroad with free minutes and text messages throughout March and April1 and provided all customers with free access to national news TV channels to support a high level of information during lockdown. TDC helped authorities get in contact with Danes abroad and further supported the Danish authorities in establishing a COVID-19 hotline. TDC Net also partnered with the Nordea Foundation and the Danish Red Cross to offer telephone support to lonely individuals as part of its ‘Digital Visitor Friends’.
In the United Kingdom, AGS Airports pledged £40,000 to homeless charity Simon Community Scotland to help homeless people in Glasgow access hotel accommodation to self-isolate. Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports have also repurposed their car parks into drive-through mobile testing facilities.
Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network2 provided staff with two volunteering days per month to support the community during COVID-19. Staff volunteered at the likes of Haven House Children's Hospice, Birmingham City Food Bank, and the Norwich to Luton Mercy Mission where Cadent volunteers from Norwich helped deliver medication to Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, a 200 mile round trip.
The Cadent Foundation donated £240,000 to The Trussell Trust foodbank network, £100,000 to the Royal Voluntary Service and £125,000 in small donations to smaller charities across its network area.
IMTT has supported the local communities in New Jersey, Illinois and in Louisiana where four of its terminals are located, by donating $US35,000 to local organisations that help individuals affected by COVID-19 to access food and medication. In Louisiana this included support of ‘Feed the Frontline Nola’, who provide lunches to healthcare workers. The meals are provided by local restaurants and delivered by local musicians and artists who have also lost their ability to work, providing a three-part positive boost to the community.
Yusan Terminals provided 100 meals weekly to frontline medical staff at three Los Angeles-area hospitals throughout May 2020 and worked with two non-profit organisations to assist COVID-19 relief efforts in Los Angeles County.
Grupo Solvi allocated $R10 million to help fight coronavirus in Brazil, including a $R1.2 million investment to donate safety product packages of masks and sanitising gel. They have also celebrated their staff, as key workers in waste management through the ‘A Gesture of Gratitude’ campaign with nightly live social media events hosted by prominent Brazilian celebrities. The company was recognised for its efforts by Globo TV’s ‘Solidarity, Inc.’ programme, which showcases companies with noteworthy efforts to help communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis, whether by donations or by continuing to provide essential services.
- Energy charter
In Australia, electricity distributor Endeavour Energy and electricity transmission network ElectraNet committed to a relief package to help consumers suffering hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both companies, as members of Energy Networks Australia, worked with retailers, governments, the energy regulator and market operator on measures to provide energy bill relief to eligible households and businesses. As a signatory to the world-first Energy Charter3, Endeavour Energy also promoted assistance for electricity customers across the supply chain via its ‘We’ve got you’ campaign.
Port of Newcastle in Australia supported 12 community organisations via a funding round during the COVID-19 pandemic, including assisting a local theatre company to deliver its educational performance workshops to school-age children virtually. Additionally, consistent with the Port’s role as a major import and export facility on the East Coast of Australia, it convened port tenants and major users in a forum to improve business continuity, PPE guidance, resiliency and safe operations in the Newcastle community, alongside Federal and State agencies.
In South Korea, Gyeongsu Highway donated KRW20 million through the Red Cross to provide emergency relief kits to 800 vulnerable people and a further KRW10 million to the KRW100 million Red Cross Creating Shared Value Fund to feed and support underprivileged people in Sungnam. The company also provided KRW10 million in financial support in addition to KRW10 million worth of masks and sanitisers to local underprivileged families in Suwon, Yongin and Sungnam, and provided KRW10 million to support the Yoning Culture Foundation to support the arts through the pandemic in Yongin.
The Cheonan Nonsan Expressway donated KRW20 million to the Korean Foundation for Support of The Senior Citizen in Need and ChildFund. Both charities provide food to the elderly and underprivileged children in Gongju, Chunhan and Nonsan.
Incheon Bridge donated KRW20 million to the Incheon Talent Centre to fund scholarships for 20 underprivileged school children. They also donated KRW17 million in funding and equipment to the Red Cross and donated to the Incheon Disabled Foundation to support disabled citizens in the Incheon Youngjong-island area through COVID-19.
Busan New Port (BNCT) donated KRW18 million to the Soyang Orphanage to sponsor the remodelling of the teachers and centre’s career office to improve the centre’s care of children under a better environment In addition, they arranged pizza days to lift the spirits of the Soyang children and teachers who have been self-isolating in the orphanage due to the pandemic.
Macquarie Group’s COVID-19 community efforts through the Macquarie Foundation
Macquarie Group has allocated $A20 million in charitable donations to the Macquarie Group Foundation to support a select number of non-profit organisations working to combat COVID-19 and provide relief to affected communities.
The fund will focus on recipients addressing areas of immediate and medium‑term need in regions in which Macquarie operates. Already, $A2 million has been contributed to The Global Foodbanking Network to address critical food security needs across its network of more than 900 foodbanks in 40 countries, including meals for children as many schools around the world remain closed.
The Burnet Institute has received $A1 million for its large-scale Optimise Study on social isolation and physical distancing, and the Doherty Institute has received $A1 million for its international clinical trial into the effectiveness of antivirals in preventing patients with COVID-19 from requiring intensive care. $A5.3 million has been allocated across 23 non-profits internationally that are focused on direct relief efforts and a further $A4.75 million has been allocated to three non-profits that are supporting workers and businesses in restarting economic activity.
In addition to the initiatives above, to further amplify its commitment to the community sector in this time of need, the Foundation has also signed the London Funders COVID-19 statement, Philanthropy Australia statement and the AVPN pledge.
Our staff led efforts
The Macquarie Foundation’s donation has been complimented by a number of MAM staff volunteering and fundraising efforts globally. We are proud of the activities of our staff, who have been active in cities including New York, Sydney, London, and Madrid, to support their communities through donations and volunteering activities.
In Europe, our staff donated PPE, medicine, and 3D printers and volunteered for their communities and health authorities in the UK and Spain. Collectively the team also donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), assisted The Ava Foundation to purchase digital tablets for eight hospitals in Madrid and supported NGO “Medicos por el Mundo” to build five new emergency hospitals throughout the world.
In the Americas, our New York staff put their culinary skills to test, embarking on a cookery challenge in support of the Bronx Community Relief Effort.
1. From 20 March and throughout April 2020