Dec 12, 2023
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Jun 26, 2020
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The COVID-19 outbreak continues to touch nearly every aspect of our lives. Panasonic would like to express its gratitude to the public servants and local communities whose unceasing efforts are helping both to contain the spread of the virus and address its long-term impact on society and the economy. We also offer heartfelt thanks to healthcare professionals everywhere, whose selfless dedication on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight continues to preserve and protect the lives of family, friends and neighbors.
The sense of global community brought about by the pandemic has inspired many Panasonic colleagues around the world to offer their support to people in need. They have shown adaptability, resilience and empathy in ways that perhaps best demonstrate how a company like Panasonic can contribute meaningfully to society outside the usual framework of products and technology.
Konosuke Matsushita, Panasonic's founder, believed that a company's primary purpose was not to produce products, but to develop people. From India to Latin America, from Africa to APAC and everywhere between, the spirit exhibited by employees who have gone above and beyond their duties to give back to their communities reflects Matsushita's principle of putting people first.
The COVID-19 lockdown in India had a significant impact on millions of migratory laborers, who were stranded far from their homes without ready access to food and clean drinking water.
Atul Arya, lead for the Energy & EV business at Panasonic India & SA, recognized the problem and came together with fellow runners at the Leisure Valley Runners Foundation to crowdsource funds and ensure a regular supply of provisions for thousands in the community of Gurgaon, Haryana.
Karishma, from the legal team at Panasonic India, learned about the non-availability of protective gear for doctors and medical staff in the initial days of lockdown in India, and decided to raise funds to support them through a tough period.
Panasonic India joined forced with NGO partner Jubilant Bhartia Foundation to raise awareness of COVID-19 in 18 villages around Panasonic's factory, while also supplying vital masks and sanitizer products to non-medical personnel providing vital social infrastructure services.
It is easy to overlook the services and facilities that have had to be put in place at lightning speed in towns and cities around the world, not only to look after the ill but also to house the high number of people who have required safe quarantine to prevent the spread of infection. In Indonesia, Panasonic worked with the housing ministry to revitalize more than 5,000 air conditioners needed to ensure air quality at Wisma Atlet Kemayoran, an athletic center repurposed as a COVID-19 Quarantine Center in Indonesia. In Singapore, Panasonic Industrial Devices Singapore also contributed financially to a Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB)'s initiative to support the frontline healthcare workers in Batam.
Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, Panasonic in Vietnam has donated necessary electronic products and batteries to hospitals and other organizations, providing both appreciation and practical support.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the high demand for critical personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face masks has created localized shortages across North America, putting frontline healthcare staff and communities at risk.
Alison Fowler, at Panasonic Canada, has put her sewing skills to work through an organization called Canada Sews, using fabric provided by friends and family to create community PPE that helps ensure medical-grade PPE remains available for the high risk workers who need it most.
"I feel very proud to contribute to the hundreds and thousands of items that have been sewn and delivered already across Canada through the amazing volunteers at Canada Sews."
Panasonic group companies have supported the work of individuals, with donations of healthcare communications equipment, PPE and monetary grants.
The intense stress on healthcare facilities in Europe has necessitated rapid innovation and problem solving. To support patients requiring breathing assistance, Panasonic worked with the Welsh Government and designers from Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen and engineering firm CR Clarke & Co. to procure parts and produce prototype CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) units for regulatory approval and use in clinical trials.
Meanwhile, with education providers facing an urgent need to implement large-scale distance learning, Panasonic teamed up with European universities to provide a combined hardware/software lecture capture system to enable students to continue learning even as the pandemic shut down access to their lecture rooms.
The people at Panasonic Brasil have seen firsthand the challenges the pandemic has thrown up for frontline medical institutions, not only with the widely publicized issue of PPE but also with the higher overall drain on hospital resources amid intensive use of their facilities.
Luciano Lima, Battery Marketing Manager at Panasonic do Brasil, oversaw a battery donation program in São José dos Campos and São Paulo after talking to local health institutions and learning of their struggle to maintain consumable supplies for essential medical equipment.
"It has been intensely rewarding to know that by donating tens of thousands of batteries to hospitals, senior care units and public health facilities we have been able to help them look after their patients at a critical time," says Luciano.
The company has backed numerous other initiatives in the region through donations of time, money and materials, helping mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while employees experience the true meaning of putting people first.
The health crisis has sometimes overshadowed the very real stresses placed on communities and families by lockdowns. These lockdowns have made it difficult for many organizations to continue their work, so Danica Panaga, of consumer marketing team at Panasonic Marketing Middle East, has been providing financial and online awareness support to a youth organization drive in her hometown (Sta. Maria Isabela, Philippines). As well as raising funds to support more than 300 underprivileged families severely impacted by the lockdown, the project distributed meals to frontline personnel.
"Our individual efforts when combined can make a huge difference," says Danica. "Kindness gives hope to those who think they are alone in the world."
Clarence Alvarado, also from the consumer marketing team at Panasonic Marketing Middle East, also went above and beyond by setting up an advocacy drive to help hundreds of families, medical staff and other public service people protecting communities in her home nation of the Philippines. "Every one of us should feel responsible for society and do what we can do as individuals," says Clarence.
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