How Novozymes responds to COVID-19/Coronavirus
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Novozymes’ commitment to our employees, our customers, and the communities where we operate is stronger than ever.
We will continue to safeguard the health of our employees, ensure steady supply our products, while also striving to do our part in the fight against COVID-19.
The situation is constantly evolving, and we continue to work with authorities and our partners around the world to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that we as a company can take appropriate action and contribute where we can.
Please see some of our current actions and responses below (updated 4 August 2020).
Keeping employees safe and production running
- At Novozymes, we have implemented measures at all our locations to keep people, production and products safe.
- To protect the health and safety of our employees worldwide, we have asked all those who can, to work from home.
- For employees who come on site to ensure that our production and laboratories are running, we have put practices in place to keep them safe, such as enabling the recommended social distancing, enhanced cleaning and availability of protection gear as well as sanitizers.
- To help our employees during this difficult time, we have among other things ensured that our digital infrastructure supports and enables connecting digitally internally as well as with our customers and stakeholders.
Supporting communities coping with COVID-19
- We have launched an educational webpage about fungi and enzymes; ‘Wonders of Biology’ for parents to use in home teaching.
- We are working with customers to deliver solutions for the production of alcohol for hand sanitizing.
- Our enzymes are a key component in many coronavirus diagnostics kits, and we work diligently to ensure swift and continues supply to healthcare companies who produce the kits.
- We are ready to provide equipment such as e.g. PCR equipment and resources to run the COVID-19 testing process at our laboratories should authorities need our help.
- To help our smaller vendors, we speed up payments.
- We produce and deliver enzymes that are critical for everyday products – see here
- Novozymes’ enzymes are used to manufacture nutrition that can help individuals with gastrointestinal disorders. During COVID-19, patients on ventilators cannot consume solid foods and they require tube feeding of liquid nutrients. We prioritize production and supply of enzymes for these types of liquid nutrients.
- As a part of our Inspire Targets, Novozymes employees can pledge work time to local outreach activities. For an example, in Denmark we have an employee, a trained nurse, who now spends some working days helping to test for COVID-19 at Holbæk Hospital.
- Novozymes provided additional monetary support to Starehe Boys Centre & School to care for disadvantaged students, who are residing there during the nation-wide COVID-19 lockdown. Starehe is a charitable institution focused on providing education to disadvantaged youth. Novozymes has been engaged with them since 2019 and is sponsoring the construction of new biology labs.
- From our South Africa office, we have engaged with FoodForward – a nation-wide foodbank that addresses the widespread hunger in the country – to donate a financial contribution that facilitates the provision of more than 1500 proper meals. These meals will be served in communities particularly vulnerable to the consequences of COVID-19.
- We have donated to the Solidarity Fund – the Government of South Africa’s COVID-19 response fund, which will provide grants to small and mid-size enterprises and to daily-wage earners.
- To fight COVID-19 we have donated 1 million RMB via Red Cross to help build hospitals in Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, procure supplies, and provide support for frontline workers.
- Novozymes has contributed 1 million INR to the Chief Minister State Relief Fund for the State of Maharashtra, the state in which our Indian production site is located.
- Also in India, Novozymes’ employees at our Mumbai site have raised funds to support the tribal community, essential workers such as police officers, and our contractual workers. The funds have been able to support approximately 250 tribal homes.
- Around 150 Novozymes employees participated in a virtual fitness challenge to raise money for daily-wage earners, whose lives have come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 crisis. Observing local rules and guidelines, our employees walked approximately 2.3 million steps in a day, with each step sparking a proportional contribution towards a donation eventually totaling 2 million INR. The sum has been donated specifically for state funds, and organizations in Mumbai and Bangalore – where Novozymes operates – involved with disaster management and eradication of hunger.
- In Malaysia, we are supporting local NGOs that deliver food to daily-wage earners without jobs due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown – donating sought-after provisions such as rice, cooking oil, and detergents. The NGOs we work with each support 200-500 families daily.
- In Japan, we have donated lab equipment and Personal Protection Equipment to the Municipality of Chiba – in which our Japanese R&D facilities are located.
- As Denmark aims to test more people for the virus, Novozymes and Novo Nordisk Foundation donate essential equipment to a new test facility established at The Serum Institute in Denmark. Novozymes immediately transfers a liquid handler from our R&D facilities and will also contribute knowledge. The liquid handler is essential equipment that expands capacity for faster testing of more people. See this video to learn about the test facility.
- With COVID-19, alcohol-based sanitizers are in high demand. In Kalundborg, Denmark, a large scale production of ethanol to be used for sanitization has been established. To set up and run the production, experts and equipment are needed. Novozymes has a large enzyme production in Kalundborg and has seconded one of our skilled operators to help run the production of alcohol. To further support the production, we have also lent tank containers for storage and transportation of product.
- We have donated lab coats to the municipalities of Lyngby-Taarbæk, north of Copenhagen, and Slagelse on western Zealand. Lab coats are used by social and health care assistants and staff at nursing homes.
- Our scientists are engaged in a project at Hvidovre Hospital to develop a washing process for the plastic test plates used for COVID-19 testing. As more people need to be tested for the virus, a shortage of plastic plates may occur. We are in this project together with Novo Nordisk, LEGO Group, Miele and Region Hovedstaden to secure that plates can be safely reused, and more people can be tested more quickly.
- In Berlin, we have donated lab coats to nursing home where staff was in urgent need.
- We supported the Municipalities of Araucária and Quatro Barras, in which our regional head office and BioAg plant are located, and their frontline workers with key needs (such as hand sanitizers) and the municipality homeless assistance (with personal hygiene products and blankets).
- We also engaged the “Contagiando Sorrisos” project, donating 1.000 masks for two hospitals in the region.
- In partnership with Corbion and Charlotte we produced and distributed 4.500 unities of foam bread for families in the cities of Araucária, Almirante Tamandaré and Curitiba.
- We supported 3 hospitals donating masks, hand sanitizers and thermometers.
- Novozymes has developed teaching materials on STEM education, specifically formatted for at-home schooling for families navigating school closures.
- In North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin, Novozymes has donated Personal Protection Equipment (gloves, N-95 masks, lab coats, etc.) to a local hospital and healthcare facility.
- Novozymes has donated funds to the Franklin County and the Greater Triangle United Way Agencies of North Carolina to be used to purchase food for meal deliveries for homebound seniors and to restock the local food bank for families with children in need.
- Novozymes has contributed $5,000 to the North Carolina State Student Emergency Fund, which provides small grants to students for shelter and food.
- Novozymes has partnered with North Carolina State University’s Biomanufacturing Training & Education Center (BTEC) to produce hand sanitizer. Blended on campus by BTEC, the sanitizer is now being put in bottles that will be available throughout NC State, helping to keep students and faculty healthy. More than 200 gallons of hand sanitizers will be produced daily because of this partnership.
- Novozymes is continually diverting funds from our North Carolina, California and Virginia sites, normally used for fruit delivery and catered lunch, towards local food banks.
- With Return to School-plans in the works throughout the U.S. and Canada, although continuously subject to change sparking lots of uncertainty for families with children, Novozymes has decided to set up a Tutoring Program through which employees can tutor virtually the children of their co-workers.
- In Ottawa, Novozymes has donated glycerin from yeast production, a key ingredient for making hand sanitizer, to local distilleries that have adjusted their setup.
- In Saskatoon, Novozymes continues to donate funds to a local food bank.
A part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and its contributions against COVID-19
Novozymes’ main shareholder is Novo Holdings A/S which is wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, an independent foundation whose objective is to provide a stable base for the companies within the Novo Group and to support scientific and humanitarian purposes.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation has donated DKK 250 million for the establishment of a new COVID-19 test center in Denmark, and it donated DKK 17 million to set up emergency production of alcohol to be used for sanitation. DKK 77 million has also been awarded to a number of projects that can help prevent and limit consequences from COVID-19 in Denmark. Get the full overview here.