It’s fair to say, the extent of restrictions and weeks of confinement to stop the spread of COVID-19 caught most of us off-guard.
Yet, with continuous dry-runs for various crisis scenarios, pipeline companies were well prepared to respond to the pandemic. Not just for their own businesses and employees, but also for the communities where they work.
This week’s blog post looks at TC Energy’s COVID-19 relief initiatives – a shining example of philanthropic effort to support communities during the pandemic.
TC Energy designed its COVID-19 relief initiatives to support organizations responding to the pandemic across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Initiatives include corporate community investment, workforce giving, and public donations through a new Giving Portal aimed at members of the public, which launched when the pandemic began. So far, the total impact of these programs amounts to more than C$2.86 million.
The first step was to understand what community residents across their geography really need to help them get through this extraordinary time. “We drew on our close working relationships with more than 200 internal colleagues from across our footprint to understand their situation and guide our corporate giving,” says Leanne Zee, Manager, Community and Employee Involvement at TC Energy.
“Early in the crisis, it became clear that the employees themselves also wanted a way to channel their support to the communities where we live and work,” says Zee. “This wasn’t surprising – we have a strong culture of giving.”
TC Energy channelled employee donations through their workforce matching program, “Empower”. To boost the impact of those donations, TC Energy amped up their standard 1:1 match program with a 2:1 special match offer for employees’ donations to causes active in their communities.
Seeing an opportunity to broaden their support for communities, TC Energy then launched its Community Giving Portal. This new portal unlocked the company’s donation matching and made it available to anyone in the public with a donation to support communities during the pandemic. And, for an additional giving incentive, TC Energy double-matched all donations made by members of the public from #GivingTuesdayNow (May 5 to May 19, 2020).
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in the coming months, Zee says TC Energy is keeping an eye on the longer-term impacts.
“We know the fallout from the pandemic will be a huge learning experience for all of us. And many will not be able to weather the storm,” says Zee. “That’s why we’ve channelled our support to focus on meeting basic needs in our communities across North America. To date, we’ve targeted food security for vulnerable people, as well as supports for first responders and students studying at home.”
“As we learn more about the ultimate impacts of this pandemic, TC Energy will be poised to continue its support of the communities where we live, work and play.”
Across CEPA’s and the CEPA Foundation’s members, pipeline companies and their partners are finding creative ways to help communities where they work to navigate the pandemic crisis.
Thank you to all of Canada’s essential workers, from health care providers, truck drivers, food services and grocery store workers, energy workers, and countless more, who are out there every day, ensuring we have what we need to make it through these challenging times.
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