Like individuals throughout the world, corporations—including those in the paint and coatings industry—are making donations and providing support to help those affected by the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 200,000 in Southeast Asia. Here is a look at what some firms are doing to help the recovery.
BASF AG will provide €1 million in immediate aid to victims. BASF has sites in the affected countries, but none directly in the affected areas, according to company officials. BASF companies in the region have also made initial donations to help the victims.
“The damage resulting from this once-in-a-century disaster is unimaginable. It is our utmost concern to help the people in need. Therefore, we call on all our workers to make a donation,” said BASF chairman Jürgen Hambrecht. BASF said it would match the amount donated by employees through January 31.
Another German firm, Bayer, is continuing to assist victims of the Asian flood disaster with donations of cash and medicine totaling approximately €10 million. Following initial spontaneous donations of €500,000 made in December, Bayer is also helping to meet the relief organizations’ need for medicines to treat flood victims and aid workers.
As soon as news was received of the widespread destruction caused by the tsunami, Bayer said it mounted relief efforts at the local level in India, Indonesia and Thailand. The company has stepped up its commitment by donating medicines and other supplies in response to specific requirements of international relief organizations helping in the area.
In addition, Bayer said it will join in providing long-term assistance with reconstruction work in the affected regions. Specific projects will be discussed and coordinated with its companies in the region in the coming months. Bayer, which employs some 5,700 people in India, Indonesia and Thailand, also plans to give its employees the opportunity to contribute further to these relief measures. (Germany was one of the most affected nations outside the tsunami-ravaged region as many citizens traveled to the area for winter vacation. The country has so far reported 60 dead with more than 660 still missing as this issue went to press.)
The Dow Chemical Company is contributing $5 million to the relief efforts. The pledge includes a $1 million monetary contribution to the American Red Cross International Response Fund; up to $1 million in matching individual contributions from Dow’s more than 40,000 employees and 70,000 retirees; and an additional $3 million in the form of vital products, technology and funds to assist in the longer-term reconstruction efforts.
3M is donating $1.5 million to help with the relief effort in the region, including a $500,000 grant to match employee contributions to the American Red Cross, CARE and UNICEF. In addition, 3M is donating $1 million in products needed by relief organizations. To date, product donations have included medical tapes, bandages, monitoring electrodes, surgical masks, respirators and packaging tape.
Jotun has allocated approximately $322,000 to relief efforts, with more than $39,000 already transferred to The Norwegian Red Cross as first aid, said Jotun president and CEO Knut Almestrand. The remaining money will be donated through Jotun’s local companies in Southeast Asia. The Norwegian-based paint maker has seven production facilities in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and has more than 900 employees in the region. The disaster did not injure any Jotun employees, according to company officials.
The J.C. Hempel Foundation, which is the sole shareholder of paint and protective coatings manufacturer Hempel A/S of Denmark, has donated approximately $360,000 to relief and reconstruction efforts in the stricken region. SOS Children’s Villages and UNICEF will each receive equal share of the funds, according to the company.
“We have deep roots and many employees, partners and customers in Southeast Asia,” said Hempel