10 corona initiatives we're proud of

This was a long and dark spring. Every day we were met with gloomy headlines and fading hopes for the future - but there were also some silver linings. At Coor, we’re proud of our colleagues who’ve shown courage, creativity and compassion during the corona crisis. Here are 10 examples of corona-related initiatives that inspire us.

1. Mobile wash basins that work without electricity or water

Washing your hands with soap and water is a key weapon against the corona virus. But what do you do if you don’t have access to a wash basin? Kurt Semb, Coor, who usually works at ABB Skien in Norway, rose to the challenge with the help of plumbing firm Rørlegger'n AS. The result was a wash basin that doesn’t need electricity or water. The solution consists of small wash basin, soap dispenser, paper towel holder and a waste basket.

The basin has quickly become popular. Some of the first to use it were the pre-schools Maurtua Skien and Gustavas Hage.

“We have 176 children in our pre-schools. We’ve placed the wash basin outside the school gates, and every morning the children and parents are asked to wash their hands before they enter the school. This has been very well received”, Principal Edle Iversen explains.

2. Khaled volunteered to clean corona intensive care

One of Coor’s cleaners, Khaled Sabaane, is one of those healthcare service providers whose work usually goes unsung. In an interview with Swedish TV, Khaled explained that he asked to be moved to covid intensive care at Gävle hospital because he knows how important his job is.

“We need to protect our doctors and nurses. When I disinfect a door handle before they touch it, I’m protecting them from infection”, he explained in the interview.

The fact that he meets seriously ill people who are fighting for their lives every day doesn’t deter him, on the contrary.

”It’s important to do this for the sake of our elderly. These are the people that built the country, and now its my turn to help them.”

3. Pets become the new colleagues during quarantine

In Finland, many of Coor’s employees who usually work in the office during the week have now been required to work from home. This can sometimes be a little lonely, when you’re prevented from meeting with your colleagues, talking to customers or having regular social interaction. Some employees mentioned that their pets were keeping their spirits high, and pictures of dogs and cats started to appear on Coor’s intranet. Apart from being great company, pets also offer an opportunity for exercise and spending time outdoors during quarantine.

4. Anna donated surplus fruit to homeless women

When staff started working from home because of the corona crisis, several untouched fruit baskets remained in the office. Anna Axenhorn, assistant site manager at one of Coor’s major customers, didn’t want the fruit to go to waste. So she loaded up her car with ten crates of fruit and drove to BoKlara, Stadsmissionen’s day center for homeless women.

“I just want to share that they were so thankful when we dropped off the fruit. They wanted me to pass on their regards and appreciation”, Anna Axenhorn explains.

5. Arlanda Airport goods reception delivers PPE

When passenger air traffic stopped due to corona, Angelo Fica, Coor’s team leader at Arlanda Airport’s central goods reception (CGM), and his colleagues were given new tasks. Swedavia, which handles goods reception, offered their warehouse facilities to Stockholm Region, which is responsible for purchasing and delivering PPE to Swedish hospitals and healthcare institutions in partnership with Scania. Angelo is enjoying his new task of packaging and delivering PPE.

“There’s not a huge difference in the pace of the work, as we’re used to working fast. However, the focus is different, now it’s a matter of life and death,” Angelo explains.

6. Emelie delivered treats and support to hospital staff

Emelie Rutqvist-Larsson is Coor’s team leader at Circle K and other sites. When pre-ordered Easter treats couldn’t be delivered to customers, Emelie and her team decided to donate the candy to show their support for hospital staff. With the help of a friend who works for the ambulance service, the team delivered baskets of treats to Covid-19 Casualty at SÖS, regular casualty at SÖS as well as two ambulance stations in Stockholm.

“Naturally, we took the opportunity to thank the staff for their work. We had some lovely exchanges with hospital staff and gained an insight into their regular working days”, Emelie explains.

7. Sorting out the basement instead of being furloughed

When staff at law firm Molt Wengel, where Coor has a number of regular service assignments, started to work from home, this created time for some new assignments. Coor staff took the opportunity to digitalize the firm’s extensive basement archive. Large volumes of old documents have been scanned and digitalized, and in future the firm’s lawyers will be able to find all the information they need at the click of a mouse, rather than having to go down into the basement and search through dusty old files.

8. Quarantined staff cheered up with a digital coffee break

Corona is always serious, but it’s particularly important that staff at Coor’s offshore operations avoid infection, as many people live together in a confined space. If people need to be brought ashore, one of only a few specialized helicopters needs to be used, with an isolation stretcher that functions like an incubator, to avoid infection risk to the rest of the crew.  

This means that staff working on Coor’s oil platforms that experience symptoms of Covid-19 are isolated in small cabins, some of them windowless, until test results can be flown ashore and analyzed. It can take up to a week before the test results come back, and the time spent in the cabin can be lonely and boring. On one of Coor’s platforms, the team decided to take it in turns to host digital meetings and coffee breaks with the quarantined staff. No one should need to feel lonely or depressed during quarantine. The initiative was greatly appreciated and several people reported that their time in isolation had passed much more quickly thanks to the digital chats.

9. The idea that created 100,000 face masks for hospitals

In a crisis, you need to be able to think outside the box, and that is precisely what Marko Naumanen, a Coor ventilation expert, did. In mid-March Marko had the idea that the company Camfil, an expert in air purification and a supplier at Karolinska University Hospital where Marko works, might be able to switch production to face masks during the crisis. Alongside Peter Ryd, HSEQ specialist at Karolinska University Hospital, Marko presented the idea to Camfil who immediately agreed to switch production to face masks. Camfil now delivers 100,000 masks to Sweden’s hospitals every week.

10. Deloitte and Coor encourage people to take care of each other

The head offices of Deloitte in Finland are located near one of Helsinki’s main trunk roads, which meant that the company had the opportunity to offer some encouragement to the thousands of motorists and cyclists that pass their offices every day. Coor staff planned and created a message that was then displayed in the windows of the building: ”Take care of each other”. The greeting attracted a lot of positive attention and has inspired Deloitte to do the same in other offices around the world.