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Safeguarding integrity Head office, The Netherlands 4/20/2021

Global collaboration at its best

Social distancing with masks
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit China in early 2020, there was an immediate shortage of the personal protective equipment (PPE) our employees needed to safely work and deliver essential energy to customers. Shipping face masks to China to safeguard the health of our colleagues carrying out essential services there became a priority.

The strength of our global community

A huge amount of collaboration was required across functions including Procurement, Health & Safety and Finance to first understand the demand and specify product requirements. Shipping of the masks then had to be organised and then finally, the costs of the masks and transport had to be reconciled across the organisation. This effort was led from our Hoofddorp HQ.

As if the challenge wasn’t great enough, even something as simple as shipping the masks was fraught with difficulty. The procurement and international logistics involved in these efforts were significantly complicated by lockdowns and national restrictions, requiring supreme agility on the part of our procurement teams.

Masks we were exporting were seized for use by local governments, the regulations relating to the exporting of PPE were constantly changing and the restrictions on travel meant the transporting of any goods internationally at the time was also incredibly complex.

Adapting as the situation changed

As the pandemic developed and its epicentre shifted to Europe, our Chinese colleagues returned the favour, shipping unused masks back and sourcing additional supplies – no easy feat amidst a global shortage. In addition to masks, the Procurement team sourced and supplied infrared thermometers for our business units and thermal scanners for our Hoofddorp HQ.

As a result of this intensive collaboration across the SHV Energy family, not one of our operations was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continued to consistently provide a critical service to support the livelihoods of 30 million businesses and residential customers around the world.

Taking pride in a job well done

Chris Smit, Health and Occupational Hygiene Manager at SHV Energy and Owner of the SHV Energy COVID-19 Protocol, explains “The way the Procurement team mobilised itself globally to deliver against this backdrop demonstrates fantastic collaboration as a team, agility as individuals and a real collective desire to succeed.”

Joe Dutton, Global Procurement Category Manager at SHV Energy, spearheaded the project. He sums up, “While it will not be reported in any procurement figures for 2020, we shouldn’t forget the impact we have had mitigating the risks to our business operations and most importantly saving lives #Together.”