Our response to COVID-19
Given PPG’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region, including an automotive coatings manufacturing facility in Wuhan, China, PPG began managing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020. The health and safety of PPG employees, partners and customers continues to reflect the company’s most important core value. Through much of 2020, and continuing today, the company has enacted protocols to protect our people and manage our business in this new environment.
Our products played an essential role in a wide range of key industries during the pandemic. Our paints, coatings and specialty materials helped create life-critical products for the health care, defense, food and beverage, hygiene, agriculture, energy, public works, electronics industries and many others.
More directly, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we focused on using our existing products and new innovations to support and protect our global customers. For example, we pivoted a U.S. paint manufacturing line to provide 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for 1,900 THE HOME DEPOT® stores.
We also joined forces with Corning Inc. to seek U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for a paint product that incorporates Corning’s new glass-ceramic technology. This technology has been proven to kill more than 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. Following registration with the U.S. EPA, we plan to launch the paint product to provide customers with an additional safeguard from COVID-19 in environments that pose a higher health risk, such as healthcare facilities and the hospitality industry.
Additional hygienic PPG products that protect against bacteria and viruses include:
- COMEX® VINIMEX® TOTAL Antibacterial Premium 100% acrylic paint, which reduces 99.9% of common bacteria that cause gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.
- MASTER’S MARK™ LUXURIANT™ and ECO TOUCH™ by PPG anti-bacterial interior latex coatings, which kill 99.99% of E. coli and staphylococcus. It also kills 99.93% of the H1N1 virus under China’s National (GB) standards.
- TAUBMAN’S EASYCOAT® by PPG interior paint featuring Microban technology, which works to kill germs on contact and protect against mold, mildew and fungus growth, which are triggers of asthma and allergies.
In addition, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company, the Officers-Directors Compensation Committee approved a temporary 30% base salary reduction for our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and a temporary 25% base salary reduction for our other executive officers.
At the center of our purpose is a commitment to protect and beautify the world. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the word “protect” has taken on even greater meaning as we remain focused on protecting our people, customers, communities and all stakeholders.
Enhanced workplace safety
- Implemented proven, safe operating processes that have been used around the world to keep PPG people safe, including:
- Implemented best practice hygiene techniques
- Provided personal protective equipment
- Enabled social distancing
- Required on-site employees and visitors to wear face coverings
- Sanitized work areas
- Prohibited large gatherings and limited in-person visits from third parties
- Established work-from-home protocols where possible
- Made site-by-site and person-by-person decisions with the safety of our people as our most important core value
- Monitored the health of our global workforce and took measures to protect PPG employees and customers in accordance with global and regional government requirements
- Initiated a reporting mechanism to track employees affected by COVID-19
- Benchmarked how other industry leaders were handling the crisis and incorporated best practices
Communicated frequent updates to employees
- Distributed more than 20 video messages from the CEO to employees with updates on the pandemic and its impact on PPG’s business, employees and customers
- Cascaded ongoing communications messages from business leaders across the company
- Shared success stories and provided tools and resources for managers
- Provided a wide array of communications via the company intranet, employee resource website, e-mail and video messages, encouraging safe operating practices and hygiene practices both within and outside of the workplace
Provided workplace flexibility
- Implemented alternative work arrangements, such as working remotely and staggering shifts and breaks for essential employees who remained on site at essential operations, including manufacturing facilities and laboratories
- Adjusted operations to comply with government guidelines
Increased employee engagement and recognition
- Accelerated the introduction of digital tools to connect employees
- Extended leadership and individual contributor training programs into virtual and interactive formats and deployed them globally
- Measured progress by continuing a regular cadence of employee engagement surveys and deploying a communications effectiveness survey
- Encouraged employee recognition through the One PPG Recognition and Rewards Program
- Paid about $6 million in special bonuses to recognize our front-line and field workers for their outstanding commitment throughout 2020
Provided customers with additional options
- Offered online training content
- Delivered technical service via remote capabilities
- Assisted customers with on-site technical service teams to enhance restarting operations following lockdowns
- Provided new click-and-collect, or click-and-deliver options
- Rolled out new e-commerce tools