Ram Vadlamannati, Senior Vice President Protective and Marine Coatings & President PPG EMEA looks at how PPG is faring during this pandemic

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At the centre of PPG’s purpose is a commitment to “protect and beautify the world.” Today, the word “protect” is taking on an even greater significance to all of us. We are focused on protecting our people, customers, communities and all of our stakeholders. Like many, we are hopeful that, sooner rather than later, the worst will be behind us and we can begin to collectively focus on a brighter future.

In many facilities around the world, PPG has adjusted our operations to comply with government-required shutdowns. We also know the essential role our products play. Our paints, coatings and specialty materials help create life-critical products in , as well as many others. Much of our operations are required to continue to operate where our business is considered essential to critical supply chains. We are honoured and proud to partner with our customers to create the products that many people count on.

Where possible, PPG has implemented a global flexible work policy. However, as a manufacturer, much of our essential work cannot be done remotely. At sites where we continue to operate, we employ site-specific health and safety measures such as frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitizing, split-shifts, social-distancing and other tools, which have been used successfully at PPG locations around the world to keep our people safe. We continue to provide ongoing communication to all employees; encourage continued awareness of general hygiene; restrict travel and adjust operations as appropriate.

We are also operating our retail stores in accordance with regional government requirements. In areas where government or public health restrictions have been issued, we have closed our store operations to retail traffic and have moved to a phone or email order fulfilment model with no-contact delivery or pickup in order to continue servicing any customer needs.

 As we look ahead to the virus fading, what is the best strategy to get business up and running again?

We are currently focused on how we can protect our employees and support our customers through this unprecedented time. As the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, PPG will continually review its business to ensure the company is positioned to meet the needs of our customers and conserve cash, while preparing to emerge a stronger company once more normal business conditions resume.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, and the current stay-at-home orders have been the right approach to protecting the health of our people and our communities. Once the time is right, our political leaders must work together in a non-partisan manner alongside the health experts to re-open the economy in a way that balances both economic concerns and public health and safety. This may mean trying various approaches to slowly restarting the economy, while being able to adapt quickly to any changes in the pandemic.

In the meantime, we believe it is important to support the community and their needs during this time. That’s why PPG and the PPG Foundation recently announced more than $1.5 million in contributions to support community relief efforts and emerging recovery needs amid the COVID-19 crisis. The grant recipients include Feeding America, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Chinese Red Cross Foundation and others. More information is available here.

 

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