Responding to Hurricane Katrina (A)
We are deeply saddened by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and our hearts go out to all those who are suffering such tremendous loss of home, livelihood, community and loved ones. Trillium Asset Management joins those supporting relief and recovery efforts, and we are committed to supporting redevelopment efforts in the region over the long-term. As an immediate response, our company and our employees have chosen to donate funds to Second Harvest, which is providing food to hurricane victims. We are also following the lead of our friends at the Calvert Foundation in supporting two community development organizations in the affected Gulf Coast region: the Southern Mutual Help Association in New Iberia, LA, which is focused on helping rural communities in Louisiana and now specifically on those rural residents affected/devastated by Katrina, and the Enterprise Corporation of the Delta in Jackson, MS, whose overall mission is to help distressed communities throughout the mid-south, and which has set up a special fund to provide food, shelter, and clothing for those in Louisiana and Mississippi who were displaced by the storm.
Just as Trillium Asset Management is working to do what we can as a company to respond to this disaster, we’re pleased that many of the companies we invest in are also displaying leadership. Among a few selected highlights, companies we invest in are helping hurricane relief efforts in the following ways.
1) Cash Donations: Many companies we invest in are making corporate contributions to the Red Cross, Second Harvest, and other organizations engaged in hurricane relief efforts. Many are also encouraging their employees and customers to donate and have established programs to match these donations. In the first week after Katrina struck, Lowe’s donated $2 million in corporate funds and collected another $3 million in donations from its customers. Johnson & Johnson announced an initial $5 million cash contribution to the Red Cross and other organizations for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Target is contributing $1.5 million to the Red Cross.
2) Donations of products, services, expertise, and other help: These and other companies we invest in are also donating much-needed products, services, and expertise to assist in recovery and relief operations. Procter & Gamble has donated Pampers and cleaning wipes and PepsiCo and Danone have donated bottled water and food for distribution to hurricane survivors. Cleaning company Ecolab has donated disinfection and other cleaning products and is making staff with expertise in disease prevention available to assist relief organizations. Cisco is deploying employee volunteers and Mobile Communication Kits to provide wireless phone and Internet access. The company is also working with the non-profit group Community Voicemail to provide those displaced by the hurricane with voicemail boxes. Target, Lowe’s and other companies have also provided access to distribution centers and logistics expertise to government agencies and non-profits to help move supplies to affected areas.
3) Providing support for their affected employees: We’re also pleased that companies we’re invested in are among those demonstrating leadership in addressing needs of their employees affected by Hurricane Katrina. BellSouth, has approximately 6,500 employees in areas hardest hit by Katrina and has set up six of its own “tent cities” in Louisiana and Mississippi to provide BellSouth employees and their families with necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, financial support and employee assistance programs. The cities will also serve as deployment areas for BellSouth technicians and engineers that will be sent back into impacted areas to restore service for customers. Starbucks has announced it will continue to pay employees who worked at locations closed by the storm damage; Pfizer has announced the same policy and Best Buy will pay employees at stores closed by the hurricane for at least the next month. Procter & Gamble is offering interest-free loans to affected employees, as well as creating an Employee Emergency Relief fund with both corporate and employee contributions to give grants to affected employees.