Rethinking Resilience in Business

All chief executives should anticipate at least one major shock during their tenure, and prepare and lead accordingly. Although there is a growing body of analysis concerning the impact of COVID-19 on business, most of it is still focused on the immediate response. In a recent issue brief, therefore, our organizations explore how companies can improve their long-term thinking and planning, and better prepare for similar future events.
Our work builds on discussions with members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and a series of interviews with firms headquartered in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It also incorporates insights regarding the pandemic’s impact from the 2020 GlobeScan/SustainAbility Leaders Survey, and further draws on a broader review of long-term resilience and business responses to COVID-19.
The brief highlights three key lessons for business. First, we cannot hide from gray rhinos or black swans. Companies must prepare better for both known and unknown threats – in part by returning slack to our systems.To withstand future shocks, businesses must change and extend their view of long-term resilience. Critically, they must accept that a company’s resilience is determined not only by what’s inside its four walls, but also by ecosystems, communities, economic conditions, the rule of law, effective governance, and more.
Second, businesses need to embed resilience, once established, more deeply in their language and especially their practice, to prevent it from atrophying. Firms that do so will be able to anticipate and prepare for all future scenarios, minimize the impact of the shocks that do hit, and recover more quickly from them. We found that companies whose values and purpose are deeply embedded and widely understood at all levels can be more agile and decisive during crises. Cultural alignment on purpose and vision within an organization helps to build trust and openness, which are essential for effective and authentic internal and external communication, as well as collaboration.
Third, companies can build greater long-term resilience through improved approaches to corporate risk management, human and social capital, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information. In each case, firms need to emphasize certain steps.
Better risk management calls, most notably, for a shift from traditional rules-based approaches to more flexible, regular, and process-oriented methods that enable ongoing learning and exploration. It also requires firms to incorporate tools and approaches likely to spur more outside-the-box thinking and reveal harder-to-predict threats (“unknown unknowns”).
Improving the management of human and social capital requires listening and responding to people both inside and outside the organization, and ensuring that the insights gathered are used to define and uphold the company’s vision. Furthermore, companies should consider extending workforce protection measures originally designed for their employees to supplier workforces and non-permanent employees throughout the value chain. In addition, as we seek to balance the health and economic dimensions of the pandemic over an extended period, we must constantly adapt and enhance the measures for workers who are interacting with one another and the public.
Finally, firms must continue to improve ESG disclosure, especially by accelerating the adoption of common standards and metrics, and providing more information on issues critical to business resilience during the pandemic (such as employee well-being, diversity and inclusion, and safety). Companies also need to improve their sustainability assessments by including a greater diversity of stakeholder perspectives, longer time frames, and broader scenario planning, as well as giving greater weight to social issues in disclosure and strategy.
Resilience is less about maintaining a steady state than about adopting agile, dynamic, and transformational behaviors and actions in response to pressure – in other words, being adaptable. This, in turn, requires firms to emphasize purpose and values in leadership, improve stakeholder engagement, and redesign supply chains. But above all, firms must embrace longer-term thinking and new and sustainable business models and behaviors.
True resilience is not about withstanding difficult conditions, but rather embracing what it takes to thrive at the organizational and systems level. Resilience stems not only from reliable access to raw materials and operational efficiency, but also from recognizing and protecting the enormous investments and value found in skilled and healthy workforces and vibrant communities. It requires protecting and enhancing vital ecosystems, and ensuring strong institutions, transparent rule of law, and healthy national and local budgets. And it means recognizing the central role of innovation in creating value in the face of challenges and disruptions.
COVID-19 is forcing firms to reimagine resilience. Instead of trying to strengthen their ability to resist change, companies must learn how to adapt and adjust if they are to continue to exist as employers, value creators for shareholders, and trusted members (and servants) of communities around the world.

Written by Keryn James (Group Chief Executive at Environmental Resources Management) and Peter Bakker (President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development) for Project Syndicate:

PT East West Seed Indonesia: “Panah Merah Peduli Aku dan Kamu”

  1. EWINDO Securing Seed Supply & Industry Alignment

EWINDO convincing Indonesia Seed Industry Associations to submit a letter to Indonesia National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), to propose un-hampered logistics for food and agriculture inputs. Supported by the local and central government, with the issuance of a letter from the Bupati of Purwakarta as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, EWINDO will carry out business processes effectively and safely following the Covid-19 security guideline.

  1. EWINDO’s Social Capital Initiatives

EWINDO initiate a fund-raising committee and collect employee donation and company contribution. Donations collected are used to make 2000 PPE for medical personnel in Purwakarta and another EWINDO’s working area, including making and distributing 10,000 masks for employees and related colleagues, as well as farmers in the field, and providing groceries for the surrounding community. To remain employee health condition, Management take an action by providing masker and multivitamins for the employees and their families. 

 In order to grow and produce short-lived vegetables to be distributed to the community EWINDO distributed 1000 seed pouch to Sekolah Alam Foundation throughout Indonesia. Additional action beside Covid-19 prevention, in collaboration with the local government and health office, EWINDO also carried out Dengue Fever prevention since the cases increased around Purwakarta office

With program “Panah Merah Peduli Aku dan Kamu” EWINDO continues to disseminate and educate the prevention of Covid-19, not only to internal employees, but also to the surrounding community and of course to the farmers. In order to support Covid-19 prevention, EWINDO distributed 200,000 free masks in our seed boxes.

  1. EWINDO Conduct Self-Assessment for Employee

EWINDO conducts self-assessment for employees after the long holiday of Eid Fitri and listed people who travel out of town and do activities in the crowd or public facilities. As follow up of self-assessment, some employees required undergo rapid tests, they are employees who are at risk of exposure to Covid-19, either because they are traveling from the red area of Covid-19 transmission as well as they experience being in a crowd. This rapid test is used as an initial screening for employees to make sure they are entering the company area in a healthy condition. Up to now 30 employees undergo rapid test with Non-Reactive result, means they are healthy and safe to work


Read PT Ewindo report on Covid-19 action here:

PT Multi Bintang Indonesia: from hand sanitizers, cloth masks, to staple food for the ones in need

To further support medical staff in the four hospitals, Bintang has also donated a total of 2,250 hazmat suits, which were produced in collaboration with a local confection enterprise in Jakarta whose business is also affected by  COVID-19.
Bir Bintang also produced 50,000 cloth masks in collaboration with tens of tailors from the local confectionery industry in Bali, whose businesses have been heavily impacted by the decline of tourism. This initiative is the brand’s way to support the government’s appeal to use masks whenever people go outside of their house. The use of washable and reusable cloth masks becomes a more environmentally-friendly option amidst the ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Employees of Multi Bintang Indonesia also raised funds by setting aside part of their income to be used for helping those in need in the form of staple food or rice. The initiative is called #NasiDiMeja (rice on the table), where the money collected is used to buy rice, which will then be distributed to thousands of residents around Multi Bintang breweries in Tangerang and Sampangagung, as well as to hundreds of subcontractors’ employees who have been working with Multi Bintang, such as third-party cleaning staff, but will be losing their job or income due to the impact of COVID-19 to their companies.
248 employees of Multi Bintang Indonesia participated in the initiative and, with additional support from the company, have managed to raise more than IDR 500 million, which can be used to help provide staple food for almost 2,300 families in need. Thousands of 10-kg rice packages will be distributed gradually in May, June and July 2020.

PT Great Giant Pineapple: “GGF Peduli” to help government, medical worker and public

1. Care for BNPB 
GGF provides healthy nutrition support for the BNPB task force team. GGF collaborates with its brand to provide Sunpride fruits, Hometown Dairy milk and Duta canned pineapple weekly. In hope that by consuming nutritious food, the task force team is able maintain body immunity to perform their best in the frontline

2. Employee Cares

In dealing with COVID-19, GGF employees took the initiative to raise their funds to be distributed in the form of food packages for people who are socio-economically affected by COVID-19. A total of 7.817 lunch box packages and 300 kg rice at the value of IDR 120,355,000 have been distributed to affected communities in Makassar, Padang, and Jabodetabek areas.

3. Milk for Heroes 
As a form of support at the frontline of COVID-19 efforts for the medical personnel. Hometown Dairy brand distributes milk to more than 20,000 doctors, nurses, and medics at 42 hospitals in Greater Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and Bandung.

 4. Care for Greater Jakarta Community 

Sunpride as a fresh fruit brand of GGF in collaboration with Redkendi and Sierad Produce distributed 25,000 health ready to eat packages for the people of Greater Jakarta affected by COVID-19.

5. Care for Lampung Government and Medical Personnel 
PT. Great Giant Pineapple as a subsidiary of GGF in Lampung has distributed 131,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth IDR 2.7 billion to the Lampung Province Government in order to support the medical officers who are tasked with handling COVID-19.

Since March 2020, the Lampung GGF production site also has supported in donating extra food packages to medical personnel. A total of 393 boxes of Sunpride fruit and 587 liters of Hometown milk have been sent to hospitals for COVID-19 patients of Bandar Lampung, Metro, Kotabumi, Central Lampung, and public health centers throughout Central Lampung.

Previous to the distribution of 131,000 PPEs to the Lampung Province, the Lampung GGF production site has shown commitment to support the government of Central Lampung by distributing 32,900 PPE for government task force and medical officers.

6. Care for Lampung Community 
As a form of responsibility to communities affected by COVID-19, the company distributed 2,150 food packages worth IDR 240,000,000 to several areas in Central Lampung, East Lampung, and Gunung Katun.

In addition, the company also has distributed 200 liters of disinfectant, 150 liters of hand sanitizer, 2,500 COVID-19 preventive message in the form of stickers, posters, and banners, and 120 handwashing installations for the people of Central Lampung.


7. GGF Volunteers

As a forum for employee volunteer activities, GGF Volunteers through its fundraising efforts have collected IDR 28,411,900. The donation will be allocated and distributed in form of 200 groceries package consist of rice, noodles, vitamins, coconut oil, to communities around Central Lampung.

Great Giant Foods is the corporate arm of Gunung Sewu Group for food and agricultural products. PT Great Giant Pineapple, PT Great Giant Livestock, PT Umas Jaya Agrotama, PT Bromelain Enzyme, PT Inbio Tani Nusantara, PT Sewu Segar Nusantara, PT Sewu Segar Primatama, PT Nusantara Segar Abadi dan PT Setia Karya Transport are parts of Great Giant Foods business units. Great Giant Foods products are sold under the following brands; Sunpride for fresh fruit produce, Bonanza for protein products, Re.juve for cold-pressed juice, Hometown Dairy for dairy products and Cap Kodok for tapioca starch.


PT L’Oreal Indonesia: Covid-19 solidarity action

2. Donation of hygiene and personal care products
A total of 673,000 units of personal care products including face wash, shampoo, and moisturizer will be distributed through the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM), non-profit organizations such as DoctorSHARE and PEKKA, as well as though the Jababeka Industrial Estate where L’Oréal factory is located.


3. Providing grants for COVID-19 research in Indonesia
Research grant will be allocated to Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology to support research on the whole genome sequencing of COVID-19 in Indonesia. This research is an initial step toward the development of COVID-19 vaccine that is suitable for Indonesian people through data and sample collection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


4. Supporting salon business partners
As solidarity to our business partners, the company provides safety and hygiene training, support them to implement social commerce by selling retail product and distributes alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These efforts are aimed to help small and medium salon partners to revive their business post pandemic period.


5.  Module and online class #safetogther
In order to ensure that all Group employees are aware of these new measures before they return to their workplace, L’Oréal has developed a dedicated e-learning program, #safetogether, Created in house and in record time, this module will help all employees understand and adopt the new measures that will protect them and their colleagues on a daily basis. In order to enable as many people as possible to benefit from this e-learning, L’Oréal has made a version of this module available for the general public via


Sintesa Group: Remain productive while collaborating to fight COVID-19

In the buildings and offices, periodic spraying of disinfectants in all working areas are scheduled to ensure the safety and health of all employees. An Internal Emergency Response Team also formed as part of the policy implementation during Covid-19 outbreak .
To remain productive while working from home, the group organizes Sintesa Development Executive Class regularly with various topics using Zoom technology to escalate knowledge of all employes. in cooperation with internal and reputable external speakers.
Not just for the internal of the group, Sintesa has actively contribute with COVID-19 Task Force and actively cooperate with various private companies, NGOs and universities to ensure the distribution medical device, personal protective equipments (APD), donation funds etc  in order to help the government to strengthen health sector during the pandemic.

PT Freeport Indonesia: Helping communities coping with the situation created by the pandemic

In addition to providing food for the community, PT Freeport Indonesia through the Amungme and Kamoro Community Empowerment Foundation (YPMAK) has also provided COVID-19 handling assistance to the Mimika Regency Government, Papua Province and the Central Government. PT Freeport Indonesia provided Rp 2 billion in assistance to the Mimika Regional Government as support to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Mimika. Not only that, YPMAK also provided equipment in the form of 39 disinfectants, 48 spray machines, 100 boxes masks and protective clothing and shoes.

Previously, PT Freeport Indonesia had also been socializing prevention of transmission and spread of COVID-19. The socialization to the Kamoro community carried out since the end of March 2020 was focused on five villages in the Kamora, Ajkwa, Mawati and Minajerwi (DASKAMM) watersheds at the RT / TW unit level. On this occasion, PTFI also distributed sterilizing fluids, masks and soap for washing hands and bathing to the local community

Responding to the development of the global pandemic COVID-19, PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has also moved quickly from the beginning by taking steps to protect the workforce and the community from potential sources of transmission of the virus, by limiting all trips to Timika, and areas the PTFI project, and limit the movement of personnel from the lowlands to the Highlands.

PT Vale Indonesia: Collaboration for COVID-19 precautions with local governments and various parties

Since the beginning of March 2020, PT Vale Indonesia have taken several precautions, including:

  • Suspend all international and domestic trips for business except those that are critical.
  • Stops flights to and from Sorowako except for emergencies
  • Activities that involve many people at the same time and place are also suspended.
  • Implement work from home mechanisms for certain types of work and for employees with a history of health problems.
  • For employees who are still needed on the job site, the Company provides special support to maintain health,
  • Perform periodic spraying of disinfectants in operational vehicles and work areas.
  • At Sorowako Airport and the entrances to the operation area, a body temperature check is done with a thermo camera, also placing a sterilization booth
  • Closing public facilities under PT Vale’s management and applying a home study method for YPS students.
  • Preparing the hospital and the isolation room in case there is a positive case of COVID-19
  • Campaigning together with religious leaders for social distancing
  • Collaborate with local governments and help procure ambulances, PPE, disinfectants, ventilators, thermo guns to several areas

At present the district government has also begun to aim to close or restrict access in and out of the district. PT Vale continues to collaborate with various parties to jointly prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may check more than dozen of PT Vales Indonesia’s initiatives and collaboration in coping the situation caused by COVID-19 on their youtube: