Since the coronavirus pandemic settled in Chile last March, María del Carmen Leal, from the Laja commune, Biobío region, spent five months without being able to open her business, Librería Leal.
This store that began 55 years ago as a magazine exchange space, managed to transform itself into what is known today as a bookstore: it sells everything from school and office items, and gifts.
But its success was slowed by the arrival of the new virus. “We cut the workday in half and we had to fire a person”, she confesses.
But today she sees the situation with more optimism. Librería Leal from Laja already has all the sanitary measures to avoid possible infections by coronavirus and to receive its customers again.
In August, María del Carmen was contacted by CMPC executives to present to her the Arriba Todos Juntos (Together we stand up) plan, which consists precisely in supporting small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and tourism agents from the Biobío and La Araucanía regions with hygiene and personal care implements, as well as signage with messages that reinforce prevention protocols, such as frequent hand washing, mandatory use of masks, social distancing, among others.
This plan seeks economic reactivation in each area in a safe way, both for entrepreneurs and their clients, when the authorities allow the reopening of commercial and tourist premises.
The project will benefit more than 500 entrepreneurs from 14 communes in the aforementioned regions, these being: Carahue, Toltén, Contulmo, Lumaco, Cañete, Angol, Victoria, Collipulli, Loncoche, Temuco, Los Ángeles, Laja, Nacimiento and Renaico.
Also, the initiative will be replicated in the Puente Alto commune in the Metropolitan region in the coming weeks.
Thus, Arriba Todos Juntos -which includes a budget of about US $ 1 million- contemplates three stages: “Preparation to go out again”, which seeks to provide entrepreneurs with elements of protection and prevention of contagions; “Entrepreneurship Plan”, which considers providing tools and opportunities for job and business development; and “Destination Plan”, which aims to invite citizens, both local and from the rest of the country, to rediscover the aforementioned areas, highlighting their tourist and commercial attractions.
On October 1, at the Ristorante Patrimonial and Emporio Montecorone in the town of Capitán Pastene, Lumaco commune, La Araucanía region, -one of the enterprises benefited by the program-, CMPC officially launched Arriba Todos Juntos.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor (intendente) of the La Araucanía region, Víctor Manoli; the Governor of Malleco, Juan Carlos Beltrán; the Mayor of Lumaco, Manuel Painequeo; the Undersecretary of Tourism, José Luis Uriarte; the Seremi of Economy, Francisco López; the Seremi of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Enzo Cortezzi; the Regional Director of Sernatur, César González; the manager of Public Affairs and Sustainability of CMPC Cellulose, Augusto Robert; representatives and partners of the Capitán Pastene Chamber of Commerce and Tourism; and benefited entrepreneurs.
To learn more about the initiative watch this video:
Like María del Carmen Leal, Cecilia Lagos from Cabañas Alto los Corrales from Angol; Isolina Huenulao from Viña Wuampuhue from Carahue; Dania Morales from Etnoturismo Huapitrio from Collipulli; Silvana Benítez from Bistró Casa Kortwich from Contulmo; Práxedes Zapata from Cabañas Peumayen from Toltén; Marlon Herrera from Bon Appetit Trattoria from Victoria, among others, are some of the beneficiaries of the program. Learn about their stories at the Home of our website.
Arriba Todos Juntos is one more initiative that CMPC has developed since the beginning of the year in the context of the coronavirus crisis. Here is the detail of each one of them.
Masks for Latin America
In order to be able to contribute to the care of people in the countries that is present, especially in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, CMPC delivered 400 thousand masks to the National Supply Center of Chile (Cenabast) for the plebiscite to be will be held in that country on October 25.
With an average of two masks per election precinct monitor and one bottle of alcohol gel per voting table, CMPC seeks to collaborate with the health care of the nearly 200 thousand precinct monitors who are expected to be called for the plebiscite on the 25th of October in Chile.
The final delivery of the 400,000 masks to the Electoral Service (Servel), through the National Supply Center (Cenabast), seeks to provide these supplies to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The masks are manufactured by CMPC at the Puente Alto plant, through its subsidiary of hygiene and personal protection products, Softys. These correspond to the three-fold surgical type, which meet the highest standards of protection and filtering.
On the other hand, on September 30, CMPC completed the delivery of 3 million masks to Cenabast, fulfilling the commitment made official last April. All the donated masks will be distributed by that entity to public health centers throughout Chile and to institutions that Cenabast deems necessary.
Cenabast, which has been in charge of distributing the masks to the municipalities of Independencia, Huechuraba, Renca, La Pintana, Recoleta, Conchalí and Puyehue; and some non-profit organizations such as Fundación Las Rosas, Hogar de Cristo, Firefighters of Chile and the Andean Relief Corps.
The current donation for the plebiscite is in addition to these 3 million committed.
In addition to the donations made in Chile to Cenabast, the company has managed to reach other localities and organizations with this protection supply. This is the case of the Puente Alto commune, where 40,000 masks have been delivered to neighborhood councils and senior homes, a commune where the company has been present for 100 years.
To which is added the delivery of 30 thousand masks to the Ministry of Justice to be distributed among the Gendarmerie health officials and 20 thousand to the Teletón Foundation to distribute to families throughout the country.
And, finally, in the southern area – where CMPC has operations – more than 70,000 have been delivered to different locations in the Biobío and La Araucanía regions, including Los Angeles, Angol, Nacimiento, Collipulli, Mulchén and Negrete
Also, from April to date, CMPC Brazil has donated about 4.5 million masks in that country, a figure that added to the donation in Chile and other countries in which the company is present, totals 12 million units of that protection input delivered to health services in Latin America.
Another initiative that seeks to help those who have been most affected by the coronavirus crisis is “CMPC Solidaria”.
The project consists on delivering meals to elder people, many of whom are currently having difficulties to buy their basic needs, in the communes where CMPC has an industrial and forestry presence in southern Chile.
The solidarity meals were held from Monday to Sunday during the months of July and September, in 6 communes of the Biobío and La Araucanía regions, being prepared every day between 60 and 150 servings per commune. This adds up to more than 55 thousand meals in these three months. Likewise, 200 solidarity lunches will also be distributed for two months in the Puente Alto commune, in the Metropolitan region.
In addition, the project seeks to reactivate local small and medium-sized enterprises, for which reason for the food preparation service there were hired local cooks and for the distribution of the meals, school buses and carriers, all of them from each sector, thus reaching directly to the home of each older adult.
All CMPC Solidaria processes have compliance with strict protocols for the prevention of infections, either by CMPC volunteers and contracted enterprises.
Also, the company will donate 200 thousand lunches in the Bajos de Mena sector in a period of one month.
The contribution consists of food for 30 common pots that will distribute nearly 6 thousand daily rations to residents of the villas belonging to that sector.
Supporting the population at risk
In addition to this initiative, in order to help in taking care of the most vulnerable population in the context of the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus, CMPC, also through Softys, made a donation to the National Service for the Elder People of Chile (SENAMA) consisting of 100,000 units of Cotidian adult diapers and one thousand units of 1-liter Elite Professional alcohol gel bottles.
SENAMA will be in charge of distributing this aid, which will be delivered by the public entity in the most affected regions, such as La Araucanía, Biobío, Ñuble and Metropolitan.
In addition, on April 28, at the Chilean government house, the company made its contribution to nine residences of the National Service for Minors (Sename), which consists of hygiene and prevention elements, such as alcohol gel, surgical gloves, surgical masks, lab coats and face shields that will benefit 251 highly vulnerable boys and girls from Sename homes in the communes of Puente Alto (3 residences), Los Angeles (4), Collipulli (1) and Cañete (1).
Following this line, on April 30, the company also donated 30 liters of liquid soap, 30 liters of alcohol gel, 60 rolls of paper towels, 100 packages of baby wipes, 200 rolls of toilet paper and a thousand masks to the Municipality of Talagante, in the Metropolitan region.
Also, CMPC donated 100,000 diapers to the Teletón, to be distributed among the families of the institution, and the company announced a new contribution consisting of 20,000 masks to support the work of the Telethon professionals, especially for when they return to face-to-face care in their rehabilitation centers.
Likewise, at the beginning of September, the company made official its contribution to enable and improve the conditions of the Residencia Espejo Transitoria (nursery home) of Puente Alto, a place where elder people may reside temporarily while they are quarantined for coronavirus, and thanks to the donation of CMPC will have an equipped, comfortable and safe space.
Protecting individual collectors
Also, CMPC, committed to Chile’s paper and cardboard individual collectors, donated 250 hygiene and personal care kits together with the Ministry of Environment and the Fabril Development Society (Sofofa).
Sanitizing streets and public spaces
On the other hand, continuing with CMPC’s commitment to its neighbors, the company will take sanitary measures in the Chilean communes of Puente Alto and Buin (Metropolitan region); Santa Juana, Santa Bárbara, Quilaco, Contulmo, Tirúa, San Rosendo, Nacimiento, Laja, Los Ángeles and Mulchén (Biobío region); Angol, Los Sauces, Collipulli, Ercilla, Victoria, Nueva Imperial, Cunco, Chol Chol, Carahue, Toltén, Loncoche, Cañete, Gorbea and Villa Mininco (La Araucanía region), such as disinfection in public spaces, entrances of health centers, entrances of the plants of the company, and in the busiest streets.
Also, together with Desafío Levantemos Chile, the company enabled eight “Mobile Clinics” from April to September, an initiative that sought to decongest the public and private health network in the La Araucanía region, in addition to the Puente Alto district in the Metropolitan Region, through vans that allowed to take medical assistance to private homes, obtain medicines, get vaccinated against flu and even do coronavirus tests without having to leave their homes.
In total, the Mobile Clinics traveled more than 34 thousand kilometers, which is equivalent to the round trip distance between Chile and Japan.
Field hospital in southern Chile
The company enabled its former offices in the city of Los Angeles, Biobío region, in Chile, transforming them into a field hospital with 116 beds and medical equipment to serve low and medium complexity patients free of charge.
On June 4, CMPC handed over to the regional health authorities the premises located on Avenida Alemania.
The dependencies were enabled with clinical spaces, a resuscitation room, staff residence, interior cladding, clinical and administrative furniture, as well as bathroom fixtures and accessories, with the provision of hot and cold potable water.
Committed to our workers
As a company we have also taken different measures and have generated various actions that allow us to take care of our workers and also continue with the production of our products that today are so necessary for people.
The continuity of our operations is of utmost importance, since the products we manufacture – such as cellulose, tissue products, cardboard, wood, among others – are key to the elaboration of articles that are so necessary for society today, such as masks, diapers, toilet paper, food or medicine packaging, etc.
The company has deployed progressive internal management protocols since February to ensure full compliance with the recommendations of health authorities worldwide and locally. These protocols have been regularly updated according to recommendations of the World Health Organization, health authorities in each of the countries where the company operates and the best international experiences.
In fact, preventively, we are taking steps to operate with as few people as possible, aware that minimizing the risk of exposure and contagion requires avoiding as much contact as possible between people.
The care and protection measures for the entire CMPC team, in all the countries where we operate, include the implementation of a home office for administrative personnel -a measure that has been carried out since March 16 and which has had very good results-, adequacy of operational shifts to minimize contact within our plants and implementation of protocols for cleaning, food and transport services.
Among the measures that have been taken in each plant are intense and permanent tasks of sanitation, control that conglomerations are avoided in public spaces, distance demarcations have been established to avoid physical contact between collaborators, an increase in the number of buses so that less people congregate within them, among others. New measures are constantly being analyzed to be incorporated and thus decrease the risk of contagion from the virus.
Without the daily work of all the collaborators who continue to work in the factories – under all the safety and hygiene measures imposed by the protocols – it would not be possible to continue the operations to maintain the productive chain at the service of society. To them, thank you very much!
Additionally, we have taken other precautionary measures that help minimize opportunities for contact with the virus. Domestic and international travel have been cancelled, privileging virtual meetings, either by phone or videoconference. Event attendance has also been suspended until further notice.
To keep the company’s employees informed, CMPC’s CEO, Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, has conducted Dialogues via videoconference, accompanied by Dr. Carlos Pérez, dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the San Sebastian University, and specialist in infectious diseases, with collaborators of the different plants and offices of the three business areas.
In addition, from the Dialogues, the CEO visited CMPC Cellulose plants in southern Chile (Pacífico, Santa Fe and Plywood) to personally that the safety and hygiene measures are being complied, as well as he had some time to talk to the workers and to answer to their doubts or concerns.
The company remains very attentive to the evolution and impact of Coronavirus in the different markets where it operates, in order to generate the measures that allow to face this situation quickly and responsibly.