An Update from BSR on COVID-19

March 18, 2020
  • Aron Cramer portrait

    Aron Cramer

    President and CEO, BSR

Dear BSR Members and Valued Partners,

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is presenting the world with a fast-changing and unprecedented global health situation. 

We hope that you and your families and communities are staying safe and healthy, and applying the values that underlie our collective work on sustainability to see us through this challenging time.

In addition, as a global business network dedicated to advancing sustainable business, we remain focused on our work while also adapting to address the ever-shifting environment in our offices around the world.

We remain very much open for business, with our teams working remotely (though in Hong Kong, some have been able to return to the office safely), at as close to regular capacity as the situation permits, and in accordance with the guidelines provided by relevant national, regional, and local health authorities. You can find us online, with all meetings conducted remotely via video teleconferencing platforms. 

Our work with you, our member companies and many partners, matters now more than ever. At moments like this, we welcome and encourage more dialogue with you, and more collaboration amongst our network.  

This week we will be rolling out new platforms and opportunities for engagement with BSR issue and industry experts, and for networking with other BSR member companies, partners, and thought leaders.  

We’ll also be offering a series of perspectives from our industry and issue experts, with the latest thinking on how business can continue to advance the sustainability agenda while navigating the challenge of the coronavirus. Our new COVID-19 content hub already features insights from BSR staff, including business lessons from the first phase of the pandemic, how to protect human rights while protecting public health, and the pandemic’s impact on workers and supply chains in China. We will be adding content in the days and weeks to come.

Finally, we will be encouraging additional engagement from you, our members, as we navigate this crisis together. This includes:

  1. Information sharing and problem solving: We want to hear from you if you have perspectives to share on how this pandemic is affecting your business and your sustainability efforts; or support in solving particular challenges you face throughout your business, whether arising from the impacts of the pandemic or the long-term objectives that remain crucially important. In addition, as part of your BSR membership, you have access to high-level insights on how the coronavirus is impacting your digital (online and social media) profile through BSR’s reputation intelligence partner, Polecat. Please reach out to your relationship manager to learn more.
  2. Project support: We will continue to support and work with members on one-on-one projects, using all of the remote tools at our disposal.
  3. Networking: We will be looking at additional ways to enable you to share your experiences with other BSR member company contacts through online webinars or examples of responses to the pandemic via contributions to the new content hub. Reach out to your BSR relationship manager if you have ideas for a webinar, or an idea for a blog that you think may be of interest to the broader BSR network.
  4. Collaboration: Our collaborative initiatives continue to operate with an immediate shift to virtual gatherings. If the systemic failures made apparent during this pandemic have inspired you to think more long term about how you can collaborate to build a more resilient business and a more resilient system, our collaborations offer a powerful platform. BSR’s CoLab, our incubator and accelerator of private-sector collaboration, works with companies and other partners on a range of sustainability issues, including global health. And BSR’s Healthy Business Coalition is a great resource for collaboration with private-sector peers on public health issues that affect companies and workers. Please reach out to your BSR contact if you’re interested in more information about this.
  5. BSR Conference 2020: The Decisive Decade: The BSR Conference 2020 is still set for October 27-29 in New York, and the program will be launched formally later this spring. We will of course be monitoring the situation and re-evaluating the feasibility of hosting an in-person event as the pandemic situation evolves. We will provide updates as we learn more.

We are all facing a monumental challenge, which will undoubtedly have both short- and long-term impacts on the economy, and on the health and well-being of businesses, workers, and communities around the world. Our movement for resilient, sustainable business has never been more relevant, or important.

Our collective ability to achieve a world in which everyone can live a prosperous and dignified life within the planet’s natural boundaries remains fundamentally important. It is up to all of us to redouble our commitments, with urgency and kindness, to unlock the capabilities, ingenuity, knowledge, and resources of the private sector to achieve that vision.

Please stay tuned for further updates and visit this website and our social media channels for the latest information.

All of us at BSR wish you, your colleagues, and your families good health and safety during this challenging moment.

With thanks,

Aron Cramer
President and CEO, BSR


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