Haiti: How Business in the Community's members responded

The following reports from Business in the Community's members outline some of the efforts being made by the business community to respond to the devastating crisis in Haiti.

Allen & Overy

"The Allen & Overy Global Foundation has donated £50,000 to the British Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Appeal (the foundation is made up of funds contributed annually by all partners at the firm). As the International Federation Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is our global charity partner, we are focusing our response on supporting either the IFRC's appeal or the Red Cross or Red Crescent Society local to our offices.

Our New York office has made a corporate donation of $10,000 to the American Red Cross and will match all staff donations up to a maximum of a further $10,000. Lawyers in our New York office are also working with the Legal Aid Society of New York to help undocumented Haitian immigrants to apply for the Temporary Protection Status that will allow them to stay in the US legally for the next 18 months.

Many of our offices, including in London, Luxembourg, Germany and the Middle East, are encouraging staff to make personal donations to the Red Cross/Red Crescent appeals, or to other local charities' appeals for the victims of the earthquake (so for example, our Belgian offices are supporting SOS Kinderdorper/Villages d'Enfants, who they have been supporting through pro bono work for many years; SOS have been active in Haiti for over 30 years)."


"At corporate level, APCO is matching employees’ donations to a range of emergency relief organizations, up to USD10,000. APCO’s London and Washington offices have also held local fundraising activities, with additional local match-funding. In addition, APCO’s corporate responsibility practice is advising several clients on effective response and mobilization of financial and human capital, expertise, goods and services."

British Telecom

"BT is supporting emergency appeals for people affected by the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake which hit Haiti earlier this month:

As it has done in the past, BT is hosting the online platform for donations and is providing telephone and network management support for the appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). We have supported DEC since its inception and in 2007 launched a partnership with the British Red Cross giving us a comprehensive global disaster relief programme.

BT helps DEC to respond immediately to international disasters. We provide support for the appeal number as well as providing our eDonate platform to allow people to make donations online. We also provide technical and strategic advice to help appeals run more efficiently.

Specifically for the DEC Haiti Appeal, BT’s eDonate platform has processed in excess of 370,000 donations and has now taken over £19m. On the telephony side, our automated telephone donations system has taken over £3.5million. BT is also supporting the DEC's SMS text donations as we are processing the Gift Aid via our eDonate platform.

BT is encouraging the public and our own customers to support the DEC appeal – we have communicated to our people across the globe to let them know how they can make contributions to the DEC appeal via BT’s online donation platform.

BT people based outside the UK have received communications to enable them to contribute directly to the British Red Cross Haiti Appeal while BT employees in the US can donate directly to the American Red Cross via a dedicated donation website.

In addition, BT people are being invited to a new British Red Cross initiative to “Donate a Bag to Haiti”. The Red Cross is encouraging people to donate their good quality, second-hand clothing to their local Red Cross charity shop - 323 Red Cross shops around the UK will sell the donated clothing to raise vital funds for the DEC Haiti earthquake appeal from now until Saturday 13 February."


In response to the devastating Earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, Sky staff worked with DEC to launch a rapid response Red Button Appeal. Sky Red Button enabled Sky customers to make a donation by pressing the red button on their television remote control - a process that was quick, easy, secure and effective. Within the first 3 weeks of launching the campaign customers had donated £93,000 via Sky Red Button.

Sky staff donated £28,000 (still rising at the time of writing), to which Sky gave another 50p for every £1 donated – to a total of £42,000.

Sky News supported the appeal with wall-to-wall coverage, presenter calls-to-action, an onscreen 'Red Button trigger graphic' and a rolling news ticker which prompted users to donate to DEC.


"CEMEX has set up a fund to receive voluntary contributions from their employees worldwide and will match every donation received. CEMEX has also arranged from their Dominican Republic operation, three convoys to provide medicine, food, water and other basic goods. Additionally, one of their ships has departed from Mexico with more than 60 tons of humanitarian aid."

DLA Piper

"DLA Piper has mobilised its global workforce to raise much needed funds to address the immediate need of the Haitian people. Our fundraising and payroll giving will be directed through our partnership with humanitarian agency, UNICEF to support their work on the ground. The DLA Piper Charitable Trust will match the funds raised by our employees across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Our response has been activated at a corporate level through the DLA Piper Charitable Trust and on the ground through the overwhelming desire by our people to express their support and concern."


"Initial donations of GSK medicines valued at $1.4 million have been provided from stocks held in warehouses of our non-profit partners, such as AmeriCares, Direct Relief International, Health Partners International of Canada and International Medical Assistance. These medicines were mainly oral and topical antibiotics, including Bactroban, Zovirax, Augmentin, Ceftin, Zinacef and Zantac.

The company is now getting requests from our established partners, who have specialist skills and established processes to respond to disasters, for large volumes of medicines, vaccines and consumer health products such as pain relievers and vitamins. We are assessing available stock and will provide whatever we can in response to the huge needs emerging in Haiti. We expect the demands for different medicines and vaccines to evolve. Therefore we have not placed a limit on the value of our product donations.

The company has also committed approximately $408,000 (£250,000) to the British Red Cross to help meet the water and sanitation needs of those affected by the disaster. It is estimated that the provision of water and sanitation facilities can reduce mortality rates following a disaster. Red Cross emergency response teams will distribute water and sanitation relief supplies and may also build ‘rapid latrines’ which prevent wells and other water sources being contaminated. A Mass Sanitation Unit to prevent waterborne and sanitation-related diseases is on standby to go to Haiti. It is designed to provide emergency sanitation facilities and hygiene education for up to 20,000 people living in disaster conditions.

GSK previously sponsored the deployment of a British Red Cross Mass Sanitation Unit to Zimbabwe in December 2008 in response to a cholera outbreak.

GSK employees who want to make personal donations can do so through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies or one of the national Red Cross organisations."

Kier Group (Jamaica Office)

Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Kier were contacted by Digicel (mobile phone providers throughout the Caribbean) asking for assistance in the relief operation. On the 2 February, two staff from the Jamaica office, David Bowers and Conor Smyth, flew to Port au Prince from Kingston on a plane chartered by Digicel to evaluate the logistical challenge of providing assistance.

On arrival the conditions were found to be extremely difficult. Conor is now acting as a project manager seconded to the Digicel Foundation and is responsible for projects which involve:
The clearing of the collapsed Ministry of Education building.
The clearing of two schools including the delicate process of removing up to 200 bodies.
The rehabilitation of the downtown market area.


"KPMG International is making an immediate US$500,000 donation to the KPMG Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti.

John Veihmeyer, chairman of KPMG Americas, has agreed to lead the KPMG response, with the U.S. firm sponsoring the coordination of funds and efforts via the KPMG Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti (which is a separate NGO – registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit in the United States). The Americas region aims to raise a minimum of US$500,000.

In the UK, KPMG is inviting its partners and staff to participate in its UK KPMG Haiti Disaster Relief appeal by donating to Disaster Emergency Committee Haiti Earthquake Appeal or the UNICEF Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal. The firm will match donations to these appeals, up to £50,000."

Morgan Stanley

"On the 14th January, Morgan Stanley provided a $1,000,000 contribution to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund. The funds will provide for short-term emergency relief throughout Haiti, including shelter and food. This gift is on top of the Firm's existing annual $250,000 contribution in support of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program.

The Firm has also encouraged employees around the globe, who wish to contribute to the relief effort, to make personal donations directly to the Red Cross in their respective regions."


"Nestlé Dominicana has donated $150,000 in food products, which have reached the earthquake zone for distribution by World Vision. The company has also supplied essential food products including Supligen, a liquid meal supplement, and milk to support the disaster relief efforts and communities affected by the earthquake. Nestlé has further pledged to donate US $1 million in bottled water, and is working with aid organisations to ensure the bottled water urgently reaches those most in need.

Nestlé, which has had a strong presence in Haiti for over 50 years, has identified the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as the preferred partner for Nestlé employee donations. Nestlé employees from different countries have contributed to the aid effort and Nestlé Dominicana will work with local aid organisations to distribute. Employees in the Dominican Republic have also donated blood."

Northumbrian Water Ltd

"Northumbrian Water Ltd, have employed numerous methods of fund raising for the disaster in Haiti.

As well as organising a number of “dress-down days” and signposting employees to the DEC website through company communications, Northumbrian Water employees have been given the opportunity to donate to the appeal through payroll giving. Agreement from the payroll department has been gained and a special one off form developed to make the process as easy as possible.

Consideration is also being given to other ways in which the company can help and Northumbrian water are taking guidance form DEC for this."


"The PepsiCo Foundation, the charitable arm of PepsiCo Inc, has donated $1 million for disaster relief in Haiti and also plans to provide bottled water, Quaker food products and Gatorade to victims of the disaster.

Of the cash donation from the PepsiCo Foundation, $500,000 has been committed to three charities that have already begun disaster relief work on the ground - The American Red Cross, Save the Children and Friends of the World Food Program. The remaining $500,000 will be used to support long-term rebuilding efforts designed to strengthen Haiti's infrastructure and limit damage from future disasters.

In the UK, Pepsico UK & Ireland employees have been raising money through fundraising activities."


Over the years Sainsbury’s has raised £43 million for Comic Relief to help change the lives of the some of the poorest and most vulnerable people both here in the UK and the world's poorest countries.

Following recent events in Haiti, Comic Relief is making a donation to support the efforts of the Disasters Emergency Committee, to help the people most affected by the devastation. Sainsbury’s and Comic Relief will continue to monitor the situation and a further donation will be made from Sport Relief funds when the money from this year’s campaign comes in.

As well as supporting Comic Relief, Sainsbury’s has donated vital emergency products to Merlin, a charity that specialises in saving lives and helping to rebuild health services in times of crisis.

Starbucks Coffee Company

"At a corporate level, the Starbucks Foundation has donated US$1m to the American Red Cross Haiti appeal.

For its customers, Starbucks USA, Canada, UK and Republic of Ireland have facilitated a technology rollout to allow customer donations at store tills, the proceeds of which will be distributed via weekly cheque to the Red Cross (US, Canada, ROI) and DEC (UK). This has been communicated on in-store signs and also through Starbucks digital channels on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition Starbucks has arranged a simple process for a one-off payroll giving for Starbucks partners (employees) to donate to Red Cross and DEC’s Haiti appeal; this is in addition to regular payroll giving arrangements."


"Unilever has donated $500,000 to the victims of Haiti's earthquake through its global partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and is encouraging its employees worldwide to contribute to the disaster relief efforts through the WFP website. Unilever is also donating products such as soap and Pureit (a water purifier that does not need electricity or pressurised tap water) through a variety of additional channels such as Oxfam and PSI."

Veolia Environnement Group

"At a corporate level, Veolia has sent 20 tons of emergency equipment to Haiti. This consisted of Aquaforce 5000 units that can supply 15,000 to 20,000 people with drinking water. Three expert volunteers were also sent who will operate the equipment. Another four volunteers will be arriving shortly. In addition, another 30 tonnes of equipment is being distributed to aid agencies.

For its employees, Veolia has set up a special bank account to receive donations for Haiti which will remain open for a limited time."