We are acutely aware that many of us are currently facing unprecedented danger to health and livelihood from the Covid-19 pandemic. As an ethical business, our shareholders trust us to do good. We see it as a moral imperative to do as much as we can to support staff, investors and communities close to our sites during these exceptionally difficult times. We have developed some unique initiatives to try and help where we can.
Covid-19 Community Crisis Support
We have allocated £24,000 from this year’s Community Benefit Programme and savings made on company travel to provide emergency financial support to the communities who host our wind farms and hydro projects. There are so many people working so hard in their local communities to help neighbours who are vulnerable and self isolating and we want to make sure we support them where we can. We are consulting with local representatives to understand how our donations can have the most impact in helping those who are struggling. The charity, Centre for Sustainable Energy will administer grants to ensure the finances are easy to access and spent in a transparent way.
Bond purchase scheme
For some people, their financial situation has changed in a way that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago. We are conscious that some of our bondholders may unexpectedly be needing to access cash quickly. So we have put together a scheme for a subsidiary company, Brunel Wind Ltd. to purchase our bonds from people who may be struggling financially. Letters are going out to bondholders over the next few days with full details of the offer. It is important for us to point out that we remain committed to servicing our existing bond debt and bondholders who wish to keep their bonds should absolutely do so. This offer is purely for people whose financial circumstances have changed to such an extent that they need to release the money they have invested quickly.
Engineers continue to maintain and operate our wind farms and hydro sites and keep essential electricity flowing. We are working closely with our delivery partners to ensure their employees are able to work safely themselves and protect the communities they operate in. All of this is done in line with the evolving government advice and industry trade body guidelines on safety to protect public health.
Our office-based staff are all working from home at the moment. This brings its own challenges potentially with isolation and stress. We support each other with regular face to face calls and team meetings, and we are making professional mental health support available to all staff. In addition, Thrive is providing payments to cover additional household bills for employees such as energy and broadband.
As a business we are fortunate to be able to continue operating effectively, but only because of the amazing work of health and care professionals who take care of the sick and vulnerable and other key workers like our engineers who maintain vital infrastructure and supply chains. We would like to humbly thank them for their work and promise we will continue to do our best to bring about a cleaner, brighter future when this crisis passes.