Ashland continues actions for preparedness against coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ashland is committed to the safety, health, and security of our employees, their families, and the communities where we work and live. Ashland is considered an essential supplier by the FDA Drug Shortage Unit and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security. Many of Ashland’s manufacturing sites produce specialty ingredients used in pharmaceuticals, personal care items, household products and nutritional, food and beverage products.  As such, our employees and our manufacturing plants play a vital role in maintaining health and other activities necessary during a global pandemic response. Thanks to our solvers around the world, our manufacturing sites remain open and we continue to supply our customers.

There are many initiatives that Ashland took prior to the coronavirus outbreak in China, and we are continuing to take actions every day to manage through the situation.  Ashland has assembled Incident Management Teams (IMTs) in all regions of the globe. These regional IMTs operate under the direction of our Global Incident Management Team. Ashland’s Global Incident Management System (IMS) defines our comprehensive approach to working together seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from the effects of incidents such as COVID-19. Ashland activates our incident management system several times a year when we handle natural disasters that impact our operations (such as hurricanes and floods) as well as supply chain issues that arise that impact our day-to-day operations.  Because we continually train our Global and Regional IMTs, our manufacturing plants and our supply chain are well prepared to use their skills during the COVID-19 pandemic and adapt to the ever-changing local conditions.  

Ashland’s procurement teams maintain frequent dialogue with key suppliers in all regions, and our supply chain team is assessing every day the potential for supply disruption. Contingency plans are continuously being reviewed to ensure alternative sources are available.  For both inbound and outbound raw material and product movements, Ashland is operating subject to market constraints on transportation and government restrictions. 

Increased inspections, closing of smaller crossings and congestion at larger ones have slowed the movement of goods.  While delays are taking place in select locations, cargo is still moving internationally and order fulfillment is ongoing.

Similarly, Ashland’s manufacturing plants have continued to operate globally, and customer orders continue to be received, processed and shipped. Should delays arise, Ashland is committed to communicating timely updates about customers’ order status as quickly as possible.

Ashland continues to update our pandemic plan and take a proactive and holistic approach to respond to daily challenges and prepare for the next challenges the COVID-19 outbreak will present including:

  • following sound science and using in-house safety and health expertise as well as multiple credible data sources (U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), International SOS (iSOS), World Health Organization (WHO), and more to assist in making decisions;
  • regularly communicating to global employees in local language about how to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep themselves and their families safe;
  • providing appropriate respirator masks, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers and thermometers globally as needed or as required by local governments to help keep employees healthy while allowing our operations to continue;
  • creating procedures about site access for visitors, contractors and employees, including a procedure to screen for the health of employees, contractors, and visitors at all Ashland sites;
  • requiring work from home for all office based and laboratory employees whose job does not require them to be in the laboratory and/or at a manufacturing site.
  • in our manufacturing sites, we are practicing social distancing, working in shifts and ramped up cleaning procedures;
  • heightening cyber security monitoring and communications to employees about staying vigilant due to opportunistic cyber-criminals and how to defend against attacks which could increase.

“The coronavirus is having some impact on our employees and our operations. We use a flexible, scalable incident management system for responding to situations, such as the coronavirus, and I am confident in our preparation and planning for situations such as this,” said Keith Silverman, senior vice president of global operations, quality and environmental, health, safety (EHS). “Because the situation evolves daily, we will continue to take actions as well as provide updates to our customers and employees.”




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