Business continuity is a component of comprehensive risk management and it is a topic of utmost importance for the Group and its affiliates. Our management must cover any unexpected and disruptive situation to secure the critical processes and to ensure that they can be reestablished within adequate time frames, with the least impact and with the greatest efficiency possible.
In 2020 we experienced an unexpected situation that kept us in a state of emergency and alert. We responded immediately in a coordinated manner to guarantee the continuity of the businesses in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala and Brazil. We received the support and commitment from all areas of the organization, which enabled us to successfully solve every situation, with a high level of resiliency as a Corporate Group.
We took quick action upon the declaration of the pandemic and the consequent mandatory lockdown: we activated the Crisis Committee of GEB and its affiliates (and created the COVID Project Directorate), through which we monitored scenarios and impacts, and made the best decisions to respond to and contain the virus and for reactivation of operations in the territory, under the premise of guaranteeing the health and well-being of our employees and their families. We strengthened our genuine relations through the protection of our stakeholders and ensured the financial continuity of the business, of the operations and of the services provided.
Due to the health emergency, we implemented the preventive and mandatory isolation measures at the Transmission and TGI projects in Tesalia-Alférez and Hatonuevo-La Guajira (in Colombia) during 2020, in order to protect the lives of our employees, contractors and stakeholders. This isolation lasted less than 30 days at the two projects, and no lives were affected at either project.
In 2020 we managed the risk of business continuity through the activation of the Crisis Committee, which held 46 strategic meetings and enabled us to maintain the continuity of the electricity and gas services, with only minor interruptions.
We supported the implementation of the comprehensive strategy, which was based on the biosafety protocols and monitoring of warning symptoms, which enabled us to mitigate the base for contagion in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala and Brazil among over 2,300 employees, their families and contractors, as well as to respond and contain contagion both at offices and work fronts and at home, in line with our cultural attribute of Life Comes First.
Our employees were at the center of our business continuity strategy, and 85 % of our employees worked from home. Operators responsible for critical activities were present at the sites, complying with all the biosafety protocols.
We assured work at home for our employees, between 50 % and 85 % of them, during the pandemic, prioritizing on-site work only for essential and non-vulnerable tasks in order to ensure the continuity of our business
We educated and trained our employees and contractors in all aspects related to the virus and the contention strategies, as well as on decision-making to prevent propagation.
We developed and formalized the Plan for Recovery of Technological Disasters, which is one of the key components of business continuity.
We initiated the project to implement the business continuity system.
Our affiliates also ensured the continuity of their operations and services. Cálidda, for example, resumed construction activities in June, and in July it managed to build 77 kilometers of natural gas distribution networks, which is equivalent to 50% of the construction achieved in the first quarter of the year, while Contugas operated the distribution center by alternating management of the operations between the Control Center in Lima and the backup Control Center in Ica.
At GEB, we have the ongoing challenge of managing and mitigating risks that are inherent to the electricity and gas industries, every day with additional knowledge and response capacity.
Implement and formalize a business continuity system and strengthen the culture by means of training and drills in the short term, and biannual assessments in the long term.
Asses the mental and physical health risks of our employees.
Improve the rating obtained in the continuity diagnosis and maintain that rating in the next five years.
Support the processes to upgrade the work infrastructure, for the digitalization of the business in accordance with the new work arrangements, mobility plans and business digitalization.
Perform ongoing monitoring of the innovation initiatives to ensure that business continuity is not affected during their implementation.
Support the employee vaccination strategy.
Promote the country’s economic growth through different projects and the reactivation of the economies in the regions of our areas of influence.