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In another turbulent month we saw more examples of brands supporting communities affected by the pandemic. With so many businesses facing major commercial challenges, there have been some missteps but in this round-up we’re focussed on brand and business actions that could encourage positive longer term business responsibility and reappraisal.

If you’d like to keep up to speed with news on sustainability and brand purpose, message ‘purpose’ to 07367897583, for a daily round-up sent straight to your WhatsApp. Read on to discover some of our April highlights…

OVO launches a £50 million hardship scheme for customers facing financial difficulties


The UK’s largest independent energy supplier, OVO Energy, has launched a £50m hardship fund to assist customers that are struggling financially due to coronavirus. The ‘OVO Coronavirus Hardship Scheme’ will allocate £50m worth of measures to existing customers in need of support. While some of the major energy providers are making charitable contributions or minor concessions on payment terms, it’s interesting to see a challenger brand minimise its own negative impact on customers in financial distress. Discover more here –

Alpro pledges £325,000 to support independent coffee shops


Next up Alpro has pledged £325,000 to support independent coffee shops across the UK. The plant-based leader is introducing a free stock initiative to help businesses get back up and running when they reopen as well as financial aid for coffee shops facing severe hardship. Read on here –

ITV launches new ad proposition, ITV Hub Shout Outs


ITV Commercial has launched a new ad proposition, ITV Hub Shout Outs. The Shout Outs platform gives advertisers the opportunity to share important information as well as messages of support and gratitude to the public and key workers, rather than raising awareness of products or promotions. With ad revenue falling, ITV has taken a creative approach to tackling it, which gives brands the opportunity to maintain a presence at a reduced rate on the proviso that the content is designed to have a positive impact.

John Lewis to reopen factory to make Covid-19 gowns for NHS


John Lewis made the decision to reopen its textiles factory in Lancashire to make clinical gowns for the NHS. While John Lewis Partnership has faced some criticism through the crisis, its wide ranging initiatives, from fund-raising toys to packages for frontline workers, show the retailer recognises it must play a role supporting the nation through this crisis.  –

Primark announces wage fund to support garment workers 


Amid growing concerns that order cancellations were having a devastating impact on garment producers  in the developing world, fashion retailer, Primark, announced a wage fund to support their garment workers. The wage fund will pay wages of workers linked to orders that were due for shipment in the month after they were cancelled. – 

Co-op boss donates 20% of his salary to Coronavirus fund


And finally, Co-op boss, Steve Murrells, kick started a coronavirus fund by donating 20% of his salary for three months. His aim was to inspire other members to donate to vital areas including food banks, a funeral bereavement fund and front line community causes. A similar gesture was made by New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern who has been widely praised for her handling of the crisis as well as her compassion. These are relatively small gestures for senior earners but one that helps to communicate their values as leaders. Find out more here –