Actions Sompo Group Is Taking to Tackle COVID-19

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Sompo Group is taking a range of actions to support our customers' security, health, and wellbeing as well as to fulfill our corporate social responsibility.

Safety of Our Employees

Our top priorities are to prevent the coronavirus from spreading within and out of our company and to ensure the safety of our employees; to this end, we have set up a Crisis Center to lead our action.
Our Group companies have proactively introduced teleworking and staggered commuting across Japan to prevent the spread of the virus. With the government asking schools to close temporarily, we have also expanded our existing family support arrangements, including special leave for employees with child/elder care needs

Whole-Group Support for Our Customers and Medical/Care Providers

This pandemic has highlighted the Group's role as part of the social infrastructure, especially as a provider of insurance and long-term care. Our Group companies, both in Japan and overseas, actively support our customers as well as medical and care workers through our core businesses, for example, by offering insurance products and risk management services that cover COVID-19 and providing long-term care services.

Interviews with Sompo Care Workers on the Frontline of Defense against COVID-19

We have produced a video of interviews with some of our care workers, who face the risk of COVID-19 infection as they provide care every day. We hope that their voices in this video, which describe the environment in which they work and how they really feel about their work, will encourage people to show their appreciation to all care workers.
Here are some of the comments in the video about the challenges of working in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, their thoughts for service users, and what keeps them going.

"We are able to live in this peaceful society because the elderly people worked so hard. We feel grateful for what they have done for us, and I want to treat them with the respect they deserve. I want to make sure that the world we live in makes old people feel it was worth living a long life."

"Remote working is expanding in many sectors, so people have much less contact with other people in daily life. In such a society, I think people-facing work like this will become very rare and valuable. Care work is a job where you can see and talk to people directly, and a job like this will become just as valued as any other job. That's what I think will happen to care work."

See the link below for the full interview.

Providing Support through Donations (FY2020)

Sompo Group and the SOMPO Chikyu (Earth) Club* are providing support through donations in light of the spread of COVID-19.

■Support for Medical/Care Providers

Domestic Groups

In the face of the spread of COVID-19, Sompo Japan has made donations to the Japanese Red Cross Society and All Japan Hospital Association through the General Insurance Association of Japan in order to help boost their infection prevention measures for medical and care workers and support the continuation of their operations and services.

The care sector is under financial pressure from the pandemic due to a combination of factors, including the drop in sales as users stay away, rising cost of infection control materials, and an increase in labor costs. In view of this situation, the company has made a donation to the Japanese Council of Daily Life Long-Term Care Service Facilities, one of the largest care sector industry bodies.

By supporting this organization, Sompo Japan is helping the care sector boost its infection control measures and providing ongoing support to enable the sector to continue its long-term care provision during the pandemic.

Overseas Groups

In April 2020, as healthcare workers struggled with the pandemic-induced shortage of masks and protective clothing, Sompo International (Bermuda) donated more than 500 CDC-approved N-95 masks,* stockpiled at our Sompo International Charlotte office, to the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

  • CDC: US Center for Disease Control

Sompo Seguros (Brazil) donates to civil society groups working to support people who have fallen into poverty due to the pandemic or people experiencing homelessness, as well as to medical institutions that are under extreme pressure to treat those infected with COVID-19. Employees at Sompo Seguros are also actively involved in volunteer activities to provide in-kind support in the form of food and hygiene products that are in short supply locally.

■Support for the local community

Support for Children

Sompo Japan and the Sompo Chikyu (Earth) Club* provided support to organizations working to help children experiencing hardship due to the pandemic.

  • Central Community Chest of Japan's Fund to Support Children and Families during School Closures (Sompo Japan, Sompo Chikyu Club)
     Supports food aid providers, such as "Kids' Cafeterias" and food banks across Japan, as well as organizations providing learning support and groups providing spaces for disabled children.
  • Public Resources Foundation's Emergency Aid Fund for Child Support Organizations (Sompo Chikyu Club)
    Supports organizations that provide children's food aid, online learning support, abuse prevention and care for children during school closures.
  • Save the Children's Support Parcels for Single-Parent Households (Sompo Japan)
    Provides parcels that help children eat and play to single-parent households experiencing income reduction due to COVID-19.
  • Sompo Chikyu Club
    The Sompo Chikyu (Earth) Club is a voluntary organization comprising all employees of the Sompo Group companies and runs volunteer activities across Japan. Founded in 1993, it works in tandem with local agencies to run volunteer activities to suit local needs and characteristics, such as forest conservation, cleanups, wheelchair maintenance and cleaning at care facilities, and collection of secondhand books.
    The Sompo Chikyu (Earth) Club Corporate Citizenship Fund, a fund for members' volunteer activities supported by members' voluntary donations, is used to meet the cost of volunteering, provide aid to disaster-hit areas and donate to nonprofit organizations chosen by members.
Initiatives by Overseas Group
  • At Sompo International (Bermuda), employees, most of whom were working remotely, came together to organize Crazy Socks for COVID-19 fundraising campaign, which raised donations amounting to more than $40,000. Every Friday, participating employees wore what they believed to be the craziest socks they could find. Employees chose a winner each week. Donations from participants were collected through a COVID-19 donation center set up on GoFundMe, a US-based crowdfunding platform, and were used to support individuals affected by the pandemic and organizations working to keep people safe and to support their communities.
  • Sompo Seguros (Brazil) has been working in partnership with a major domestic transportation company that transports vaccines for free, in an effort to speed up vaccination rates throughout Brazil. So far, the company has supported the domestic transportation of more than 46 million vaccine doses. Transporting vaccines is a logistical challenge due to the need for strict temperature control, speedy transportation, and measures to prevent theft. Sompo Seguros provides not only free transport insurance but also the knowledge it has accumulated, to help improve safety and efficiency.

Lighting up Our Headquarters Blue

Sompo Japan headquarters building in Shinjuku, Tokyo, was lit up blue on Friday, May 29, 2020, to show our gratitude to the medical workers on the frontline of the battle against the novel coronavirus. The company is aware that the best way to support medical workers is to make sure we do not catch the virus. The light-up was not only a show of our appreciation of medical workers but also a show of our determination to stay vigilant and do everything to prevent infection.

  • The blue light-up first started in London in the UK to honor the frontline medical workers fighting the coronavirus and has spread across the world. In the US, the #Light It Blue campaign has seen many buildings and facilities join the initiative. It is increasingly adopted in Japan too, with many facilities lit up blue at night.
    • Shinjuku headquarters building lit up blue

Corporate Citizenship Activities

Sompo Japan has set out its Corporate Citizenship Policy , under which the company is making proactive contributions to society with the objective of resolving community and global social issues, while supporting individual employees’ voluntary efforts.

#SDGs Action by Everyone (Google Currents)

Sompo Japan has set up an internal social networking service to support employees' voluntary social contribution activities, allowing them to voluntarily post their efforts and share positive initiatives in a timely manner.

  • Niigata Branch's initiative
    The Niigata Branch supplied face shields hand-crafted by staff volunteers to the Niigata Medical Association.

Presentation of list

Certificate of appreciation from Niigata Medical Association

Support for Staying Home

The Sompo Group is engaged in a variety of initiatives designed to support the "stay home" policy to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.

  • Providing Web Content for Bosai JAPAN-DA Project
    Sompo Japan's Bosai JAPAN-DA Project is an educational initiative to raise disaster awareness among children and their guardians; it teaches how to protect themselves from disasters and act safely.
    In order to ensure disaster awareness learning does not stop while the pandemic makes it difficult to hold physical events, new menu items for disaster education have been added to the website, including topics such as sheltering at home during increasingly frequent floods and complex disasters in the presence of a viral disease outbreak, and tips such as how to make paper cups and dishes. Movies have been produced and published on the website so that children can have fun and learn wherever they are.
  • Providing At-Home Art Project "Van Gogh 'Sunflowers' Coloring Page"
    Sompo Japan has created coloring pages of Van Gogh's Sunflowers from its art collection and the JAPAN-DA mascot for children and adults to enjoy at home.
  • Online Museum Tours
    Sompo Japan and the Sompo Museum of Art have created videos that introduce the current exhibitions. The videos, available on the official Sompo Japan and Sompo Museum of Art YouTube channels, were created to provide viewers with an opportunity to enjoy the exhibits from the comfort of their home, and to offer physical and mental health and happiness (wellbeing) through art.
    Videos distributed on the official Sompo Japan YouTube channel have been viewed by many residents in facilities operated by Sompo Care using digital signage.
  • “SOMPO Dance Project – Encouraging People to Stay in their Homes”
    In order to help children staying at home to exercise while delivering the "stay home" message, Sompo Japan has launched an initiative promoting the "dance to make you run faster" developed jointly by the Nippon Street Dance Studio Association and Nagoya Gakuin University.
  • Open Lectures on the Environment (online)
    Since 1993, Sompo Japan, together with the Sompo Environment Foundation and Japan Environmental Education Forum, has been running "Open Lectures on the Environment," a series of public lectures to explore environmental issues in depth and encourage concrete actions whatever the individual circumstances.
    In order to ensure environmental learning does not stop while the pandemic makes it difficult to hold large gatherings, the FY2021 lectures are delivered free of charge as a series of nine webinars, following FY 2020.
  • Development of the "Stay Fit and Healthy with AYA SOMPO" campaign
    AYA SOMPO (Myanmar) is conducting the "Stay Fit and Healthy with AYA SOMPO" campaign to promote health maintenance while working at home, and is sending out exercise videos both inside and outside the company.

Educational activities using Sompony

Sompo Indonesia (Indonesia) is using its mascot character, Sompony, to raise awareness of new lifestyles and support stay-homes in a pandemic, both internally and externally.

■Games and puzzles that can be printed and played during the stay home are available on the website.

■Posting the rules for using the facility due to the pandemic

■Posting reminder notices in the worship room to reduce the risk of infection

Sompo Welfare Foundation's Work

As the effects of pandemic continue, in fiscal year 2021, the Sompo Welfare Foundation once again increased the total amount of grants and accepted applications from nonprofit organizations across Japan, aiming to support organizations striving to build on and expand activities and projects even during the pandemic. The foundation supports the development of high-quality, sustainable nonprofit organizations that play key roles in their communities and the realization of a community-based society.