Hydro is prioritizing buying face masks made by entrepreneurs in Paragominas and Barcarena in the state of Pará, where the company operates.
The masks will be distributed to employees and contractor employees at the Paragominas bauxite mine, Alunorte alumina refinery and Albras aluminium plant.
Deliveries to Paragominas began on Monday, April 13, following new guidelines from the Brazilian Ministry of Health and with quality criteria required for this type of material. The masks are sanitized before they are delivered to employees. Soon, the action will extend to Alunorte and Albras, in Barcarena.
“Suppliers are being mapped primarily in the municipalities where the units are located. In this way, besides reinforcing our value of care in the operations, protecting people, Hydro promotes the local economy,” explains Luana Carvalhosa, Senior Manager of Social Programs in Hydro’s Bauxite & Alumina business in Brazil.
The locally produced masks are non-medical face masks (so-called “community masks”) that are intended for general use to help prevent the spread of infection as recommended by the Brazilian authorities.
The selection of local suppliers follows quality and safety criteria, including the working conditions of each company. In addition, Hydro is working on other actions to help develop these suppliers, thus supporting sustainable economic development in Pará.
Liz Vieira is a businesswoman who suffered from the commercial impact of COVID-19. As owner of a knitwear shop in Paragominas, the sale of school uniforms is the main source of income for her business, which employs 12. Her company is one of Hydro’s small-business suppliers of masks.
“In addition to this new demand, and the masks meeting the specifications requested by Hydro, this challenge brings us agility, professionalism and innovation of our product portfolio. It is something we have only to gain from,” says Vieira.