Unilever re-directs facilities to produce and donate new hand sanitiser

  • Unilever donates more than AU$2m worth of its newly developed hand sanitiser, and other essential homecare, personal care and food products, to Foodbank in Australia and New Zealand
  • Lifebuoy production returns to Australia as the Government calls for local manufacturers to innovate
lifebuoy hand sanitisers

Sydney, 20 April 2020: Unilever Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) will start producing hand sanitiser locally as it redirects existing deodorant production facilities to help meet national demand and help in the fight against COVID-19.

The new 150ml aerosol hand sanitiser, which contains 70% alcohol and kills 99.99% of germs without water, will be produced in NSW, marking the return of Lifebuoy’s local production to Australia.

Unilever donates AU$1million worth of hand sanitiser to Foodbank

To ensure Australians and New Zealanders in need have access to this highly sought-after product, Unilever will donate 150,000 cans – valued at over AU$1m ($7.50 RRP/can) - to its longstanding partner, Foodbank, to manage distribution across Australia and New Zealand. The sanitiser will also be made available to the wider public and will hit shelves by the end of May in leading supermarkets.

Nicky Sparshott, CEO of Unilever Australia & New Zealand, said, “Unilever has a long history of contributing to personal hygiene in Australia and New Zealand and across the world – beginning with the creation of Sunlight soap by Lord Lever in the late 1880s.

“We believe we have a social, medical, and moral obligation to make hand hygiene readily available. That’s why we’re responding to Government calls to action to increase supply of essential products by rapidly innovating and re-directing some of our Australian manufacturing.”

Unilever Australia donates additional AU$1m worth of homecare, personal care and food products

In addition to the AU$1m donation of hand sanitiser, Unilever will also donate AU$1m worth of essential homecare, personal care and food products to Foodbank to distribute across Australia, including leading household brands Comfort, Sunsilk, Love Beauty and Planet, Simple and Continental.

Unilever has also contributed funds to help Foodbank NSW & ACT with contingency staff costs, following volunteer number reductions as a result of social distancing measures.

Brianna Casey, CEO of Foodbank Australia said: “We are so grateful for this incredibly generous donation of much-sought-after sanitiser and other essential household items from Unilever.

“Foodbank has seen a 50 percent increase in demand for food and grocery relief due to job loss and small business closures across the country and donations such as food, personal care and cleaning products are critical.

“Thank you to everyone at Unilever for your ongoing commitment to Foodbank which enables us to support Australians not only now during this COVID-19 crisis, and for the long haul.”

Ms Sparshott continued, “We know our brands can play a big role in bringing both hygiene and comfort to everyday life, particularly while we all spend more time than ever at home. Whether it be providing a nourishing meal for the family, or keeping the home clean, Unilever is proud to play its part in helping Australian and New Zealand families stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Unilever brands rally together to protect the lives and livelihoods of Australians

Through its portfolio of purpose-led brands, Unilever will continue to explore other ways to support the local community. Other support provided to date, includes:

  • Donating Dove soap to the NSW Department of Education for distribution to schools experiencing shortages;
  • Unilever Food Solutions partnered with @Yume to create a nation-first, online marketplace for food distributors to address market imbalances.

“From the outset, our business has always been driven by a sense of purpose - a thread that connects us to our founding companies and their social missions to improve the health, hygiene and livelihoods within their communities.

“At Unilever, we have a firm belief that business must make a positive contribution in addressing the challenges the world faces, and this has never been more pertinent than right now. Our longstanding heritage in serving the community has enabled us to act quickly at a time of need and it has been inspiring to see what the power of collective action can achieve in the face of such unprecedented challenges,” concluded Ms Sparshott.

Note to editor:

For background and further information regarding Unilever’s global response to COVID-19, read here.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 155,000 employees and generated sales of €52 billion in 2019. Over half of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever employs more than 1,100 people locally and has offices and manufacturing facilities in Australia and New Zealand.

Unilever has around 400 brands found in homes all over the world. In Australia & New Zealand our brands include Dove, Rexona, Lynx, Vaseline, OMO/Persil, Surf, TRESemme, Toni & Guy, Continental, Ben & Jerry’s and Streets.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 75% of the company’s growth in 2018.

Since 2010 we have been taking action through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, halve our environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business. We have already made significant progress and continue to expand our ambition – most recently committing to ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognised in 2018 as sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and as the top ranked company in the Globescan/SustainAbility Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders survey, for the eighth-consecutive year.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 75% of the company’s growth in 2018.

Since 2010 we have been taking action through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, halve our environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business. We have already made significant progress and continue to expand our ambition – most recently committing to ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognised in 2018 as sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and as the top ranked company in the Globescan/SustainAbility Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders survey, for the eighth-consecutive year.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.au

For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com.au/sustainable-living/

About Lifebuoy

As the world’s leading health soap, Lifebuoy aims to make a difference by creating accessible hygiene products (soap) and promoting healthy hygiene habits. Lifebuoy runs one of the world's largest handwashing behaviour change programmes in the world having reached + 1 billion people through behaviour change communication till date.

Handwashing with soap saves lives. Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign aims to eradicate preventable deaths from diseases and illnesses like diarrhoea, by teaching lifesaving handwashing habits.

For more information, please visit www.lifebuoy.com.

About Foodbank

Foodbank is a food relief organisation that partners with the entire Australian food and grocery sector to supply front-line charities nationally with the stocks they need to address hunger in the community. This involves working with farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers to source fresh and manufactured foods as well as personal and household items for those in need. Donations include stock that doesn’t meet industry specifications, is close to expiry or excess to requirements. Companies also make donations as part of their corporate social responsibility commitments and cause-related marketing campaigns.

Foodbank supplies food and groceries to more than 2,400 charities and also provides regular breakfasts for students in 3,000 schools across the country. As a not-for-profit organisation, Foodbank relies on governments, individuals, organisations, community groups and thousands of volunteers to fight hunger.

1* 99.999% of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli

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