Helping to protect lives and livelihoods from the Covid-19 pandemic
Unilever contributes more than €100m to continue helping people affected around the world
London/Rotterdam, 25th March 2020. Unilever, the consumer goods manufacturer of brands including Dove, Knorr, Omo and Lifebuoy, has announced a wide-ranging set of measures to support global and national efforts to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The company’s actions are designed to help protect the lives and livelihoods of its multiple stakeholders – including its consumers and communities, its customers and suppliers, and its workforce.
Consumers and communities
Unilever will contribute €100m (S$150m), to help the fight against the pandemic through donations of soap, sanitiser, bleach and food. This includes:
- A product donation of soaps and sanitiser of at least €50m to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum, which is supporting global health organisations and agencies with their response to the emergency. In addition to the supply of soap, Unilever will adapt its current manufacturing lines to produce sanitiser for use in hospitals, schools and other institutional settings.
- Product donations, partnerships and handwashing education programmes, delivered through national health authorities and NGOs, to support local communities most at need.
- In Singapore, Unilever has donated thousands of sanitation essentials like Lifebuoy soaps, sanitisers and handwash; Domex toilet cleaners; Cif home cleaners and OLLY vitamins to frontline healthcare workers, isolated seniors, the disabled, homeless, taxi drivers, children’s homes and shelters via organisations such as the Red Cross Singapore, NVPC (National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre), Loving Heart, HSEU (Healthcare Services Employees’ Union) and United Women Singapore.
Unilever International, a global business unit headquartered in Singapore, has extended its reach beyond Singapore by donating thousands of Lifebuoy hand sanitisers to Hongkong via BGCA (the Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association) and UNICEF; household disinfectants Domex and Cif in Mongolia and Lifebuoy handwash in Timor Leste along with hygiene education programmes for children and local communities.
Umesh Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever International said: “In keeping with our purpose to serve the underserved, we chose to prioritise making our hygiene products accessible to the most vulnerable groups, including frontline healthcare workers, children and the elderly. Unilever is proudly partnering with NGOs and public institutions to donate thousands of Unilever’s handwash, hand sanitisers, soaps and household cleaning products to those in critical need during this period.”
Georgette Tan, President of United Women Singapore said: "We would like to recognise Unilever for their generous contribution of antibacterial soap, cleaning products and supplements in support of our community partners during the trying Covid-19 situation. These products have been donated to Girls' Homes and Women's Shelters in Singapore. We need more kind, generous and communityminded organisations like Unilever.”
Customers and suppliers
Unilever will offer €500m of cash flow relief to support livelihoods across its extended value chain, through:
- Early payment for our most vulnerable small and medium-sized suppliers, to help them with financial liquidity.
- Extending credit to selected small-scale retail customers whose business relies on Unilever, to help them manage and protect jobs.
Unilever will protect its workforce from sudden drops in pay, as a result of market disruption or being unable to perform their role, for up to three months. We will cover our employees, contractors and others who we manage or who work on our sites, on a full or part-time basis. This will apply to workers not already covered by government plans or by their direct employer.
Alan Jope, CEO Unilever said: “We are deeply saddened by the terrible impact that coronavirus is wreaking on lives and livelihoods everywhere. The world is facing its greatest trial in decades. We have seen the most incredible response from the Unilever team so far, especially those on the frontline of our operations in factories, distribution centres and stores.
“We hope that our donation of €100m of soap, sanitiser, bleach and food will make a significant contribution towards protecting people’s lives, and that by helping to safeguard our workers’ incomes and jobs, we are giving some peace of mind during these uncertain times. Our strong cash flow and balance sheet mean that we can, and should, give this additional support.”
Note to editors
Unilever’s €100m donation of soap, sanitiser, food and bleach is based on the equivalent retail sales value.
Where relevant, these actions are subject to the appropriate consultations and approvals.
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever Group (the 'Group'). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; the effect of climate change on Unilever's business; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2019 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2019.