Colgate-Palmolive has announced that it will support the World Health Organization (WHO) on its #SafeHands effort, mobilizing a number of its production facilities around the world to produce and donate 25 million soap bars to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the regions facing acute needs.
According to the WHO, which is offering updated COVID-19 advice to the public, proper handwashing is critical to slow the spread of the disease, but a combination of lack of access to quality soap and a lack of knowledge of how to properly wash hands to kill the virus is a challenge, particularly in many vulnerable communities around the world.
To help overcome these obstacles, Colgate is mobilizing five of its manufacturing plants on three continents to produce the new soap. It will be specially packaged with instructions on proper handwashing to amplify the WHO #SafeHands message.
Also in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colgate is committing to provide $20 million in health and hygiene products to community-based organizations in the U.S. and abroad that have the infrastructure to distribute the donated product to those most in need in local communities. Local Colgate teams are already supporting frontline medical and emergency care workers, and the most vulnerable populations, including in New York, where Colgate is donating health and hygiene products to local hospitals, medical professionals, and nonprofit organizations serving the homeless. The company’s Tom’s of Maine subsidiary has provided more than $500,000 in product and cash to support local COVID-19 relief efforts. Hill’s Pet Nutrition also is supporting animal shelters and pet fostering efforts through product and financial donations.
“One of the most important ways we can help stop the spread of this virus is for organizations from every sector to bring together the best of what we each do for the greater good,” said Noel Wallace, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Colgate’s very purpose is to advance the health and wellness of people and their pets. We recognize we have a profound responsibility – now more than ever – to help protect people.”
To create greater awareness for proper handwashing, Colgate-Palmolive is promoting the WHO #SafeHands Challenge across various media platforms, also engaging global ambassadors and influencers such as Michael Phelps, who serves as ambassador for the Colgate brand’s ongoing “Save Water” initiative.
In addition, the Company is launching an employee matching gift campaign for all 34,000 Colgate employees around the world. Colgate will match $1 million in employee donations, which will go to nonprofit partners supporting those in need, such as WHO, Save the Children and CARE, among others.