Today, lack of safe drinking water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene are the causes of millions of preventable deaths every year. Through our portfolio of brands such as Lifebuoy, Pureit and Domestos, as well as our scale, we are uniquely placed to help drive transformational change.
We are on track to meet our 2020 commitment. By the end of 2013, we had already reached over 300 million people. So far, Lifebuoy has reached 183 million† people with handwashing behavior-change campaigns and 55 million† people have received safe drinking water from Pureit. In 2014 the Pureit target will change to protecting lives by providing 150 billion liters of safe drinking water by 2020, which aligns better with what matters most for health and our business objectives. Domestos is working with UNICEF and the Unilever Foundation to help scale-up UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Total Sanitation program. So far 760,000 people have been reached with sanitation behavior change interventions; this will result in these individuals living in open defecation-free communities.*
Our Signal and Pepsodent toothpaste brands have reached their 2020 target seven years early, reaching 52 million people through their Brush Day and Night campaigns since 2010. Dove also continues to help millions of young people to improve their self-esteem through educational programs, reaching 13 million young people since 2005, with 2 million in 2013.
Since 2010, Lifebuoy has substantially expanded its handwashing behavior-change campaigns to millions of people across Asia, Africa and Latin America in schools and villages, urban and rural communities, reaching 69 million people in 2013 alone. Although the brand has made huge strides in accelerating its programs, we will not reach 1 billion people by the brand’s target date of 2015. Making our proven handwashing programs even more cost-effective will unlock speed and scale. Since 2010, we have made strong progress, developing models which more than halve the cost per contact. Partnerships with NGOs and governments have been critical to success. By tapping into existing local networks and expertise we will be able to reduce costs further and reach more people.
One solution to speed and scale may lie in a more integrated approach across our brands – Lifebuoy, Pureit and Domestos. The issues of water, sanitation and hygiene – known collectively as WASH – are closely interconnected. We have therefore begun to explore how we can maximize our impact and unlock efficiencies by combining our individual initiatives into integrated WASH programs.