The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges faced by the world in recent times. As a Company driven by purpose, Hindustan Unilever Limited stands united with India.
Our work covers donating essential products to the needy, undertaking investments towards upgrading healthcare facilities and ensuring the health & safety of communities and our people.
Medical & Health Support:
To fight the second wave, we collaborated with medical institutions and governments to strengthen health infrastructure.
- Taking learnings from 2020, we have taken steps to augment health infrastructure in COVID hotspots.
- As part of our Mission HO2PE, we have procured 5000+ oxygen concentrators from around the world. These are being made available in the most impacted areas in the country. We are also sending oxygen concentrators to COVID-19 hospitals across 16 States.
In addition, we have initiated a partnership with Portea Medical and KVN Foundation, through which we are executing a model that delivers oxygen concentrators to COVID- 19 patients at home through a borrow-use-return model; this service is available free of charge. This partnership is currently live in ten cities (Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Kozhikode) and can be accessed via toll-free number: 08068065385 or https://lp.portea.com/oc-mission-hope/ (Opens in a new window)
- In 2021, HUL has donated ~50 ventilators to address the severe strain on medical facilities in certain areas.
- As part of our community support at some of our manufacturing locations, we have tied up with local administration and supported establishing isolation facilities or COVID care wards.
- Through Project Prabhat, our sustainable community development programme, we are setting up telemedicine centres near our factory locations to enable affordable and accessible healthcare for rural communities.
- Lifebuoy has partnered with Practo to provide free doctor consultation over a video or audio call, the pilot is live in UP and Chhattisgarh, and we look to extending this service across the country.
- We are facilitating and covering the cost for the vaccination of our outer core of around 3,00,000 people including our field force, distributors, Shakti Ammas and service providers. We are also working towards amplifying awareness to reduce vaccine hesitancy.
Product Donations for Health & Wellbeing:
As manufacturers of hygiene and sanitation products that form the first line of defence against this virus, we have worked closely with the Government, NGOs and various other partners to ensure that our consumers and communities have continued access to essential items and other daily necessities.
- We are continuing the donation of hygiene and sanitisation products like soaps, hand sanitisers and disinfectants as well as nutrition products such as Horlicks to frontline medical professionals, police force and sanitation workers.
- Our brand Domex has worked with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to disinfect public spaces identified by the civic bodies in respective wards in Mumbai. We have donated around 50,000 litres of Domex Disinfectant Floor Cleaners towards this initiative.
Caring for People
We are proud of our Supply Chain and Sales personnel, who have been working tirelessly to serve citizens across the nation by ensuring the continued supply of essential products.
The health & safety of our people is our topmost priority. We have ensured that all our people across the HUL ecosystem are safe and secure.
- Our Supply Chain and Sales safety protocols comply with World Health Organisation (WHO) standard and incorporate the best practices in safety management for operations. We have implemented Work from Home wherever possible.
- HUL has put together strict COVID-19 protocols to maximise the safety of its factory employees. These include stringent cleaning protocols to protect high-traffic and high-touch areas.
- Leveraging technology, we have been using mobile phone apps to ensure employee safety. For example, the US Pro app helps maintain physical distancing at work – the app sounds an alarm if a two-metre distance between people is breached. Apart from this, employees must submit a self-declaration of their health and display their safety status on the Aarogya Setu App upon entry to the workplace.
- We have ramped up medical infrastructure and workforce to support employees and their families while closely monitoring the fast-evolving situation. We now have 60 doctors at HUL, a 40% increase in doctors compared to pre-COVID times.
- All our manufacturing units have set up isolation facilities for employees through dedicated facilities, establishing tie-ups with hotels or accessing government facilities where applicable.
- Employees can now call an HUL healthcare helpline number for all COVID related support.
- We have tied up with more than 200 hospitals and have 44 fully equipped ambulances and 160 oxygen concentrators across our factory sites to support critical cases.
- Every blue-collar employee can connect with a dedicated member of the factory leadership team for any support and guidance.
- We have entered a partnership with healthcare service provider Connect & Heal to support home and hotel isolation, including home care kits across India.
- We have 130+ employee volunteers termed as ‘Nightingales’ assigned for every region to help coordinate with local hospitals and facilitate vaccination slots for employees and their families, wherever possible.
- We are facilitating vaccination for employees, their dependents and people in the wider HUL ecosystem.
- Since March 2020, we have strengthened the well-being initiatives for all our employees, the extended workforce, and even family members. We are running an Employee Assistance Programme with 100+ trained counsellors and activating 500+ mental health champions.
- In addition to medical cover for own employees and dependents, we have extended COVID Insurance for ~50,000 outer core associates and third-party workforce working in the frontline.
- We have supported small and medium-sized suppliers with early payments. In some cases, credit has been extended to small scale customers, distributors and partners.
Creating mass awareness:
We have created mass awareness campaigns, which is critical for us to contain the virus.
- Our hygiene brand Lifebuoy continues to urge people to practice the life-saving habits of handwashing, social distancing and wearing a mask through campaigns issued in the public interest. Watch the public service campaign called 'It’s In Your Hands (Opens in a new window)' launched in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI).
- Project Prabhat, our sustainable community development initiative, is driving awareness on COVID-19 appropriate behaviours through wall-paintings in rural India.
In 2020, we had committed Rs 100 crores to support the communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. HUL provided more than 1,00,000 migrant labour families with food kits and donated more than 20 million soaps and sanitisers to communities across India. We also helped improve healthcare infrastructure by donating medical equipment and setting up isolation centres around some of our manufacturing units. We had tied up with Apollo Hospital, State Bank of India, Lemon Tree, Oyo, and others in metros to ensure people have ready access to isolation facilities with medical supervision.
The Company also partnered with UNICEF to create a large-scale awareness campaign about protective measures. The campaign, which reached over 600 million people, drove home the message of social distancing, hygiene and generosity. Click to know about our response to COVID-19 in 2020. Stay safe!