HUL Panel Discussion on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Unilever’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Agenda at the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM (WEF) emphasizes the NEED FOR BEHAVIOUR CHANGE to help deliver ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’

To coincide with the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in New Delhi this week, Sanjiv Mehta, CEO & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Kajol Devgn, Lifebuoy’s ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ Handwashing Ambassador, Malini Mehra, CEO of Globe International and Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID joined Shri Saraswati Prasad, Joint Secretary – Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, for a panel discussion titled ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India campaign) – A collaborative approach for success’.

Hindustan Unilever’s high-level event brought together representatives from Government, academia, business and civil society to discuss the role of behaviour change in helping deliver ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.The session focused on how to deliver the sanitation and hygiene education needed to realise the health and development gains of improved access to WASH facilities.The panel also discussed how multi-sector organizations can better work together to raise the public profile of WASH in India and scale-up solutions to help deliver against the 2019 target of the Indian Government for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.Panellists also highlighted the importance of empowering local ownership of the WASH agenda and discussed innovative ways of encouraging citizens to engage in the Clean India ambition.

Sanjiv Mehta, CEO & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “We believe Unilever is uniquely placed to help with the WASH challenge. Through our portfolio of health and hygiene brands - such as Lifebuoy, Domex and Pureit - we can provide support across the spectrum of WASH issues. Drawing on our longstanding expertise in consumer behaviour change we have developed initiatives - such as our Lifebuoy handwashing programme and Domex Toilet Academies - which teach people about the importance of WASH, drive demand for improved facilities and deliver cost-effective solutions. We look forward to having the opportunity to highlight the full range of WASH initiatives that Unilever runs in India and explore ways in which we can use our expertise in developing innovative partnership and delivery models to assist the Government in realizing the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ ambition.”

Lifebuoy’s ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ Handwashing Ambassador Kajol Devgn said,“We need to scale up handwashing and sanitation behaviour change programmes to reach more people with life-saving messages and help reduce child mortality. I am proud to join Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 handwashing campaign to help reduce preventable child deaths from diarrhoea and pneumonia. Help us spread the message of handwashing by sharing www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5.”

Hindustan Unilever’s focus on the WASH agenda goes to the heart of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan - our business model for sustainable growth. As part of the Plan, Unilever has committed to helping 1 billion people improve their health and wellbeing by 2020. Our WASH brand social mission programmes will play a key part in realizing this ambition. By the end of 2015, Lifebuoy has committed to changing the handwashing behaviour of 1 billion people; Domestos* will help 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet; and Pureit has committed to provide 150 billion litres of safe drinking water.

*: Domestos trades as Domex in India

About Hindustan Unilever Ltd

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods company touching the lives of two out of three Indians. HUL works to create a better future every day. We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others.

Notes to editor

1) Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: In November 2010, Unilever set out the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, committing to a ten year journey towards sustainable growth. What makes the Plan different is that it applies right across the value chain. The Plan takes responsibility not just for Unilever’s own direct operations but for suppliers, distributors and for how consumers use its brands.

The Plan has three big goals to reach by 2020:
  • Help more than 1 billion people improve their health and well-being
  • Halve the environmental footprint of our products
  • Source 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people

2) Lifebuoy behaviour change programmes: Diarrhoea and pneumonia kill over 6 lakh children under-5 each year in India. Handwashing with soap is proven to reduce the risk of diarrhoeal disease by up to 47% 1 and pneumonia by 23% 2 , the two biggest childkillers both in India and globally.

However, handwashing with soap is not practiced despite its proven effectiveness. Handwashing rates among mothers across India are low- after defecation (1%) and before handling food (11%)3. Rates are even lower for children. The challenge is to build handwashing habits at key health related occasions: before eating and after toilet use.

HUL are experts in consumer behaviour and marketing and have used this expertise - in what motivates people and overcomes barriers - to develop a behaviour change model - that we apply to hygiene contexts to promote new behaviours around toilet use or handwashing. Through our Lifebuoy soap brand, Unilever aims to change the hygiene behaviour of 1 billion people by promoting the benefits of handwashing with soap at key times. Since 2010, Lifebuoy has reached 58 million people in India with its behaviour change programme which - through a combination of comics, songs, games and rewards – encourages children to sustain good handwashing behaviours. We have also developed an education programme to teach good handwashing practices to new mums during the critical neonatal period (first 28 days of a child’s life) when over 40% of child deaths take place.

3) Pureit innovation: The private sector can provide innovative solutions and new technical models to address the immediate need for safe drinking water - while also helping to build long-term capacity through knowledge and capability transfer. The Pureit innovation addresses one of the biggest technological challenges of the century – that of making safe water accessible & affordable for millions. Pureit provides 1 litre of “As safe as boiled”™ water at a running cost of just 28 paisa without the hassles of boiling, without the need of electricity or a continuous tap water supply. Besides safe drinking water, HUL also partner with several NGOs on water conservation and management.

4) Domex Toilet Academy: As part of USLP, Unilever has committed to help 25 million people globally gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. One of the ways in which we will do this is through our Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) model. The DTA is a market-based, entrepreneurial model that provides people access to sanitation in rural communities. Run in conjunction with the social enterprise eKutir, the DTA programme trains people who want to start their own sanitation business to sell and maintain new toilets. Through the DTA, toilets are made accessible and affordable, while promoting the benefits of clean toilets & good hygiene. Five DTAs are currently operating in Maharashtra, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. From 2015, Unilever aims to open four new academies every year in order to reach its target of building 100,000 toilets in India, by 2020. This will be reinforced by demand creation and behaviour change for the toilets.

Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Unilever Limited,
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B. D. Sawant Marg,
Chakala, Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400 099.

T: +91 22 39832429 (Prasad Pradhan)
F: +91 22 39832413 (R Ram)


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