Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and Guinness, has pledged to enable the creation of more than eight million bottles of hand sanitizer, by donating up to two million liters of alcohol to manufacturing partners, to help protect frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.
The world’s leading distiller will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) – a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in production of vodka and gin – and make it available at no cost to hand sanitizer producers in multiple countries, to help overcome shortages in healthcare systems. This donation will enable the production of more than eight million 250ml bottles of hand sanitizer.
Diageo continues to engage with national and local governments across the many countries where the company has major distilling operations. The spirit will be made available in supply chains according to local circumstances, working with the relevant authorities and hand sanitizer manufacturers. This will ensure the donation is used for maximum impact in protecting health workers and patients and that sanitizer reaches the frontline as quickly as possible.
The plan includes:
- The UK and the Republic of Ireland: 500,000 liters of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers across the UK and Ireland.
- Italy: 100,000 liters of GNS to support the healthcare system and other national needs
- USA: 500,000 liters of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs
- Brazil: Diageo’s Ypioca plant will produce 50,000 liters of spirit for the local healthcare system, in conjunction with the Ceara State Government.
- Kenya: Diageo’s East Africa Breweries Ltd will enable production of 135,000 liters of sanitizer, prioritizing vulnerable and at-risk groups.
- India: 500,000 liters of alcohol to supply to the sanitizer industry across 25 States, for use in national healthcare systems and for consumers.
- Australia: Diageo’s Bundaberg Distilling Co. to produce 100,000 liters of ethanol for the Queensland Government, to be forwarded to hand sanitizer manufacturers.
“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them,” said Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo. “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitizer around the world.”