Diageo has pledged to enable the creation of more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser by donating up to two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners, to help protect frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.
The Smirnoff maker 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 sanitiser producers in multiple countries, to help overcome shortages in healthcare systems, the distiller said.
Diageo continues to engage with national and local governments across the many countries where the company has major distilling operations, the company explained.
“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 sanitiser around the world.”
The spirit will be made available in supply chains according to local circumstances, working with the relevant authorities and hand sanitiser manufacturers.
This will ensure the donation is used for maximum impact in protecting health workers and patients and that sanitiser reaches the frontline as quickly as possible, the group said.
According to Diageo 500,000 litres of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers across the UK and Ireland.
100,000 litres of GNS will be made available to support the healthcare system and other national needs in Italy, it said.
Other measures that will be implemented by the company include, donating 500,000 litres of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs across the USA.
The company said that its Ypioca plant will produce 50,000 litres of spirit for the local healthcare system, in conjunction with the Ceara State Government in Brazil and that Diageo’s East Africa Breweries Ltd will enable production of 135,000 litres of sanitiser, prioritising vulnerable and at risk groups in Kenya.
The group said that it will donate 500,000 litres of alcohol to supply to the sanitizer industry across 25 States, for use in national healthcare systems and for consumers in India and Diageo’s Bundaberg Distilling Co. will produce 100,000 litres of ethanol for the Queensland Government, to be forwarded to hand sanitiser manufacturers in Australia.
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