Health & Hygiene

303 million people reached by end 2013

Our commitment

By 2020, we will help more than a billion people to improve their health and hygiene. This will help reduce the incidence of life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea.

Our performance

303 million people reached by end 2013. 183 million† people with Lifebuoy; 55 million† with safe drinking water from Pureit; 52 million with our toothpaste brands; and 13 million through Dove self-esteem programmes.

  • achieved: 1
  • on-plan: 2
  • off-plan: 1
  • %of target achieved: 0

Our perspective

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 behaviour-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 litres 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 programme, So far 760,000 people have been reached with sanitation behaviour 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 programmes, reaching 13 million young people since 2005, with 2 million in 2013.

Since 2010, Lifebuoy has substantially expanded its handwashing behaviour-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 programmes, we will not reach 1 billion people by the brand’s target date of 2015. Making our proven handwashing programmes 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 maximise our impact and unlock efficiencies by combining our individual initiatives into integrated WASH programmes.

Reduce diarrhoeal and respiratory disease through handwashing

  • By 2015, our Lifebuoy brand aims to change the hygiene behaviour of 1 billion consumers across Asia, Africa and Latin America by promoting the benefits of handwashing with soap at key times.

  • 183 million† people reached since 2010, of whom 69 million† were reached in 2013.


Provide safe drinking water

  • We aim to make safe drinking water available and affordable to 500 million people through our Pureit in-home water purifier by 2020.

    We aim to provide 150 billion litres of safe drinking water by 2020.

    (Target revised 2014)

  • 55 million† people have gained access to safe drinking water from Pureit since its launch in 2005.


Improve oral health

  • We will use our toothpaste and toothbrush brands to encourage children and their parents to brush day and night. We aim to change the behaviour of 50 million people by 2020.
  • 52 million people reached since 2010, of whom 3 million were reached in 2013, exceeding our target.


Improve self-esteem

With our Dove brand we are helping millions of young people to improve their self-esteem through educational programmes.

  • By 2015 we aim to have helped 15 million young people.
  • 13 million young people have received our help since 2005. Over 2 million participated in the programme in 22 countries in 2013.

† Independently assured by PwC

* Figures are based on actual reported beneficiaries reached to date in conjunction with funds dispersed in 2012 and 2013.