Henkel launches global solidarity program amid COVID-19 outbreak

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Henkel has released funds, will distribute products, ramp up disinfectant production and support smaller business partners (Getty Images)
Henkel has released funds, will distribute products, ramp up disinfectant production and support smaller business partners (Getty Images)

Related tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, Henkel

Personal care major Henkel is donating €2m to COVID-19 response funds and will supply five million units of personal and household hygiene products to charities and health authorities amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

The German major said it would donate a total of €2m to the World Health Organization/United Nations COVID-19 fund and other selected organisations; donate five million units of personal and household hygiene products to charities, local authorities and partners; and commence production of disinfectants at certain Henkel plants to support public institutions. The company would also offer flexible payment terms for its small and mid-sized hairdresser partners.

Carsten Knobel, CEO of Henkel, said this was a comprehensive global solidarity program that aligned with company values.

“At Henkel, we are committed to help addressing this unprecedented challenge,”​ Knobel said. “…We stand united in our fight against the pandemic, striving to protect our employees and their jobs, serving our customers and supporting the communities in which we operate.”

Donating funds and personal care products

Through its Fritz Henkel Foundation, the company had released €2m in donations and would distribute these to worldwide COVID-19 funds, notably the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund launched by WHO and the UN Foundation, along with others.

“This donation will help to provide protective equipment for frontline health workers, equip diagnostic laboratories, improve data collection and analysis, establish and maintain intensive care units, as well as to accelerate research and development of potential vaccines and therapeutics,”​ it said.

Henkel said it was also donating five million units of personal and household hygiene products globally, including hand sanitisers, soaps, protective equipment, detergents and disinfectants.

“Henkel’s corporate citizenship team will implement these donations in close coordination with charity organisations, local authorities and partners around the world.”

The company would also start the manufacture of disinfectants at certain production sites “to help public institutions and professional groups in the fight against the coronavirus”, ​it said.

Business and employee protection

Henkel said it would also work with small and mid-sized hairdresser business partners to consider “improved payment terms”​ amid what was currently a “challenging situation”​ for these businesses.

It would also remain heavily focused on protecting its staff, particularly those still working on site across production plants worldwide.

Knobel said the company had introduced “strict protocols”,​ including increased hygiene measures, separating shifts and reducing the total number of employees on site where possible. Henkel’s global and local crisis teams, he said, had been instrumental in managing teams since the coronavirus crisis began.

Last week, international beauty major L’Oréal announced its solidarity plan across Europe​ – pledging to ramp up production of hydroalcoholic gels and donate €1m in funds to associations working with those in need.

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