23 March 2020: Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, has today 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 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 sanitiser 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 sanitiser.
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 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 plan includes:
“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.”