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Toegang tot toiletfaciliteiten verbeteren voor 25 miljoen mensen

Tijdens het Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York op 27 september heeft Unilever bekendgemaakt dat zij zich zal inzetten om te helpen de toegang tot toiletvoorzieningen te verbeteren voor 25 miljoen mensen. (Bericht alleen uitgegeven in het Engels.)

Helping 25 million people gain improved access to toilets

New York/London/Rotterdam, 27th September 2014 - Today, at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, NY, Unilever is announcing a commitment to help 25 million people gain improved access to toilets by 2020. This commitment is part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan – Unilever’s blueprint for sustainable growth. It will contribute to our goal of helping one billion people improve their health and well being by 2020, and sit alongside existing goals on providing access to safe and affordable drinking water, and education on the importance of handwashing with soap.

An estimated 2.5 billion people – over one third of the world’s population – live without access to adequate sanitation. Of these, over one billion continue to defecate in the open. This has a serious impact on people’s health, nutrition, education, on gender equality and sustainable economic development. It is a global tragedy that a child dies of diseases related to poor sanitation every two minutes* and it could be prevented.

“Business can and must be part of the solution in addressing global challenges that affect us all,” said Unilever CEO, Paul Polman. “That’s why we introduced the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to positively contribute to the societies where we operate. With our portfolio of health and hygiene brands, our understanding of consumers’ needs and our global reach, we are uniquely placed to help improve people’s lives.” This target will be delivered by Unilever’s toilet cleaning brand, Domestos and the Unilever Foundation, by scaling up existing partnership programmes.

To deliver this commitment, Domestos and the Unilever Foundation are working with UNICEF to change sanitation behaviours and empower communities to become free of open defecation. Domestos is also partnering with social enterprise eKutir, to deliver market-based models that enable entrepreneurs to set up local sanitation businesses in rural areas, and running school programmes with locally-based NGOs, which improve school facilities and educate the next generation of children on the importance of sanitation and hygiene.

So far, the partnership with UNICEF has already reached over one million people with sanitation behaviour change interventions, and this will result in these individuals living in open defecation free communities.** Domestos is also working with other leading organisations including DFID, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, WaterAid, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), World Toilet Organization, Water and Sanitation Africa and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) with the mutual aim to bring even greater speed and scale to sanitation solutions.

“Our commitment is the natural next step for Domestos,” said Jean-Laurent Ingles, Senior Vice President for Household Care, Unilever. “Domestos aims to ‘kill germs for good’ – that’s why we’re working to provide access to clean and safe toilets for people worldwide. Our commitment is about more than Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s about establishing a clear and sustainable link between tackling sanitation and our business ambitions. This is where the biggest opportunity lies for businesses, and where we can add greatest value.”

Of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the sanitation target is the most off-track. Too many interventions have failed because they have addressed only the hardware and have not taken the software – human psychology and behaviour – into account. Unilever is well positioned to tackle this urgent issue and has a proven track record of implementing and supporting WASH behaviour change programmes.

Unilever believes that universal access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is essential to helping lift people out of poverty. For this reason, we are advocating for a standalone goal on Water and Sanitation in the post-2015 Development Agenda. This must be supported by targets and indicators that recognise the importance of ending open defecation; improving hygiene practises and tackling current inequalities in access to WASH. 

Without access to clean, safe toilets, affordable drinking water, and the adoption of basic hygiene practices – such as handwashing with soap – too many people around the world will continue to die from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea.

Unilever Media contacts

Marc Potma +31 (0) 6 1137 5464 or mediarelations.rotterdam@unilever.com

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). 

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes someof the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

Unilever has been ranked number one in their sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2014 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the fourth year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn's third most sought after employer worldwide in 2013

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org/. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

* WHO/UNICEF JMP, Update on Drinking Water and sanitation, Update 2014 ** Figures are based on actual reported beneficiaries reached to-date in conjunction with funds dispersed in 2012 and 2013.

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

http://www.unilever.nl

+31 (0) 10 217 4000
mediarelations.rotterdam@Unilever.com

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