Toggle Search

  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Press releases
  4. Unilever`s Domestos and UNICEF partner for health

Unilever`s Domestos and UNICEF partner for health

SA Domestos UNICEF Partnership Announcement

Durban, 5 August 2015 – Global FMCG giant Unilever’s South African subsidiary today entered into a partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa country office.

Through its household care brand, DOMESTOS, Unilever, in partnership with UNICEF, aims to promote behaviour change related to hygiene and sanitation practices, and strengthen the capacity of school as well as education professionals in South Africa.

A partnership agreement was signed between Unilever and UNICEF today, this partnership aims to change the behaviour of millions of people through sanitation programmes that promote good hygiene practices and raise awareness of the sanitation crisis.

A three-month campaign, from August to October 2015, will help UNICEF to rally resources towards this goal. Therefore, five percent of the proceeds of every bottle of DOMESTOS sold will be donated to UNICEF’s sanitation programmes in schools in the country.

Peter Cowan, Chairman of Unilever SA, noted “germs can lead to life- threatening diseases. This is why Unilever, through its DOMESTOS brand, wants to support UNICEF financially in its fight to help children across the world survive and thrive. At Unilever, we believe that business has a responsibility to contribute to systematic change as building a better society goes hand-in-hand with building a more sustainable business.

“Our Sustainable Living Plan is UNILEVER’s roadmap to doubling the size of our business while reducing our environmental impact and delivering increased social value. Our plan has three big goals, one of which is helping more than one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.”

UNICEF representative to South Africa, Mr Herve Ludovic de Lys , said “Public-private partnerships are crucial to advancing the agenda for children. Only a focused, collective effort will ensure that even more children and young people in South Africa benefit from improvements in sanitation access and services”, noted Mr de Lys.

“Globally Unilever is working with UNICEF to improve sanitation in developing countries through UNICEF's Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) initiative, a behaviour change programme that promotes good hygiene practices, helps create demand for access to toilets, and raises awareness of the sanitation crisis. By investing in sanitation at a community level, this partnership helps us demonstrate the key role of the private sector."

Justin Apsey, Vice-President Brand Building Home & Surface Care, Unilever SA, pointed out that an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide lacked access to improved sanitation, and one billion people have no sanitation facilities at all and have to practise open defecation.

“Thus we have embarked on a cause-marketing campaign whereby every bottle of DOMESTOS that is bought to destroy germs will help UNICEF to change a life when improvements in sanitation are made. The DOMESTOS/UNICEF partnership aims to help reduce the number of people who do not have access to basic sanitation and create awareness of the dangers of poor sanitation.”

Apsey said while attendance rates were high among scholars in underprivileged communities in comparison to other developing countries, it remained evident that poor sanitation facilities were a major contributing factor to the school dropout rate.

“A lack of health and hygiene awareness coupled with inadequate sanitation facilities and infrastructure impact negatively on the health of the community and ultimately the environment. Healthy sanitation at schools is often overshadowed by other issues, but proper toilet facilities play a very big role in making sure children are in class each and every day”.

Realizing that the state of sanitation will not change overnight, DOMESTOS embarked on a school-toilet-refurbishment project in South Africa in 2010 so that learners no longer have to skip lessons because of substandard sanitation. Since then 24 schools have received new toilets as part of Domestos’ Brighter Future Campaign and this programme continues every year.

This year, Domestos launched a Hygiene Education Programme called Germ Buster Club. The program aims to get learners to become hygiene ambassadors to their parents and spread the awareness of the importance of keeping toilets clean and hygienic at all times. To date this program has reached over 150 schools and impacted lives of over 111 000 children.

Unilever believes business has a responsibility to contribute to the systematic change as building a better society goes hand-in-hand with building a more sustainable business.

Both UNICEF and Unilever recognise and believe that public / private partnerships are important to creating the type of transformational change needed to combat issues such as the sanitation crisis by leveraging the core competencies of each of the participating organisations.

About Unilever South Africa

Unilever South Africa (Pty Ltd) is one of the largest FMCG companies in South Africa. The Company is over 100 years old, with brands like Sunlight, OMO, Domestos, Lux, Knorr, Vaseline, Shield, Sunsilk, Flora etc that are household names throughout the country. Unilever South Africa has over 3000 employees based across two offices and five manufacturing locations in South Africa. It is rated as one of South Africa’s best employers. For more information visit

About Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

In November 2010 the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan was launched. Unilever publicly committed to a 10-year journey towards sustainable growth, with around 60 specific targets embedding this new thinking into our business. What makes the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan different is that it applies right across the value chain. Unilever is taking responsibility not just for its own direct operations but for their suppliers, distributors and consumers.

The plan sets out that by 2020 Unilever will:

  • help more than one billion people improve their health and well-being;
  • halve the environmental footprint of the making and use of our products;
  • source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit

Explore more on these topics:
Back to top