Our work on the SDGs
Lifebuoy's 1 Billion AmbitionImproving global health by changing the handwashing behaviour of 1 billion people
As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has set a goal to help more than 1 billion people take action to improve their health & well-being, through programmes on handwashing, safe drinking water, oral health, and self-esteem. Together with our partners we work to develop cost-effective interventions that can be rolled out nationally and internationally, improving health through better hygiene.
Our heritage brand Lifebuoy runs the world’s largest hygiene promotion programme which aims to change the handwashing behaviour of a billion people by 2020 across Asia, Africa, and Latin American. By 2016, our behaviour change programme has reached 26 countries and approximately 337 million people.
By pooling our knowledge and resources with our partners, we are helping more babies have a healthy start to life and reduce mortality in this critical period. Together, we create programmes to improve the hygiene behaviours of new mothers. Handwashing habits are taught through messaging in neonatal clinics and home visits across South Asia, South East Asia and Africa. Lifebuoy’s School of 5 is a programme implemented in primary school to make handwashing fun and engaging, and change the behaviour of millions of children in poor and rural communities.
We are now using our understanding and learnings from our handwashing programme in schools and applying it to other health issues, such as trachoma and other settings, including emergency settings.
Like Unilever, all businesses have the opportunity to be a force for good in the world. Through brands like Lifebuoy we can inspire billions of consumers to take small everyday actions, such as handwashing with soap, to ensure a bright, more sustainable future for generation.” (Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever)
Approximately 337 million children, parents and new mothers have been reached by Lifebuoy's handwashing programmes since 2010.
More info about project ›
Lead business line
PSI CIFF UK Department for International Development USAID
Impact on primary SDG
Impact on other SDGs
Targeted Region of execution
January 2010 End date
New and expecting mothers, parents, children Number Beneficiaries
Approximately 337 million people
Jonathan Gill Function
Global Advocacy & Partnerships Manager