Organization Name:
Hindustan Unilever
Organization Website:
Social Issue:
Initiative/ Project Description:

To help address health problems caused by poor hygiene in poor rural areas of India, in 2002 Unilever introduced an 18-gram bar of Lifebuoy soap—enough for one person to wash their hands once a day for 10 weeks—for a price of two rupees (about US$0.03). This affordable price point is combined with a public education and outreach campaign targeted within the eight Indian states where deaths from diarrhea-related diseases are highest and soap sales are lowest.

Social Results:

By 2015, Unilever's Lifebuoy brand aims to reach and improve the hygiene of one billion consumers across Asia, Africa and Latin America by promoting the benefits of hand washing with soap at key times. The company notes that 119 million people have been reached since 2010, of whom 71 million were reached in 2012.

Business Results:

Unilever committed to an initial five-year funding period at a cost of $5.4 million as an investment in future business opportunities at the base of the pyramid. By 2003-04, Lifebuoy sales had grown by 20% in India. By 2012 the company had successfully introduced the Lifebuoy product and hygiene campaign in 16 countries and continued double-digit sales growth year over year.