Diageo pledges 2 million litres of alcohol to produce sanitiser

Diageo has 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 front-line healthcare workers in the fight against Covid-19.

The company, which owns the Guinness and Baileys brands in Ireland, among others, issued a statement on the matter today, Monday, March 23.

The distiller will provide grain neutral spirit (GNS) – a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in the 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, the statement said.

This donation will enable the production of more than eight million 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser, the international drinks giant added.

The spirit will be made available in supply chains according to local circumstances, working with the relevant authorities and hand sanitiser manufacturers, the firm’s statement outlined.

This will ensure the donation is used “for maximum impact in protecting health workers and patients and that sanitiser reaches the front line as quickly as possible.”

The plan includes:
  • 500,000L of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers across the UK and Ireland;
  • 100,000L of GNS to support the healthcare system and other national needs in Italy; and
  • 500,000L of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs in the US.

GNS will also be made available in Brazil, Kenya, India and Australia, the firm said.

“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.”