27 years of Unilever care-for-people initiatives in Vietnam

August 29, 2022 | 07:00 pm PT
Improving people's health and hygiene has been a primary objective since the beginning of Unilever, according to Fabian Garcia, Unilever personal care president.

In 1995, when Unilever entered Vietnam, the country had barely opened its economy to the world. Over the past 27 years, Unilever's business strategies in Vietnam have focused on more than just market penetration.

The presence of Unilever contributed to the economy and enhanced people's health and quality of life through awareness-raising and direct support via personal care products.

The main goal of Unilever's sustainability initiatives in Vietnam and around the world is to demonstrate how improving people's health can lead to greater performance.

It is considered that each healthy individual supports a healthy community and economic prosperity.

Brushing teeth with P/S has become a daily oral care habit of Vietnamese in the past decades. Photo by P/S

Brushing teeth with P/S has become a daily oral care habit among Vietnamese in recent decades. Photo by P/S

National-scale impact

Through its goods and services, Unilever has enhanced Vietnamese consumer understanding of health and hygiene.

"The 'For a Healthier Vietnam' campaign exemplifies the Unilever compass, which combines the company's business strategy with its dedication to improving the health of the world and the lives of those we serve," Garcia noted.

Unilever's president of personal care emphasizes the strategy, which entails long-term partnerships, to make those care-for-people programs have a nationwide impact.

For many years, Unilever Vietnam has worked closely with the Ministry of Education and Training, and the Ministry of Health.

Since 2007, the "For a Healthier Vietnam" program, run in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Training, has helped more than 22 million people through a variety of social activities via its purposeful brands.

Since its inception in 1998, the "P/S-Protecting Vietnamese Smiles" program has educated 25 million students, approached 10 million people through communication campaigns, and organized free dental check-ups for more than seven million children.

The "Lifebuoy - Washing hands with soap for a healthier Vietnam" program has helped 35 million people nationwide develop the habit of washing their hands with soap through education and communication and provision of free soap.

Since 2012, the "Green-Clean-Healthy School" program has worked to improve school facilities while also educating students on cleanliness and health.

The program has helped build 445 kid-safe playgrounds; upgraded and built 1,000 clean toilets in 762 primary schools; provided oral care to 617,000 students; and educated 7.2 million students nationwide on proper handwashing habits.

During Covid-19, Unilever's "Stay Strong Vietnam" initiative delivered a national communications campaign on personal cleanliness and Covid-19 prevention to the community, working with the Ministry of Health to reach almost 750 million people through mass media.

More than 2.6 million people in Vietnam received 2.5 million sanitary products from Unilever Vietnam and its brands.

Product support to millions of people nationwide to fight the Covid-19. Photo by P/S

P/S's nationwide product support helped fight Covid-19. Photo by P/S

Upcoming journey in Vietnam

According to Garcia, as the country is expanding and developing, Unilever is striving for ways to facilitate an even stronger impact.

The business recently signed a collaboration agreement with Vietnam Odonto-Stomatology Association (VOSA) to conduct collaborative communications and oral hygiene education, provide millions of people with better dental care, and encourage more scientific research for dentistry in Vietnam.

This will help VOSA achieve its objective of increasing the number of dentists in the nation.

P/S and Unilever Vietnam to sign a strategic partnership with VOSA. Photo by P/S

P/S and Unilever Vietnam sign a strategic partnership with VOSA. Photo by P/S

The business is also utilizing technology to help reach more individuals. The "Green-Clean-Healthy School" initiative is already moving online. The program is now digitally accessible, so even more schools can use the training materials. The program will still be physically available at schools.

More people will have access to dental care throughout Vietnam thanks to the free digital oral consultation provided by the "P/S-Protecting Vietnamese Smiles" program's tele-dentist hotline. As a result, national brands like Lifebuoy and P/S may reach even more consumers.

"Building a shared understanding of the development mindset among firms and communities has taken a decade. Long-term dedication to 'For a Healthier Vietnam' efforts will continue to be a key component of Unilever’s business in future," Garcia said.

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