Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) – a 96 per cent 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 drinks giant said the donation will enable the production of more than eight million 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser around the world, with 500,000 litres of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers across the UK and Ireland.
“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.”
It joins the likes of Louis Vuitton, who are making sanitiser for the French authorities; Pernod Ricard who is producing sanitiser at all its U.S. distilleries; and Anheuser-Busch, which has pledged over one million bottles as well.