Unicharm Group's COVID-19 Initiatives
Efforts for Ensuring Health and Safety
Provision of masks, disposable diapers and more at various locations
With COVID-19 spreading around the world since the beginning of 2020, we have taken various measures at our business locations around the world to ensure the health and safety of our stakeholders.
|January 2020 onward
・In the United States, many animal shelters have closed due to the spread of COVID-19.
・Donated masks to Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and other locations in China where the infection continued to spread.
・Provided rescue goods such as masks through trade groups to those returning from Wuhan, China and to passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
・In response to the government’s request to purchase masks in bulk based on the Act on Emergency Measures for Stabilizing Living Conditions of the Public, we supplied masks to the Hokkaido area where a declaration of state of emergency was issued in cooperation with trade groups.
・Supplied masks to hospitals in areas throughout Japan other than the above.
・Gave donations to the “Vietnam Motherland Battlefront Central Committee” in Vietnam to fund the purchase of medical equipment.
・Donated incontinent adult diapers and feminine napkins to multiple hospitals in Jakarta and Karawang in Indonesia.
・Supplied masks to the Gumi area in South Korea and donated mineral water to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country.
・Donated sanitary products to households in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, in cooperation with local NGOs.
・Donated masks developed in Indonesia(Nyaman Mask) to hospitals in Jakarta and Karawang.
・Donated baby diapers through an international development NGO to socially disadvantaged people in South Korea living in poverty due to COVID-19.
・Made donations to COVID-19 Quarantine Center in Yangon, Myanmar.
Curbside advertisements to show appreciation for donations in three Chinese cities
Donating masks, etc., in Indonesia
In June 2020, we held an “On-Line Moony-chan Class Room” through the official Moony Instagram account in which we invited midwives and other specialists as instructors so that people could casually discuss issues they wanted to know about such as childbirth, as well as concerns they had such as how to spend their time during pregnancy, how to choose and use diapers and so on. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of people participated in the event which supported pre-mamas and pre-papas with concerns about childbirth.
Furthermore, in December 2020, we opened “With Corona Health, Hygiene & Security Information useful for new lifestyle” as a portal of useful information for daily life within our Japanese website. Previously, each division had posted its own information in the various different areas of Unicharm site, but all these information are now available in one spot with the start of “With Corona” subdivided into the categories of “Living with Babies,” “Comfortable Living for Women,” “Living with Family,” “Living with Partner animals (pets),” and “Living in Society.” By making it easier and convenient for users to have an access to the information needed for their lifestyle “in the way they so wish,” Unicharm will help support healthy, hygienic and safe living under the current situation with Corona and also into the future.
Developing and producing products to ensure customer health and safety
The spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the world economy as well. Economic activity shrank due to restrictions on movement and outdoor activities as well as store closures and more in various countries and regions. Lockdowns were also implemented in China, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia and other countries comprising the main markets where the Group has made inroads to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the markets shrank due to people buying less with distribution stagnating as well.
Under such circumstances, we obtained permits for priority business activity from the governments of each country based on the viewpoint that our products are indispensable for people to maintain their hygiene in their daily lives. We were one of the first to resume local production.
Growing awareness of infection measures has led to a rapid increase in demand for masks and wet wipes in Japan as well, resulting in a temporary shortage of products at stores. To handle this, we enhanced our system of production and expanded our supply. Through the above overseas and domestic measures, we were able to achieve increased sales and profits in fiscal 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with net sales of 727.5 billion yen and a core operating income of 114.7 billion yen.
Enhanced Crisis Management and “Autonomous Working Style”
We also used the spread of COVID-19 as an opportunity to strengthen our crisis management functions around the world.
First, we formulated a business continuity plan(BCP) adapted to the current conditions surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and launched the “COVID-19 Crisis Management Team” in April 2020. We disseminated COVID-19 countermeasure guidelines(four times total), COVID-19 countermeasure regulations for production departments and COVID-19 response manuals in the event of an occurrence of infection throughout the entire company to focus on enhancing our internal control functions while maintaining and improving productivity.
Moreover, to avoid the “three Cs”(closed spaces, crowds and close contact) in office work, we promoted remote work in which employees can choose where to work; partly reformed our “flextime system” which allows employees to select their working hours; and abolished “core time”(in the past, we established core work hours between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. as the standard working period). Looking ahead to a state in which we will have to learn to live “with COVID-19,” we will improve employees’ motivation for working by achieving an “autonomous working style” in which each employee can decide his or her own working style. We would like to contribute to the growth of employees and the company as well as make further contributions to society.