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Uber–Unilever partnership drives confidence as lockdowns start to ease


As parts of the world start to loosen their lockdowns, a new Unilever–Uber partnership is helping people get back on the move safely

An aerial view of cars driving around a motorway junction

Starting in a few weeks, Unilever International, our global business unit specialising in white space channels, will be providing hygiene kits for Uber drivers and couriers in the UK.

Part of a new partnership with the ride-hailing and delivery platform, the project is set to expand to more countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The kits are one of a number of safety measures being rolled out by Uber aimed at keeping both drivers and everyone who uses their app as safe and healthy as possible.

“As some countries around the world look to slowly ease out of lockdown, safe transportation will play a crucial role as we move into a new normal,” says Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, emphasising the importance of maintaining the highest levels of hygiene in order to avoid a resurgence in cases.

“As people begin to venture out, we must collectively ensure that health and safety remains the absolute priority. We’re pleased that by partnering with Uber and providing our trusted hygiene products, Unilever is able to help keep drivers, couriers and riders as safe as possible,” he continues.

Kits will include a range of products such as Cif (Jif) Antibacterial Multi-Purpose Spray and Lifebuoy alcohol-based hand gel. The partnership will also provide education materials and training to drivers and couriers.

“After months of asking people to stay home for the safety of themselves and others, we are taking unprecedented measures to help our community get back to work and start moving again safely,” says Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber.

Concept to launch in just a few weeks

Set up in 2012 and headquartered in Singapore, Unilever International, the team that led this partnership, specialises in bringing Unilever brands into untapped countries, segments and channels – otherwise known as white spaces.

As some countries began to look at how to ease lockdown measures, the team quickly recognised that in order for people to begin to move around more in as safe a way as possible, they would need clean, hygienic public spaces and transportation.

Having identified this need, they moved fast, taking the idea from concept to a pilot in the UK at speed.

“We’re glad that Unilever International is able to provide Unilever’s world-class hygiene products to Uber’s drivers and couriers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as people start commuting and working again, and as we all start to transition into the new normal,” says Umesh Shah, CEO, Unilever International.

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