Unilever Philippines taps innovations from the youth to optimize disaster relief efforts
Unilever Philippines has tapped into the energy and ideas of the youth in designing a pop-up module that would enable the company to optimize its efforts in addressing water, health, hygiene, and sanitation concerns in times of a disaster.
Senior-year students from the University of the Philippines College of Architecture took part in the challenge, which was to design a pop-up module for Domex sanitation, Knorr Soup Kitchen, PureIt Drinking Water Stations, and hygiene areas that can easily be activated as necessary. Each module required these provisions: two toilets, a common wash area, one soup kitchen area, three water stations, and an assembly area that can accommodate a minimum of 500 people per day.
The modules were judged on the following criteria: innovation and sustainability; ease of transportation and installation; security and safety; expandability in people capacity; flexibility in the absence of utilities; storage and preservation of items; and proper branding of Unilever and its products.
“In times of need, we have seen how Unilever has become a vital part of the community in providing food, hygiene, water, and sanitation to affected areas. Recognizing the role our brands play in relief and recovery efforts, we are consolidating our initiatives in helping Filipino families. This will allow us to positively impact a larger number of those affected, in the most efficient manner possible.
"We take pride in being the reliable ‘kapitbahay’, as our brands serve a larger purpose beyond addressing the everyday needs of the Filipino home,” stated Ed Sunico, Vice President for Sustainable Business and Communications of Unilever Philippines.
“We are pleased that Unilever Philippines has chosen to partner with us on this endeavor. It is a great avenue for students to exhibit their talent but more importantly, to contribute their skills to improve the lives of Filipinos. On behalf of the UP College of Architecture, we are honored for the recognition,” stated Prof. Dodi Madrid of the UP College of Architecture.
The chosen design, Silong, developed by Kristina Bunula and Angela Magno, took inspiration from the functions of an umbrella in its primary purpose to give shelter. In their presentation, the students explained that the designs are lightweight, flexible, and easily expandable, which considers the environment and capacity of community relief.
This initiative builds on Unilever Philippines’ current disaster relief efforts. Together with local government partners, the company has extended support through the following initiatives: activation of Knorr soup kitchens for nutritious hot meals in evacuation centers; set-up of PureIt water stations for safe drinking water; distribution of Domex products for toilet sanitation and prevention of diseases; and donation of relief packs consisting of home and personal care products.
Unilever Philippines awarded cash prizes and gift packs to the top three entries. The winning team received P20,000 in cash, while the second and third placers received P10,000 and P5,000, respectively.