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Our relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world has never been more important. That’s why, in November, we supported the UN and the UK Government as the official Hygiene Partner of The UN Climate Change Conference – or COP26 – to bring our purpose to the summit’s attendees and global audiences.

As part of the partnership, we provided advice and scientific expertise on hygiene protocols, and supplied Dettol products to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19, to deliver a safe conference. We were one of only 11 selected Principal Partners at the event.

The challenge: Protecting one of the largest in-person events since the beginning of the pandemic

COP26 organisers needed protocols and products to help reduce the spread of illness-causing germs:

  • Across 50,000 hotspots in a conference space larger than 48 football fields
  • In a diverse mix of environments, such as meeting rooms, exhibiting areas and bathrooms

All at a time when worries over germs remained high, with 80% of people feeling concerned about the spread of germs outside the home1              

The solution: A bespoke, science-led programme of targeted hygiene

Our Pro Solutions team of virologists, microbiologists, and medical scientists worked closely with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) over a nine-month period to support the UK’s Cabinet Office, which hosted COP26, to identify high-traffic, high-touch areas across the conference.

The results: A safe and successful COP26

We delivered a programme that included targeted hygiene interventions and hygiene-centred messaging.Of course, we made sure to use of our most sustainable products – we were at COP26, after all.

The results in numbers: Helped protect 25,000 delegates from illness-causing germs:

  • Focused on 12 key zones with 60 high-risk surfaces. Areas included entrances and exits, meeting rooms, exhibiting areas, bathrooms, front of house, crew spaces, and more.
  • Helped ensure disinfection of 123 office spaces, 99 large meeting rooms, 745 toilets, and 694 wash basins. Developed bespoke approaches for high-touch surfaces within these areas, with targeted hygiene interventions on railings, elevator buttons, electronic equipment, phones, door handles, catering spaces, and more.

We also:

  • Used iconic Dettol disinfecting products – antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Gel and Multi-purpose Disinfectant Spray and Cleansing Surface Wipes, proven to inactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Trained cleaning supervisors to also carry out cloud-based ATP testing for internal monitoring and timely interventions if issues arise.

  • Gave each and every delegate a Hygiene Kit with a personal face covering, pack of Dettol Biodegradable Disinfectant Wipes and Hand Sanitizer, which could be refilled at the Hygiene Service Counter.
  • And leveraged cutting-edge behavioral science to encourage attendees to be mindful of hygiene as they moved through the conference space.
  • Deployed three environmental health officers (EHOs) to assess deployment of hygiene protocols and refine protocols in real time
  • 4,800 ATP swab tests carried out on high-touch points for verification of protocols during the 12-day conference.

1 Source: Reckitt custom tracker from Toluna, based on those who expressed “very/somewhat concerned about germs,” October 2021

Phew! The Pro Solutions team have been incredibly busy at this year’s COP26. But their work isn’t done yet, as we continue to battle against COVID-19 and safely reopen our places of work and leisure spaces.