Statement from Carey Jaros, President and CEO, GOJO
Since February, demand for hygiene products – especially hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant – has been exponentially higher than any time in history. As the pandemic has evolved over the past several months, we have continually adapted our response. What started as a rush for products at retailers in February quickly became urgent demand by those on the front lines of the crisis – hospitals, first responders and grocery stores. This summer, the country started reopening to public life, and businesses, restaurants, and other institutions raced to secure PURELL® Hand Sanitizer, PURELL® brand HEALTHY SOAP™, and PURELL® Surface Spray. As we head into the fall, with reopening continuing while at the same time many areas are seeing a resurgence in illness, demand continues to be extraordinary.
We recognize the immediate and urgent need to provide K-12 schools with safe and effective hand hygiene and surface disinfecting products as they bring children and teachers back into classrooms over the coming weeks. There has been significant media coverage of the FDA’s recent ban of over 100 brands of hand sanitizer for containing toxic ingredients. In line with our GOJO Purpose of Saving Lives and Making Life Better, never have we felt more responsibility to ensure trusted PURELL® products – which are made with only the best raw materials, are always produced in strict compliance with all FDA and EPA requirements, and are rigorously tested for both safety and efficacy – are available in K-12 schools.
As families shop for back-to-school supplies, we know they may have some difficulty finding PURELL® Hand Sanitizer on store shelves. While we have returned to shipping product to stores and online retailers at more than double 2019 levels, and while these retailers are enforcing limits to how much any one customer can buy, PURELL® Hand Sanitizer is often wiped out as soon as it is restocked. Our investments in manufacturing, including activating more than two-million additional square feet of production space, will allow us to make exponentially more PURELL® products available in stores and online, over the next six months.
In the meantime, however, GOJO and our distributor partners are actively working directly with as many school districts throughout the country as we can to provide the PURELL® Hand Sanitizer, PURELL® brand HEALTHY SOAP™, and PURELL® Surface Spray they need to reopen with confidence. For example, we have rapidly developed and launched some new solutions designed especially for schools. We are also providing protocols, training materials, and educational content to support schools in maximizing the impact of the products they have available, including when and how these products should be used, and where to place wall-mounted dispensers, floor stands, and tabletop bottles – so sanitizing and washing fit into the normal flow of the school day.
One of our GOJO Guiding Principles has always been “We Do What’s Right for the Long Haul.” Ensuring our children and those who teach and care for them have access to safe and effective hand sanitizer, soap, and clean surfaces has never been more important. We are proud that PURELL® Hand Sanitizer has been the #1 Most Trusted Brand in Hospitals* for decades, and we are committed to bringing that same peace of mind to parents, students, teachers, and staff during these unprecedented times. We will work tirelessly with our distributor partners to outfit as many schools as we can over the coming weeks and months while also building out our manufacturing capacity to support these schools and the communities they serve, into the future.
Visit our K-12 Well-Being Center and PURELL Well-Being Center for resources; more will be added soon.