Soap For Hope: Serving Communities, One Bar of Soap at a Time

One of the greatest public health challenges facing the developing world today is hygiene. More than 2.5 billion people worldwide lack proper sanitation. And at Diversey, we create solutions to protect and care for people every day. Our commitment to hygiene and sustainability is why we created Soap For Hope, an initiative that salvages soap slivers from hotels and transforms them into new soap bars. With programs in 40 countries, Soap for Hope provides access to hygiene for communities in need.

What is Soap For Hope?

The Soap For Hope process starts at participating hotels, which transport leftover soap to a nearby site where local people reprocess them using an innovative but simple cold-press method. The new soap is then distributed directly to the local communities who need it most.

The impact of this program is widespread. A child dies as a result of poor sanitation every 20 seconds, and our bars of soap literally save the lives of people who would otherwise not have access to hygiene products. At the same time, Soap for Hope helps hotels reduce waste by recycling and reprocessing soap into something useful once again. Community members and local nonprofits are also directly engaged in the process, enhancing livelihood for local communities.

Success in 2017

Soap For Hope saw incredible growth and progress in 2017, with 21.4 million bars of soap made to date for more than 951,000 people annually. From 2016 to 2017, Soap For Hope expanded into nine more countries, 161 more hotels and produced 10.2 million more bars of soap. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, enough bars of soap were produced each month to provide for 239,585 children. We couldn’t be prouder of the strides we’ve made to improve the lives of communities in need.

There were many success stories from participating hotels throughout the year, including AccorHotels, Carlson Rezidor, Hilton and IHG. For example, The Hilton Pattaya in Thailand participated in Soap For Hope by donating repurposed soap bars to the Glory Hut Foundation, an organization that provides care for patients with HIV/AIDS. The Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia launched its Soap For Hope initiative this year, contributing to Radisson Hotels’ annual donation of 1.7 tons of soap to local communities – enough to produce 13,000 bars of soap. The success of all our partner hotels serves as an inspiration to work hard and give back to make our world a better place.

A Bright Future

Since launching Soap For Hope in October 2013, 2,623 metric tons of soap waste has been collected from 540 hotels. The collaborative program enables participating hotels to expand their social responsibility efforts while also supporting those in need. We are thrilled with this year’s success and look forward to Soap For Hope continuing to make a positive and wide-reaching impact – one bar of soap at a time.

To learn more about Soap For Hope, visit www.diversey.com/sustainability/soap-for-hope.