Sealed Air Corporation was named the winner of the CSR Impact category in the Asian CSR Awards 2015 presented at the 14th Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR).
From among 134 entries from 12 countries, Sealed Air won the award for its Soap for Hope™ program on soap recycling and distribution. In partnering with hotels who are Sealed Air’s customers, Sealed Air collects and channels used soap to local communities for recycling into reconstituted soap bars. The soap is then distributed back to the local communities.
The program’s objective is three-fold: to save lives by promoting a cleaner and healthier environment through proper hand-washing with soap: to provide a means of livelihood for local communities through learning a new skill; and to help hotels reduce waste by recycling used or discarded soap.
“A typical 400-room hotel generates 3.5 metric tons of solid soap waste per annum. Hand-washing with soap is among the effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal and respiratory diseases in developing regions. Put these facts together and you can see that Soap for Hope addresses waste reduction and hygiene enhancement at the same time, while also generating livelihoods for local communities through soap recycling,” said Sealed Air’s Stefan Phang, Director for Sustainability and CSR.
Soap for Hope works is simple. Once used guest soap is collected from the hotels, Sealed Air transports them to local communities and teaches them to re-process soap using a specially customized cold-press method that requires no running water and electricity. The reconstituted soap bars are then distributed to communities with limited access to basic hygiene amenities.
Since launched in Cambodia in 2013, Soap for Hope is now in 17 cities across 11 countries that include Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, China, United Arab Emirates, Kenya and South Africa. Currently, 120 hotels are supporting the program and at least 160,000 beneficiaries gain free access to soap every year.