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The future of hygiene for businesses: learnings from the COP26 climate conference

Supporting the UN and the UK Government as the official Hygiene Partner of The UN Climate Change Conference

At the end of 2019, many of us went Christmas shopping, to cinemas and theatres, and to crowded pubs and parties, maybe barely even sparing a thought for how hygienic our public spaces were. But only a few short months later, our expectations had completely changed.

In the context of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, we have become deeply aware of potential harmful bacteria or viruses in business environments – particularly when it comes to high contact surfaces that hundreds of people could have touched every day, from handrails to lift buttons, for example.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) took place over two weeks from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow. With over 30,000 attendees from over 200 nations, including 120 world leaders, it was one of the largest in-person events since the pandemic began.[1] To help keep the venue hygienic, Reckitt was made official hygiene partner – and the hygiene protocols developed for the conference could now inspire implementation across many different business environments.

Someone using a Dettol antibacterial hand gel dispenser

Reckitt’s Dettol Pro Solutions team, made up of virologists, microbiologists and medical scientists, worked with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to put together a hygiene programme tailored for this particular event.

The first stage of the programme was to identify the spots that most needed cleaning. These are usually the hotspots that people touch most frequently, such as doorknobs, phones and buttons. Eating areas are also higher-risk, since there’s a higher chance of accidentally transferring germs into the mouth.

Once the Pro Solutions team had identified the hotspots, they could put together a plan of targeted hygiene protocols for how – and how often – to sanitise different areas.

Dettol hygiene products were used as part of the hygiene protocols during the COP26 conference, from hand soap and hand sanitiser gel to disinfectant spray and surface cleansing wipes. The Pro Solutions team regularly tested and refined their hygiene programme to make sure it was as effective as possible during the conference. For instance, small, irregular surfaces are less easy to clean than smooth ones, and so they need attention regularly throughout the day. However, other surfaces will benefit more from being sanitised directly after each time they are used.

Dettol Pro Solutions can work with businesses to create a hygiene programme targeted to their unique needs.

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Someone using a Dettol antibacterial hand gel dispenser

A healthy future for businesses

To address germ concern, it is key for businesses to restore confidence in the cleanliness of business environments – and a programme of targeted, enhanced hygiene protocols such as the one used during the COP26 conference can help people to feel comfortable when participating in activities outside of their home.

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Reckitt’s Dettol Pro Solutions hygiene service counter