LONDON — Big beauty and FMCG companies have made employee safety a priority as war continues to rage in Ukraine.
Beiersdorf AG said the company’s thoughts are with all those affected in Eastern Europe, “and in particular with the people in Ukraine, especially our employees and their families. Their safety is our top priority,” said a spokesman from the group.
He added that Beiersdorf does not have its own production facilities in either Ukraine or Russia. The company employs 57 people in Ukraine and around 320 in Russia.
“The impact of the two countries on EBIT is not significant for the overall business,” the spokesman said. “The share of sales accounted for by the two countries is less than 3 percent.”
Unilever, meanwhile, said it was “watching with concern and focusing on the safety of our people,” in the region. Asked about Unilever’s presence in Russia, and the size of the business there, the company declined to comment.
Unilever, owner of brands including Dove, Vaseline and Domestos, groups sales from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus together with those of Asia, the Middle East and Turkey.
In 2021, those regions’ sales grew by 5.8 percent on an underlying basis, and accounted for 24.3 billion euros, nearly half of overall group turnover in the period.
However, Russia and Ukraine are not what Unilever describes as “priority” markets. Those top markets are China, India and the U.S.
L’Oréal, meanwhile, said in a statement that its number-one priority is always “the safety and care of the group’s employees and their families.” It added that, at present, all of the company’s 326 employees in Ukraine are safe and accounted for.
L’Oréal said it is in constant touch with its employees, some of whom have already left Ukraine, while others have remained.
“We are deeply moved by the solidarity of all our community toward our Ukrainian colleagues,” L’Oréal said. “For those employees who have crossed the border from Ukraine, our local organizations in neighboring countries have put in place support mechanisms to take care of them and their families.”
The company said that in neighboring countries, it has started an employee volunteer program in response to the request of employees to express their solidarity and help alleviate the situation.
“In addition, we are implementing a consolidated humanitarian action plan with local and international NGOs to support the growing number of refugees,” L’Oréal continued. “We are making an immediate donation of 1 million euros through our L’Oréal Fund for Women.”
L’Oréal’s first truck delivering hygiene products to incoming refugees departed Wednesday. The company aims to donate 300,000 products over the coming weeks.
L’Oréal said it is too early to estimate the full impact that the situation will have from a business perspective, but that it has “activated a robust business continuity plan to manage eventualities.”
For more, see: