Shiseido Americas employees rally to donate hand sanitizer to New York and New Jersey

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (RGtimeline)
© Getty Images \ (RGtimeline)

Related tags coronavirus hand sanitisers CSR

The beauty maker’s East Windsor, New Jersey manufacturing facility is closed is help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. But, for a short time, the company’s employee-led social impact program reopened a portion of the facility to manufacture hand sanitizer for regional health care professionals.

Like most beauty companies, Shiseido Americas has taken care in recent years to foreground mission-driven initiatives. In 2019 the company launched what it calls an employee-led social impact program.

That program, formally known as The Beauty of Helping Others, is now manufacturing a first product to help those leading the fight against the Coronavirus.

“Helping others is part of our company’s DNA,”​ says Marc Rey, CEO of Shiseido Americas, in today’s media release about the initiative, adding that “Our incredible team embraces the spirit of omotenashi, which translates from Japanese as ‘heartfelt hospitality’.”​ 

“In the midst of this global pandemic, we are proud to do our part in support of the courageous medical professionals and volunteers who are on the frontlines fighting the spread of coronavirus daily,”​ says Rey. “This would not be possible without the goodwill of our dedicated employees and partners, to whom I extent my sincere gratitude.”

A small group of workers are at the Shiseido Americas’ East Windsor, New Jersey, manufacturing facility to produce both medical and commercial grade hand-sanitizing gels. The formulations contain 70% ethanol by volume; and the company media release takes care to note that “all production is in line with CDC safety standards and guidelines, as well as the FDA’s regulations for preparation of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products during the public health emergency.”

Manufacturing hand sanitizer has become an industry-wide movement

Nearly every manufacturer and brand that can is now making soap or sanitizer or disinfectant to keep people working and provide essential supplies during the Coronavirus crisis.

ET Browne Drug Company, perhaps best known for the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter brand, circulated a media release this morning about their new hand sanitizer production plan: “As a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer, we want to give back on both a national and local level and support the community that has been there for us for over 25 years,”​ says Antone McIntyre, Director of Manufacturing at the ET Browne Drug Company’s Hayward Labs facility in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.  “Not only will our sanitizer benefit workers on the frontlines,” ​says McIntyre, “but it will also support our local neighborhood and secure jobs for our 300 employees who need to take care of their families during this pandemic.”​     

And ingredient maker BASF announced a similar venture today: that company’s Washington, New Jersey, facility is expected to product some 3,500 gallons of hand sanitizer for health care professionals and government agencies in New Jersey and New York as well as other BASF locations in the US. “Our dedicated team has been working tirelessly to launch this production line to help ease the critical shortage of disinfecting agent needed to fight COVID-19,”​ says Daniele Piergentili, Vice President of the BASF Home and Personal Care division in North America.  



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. Learn more about how the beauty industry is coming together during the COVID-19 crisis here.

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