RB announces $25 million investment in a new Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute to strengthen scientific evidence and achieve behaviour change

16th July 2020, Slough, UK – RB today announces the launch of a global initiative to generate high-quality scientific research-based evidence to inform public health recommendations and promote behaviours that improve global hygiene. The Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI) is a public health research and innovation hub that will bridge epidemiology, public health, and behavioural insights to generate practical, high-quality scientific research that leads to enduring behaviour change. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed public health to the top of the global agenda. At RB, we see the need for a new paradigm that brings together the highest quality scientific based evidence and informed public health recommendations to generate large-scale behaviour change for a cleaner, healthier world,” said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of RB. “Today we’re announcing our commitment to convene a group of multi-disciplinary experts who, like us, believe real change on a global scale is within reach if we translate science-based evidence and consumer behavioural insights into sustainable hygienic practices that can be adopted globally. This ambitious goal is the result of our belief that the highest quality hygiene is a right and not a privilege.”  

RB’s commitment to global hygiene research and education includes: 

- A multi-year, $25 million investment in research aimed at filling the gaps in our understanding of the science-based evidence around hygiene and the behaviours and solutions necessary to sustain it. 

- The formation of an Expert Panel—comprised of cross-discipline luminaries—to guide these research efforts at leading academic institutions around the world. 

- The creation of a Global Hygiene Institute with a Governing Board supported by full-time staff, ongoing research, and education programming driven by expert researchers and educators. 

Through the establishment of a fellowship program with leading universities, RGHI will generate practical, informed public health research and recommendations that champion global hygiene as the foundation of health. The RGHI Governing Board will determine specific areas for research and will work with the Expert Panel to award the fellowships to promising early career academics, who will become Reckitt Fellows. In addition to the fellowships, the Institute will award grants to institutions for open, collaborative, cross-functional research. The Expert Panel will further define the parameters of these awards. 

RB is honored to announce the founding members of the Governing Board and Expert Panel including: 

- Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

- Dame Sally Davies, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge

- Professor Feng Cheng, Research Center for Public Health, Tsinghua University School of Medicine, Tsinghua 

- Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) 

- Professor Dr. Albert Ko, Department Chair and Professor of Epidemiology, Yale School of Medicine  

- Professor Teo Yik Ying, Dean, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore 

“The purpose of RB—to protect, heal, and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world—resonates more than ever in the current environment. I am excited to work with the Expert Panel and combine the deep experience in their respective fields with RB’s expertise in hygiene and consumer behaviours,” said Simon Sinclair, RB Chief Safety Officer, who has been named Executive Director of RGHI. “We look forward to partnering across disciplines and geographies to generate the information necessary to support the right behaviour changes for a healthier world.” 

Updates about RGHI are forthcoming as additional details about the initiative are confirmed. The formal launch of the Institute will be in the autumn of 2020.  

For further information, please contact:

Patty O’Hayer: +44 (0)7825 755688

James Fearnley-Marr: +44 (0)7408 963679