Pampers & UNICEF connect moms around the world
A couple of weeks ago Pampers flew me out to visit their headquarters, meet their executives, see their diaper prototype plant, and more. So much more. I learned so much over a period of 24 hours. Too much to download it all here. I’m going to focus on my top three takeaways:
I am an innovation junkie. I just love all and every kind of talk about it (thus our launching of Alphamom Labs next week). Since my son is now five years old, I had no idea that Pampers now makes a Swaddlers diaper that include a wetness indicator. You should have seen my jaw drop when I first laid eyes on this newish diaper. (can whomever took a photo of me with the look of awe on my face please send it to me? I know I saw some blinding flashes going off.)
Disposable diapers are more absorbent now than ever, and as a new mom I struggled with being able to tell whether my tiny son had done a teeny wee into his super-absorbent diaper. Finally a slightly more experienced mom (her son was a week older) at a new moms’ group told me to put a toilet paper square inside the diaper. Since then, that is the advice I’ve been shelling out, on national TV. Well, no more. It’s find thee a Swaddlers diaper with a wee indicator!
Commitment to Product Quality & the Environment
Our group had a chance to interview, at length, Pampers’ Global Head of Product Quality. On the back of a year of toxic scares in the children’s world (hello! toys from China and BPA) the universal focus of our talk was what’s going into Pampers diapers. What we learned is that Pampers takes their commitment to the environment just as seriously as they take their commitment to children. As such, they’ve been focused on taking things out of their diapers. Over time they have reduced by a third, the material that goes into the diapers and by two-thirds, the packaging. That has led to an overall reduction in water usage of 40% and energy usage of 20%. Moreover, they continue to invest in product development by researching more natural material sources and new diapering systems. They are in the test market with a diapering system that is part reusable and part disposal.
Connecting Moms around the world to Eradicate Tetanus
Perhaps the most lasting memory of my visit was understanding Pampers’ initiative to donate one tetanus vaccine to UNICEF with every package sold of Pampers diapers. I love this because it is easy and simple to understand and ultimately connects moms in the developed world who want to help moms in the developing world.
Caryl Stern, the CEO of the US Fund for UNICEF personally explained the Pampers/ UNICEF initiative to us. FACT: 140,000 newborns and 30,000 mothers die of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) each year. The fact that this disease still exists is mind-blowing, given that it has practically been eradicated from the developed world. When you learn that it only takes three 5-cent vaccines to inoculate against MNT it becomes even harder to comprehend.
Pampers is committed to helping moms eradicate MNT and indicated that this program will continue until MNT no longer exists. Pampers and UNICEF just see themselves as the connectors here. Moms are buying diapers, so why not have a portion of their purchase go to help save other moms’ and babies’ lives. Pampers collects the money and UNICEF administers the vaccines. Below is a video of a Pampers executive visiting Angola (where my grandfather was born) explaining how the program works.
As a parting gift from the field trip, Pampers donated 1,000 vaccines in my name to UNICEF. Actually, Pampers donated 1,000 vaccines in everyone’s name. Thank you, thank you.
Putting my money where my mouth is
The mom blogger group was so pumped by the initiative that Mindy Roberts at The Mommy Blog took the bull by the horns and whipped up a donation widget. This will live on the Alpha Mom site from now until I at least raise enough money for 10,000 vaccines, or $500. Then I will personally match that amount with up to an additional 10,000 vaccines. So, please help me raise funds for a total of 20,000 vaccines which equals over 6,500 moms and babies with full inoculation. That is the equivalent of 4% of the annual mortality rate. Think about it… $1,000 can inoculate, for a lifetime, 4% of the moms and babies who die annually of maternal and neonatal tetanus.
So click below and then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can match your contribution and send you virtual hugs and kisses. If you have your own blog or online property, please consider embedding this widget on your site.
Pampers’ UNICEF trip