To help fight the spread of Covid-19, distilleries large and small have committed to shift production from spirits to hand sanitizer in the face of overwhelming global demand. Now, one of the largest alcohol conglomerates in the world is stepping in to do its part.

In a Monday press release, Diageo, the London-based parent company of Smirnoff, Johnny Walker, Guinness, and others, announced its pledge to help create over 8 million 250-milliliter bottles of hand sanitizer, to be distributed to healthcare workers around the world.

According to the statement, Diageo will donate supplies of 96 percent ethyl alcohol to hand sanitizer manufacturers in multiple countries worldwide.  Otherwise known as Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS), the alcohol is normally used in the production of vodka, gin, and other spirits.

Diageo’s plan includes allocations of:

  • 500,000 liters of GNS to the UK and Ireland, as well as to both India and the U.S.
  • 135,000 liters to be produced in Kenya by Diageo-owned East Africa Breweries, Ltd.
  • 100,000 liters allocated to Italy.
  • 100,000 liters to be produced in Australia by the Bundaberg Distilling Co.
  • 50,000 liters to be produced in Brazil by the Ypioca cachaça plant.

“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them,” Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo, said in the statement.

He added: “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitizer around the world.”