Business model: Profit for a Purpose

by: Mirjam Visser, 2012-09-14 10:58:52 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: This "profit for a purpose" approach has turned corporate social responsibility into core business of creating life-saving products for the most vulnerable.

The Story

Personal water purifier

Vestergaard Frandsen, established in 1957, is a Europe-based international company specialising in complex emergency response and disease control products. It is guided by a unique Humanitarian Entrepreneurship business model, whose “profit for a purpose” approach has turned humanitarian responsibility into its core business.

Committed to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) drives their business objectives and provides the impetus for continued focus on saving lives. They are especially interested in addressing Goals 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health), and 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases), which play a critical role in the achievement of the MDGs.

By innovating products and concepts focusing on preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases, they innovate for, and with in their labs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the developing world, rather than developing products for wealthier regions, and then trying to adapt to those who actually need them the most. This is a large part of what separates Vestergaard Frandsen from other companies working in public health.

Products and concepts have the potential to revolutionise health management as we know it, fighting preventable diseases and saving lives:

  • PermaNet® 2.0 long-lasting insecticidal net (LN) is recommended by the WHO for the prevention and control of malaria. This new net is designed to provide increased efficacy against pyrethroid-resistant malaria vectors; it is a technologically-advanced product made from two types of fabrics and two chemicals.
  • LifeStraw® and LifeStraw® Family are complementary point-of-use water filters that help people access safe drinking water both at home and outside. LifeStraw® is a portable water filter that provides up to 1000 litres of water and protects users against diarrhoeal diseases. LifeStraw® Family is an instant microbiological purifier that delivers at least 18,000 litres of clean and safe drinking water of US EPA standard.
  • ZeroFly® insecticide-incorporated plastic sheeting serves as a single solution to the dual needs for shelter and protection against vector-borne disease in complex emergencies.
  • The newly launched ZeroVector® Durable Lining is a long-lasting substitute for indoor residual spraying with reduced programme complexity and higher user acceptability.
  • CarePack® is comprised of evidence-based interventions designed to improve the health of HIV-infected individuals and their families. Vestergaard Frandsen’s Integrated Prevention Campaign in rural Kenya used free distribution of CarePack® as an incentive to break the social stigma attached to HIV testing. During this campaign in 2008, some 81.9% of the target population aged 15-49 attended the campaign, out of which 95% were voluntarily tested and counselled for HIV.

Vestergaard Frandsen was founded in 1957 and has since evolved into a multinational leader. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company has branch offices in Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE and USA. The company also has its own laboratories in Cote d’Ivoire and Vietnam and licensed production in Belgium, China, India, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Vestergaard Frandsen’s global presence allows the company to provide a rapid response to complex emergencies and disease outbreaks.

Product: Products to reduce preventable decease
Designer: Vestergaard-Fransen
Manufacturer: Vestergaard-Fransen
Category: Humanitairian


Personal water purifier
Personal water purifier
Lifestraw by Vestergaard Fransen

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