The drinks company, the energy company, the foundations and the State

Carlsberg and Ørsted hand sanitisers

Carlsberg helped produce 1.4 million liters of hand sanitiser per week during Covid lockdown in collaboration with Ørsted, Ree and the Danish state.

 The Carlsberg Foundation and Novo Nordisk Foundation donated DKK 17.5m to the Danish state, Carlsberg, Ørsted and Ree Holding, who together formed a consortium under the Danish National Policy for the emergency production of ethanol. The production has been used in disinfectants such as hand sanitizer, which are essential for limiting the transmission of viruses in hospitals, by the emergency preparedness services and in Denmark’s companies.

How did the collaboration come about?

A temporary consortium of Ørsted, Carlsberg, Ree Holding and the National Operational Staff (NOST), which meets when major crises and events occur in Denmark, met to agree the operation of the plant to produce the hand sanitizer. Carlsberg agreed to transform much of its production to supply the alcohol base on which the plant will run. Ten tankers operated 24 hours a day to supply 1.4 million litres of alcohol base per week to keep the plant running. The first tankers were dispatched on the 2nd April.

What were the most important factors that contributed to the success of this project?

Response to need

Response to COVID-19

Combination of skill sets

Commitment of participants

Delivery of project


Project funding

The Carlsberg Foundation and Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The members of the consortium will not profit from producing the ethanol.

Will the project continue beyond COVID-19 lockdown?

No. But learnings have been shared with the national authority should there be a need to increase production again at any point.

Any other comment?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Carlsberg has taken steps to support the industry and wider community, including donations to affected societies around the world and the production of hand-sanitiser using alcohol from its breweries in several markets, including Denmark. Meanwhile, the Carlsberg Foundation, the company’s majority shareholder, is donating 95m DKK (13.8m USD) to mobilise and support researchers, art museums and civil society through the pandemic.

In order of importance, please choose the relevant factors that contributed to the success of this project?

Response to need
Response to COVID-19
The 'big' idea
Social impact
Delivery of Project
Combination of skill sets
Combination of participants
Volunteer support
Existing relationships
Available funding