LIXIL, the pioneering water and housing product manufacturer, is aiming to drive awareness of the sanitation issues in developing countries, to mark World Toilet Day 2019.
The campaign comes in response to the statistic that 2 billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities. Approximately 800 children under the age of five die every day due to diarrhoea diseases caused by unsanitary conditions. The number remains the same since 2016, and poor sanitation cost the world $230 billion in 2015.
As part of LIXIL’s own sustainability goals, the company has committed to improving the livelihood of 100 million people through improved hygiene and sanitation by 2025. It believes that toilets can change lives, and as a major global maker of toilets and bathroom products, it can help tackle this problem. LIXIL has helped 15 million people gain access to a safe and clean toilet, but 2 billion people still need one.
“What began in 2016 with a single inspirational idea and a solution called SATO has today expanded into LIXIL’s own international and fully operational social enterprise. We are proud that we have been able to assist 15 million people gain access to a sanitary toilet so far, and that we are taking a business focused approach that will eventually see SATO break even and be self-sustaining,” said Jin Montesano, Chief Public Affairs Officer of LIXIL.
Originally developed by a team of engineers at LIXIL’s American Standard, LIXIL’s SATO toilet system offers an affordable and option for consumers who live in areas that sewers may not ever reach. By October 2019, approximately 3 million SATO toilet pans and stools have been installed in 27 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, propelled by a business model that also creates a sanitation economy.
According to Montesano, however, there is still a lot of work to do. “It’s World Toilet Day again, but over a quarter of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to safe and clean toilets. As we are proving with SATO in Bangladesh, it is possible to achieve both financial and social targets at the same time. There is an immense opportunity to help solve the global sanitation challenge. We – together with all of our stakeholders – still have a long way to go, but hopefully someday soon, everyone can answer that one simple question: where is the toilet?”