New Sanitation Economy presents a multi-billion dollar business opportunity

· According to the Toilet Board Coalition, the Sanitation Economy presents a $US 62 billion opportunity in India alone by 2021, and if embraced, could be a significant part of the solution to the global sanitation crisis.

· This comes at a time when India’s Swachh Bharat campaign is being rolled out across the country, which aims to eradicate open defecation in India by 2019.

· However, long term sustainability of the campaign is dependent on implementing self-sustaining economic solutions in place now — by embracing the Sanitation Economy.

New research released for World Toilet Day (November 19) shows that the Sanitation Economy could be a $US 62 billion market annually in India alone by 2021, and the opportunity is even larger worldwide for multi-national corporations and entrepreneurs alike.

In its latest report, the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC) introduces the Sanitation Economy; a market that presents vast potential for global economic growth, and has the ability to transform future cities, communities, and businesses.

This new economy monetises toilet provision, products and services, biological resources, health data and information to provide benefits across business and society. Most importantly, it addresses United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 — aiming to achieve universal access to adequate sanitation by 2030.

“This is the biggest opportunity in a century to transform sanitation systems into a smart, sustainable and revenue-generating economy. By accelerating the Sanitation Economy, we can create a robust marketplace of new business opportunities that has been virtually untapped while improving the lives of 2.3 billion currently without toilets,” says Cheryl Hicks, Executive Director of the Toilet Board Coalition.

This World Toilet Day, the TBC has a call to action for business leaders around the world to join global enterprises such as Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Firmenich and LIXIL in adopting the Sanitation Economy as a new business imperative. This will ensure sustainable growth in the future, illustrating that sanitation is every business’s business.

World-leading fragrance and flavour company, Firmenich, is enabling the Sanitation Economy by putting its breakthrough science to work to tackle malodour. Unpleasant smells are one of the leading reasons why toilets in the developing world aren’t used today and ultimately threaten to undermine progress made in initiatives like India’s Swachh Bharat programme. To accelerate the movement towards more hygienic toilet experiences, Firmenich researchers have developed breakthrough technologies that effectively neutralise malodour. The Group is actively working with a range of partners across India and Africa to bring these solutions to the people most in need through affordable and easy-to-use hygiene and cleaning products.

“The science of smell is our business. When we realised that smell played such a critical role in enabling more responsible hygiene habits, we decided to be part of the solution,” said Satish Rao, Chairman & Managing Director, Firmenich India. “According to The World Bank, lack of sanitation is costing us US $260 billion a year, so the business case is clear.”

Japanese toilet company LIXIL has created a specialised and dedicated business unit called Social Sanitation Initiatives (SSI). The aim of this is to accelerate the design and production of new toilet and water technology solutions that are fit for purpose for low income families, water scarce and non-sewered locations around the world. The company is also exploring new systems for the Circular Sanitation Economy.

“The sanitation crisis is enormous in its magnitude. As a result, we need to be creative and smart in our solutions, as traditional flush toilets and sewer infrastructure is not universal. As a toilet manufacturer, we believe that the technology and resources to tackle this issue already exist. Together with sanitation entrepreneurs and other actors in the field, we need to harness our capabilities and provide high quality innovative and sustainable solutions that will build confidence in these new sanitation models among users and municipalities. Doing so will help bring the Sanitation Economy to life,” says Jin Montesano, Chief Public Affairs Officer, LIXIL Corporation.

“By businesses embracing this new economy, we can ensure the safe treatment and use of the 3.8 trillion litres of human waste that is produced annually. This aims to leverage smart technologies to drive efficiency in sanitation systems, while capturing data to inform business, health and policy-making,” says Cheryl.

The Sanitation Economy is made up of three distinct ‘sub-economies’:

· The Toilet Economy — toilet product and service innovation that provides toilets fit for purpose for all environments and incomes

· The Circular Sanitation Economy — toilet resources (commonly known as human waste) feed into a circular economy system which replaces traditional waste management

· The Smart Sanitation Economy — digitised sanitation systems that optimise data for operating efficiencies, maintenance, plus consumer use and health information insights

“The economic case for the Sanitation Economy is becoming increasingly clear. We now have evidence of working business models, technologies and demand. Momentum is building, and through driving awareness of this untapped business opportunity this World Toilet Day, we’re excited to see the upcoming innovation and new business partnerships within this space,” concludes Charlie Beevor, VP Unilever and TBC Chairman.

- ENDS -


To arrange a media interview, or for more information or supporting infographics, please contact:

· MullenLowe salt:

· Alexandra Knezovich, Toilet Board Coalition:

About Toilet Board Coalition

Founded in 2014, the TBC is a unique business-led partnership with the ambition to address the global sanitation crisis by accelerating the Sanitation Economy, enabling private sector engagement; connecting large and small companies; and ensuring close collaboration between private, public and non-profit sectors with the common goal to accelerate the business of sanitation for all.

The Toilet Board Coalition’s thought leadership report, Introducing the Sanitation Economy, is available at

About Firmenich

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned company in the fragrance and flavor business. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has created many of the world’s best-known perfumes and flavors that billions of consumers enjoy each day. Its passion for smell and taste is at the heart of its success. It is renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its thought leadership in sustainability and exceptional understanding of consumer trends. Each year, it invests 10% of its turnover in R&D, reflecting its continuous desire to understand, share and sublimate the best that nature has to offer. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.34 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2017.

About LIXIL Corporation

LIXIL is a global leader in the housing and building industry. Our unique portfolio spans everything from technologies that revolutionize how we interact with water in our daily lives, to a full lineup of products and services for housing and major architectural projects. Delivering core strengths in water, kitchen, housing, and building technologies, our brands including LIXIL, INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and Permasteelisa are leaders in the industries and regions in which they operate. LIXIL operates in more than 150 countries and employs more than 70,000 people, bringing together function, quality, and design to make people’s lives better, and more delightful — wherever they are.

Learn more at, and

About LIXIL Group

LIXIL Group Corporation (TSE Code: 5938) is the listed holding company containing LIXIL Corporation, LIXIL VIVA CORPORATION and LIXIL Housing Research Institute, Ltd. The Group, which is led by President and CEO Kinya Seto, is involved in a broad spectrum of housing-related businesses, ranging from the manufacture and sales of building materials and housing equipment to the operation of home centres and a network of homebuilding franchises, and comprehensive real estate service. LIXIL Group Corporation posted ¥1.79 trillion in consolidated sales in FYE March 2017.

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