Media Release

22 January 2018

Global CEOs support new Action Agenda for the Sanitation Economy

Toilet Board Coalition’s ecosystem development work in the multibillion dollar Sanitation Economy draws CEO support

Unilever, LIXIL Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, TATA Trusts and Firmenich CEOs and senior executives call on global business leaders to join them in developing a new Action Agenda for the Sanitation Economy. The TBC has framed the opportunity of the Sanitation Economy, the future marketplace of untapped business potential helping to tackle the global sanitation crisis, and has assembled growing evidence of significant new benefits for business and society across sectors — an estimated $62 billion opportunity by 2021 in India alone. The Sanitation Economy leverages innovative toilet design, recovery of biological resources within the Circular Economy, and smart digital technologies driving preventative healthcare, to create a double win — accelerated scale up of sanitation, together with multiple business opportunities.

“The Toilet Board Coalition’s work on Sanitation Economy highlights the immense business opportunities of providing universal access to safe sanitation. Smart businesses will recognise that Global Goal 6 needs to be a key part of their growth strategy.” Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

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

  • The Toilet Economy — innovation within toilet products and services that ensures toilets are designed 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

Bringing together sectors to address this global challenge while unlocking an integrated future of greater business opportunities — the Sanitation Economy is the new business imperative.

Kinya Seto, President and CEO, LIXIL Group Corporation, said, “As a pioneer in sanitary ware and toilet technology, LIXIL believes everyone should have access to safe sanitation. By considering the Sanitation Economy as a marketplace and integrating this into our core business strategy, companies can unlock unprecedented social change at the same time as tapping into this emerging business opportunity.”

In 2018, WEF Davos will address the renewed commitment to international collaboration required to solve critical global challenges including universal access to sanitation for the 2.3 billion currently without. Innovative Sanitation Economy approaches fit WEF agendas:

  • The Economic Agenda: Supporting multi stakeholder efforts to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic development in the face of lower growth rates, declining productivity and skills gaps
  • The Industry and Business Agenda: Contributing to the shaping of new industry ecosystems and helping industry and government leaders prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • The Future Agenda: Sharing the ideas, innovations and discoveries that will have the greatest impact in reshaping global systems

On 25 January in Davos, the Toilet Board Coalition and LIXIL Corporation will host a roundtable discussion alongside the World Economic Forum’s proceedings with respected global leaders in business and society, to discuss an Action Agenda for the Sanitation Economy: unlocking new growth opportunities, markets and alternative development pathways.

“Tata Trusts has participated in a robust manner in the planning and implementation of the Government of India’s country-wide Swachh Bharat Mission. We are witnessing every day how communities benefit when governments, philanthropies, corporates, and innovators work together. This is a unique model which needs whole-hearted support, and is worthy of emulation.” R Venkataramanan, Managing Trustee of Tata Trusts

“As a catalyst for the Sanitation Economy, the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC) is effectively mobilizing business leaders to tackle one of today’s greatest public health challenges,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “As a leader in the science of smell with breakthrough malodor control technologies, we are committed to playing a key role in the Sanitation Economy.” Gilbert Ghostine, Chief Executive Officer, Firmenich

“The continuous improvement of sanitation systems globally is central to the business priorities of Kimberly-Clark. The rise of the Sanitation Economy now underscores the importance of sanitation in the global economy as a whole. Our work with the Toilet Board Coalition, as a founding member, seeks to accelerate the business opportunities associated with achieving universal access to sanitation, including new ways to optimise value from the system, while unlocking new and renewable resources for our supply chains, and new information about human health and hygiene. We hope that our peers in the global business community will join us in this important work.” Rishi Dhingra, Vice President, Kimberly-Clark, Global Family Care Brands


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About the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC)

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. In November 2017 the TBC launched new evidence demonstrating the rise of the Sanitation Economy as a call to action for global business leaders to join in un-locking these new markets: Introducing the Sanitation Economy, The Sanitation Economy in India, The Circular Sanitation Economy.

The Toilet Board Coalition’s thought leadership reports are 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 Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world’s population trust Kimberly-Clark’s brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene, and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds №1 or №2 share positions in 80 countries. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company’s 145-year history of innovation, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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

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.

About TATA Trusts

Tata Trusts is amongst India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served.

Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy; the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation.

For more information, please visit

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €52.7 billion in 2016. Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Lynx.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit For more information on the USLP:

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