Business Leadership on the Global Sanitation Crisis
What is the role of business in addressing the Global Sanitation Crisis? The crisis is clear - 2.4 billion people without access to improved sanitation is unacceptable. Solutions have been more elusive. In 2014 a group of global businesses, with an interest in ensuring universal access to sanitation, came together with key stakeholders to provide a business view on potential solutions to activate and accelerate universal access to sanitation by 2030 – the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6. New approaches to delivering sanitation to low income consumers at affordable prices will be integral to achieving this.
What’s new? The Toilet Board Coalition has created a platform for global business leaders to join the global sanitation community in a public-private partnership with the aim to accelerate the delivery of universal access to sanitation – overcoming complexity to deliver goods and services at scale; delighting consumers and improving lives.
In 2014 Jean Laurent Ingles, the TBC’s Inaugural Chairman and General Manager of Unilever Vietnam said, “Every member of the Toilet Board Coalition has different backgrounds and skills, but we all share two things: a determination to develop innovative solutions to the sanitation crisis and an unequivocal belief that there is a clear role for businesses to play in creating these and taking them to scale.”
The Toilet Board Coalition is:
- Catalysing a robust business sector to help to deliver sanitation profitably with speed, at scale, and accessible to all.
- Investing in business and technical capacity building for promising business models along the complete sanitation value chain, in emerging and frontier markets - providing access to capital, and hands on corporate mentorship.
- Bringing global marketing power to raise awareness of the crisis and to present business solutions that meet the needs of people today and satisfy our aspirations for the future
The complexity of the sanitation value chain and the diversity of expertise required also calls for a full systems approach: professional marketers to drive toilet demand, adoption and usage; toilet makers and other hardware manufacturers to design and manufacture context specific technologies; organisations with far-reaching geographical presence and efficient supply chains to deliver products and services to the most remote customers; utilities and waste treatment specialists to manage the safe disposal of the waste and circular economy approaches to utilising human waste as a resource – transformative technologies such as mobile and digital platforms area all opportunity spaces for sanitation.
“The TBC is a formidable laboratory for new ways to do business, collaboratively and with a social purpose, which could eventually be promoted to the company level” Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat, Firmenich
Multinational businesses are experts at delivering complex systems with speed and scale. Promising sanitation business models need access to capital and skills building to grow, and development experts understand the most urgent priorities for sanitation delivery in under served markets. The TBC is a business-led public private partnership that brings all of these pieces together, innovating at all levels, to drive change.
The Toilet Board Coalition Members are: Agence Francaise de Développement, Asian Development Bank, Brac, Department for International Development, Firmenich, Grand Challenges Canada, Kimberly-Clark, LIXIL, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, The Stone Family Foundation, Unicef, Unilever, USAID, WaterAid, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council, World Bank Group, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor.
“In 2016, the TBC has launched the “Toilet Accelerator”, a new approach to the way we work”, Cheryl Hicks, Executive Director, “Our focus is on refining our process to amplify our support to innovative sanitation business models, that take a full system view, and that keep an eye on resilience into the future.”
We are already working to better harness the depth of expertise that exists within the leading organisations of our membership, to build our pipeline, and expand our reach through new networks. We welcome more like-minded members from across the corporate, investment and development worlds to support a diverse array of innovative sanitation businesses.