India’s $62 Billion Sanitation Economy Is Fueling Entrepreneurs in Renewable Energy
By Ellen Sheng
Several large multinational companies, including Kimberly Clark, Unilever and Lixil, recently gathered in India with the World Bank, various NGOs and government officials to meet with sanitation entrepreneurs, or sanipreneurs, to address the worldwide sanitation crisis. Their goal: to come up with new ways to turn human waste into valuable resources, including renewable energy.
While toilets and indoor plumbing are taken for granted in developed countries, in the developing world — India, parts of Africa or Southeast Asia — it’s not a given.
According to the Toilet Board Coalition — a business-led partnership created to address the global sanitation crisis — an estimated 2.3 billion people around the world lack access to toilets, which traditionally has been financed by taxes, well-intentioned nonprofits or corporate largesse.
The coalition plans to change that by accelerating the Sanitation Economy, a marketplace of products and services, renewable resource flows, data and information that they claim could transform future cities, communities and businesses.
Photo courtesy of Knut-Erik Helle.