Business leaders reinforce collaborations to operationalise the scale up the Sanitation Economy to strengthen systems for our current and post COVID-19 world.

The Toilet Board Coalition membership of business and societal leaders came together online 19-21 May 2020, transforming our Annual Member Meeting into an interactive virtual gathering focused on driving forward collaborative actions for the scale up of the Sanitation Economy, as “hyper-relevant” in our changing world - We welcomed over 125 participants, from 20+ countries, from our growing membership and network.

The meeting showcased new Sanitation Economy business to business partnerships progressing via our 2020 Accelerator cohort; connected businesses, innovators, societal impact leaders and investors for new dialogues on operationalising pathways to scale; and global and local business leaders shared their experiences and new priorities for driving value in our current and post COVID-19 world.

Sanitation Economy sector leadership during COVID-19
DAY 1 - Sanitation Economy “Hyper-Relevant” as a unique driver of business and societal value for health, hygiene, and infection control.

The opening plenaries featured Toilet Board Coalition Chair Erin McCusker, LIXIL, TBC Vice-Chairs Eric Lesseur, VEOLIA and Pascale Guiffant, TBC Executive Director & CEO Cheryl Hicks.

The TBC’s Steering Committee leadership shared their experiences on the changing role of sanitation and hygiene in everyday lives; new business priorities elevating the importance of Sanitation Economy solutions; and called for the Coalition to help support the new innovations needed; connect value drivers for bigger impact; showcase and operationalise pathways to scale.

Reflecting on accelerated trends in hygiene, health and smart (digitised) sanitation, Shuchi Suri, UNILEVER, Cinthya Ramirez, PFIZER, and Mayank Midha, GARV TOILETS, highlighted: the need for new hygiene innovations and businesses solutions to meet exploding consumer demand  and to break the chain of infection in public spaces; to build more capacity for networks and partnerships to strengthen health and hygiene systems; and to support and amplify digital, touch-less, and surveillance technologies via smart sanitation solutions.

Rishi Dhingra, KIMBERLY-CLARK, Erin McCusker, LIXIL, Berangere Ruchat, FIRMENICH, Erik Harvey, WATERAID and Richard Cox, MULLENLOWESALT led a discussion about The Sanitation Economy, Sustainability and Resilience.  James Beresford, XYNTEO led a workshop on Scenarios for the Sanitation Economy in our post-COVID-19 world.

Watch a summary of Day 1

“A new social contract is emerging where lack of access to hygiene and sanitation will no longer be publicly acceptable - demand for sustainable and resilient solutions are expected to continue post-crisis”

“COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities - system strengthening won’t come at any cost - The Sanitation Economy is a cost-to-value proposition that has the potential to drive net positive value which is sustainable and regenerative”

“It is possible to make circular sanitation a reality via new public-private partnerships”

“Smart sanitation technologies have become more relevant and visible for surveillance of infection, to minimise human contact via the “touches economy”, and to help improve user access, education and experiences - more innovation and collaboration is needed to optimise these solutions”

“We have a choice, to perpetuate the status quo or to collectively advocate for better impact via the Sanitation Economy”

The Sanitation Economy in a COVID-19 World
Perspectives from the Hygiene, Health & Sanitation Sectors:  How are business leaders responding? What has changed for our sectors?  Where do TBC member sector leaders see new opportunities for the Sanitation Economy in our COVID-19 world?

Fireside Chat: Shuchi Suri, Unilever; Cinthya Ramirez, Pfizer & Mayank Midha, GARV, Cheryl Hicks, TBC
DAY 2- Business solutions in the spotlight - acceleration of emergent Sanitation Economy trends to meet new Demand

TBC Accelerator portfolio businesses providing solutions for sanitation & hygiene access, circular sanitation resource management, and the digitisation of sanitation systems have been swift to pivot and add additional services to meet accelerated  demand due to COVID-19.  New partnerships between large and small businesses via our Sanitation Economy Accelerator programme are progressing very well even during this challenging time with many distractions and new operating models during this global health crisis.  New innovation labs were scoped in the areas of:  Women in the Sanitation Economy; and  School Sanitation Models.

“The Sanitation Economy is an immediate vehicle for the COVID response - we need to communicate its solutions to fit the real world outside our stakeholder group”

TOILET ECONOMY:  “New business models are showing that sanitation infrastructure can become vibrant consumer and education spaces that drive recurring value in communities and cities and for people that have been the most vulnerable”

CIRCULAR SANITATION ECONOMY:  “Businesses and society need the resources that are abundant in sanitation systems and we now have the technologies and business models to safely capture and convert these resources into new and regenerative value streams”

SMART SANITATION ECONOMY:  “As we are seeing today health systems need more efficient ways to monitor and test for infectious disease circulation and outbreaks to more effectively respond and activate solutions - new digital technologies available today are being accelerated to support the COVID-19 response and future protection via the monitoring of municipal wastewater and sewage”

Watch a summary of Day 2

For this meeting we worked with our 2020 Sanitation Economy cohort businesses to prepare the video presentations about their solutions at their locations.  Please click the link below to watch their videos.

Accelerator Programme 2020
Watch the 2020 Accelerator Cohort business case videos
DAY 3 - Deepening collaborations to operationalise the scale up of the Sanitation Economy to strengthen systems for sustainability and future resilience

With the majority of Coalition member organisations represented, several breakout sessions dove deeper into specific TBC projects, calling for new and deeper models of collaboration amongst the business-society-investor stakeholders of the Toilet Board Coalition.

Jean-Michel Tiberi, VEOLIA and David Auerbach, SANERGY chaired a session on new collaborative financing models needed to scale up Sanitation Economy business models.

Bérangère Ruchat, FIRMENICH chaired a session with our Tea Sector project showcasing the TBC’s Circular Sanitation Economy sector specific guidance tools and relevance for new sectors in Agriculture, Manufacturing and Mining.

Rajeev Kher, SARAPLAST & KALYANI TECHNOLOGIES chaired a session with our TBC Investment Committee and Steering Committee on financing the Sanitation Economy with a showcase of new investment vehicles coming online.

Divyang Waghela, TATA TRUSTS chaired a meeting of the TBC India Chapter where India Chapter members, HINDUSTAN UNILEVER, LIXIL, KALYANI GROUP, USAID shared progress so far since the launch in January 2020, and discussed opportunities to deepen collaborations for the Sanitation Economy in India.

New research and evidence projects underway in 2020 were introduced by TBC research partners:  United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO), International Water Association (IWA), GSMA, MIT, GIST, ADB and the World Bank.

Fellow business networks working in the WASH space - AQUAFED, Container-Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) WASH Pledge, WASH4WORK, CEO Water Mandate, World Economic Forum (WEF) Healthy Cities, Healthy Communities Initiative, and Microsoft Ecosystems - discussed shifting business priorities in our current COVID-19 world and synergies for business network collaboration.

“Communications alone will not be enough in the long run.  We will require coordinated and collaborative co-investments to establish the right systems and infrastructure to be adaptive and efficient.”

“We need more visible projects - showcasing Sanitation Economy models implemented at scale - COVID-19 is demanding of us to go faster”

“There is an opportunity for cross-sector value chains to scale together through multi-sector partnerships”

“Now is the time to scale up Sanitation Economy business solutions to meet demand - a one time opportunity - internal championing within all organisations and partners will be required”  

New business case videos to be released soon on our Youtube Channel.

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