WORKSHOP 5: How-to Series: The Business of Sanitation Economy
Sanitation, in general, has not been a subject that stirs conversation. Often, it is set aside, along with the details that go with it, such as human waste and putrid waterways. By extension, sanitation has been overlooked from a business and social enterprise point of view.
Only in recent years has it gained traction as a source of revenue. Increasing sanitation coverage, improving convenience, and ensuring safety offer a huge opportunity for individuals, associations, community groups, innovators, and small- and large-scale businesses. They can participate in any step of the sanitation process – from the household toilet to the final disposal or conversion to by-products. In doing so, individuals can earn a living. Innovators can develop smart and/or sustainable products. Communities can create an affordable service, and small and large businesses can generate profits and provide jobs. There are many examples of these opportunities in what is termed the ‘sanitation economy’.
This workshop explained the scope of the sanitation economy, introduce examples of private and public engagement in the whole sanitation service chain, and have progressive companies present how they conceptualized their products and services. Participants, as a result, should be able to discuss how their countries, cities, or towns could achieve health, wealth, and social benefits by exploring the business prospects of delivering sanitation for all.