Affordable sanitation for emerging economies
SATO’s toilet products and the new SATO Tap are affordable and widely available in many emerging economies, making them ideal for NGO field projects and programmes. As development and WASH-sector NGOs work to raise awareness on the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene and promote behaviour change towards safely managed sanitation, a supply chain must exist to meet the increased sanitation demand they are helping build. That’s where we come in. SATO’s products are manufactured in Africa and Asia, allowing for efficient, regional distribution. Thanks also to their low-cost, their high-quality, and the fact that they are designed and developed specifically for use in emerging market contexts, SATO has become the go-to brand for many WASH NGO projects. We are working with like-minded non-government organisations around the world to help improve sanitation and hygiene standards now, while empowering communities with the knowledge and skills they need to maintain them over the long-term.
Why partner with us?
Proven partner to NGOs
We are proud to work with multinational organisations like UNICEF to make life better, every day, for communities in emerging economies. By combining our award-winning sanitation and hygiene solutions with UNICEF’s teams on the ground, we are improving standards and inspiring long-term behavioural change in some of the most rural communities. As well, we have partnered with many other NGOs to supply SATO’s sanitation products to their projects. Current and previous partners include Water Aid, Plan International, Water for People, and Save the Children.
Contributing to SDG 6.2
Because SATO products are affordable, accessible, and are increasingly being distributed at scale, we are making a significant contribution to delivering on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 6.2, which aims to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030. For example, the shared-value partnership between LIXIL and UNICEF, which also works with other NGOs and partners, is creating demand for sanitation products, improving supply of such products, and supporting opportunities for affordable finance. This helps to deliver against SDG 6.2, creating a better future for all children, their families, and communities.
How do you empower local communities to make sustainable change?
- We build sanitation markets in emerging economies. By working with local manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, high quality sanitation products are now available – and perhaps more importantly – affordable where the need is greatest. This market-based approach is key to ensuring communities can make sustainable change now that they have access to products they desire and can pay for.
- We also invest in training of masons and plumbers on the benefits of improved sanitation and how to install SATO toilets safely and efficiently. This continues to build the capacity of skilled trade workers in local markets and creates an opportunity for greater economic gain for these small business owners.
Why are NGO partnerships important to SATO?
We count our NGO partnerships among our most valuable partnerships. Development and WASH-sector NGO’s have their pulse on how to solve the global sanitation challenge. We believe this shared mission will help us end the sanitation crisis and improve lives faster than we could ever do alone.
- Our products, developed for local contexts and priced accordingly, are the ideal solution for innumerable NGO field projects and programs. By incorporating SATO products into their programs, NGOs are better equipped to promote behaviour change and create demand by introducing affordable and aspirational products and solutions to families and communities in emerging economies.
- During the R&D process, we benefit from the expertise of our NGO partners to test products and deliver customer feedback, which helps us hone our designs to better serve the needs of communities.
- We also work with NGOs to access new markets, educate communities about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and help improve quality of life for as many people as possible.
What partners do you have, and who else do you want to get involved with the business?
- We work with a broad spectrum of partners, from IGOs and NGOs like UNICEF, WHO, Water Aid, Save the Children, and Plan International; to fellow businesses like Reckitt, Coca Cola, and WeFarm; to the U.S. government (USAID).
- We are always looking for partners in both the public and private sectors to help us advance our business in existing and new markets, to educate consumers about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and to increase access to our solutions for those who can benefit from them.
How does the partnership with UNICEF work?
- In 2018, LIXIL and UNICEF entered the “Make a Splash!” partnership – the first global shared-value partnership for UNICEF with a Japanese company, and the first in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene space.
- The objectives of the partnership include market-shaping programs to build awareness and demand for sanitation and hygiene products, as well as testing new business models, fundraising to support the partnership, and engaging in joint advocacy efforts.
- The partnership activities began in three focus countries—Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, and impacted 2.9 million people who gained access to SATO’s affordable sanitation and hygiene products. The partnership has now expanded to include collaborations in other countries (India, Indonesia, Nigeria) and along the supply chain, including the launch of the SATO Tap.
Do you receive any external funding from organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?
In the past, we received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as from Grand Challenges Canada. We currently have a five-year $10M grant from USAID under a cooperative agreement called The Partnership for Better Living.
How large is the basic sanitation market? How much is the market worth?
2 billion people lack access to basic sanitation facilities (JMP for 2017, washdata.org), particularly in rural communities and in the regions of central and southern Asia (e.g., India) and in sub-Saharan Africa.
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