Piscataway, N.J. - In recognition of the 13th annual World Toilet Day on Nov. 19, American Standard has released a Global Sanitation Report, offering the latest information on the lack of adequate sanitation resources afflicting nearly 40 percent of the world population.
The document also provides updates on the Company’s Flush for Good campaign, which aims to reach 20 million people by 2020 with improved sanitation facilities that can reduce disease to help save lives.
The goal of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about this critical global health issue and support the many organizations working to create change. There are currently 2.5 billion people globally without access to safe sanitation facilities. Every day, 2,000 people – mainly children – die from diseases caused by lack of access to proper sanitation facilities.
The United Nations General Assembly formally recognized Nov. 19 as World Toilet Day in 2013, helping to bring increased awareness and resources to provide all people worldwide with access to safe sanitation.
To aid the improvement of global sanitation conditions, American Standard partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2012 to develop a low-cost hygienic toilet pan that reduces disease transmission and odors in pit latrines that are common throughout Asia and Africa. After accompanying non-government organization (NGO) partner iDE to Bangladesh for a deep dive market study, American Standard engineers created the SaTo hygienic toilet pan (named for Safe Toilet).
This sanitary SaTo toilet pan uses simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, preventing the spread of pathogens back out of the pit via flying insects. The SaTo pans were also designed to accommodate existing cultural and sanitation practices in Bangladesh, which aided their acceptance within the communities.
To further expand the SaTo pan's reach, in 2013 American Standard launched its Flush for Good campaign that resulted in the donation of 1.2 million SaTo toilet pans to developing countries. To date, more than 400,000 of these SaTo pans have been distributed for installation through partnerships with NGOs BRAC, WaterAid, Save the Children, Water for People, Plumbers Without Borders and Food for the Poor.
By working with a local manufacturer in Bangladesh, who has established market channels throughout the country, more than 120,000 SaTos have also been sold for between $1.50 and $1.85 each. This pricing makes the SaTo pan both aspirational and attainable for a population that survives on less than $1.00 per day.
“We're reaching magnitudes of people via a sustainable business proposition rather than through charity,” said Jay Gould, president and CEO of American Standard Brands. “If we can develop a product that people actually want to use, the health benefits of improved sanitation practices naturally will follow.”
Design of a new sanitation solution is currently underway for use in arid Sub-Saharan Africa, where key elements to the SaTo pan's function, water and concrete, are not readily available. The ultimate goal will be to replicate the product development model that American Standard successfully used to design, produce, and distribute the SaTo pan in Bangladesh.
Jim McHale, Ph.D., global sanitation products business unit leader for American Standard, will participate in the World Toilet Summit to be held in early 2015. Started by the World Toilet Organization, this global event will bring together non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, toilet associations and private sector stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge and resources, and better impact the sanitation marketplace. McHale will share his Company's learnings regarding the improved sanitation solutions that their team has researched, developed and tested for use around the world.