PISCATAWAY, N.J. — American Standard Brands President and CEO Jay Gould will speak at the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting tomorrow on the topic of improving access to safe sanitation facilities around the world and its effect on people's health, education and safety. Gould will be joined in discussion by Raya, a new Sesame Street character acting as the mascot for the “Cleaner, Happier, Healthier” sanitation campaign recently launched in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria.
The session will focus on the serious problems caused by the lack of access to adequate sanitation, including the increased healthcare costs, diminished productivity, unsafe environment and premature death rate. The speakers will also explore how NGOs, private enterprises and entrepreneurs can partner to build sanitation infrastructures in rural and urban environments, providing appropriate sanitation options for local communities, while specifically addressing issues affecting girls' safety and education.
Worldwide, 2.5 billion people lack access to safe sanitation facilities. Every day, 2,000 people die from diseases caused by this lack of proper sanitation, many of them children. The United Nations has set a 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
In 2013, American Standard Brands announced an official CGI Commitment to Action to improve sanitation and quality of life for three million people around the world from 2014 through 2017. Including the 2.5 million residents of Bangladesh that received safer sanitation assistance from the Company during 2013 and 2014, an estimated 5.5 million people will be reached by the end of 2017.
This commitment played a key part in the Flush for Good campaign launched by American Standard in 2013, with the goal of increasing awareness of the global sanitation crisis, while creating innovative solutions to help stop the spread of disease caused by inadequate sanitation facilities in developing countries. In part through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, American Standard researched and invented the SaTo (derived from Safe Toilet) sanitary toilet pan in 2013, designing it to work without a sewer infrastructure. The SaTo toilet pan uses ingeniously simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, thereby reducing the transmission of disease and odor. The Company's Flush for Good campaign donates one SaTo pan for every Champion toilet sold in North America during 2013 and 2014.
American Standard has partnered with non-profit organizations including BRAC, WaterAid, Save the Children, Plumbers Without Borders and Water For People to distribute SaTo toilet pans throughout the developing world. To date, these simple, yet innovative, SaTo pans have helped improve, and save, lives around the world:
- In 2013, more than 530,000 SaTos were donated to BRAC, WaterAid and Save the Children for their distribution throughout Bangladesh over the next two years.
- After an initial donation of 10,000 SaTo hygienic toilet pans to UNICEF Philippines to support reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, another 25,000 units are due to arrive this month for that effort.
- Containers of SaTo pans recently arrived in Malawi and Uganda to help residents in rural communities in these African nations have access to safer sanitation.
- NGO Food for the Poor was so pleased with test installations of SaTo pans in Haiti that it will now include these life-saving pans in all future homes it builds in developing countries.
- Philanthropic organization Plumbers Without Borders is teaching plumbing students at the vocational school Haiti Tec about using SaTo pans to improve sanitation facilities in their native Haiti.
- Currently, American Standard is developing an alternate toilet pan for areas where water is scarce, targeting their initial efforts on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In summary, American Standard aims to donate 1.2 million SaTo hygienic toilet pans as a result of its Flush for Good campaign promotional efforts in 2013 and 2014. These SaTo pans will be distributed and installed in homes and schools in developing nations around the world through 2017.
“All of us at American Standard take our commitment to saving lives and improving sanitation around the world very seriously,” said Gould. “It is a privilege to share our work with the Clinton Global Initiative community, and I look forward to an inspiring day of idea sharing and collaboration at the Annual Meeting.”
The Clinton Global Initiative brings together highly influential individuals from across the globe, including heads of state, CEOs, Nobel Prize laureates and leaders of NGOs, all with a mission of turning ideas into action. More than 2,900 Commitments to Action have been made by members of the CGI community since the Initiative was founded in 2005, to the benefit of an estimated 430 million people around the world.