World Toilet Day 2023: LIXIL Expands Scope to Improve Global Sanitation
Tokyo – World Toilet Day, observed every year on November 19, is a day dedicated to inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. To date, approximately 3.5 billion people still live without safely managed sanitation and, according to the UN, the world is not on track to meet its SDG 6 target of clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.
LIXIL Corporation (“LIXIL”, TSE Code: 5938), maker of pioneering water and housing products, has impacted the lives of 45 million people in 45 countries through its global sanitation and hygiene initiatives. As part of the company’s Impact Strategy, LIXIL is committed to improving the lives of 100 million people by 2025 through improved sanitation and hygiene.
LIXIL CEO Kinya Seto said, “It has been ten years since the UN officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day to raise awareness about the global sanitation crisis, and also ten years since LIXIL’s SATO brand was founded to tackle such issues. With just 7 years left to achieve SDG 6, we are focused on helping to achieve the goal of safe sanitation and drinking water for all by 2030 through our products, solutions, business models and partnerships, in line with our commitment to LIXIL’s purpose of “making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.”
SATO: a decade of growth as a social business
LIXIL’s SATO brand, which contributes to SDG 6 by enabling access to adequate and equitable sanitation, celebrated ten years of bringing sanitation innovation into homes and communities. SATO launched operations in Bangladesh with a single product offering in 2013. It has since expanded to a full portfolio of sanitation and hygiene solutions. To bring sanitation solutions to more communities, SATO recently expanded its operations into South East Asia, establishing commercial operations and manufacturing bases in the Philippines and Indonesia.
This decade of achievements earned SATO a place in Fast Company’s Brands That Matter 2023. The brands selected for this prestigious annual list have achieved relevance through cultural impact and social engagement and are judged to have authentically communicated their missions and ideals.
Establishing partnerships for global impact
In 2018, LIXIL and UNICEF embarked on a first-of-its-kind global shared-value partnership called ‘Make a Splash!’. The MaS! partnership was built upon the strengths of each entity, with the goal of overcoming barriers to sanitation and hygiene. Building on the initial success of the partnership in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, the scope was expanded to reach children and communities also in India, Indonesia and Nigeria–- three of the most populous countries. This expansion aimed to improve the availability and affordability of sanitation-related goods and services while also promoting behavioral change, providing financing and training, and strengthening systems. MaS! has now improved the lives of 8.5 million people – 2.9 million in its first three years and 5.6 million in 2022.
Read more here: “Make a Splash!” Partnership Progress Report Overview 2022–2023
LIXIL is also engaging partners and consumers to accelerate the impact of the MaS! partnership. The company announced the return of the “Minna-ni-kirei-wo” (Cleanliness for All) project in Japan this year. Under this campaign, an amount equal to $1(135 yen) will be donated for every eligible product purchased, with funds to be used to support basic sanitation and hygiene services in Kenya, one of the MaS! focus countries.
Read more here: “Minna-ni-kirei-wo” project website (Japanese only)
In addition, in 2022 LIXIL and USAID launched the Partnership for Better Living (PBL) with the goal to improve sustainable access to basic sanitation for more than 2 million people by 2026. The partnership aims to expand the market for affordable sanitation and hygiene solutions by improving the availability of SATO products and the reliability of supply chains for underserved communities in developing economies. This World Toilet Day, the partnership has established a goal to reach over 500,000 people in the next three years in Madagascar. According to the World Bank, 87.7% of the population in Madagascar lacks access to basic sanitation services, ranking the country among the worst globally. SATO plays a pivotal role by providing innovative and affordable sanitation and hygiene solutions, and the ability to scale its product line in Madagascar is made possible through PBL and the support of USAID.