On 2 April at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, Laurent Auguste, Senior Executive Vice President, Development, Innovation and Markets for Veolia, spoke during the opening plenary session of Water Week on the theme of "A Water-Secure World for all". He emphasized the need to develop a disruptive sanitation business model for people on low incomes that is based on circular economy principles and will create value.
Moving into a sustainable sanitation economy
Two billion people, one billion of whom live in slums, do not have access to toilets or sanitation. Laurent Auguste believes we should favour an approach that is based on circular economy principles and value creation.
In his opinion, the only way for developing countries to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 "Water and sanitation for all", is to offset the necessary investment through waste recovery in circular economy loops.
The Nairobi slum
Laurent Auguste cited the example of a Nairobi slum in Kenya that is home to one million people. As part of its partnership with the Toilet Board Coalition, Veolia has identified start-ups capable of deploying large-scale sanitation access solutions. One in particular is based on breeding fly larvae from the waste; the larvae are then transformed into protein for livestock feed or into fertilizers for local agriculture as a high quality alternative to chemical fertilizers.