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Sanergy is helping to solve global issues for sustainability, by building sustainable sanitation in urban informal settlements for everyone, forever, with a systems-based approach. Sanergy is a Nairobi-based social enterprise dedicated to building healthy, prosperous communities by making sanitation affordable and accessible throughout Africa’s informal settlements. Ninety percent of waste in slums ends up being dumped in the environment, which causes sickness and death. Sanergy came up with a solution that would ensure that the waste is not dumped into the environment, and is in fact, treated properly. This reduces both environmental damage, such as poisoned waterways and the health risk. They took a systems base approach to solve the sanitation crisis sustainably.
Sanergy’s innovation is that they are able to process human waste into safe, hygenic fertilizer and sell it to farmers. Sanergy builds healthy, prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable for everyone, forever. They take an innovative, system-based approach to build out the entire sanitation value chain
One of the founders, David Auerbach, had lived in China for a few years where using the bathroom often meant squatting over a dirty hole. On a trip to Kenya with himself and two of the other founders they saw locals paying to use unlined pit latrines. To David, this was both a human-rights crisis and an entrepreneurial gold mine. In 2010 a group of students that were attending MIT Sloan was given a challenge in class to find a business solution that affected over a billion people, and create a positive social and environmental impact. They came up with a business plan, and received start-up capital after winning the MIT100k business plan competition in 2011. They name their company Sanergy
Sanergy’s impact on society is that it is able to provide a sanitation solution that is safer, healthier and create jobs. Sanergy’s model impact on the environment is that waste is no longer dumped into the environment and is treated properly.
The innovation of being able to sell organic fertilizer, and that there is a clear driver of revenue that will ensure scale and impact. Previous sanitation innovation did not have that recurring revenue in place.
Ninety percent of waste in slums ends up being dumped in the environment. Sanergy’s solution ensures that the waste is not dumped in the environment and is, in fact, treated properly. This reduces both environmental damage such as poisoned waterways and the health risk. In terms of the benefit to society, Sanergy has provided a sanitation solution that offers safety, health and dignity, as well as creating jobs.
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David Auerbach, Co-Founder