All Resources for the Reinvented Toilet

Creating the Path to Profitability for the Reinvented Toilet

STeP or Partner: STeP and Eram Scientific
Country of focus: India
Published date: September 2019

Brief description:

This report presents seven potential business model ideas for companies to consider as they plan their Reinvented Toilet (RT) commercialization strategies in emerging sanitation markets. This report also aims to help donors and governments understand how they might support RT market creation efforts. In 2019, STeP and Eram Scientific, a leading sanitation technology enterprise in India, partnered to design and test new RT business model ideas. This report presents hypotheses and insights generated through this collaborative effort.

Market Segments in India for the MURT

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: September 2019

Brief description:

This two-page overview of the >$500M annual revenue opportunity for Multi-Unit Reinvented Toilets (MURTs) in India summarizes key points from seven of STeP’s detailed market intelligence reports. Intended for new, executive-level readers on the topic, the report highlights major market segments for MURTs in India and describes high-level trends and procurement drivers in each segment. The report will provide readers with an initial understanding of the MURT opportunity in India.

Regional Briefing on Sanitation: Latin American and the Caribbean

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Latin American and the Caribbean
Published date: September 2019

Brief description:

This report highlights regionwide trends in onsite sanitation, fecal sludge management and wastewater treatment. These trends illustrate a service delivery gap and opportunity for non-sewered sanitation technologies. It is estimated that the total potential market for the construction of improved household toilets is between US $1-15 billion, while the potential market for fecal sludge management services is US $3 billion.

South Africa: Municipal Sanitation

STeP or Partner: SP Investment Holdings
Country of focus: South Africa
Published date: April 2019

Brief description:

This study focuses on the Reinvented Toilet (RT) sanitation landscape for South African municipalities. The report provides nine key recommendations for sanitation technology innovators considering the South African market and highlights eight key factors municipalities consider when procuring new sanitation technologies. Insights are driven by qualitative interviews and data at both national and municipal levels. Readers can apply these insights to tailor design and go-to-market strategy for your sanitation technology to the South African context. A data-rich annex provides readers with a deeper understanding of the demographics and sanitation technology experiences of 23 South African municipalities.

Key topics:

  • State of sanitation services and technology innovations in South Africa
  • Sanitation technology procurement by municipalities
  • National and municipal legal frameworks governing sanitation

China Sanitation Market Brief

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: China
Published date: March 2019

Brief description:

China is home to 1.4 billion people and about 67% of China’s population is expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Nearly 100% of China’s population is reliant, in some manner, on onsite sanitation (OSS) requiring a blend of fecal sludge management (FSM) and sewage treatment. China is undergoing a Toilet Revolution, in which the National Tourist Administration pledged to build or renovate 100,000 public toilets in tourist sites around the country by 2020. Total investment in the program has exceeded $3B. This brief provides readers with an update on the sanitation market with a focus on the Reinvented Toilet (RT) in China.

Key topics:

  • Population and housing trends
  • Sewerage coverage
  • Policy landscape
  • Fecal sludge generation and collection
  • Funding for the Reinvented Toilet (RT) and fecal sludge management (FSM)
  • Cost recovery for FSM and willingness to pay (WTP)
  • Incumbent solutions
  • Potential market for the RT, Omni Processor (OP), and Omni Ingestor (OI)

Business Model Insights for Community and Public Toilets in India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: February 2019

Brief description:

In India, despite increased government investment and private- and civil-sector engagement, ample room for improvement in community and public toilet (CPT) quality and service delivery still exists. Sparse evidence of sustainable CPT business models limits the sector’s knowledge of how business model innovation could transform the future of CPTs in India. Multiple organizations — five of which are featured in this report — are actively innovating their business models to address persistent challenges. Case studies from other sectors – including water, renewable energy, and agriculture – show how similar challenges are being tackled with business model innovations for other base-of-pyramid markets. These organizational examples offer important lessons and inspiration for the sanitation sector in India and other contexts that rely heavily on shared sanitation infrastructure.

Key topics:

  • Base-of-pyramid markets
  • Community and public toilet (CPT) market
  • CPT business model innovations
  • Business model innovations from other sectors

Operation & Maintenance of Community and Public Toilets in India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: April 2019

Brief description:

This brief provides readers with an update on the operations and maintenance aspects of community and public toilets in India.

Key topics:

  • Management models for community and public toilets s
  • Community and public toilet stakeholders and decision making
  • Cleaning products used in community and public toilets

Reinvented Toilet: Early Adopter Compendium

STeP or Partner: BCG
Country of focus: Global
Published date: February 2019

Brief description:

Between 2017-2018, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) undertook a series of studies to investigate the potential market size for the Reinvented Toilet (RT) and potential market entry strategies. This report profiles 8 potential early adopter segments for the RT: U.S. Military; Refugees; Tourism Sites in China and India; Hospitals in India; Eager Municipalities in China; Green Buildings; Trains in India; and U.S. National Parks. Many of these early adopter segments hold potential to unlock other ‘global access’ markets – including the 4.5 billion people globally living without access to safely managed sanitation – by demonstrating the transformative power of these technologies, driving down costs, and generating insights to refine product design for mass market appeal. This report examines where the highest unlock potential for the RT might reside and how those early adopter segments might be leveraged to expand into other global access markets.

Key topics:

  • Framework for Prioritization
  • Early Adopter Launch Strategy
  • Segment Deep Dives

Access to Electricity in Reinvented Toilet Markets – Latin America, Africa, Asia

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Latin America, Africa, Asia
Published date: September 2017

Brief description:

Power-consuming Reinvented Toilets (RTs) will require a customer base with access to electricity to facilitate ongoing operations. This brief explores access to electricity in three RT markets – Latin America, Africa, and Asia – including the urban / rural divide and trends in electricity access.

Key topics:

  • Electrification rates
  • Urban / rural electricity divide
  • Trends in electricity access
  • Implications for RT technology adoption

Transformative Sanitation Technology Directory

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Global
Published date: October 2018

Brief description:

STeP updated the Transformative Sanitation Technology Directory in October 2018. This new, web-based database of technologies in the WSH TTC portfolios is organized by systems and components, displaying the key product and performance data, such as the data shared at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing in November 2018. Use this tool to explore and understand the portfolio of WSH technology investments to find technologies of interest.

Key topics:

  • Identify potential technologies for licensing or partnership
  • Evaluate individual sub-systems for integrating with your own technology to meet RT or other standards / needs
  • Evaluate complementary technologies such as MHM or interfaces
  • Identify technologies that may meet the needs in your city, building, or other use case

Transforming Sanitation: Commercializing Partnership Opportunities

STeP or Partner: BCG
Country of focus: Global
Published date: December 2017

Brief description:

The Reinvented Toilet offers a meaningful and accessible business opportunity with tremendous potential to alleviate human suffering. Boston Consulting Group performed a global market assessment in Fall of 2017 to quantify this opportunity across several geographies – including deep dives into the markets for India, China, the US, Europe, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. This report provides a summary of market opportunities for the RT across the globe, including a look at market segments that are ready for the RT now, and recommendations for how to get started with a go-to-market strategy. In-depth assessments for each country are provided in separate reports.

Key topics:

  • RT market opportunity
  • Unmet needs and macro trends
  • Value proposition
  • Go-to-market recommendations
Tech Disruption Comes to Global Sanitation: To help save millions of people from early death and disease, forward-thinking companies could soon be turning a low-tech problem into the next tech-powered disruption—an approach that makes it possible for businesses to do well while doing good. This potential double win exists thanks to a piece of technology that rarely comes to mind when thinking of new business opportunities and global markets: the humble toilet. Read BCG’s article about the Reinvented Toilets here.

Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Bangladesh, India, South Africa, Global
Published date: October 2018

Brief description:

Resources to validate new sanitation technologies and prepare for market entry – prerequisites for achieving sustainable, scaled solutions – tend to be quite scarce compared to those available to scale proven solutions. As such, a problematic ‘Pioneer Gap’ exists. This funder landscape seeks to both clarify the ‘Pioneer Gap’ and point readers to potential funding and other resources poised to help fill this problematic gap. Two promising forms of funding are explored in detail: catalytic philanthropy and blended finance leveraging impact investment. A corresponding database highlights potential ‘Pioneer Gap’ funders operating at a global level and in three key geographies – Bangladesh, India, and South Africa.

Of note: the information featured in the accompanying database was derived largely from secondary research. It should be treated as a starting point for further inquiry and be refined based on an organization’s particular goals, needs, and opportunities. For questions about the information provided, please contact Amanda Rose, STeP Market Readiness Lead, at arose@rti.org.

Key topics:

  • Pioneer Gap
  • Funding opportunities
  • Enterprise philanthropy
  • Blended finance
  • Funder database

Funder Database

This database serves as a complementary resource to the Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape report developed by STeP in September 2018. The report and supporting database highlight potential resources to validate new sanitation technologies and prepare for market entry. Specific emphasis was put on funders that may support technical pilot testing, market field trials, business model experimentation, and other “validate” and “prepare” activities.

Market Insights for the RT: US

STeP or Partner: BCG
Country of focus: United States
Published date: December 2017

Brief description:

This study focused on the US, highlighting opportunities for the RT in a “global north” country. Given national trends around green buildings, aging infrastructure, water scarcity, urbanization, and fragmented sanitation policy, there are market opportunities for both the SURT and the MURT across a number of different segments, some which are unique to the “global north”. The study utilized a combination of expert interviews, secondary research, and synthesis.

Key topics:

  • Use case deep dives: Sewer, septic, green building, non-traditional homes, remote sites, portable toilets
  • Go-to-market considerations

Market Insights for the RT: China

STeP or Partner: BCG
Country of focus: China
Published date: November 2017

Brief description:

This study focused on China, particularly highlighting the rapidly changing landscape of the Chinese urban sanitation market. The government has committed to aggressive sanitation targets (e.g. 95% wastewater treatment rate in cities by 2020) which has in turn spurred a strong sanitation market already. The study utilized a combination of expert interviews, secondary research, and synthesis along with consumer insight interviews conducted across Shenyang, Changsha, and Mianyang.

Key topics:

  • Residential segments
  • Non-residential segments
  • Competitive landscape
  • Regulation and funding
  • Go-to-market considerations

Market Insights for the RT: Kenya and Nigeria

STeP or Partner: Dalberg
Country of focus: Kenya, Nigeria
Published date: September 2017

Brief description:

This study focused on Kenya and Nigeria through an in-depth look at four cities: Nairobi, Mombasa, Lagos, and Abuja, looking at both the market opportunity for the SURT and MURT in these locations. The study describes the unique sanitation landscape in each location, defines the potential value proposition for key segments, estimates an addressable market, and lays out market entry options through insights developed via qualitative interviews, human centered design activities, and quantitative surveys.

Key topics:

  • Sanitation landscape
  • Customer segmentation
  • Design and business model considerations
  • Recommended paths to market entry

Cost and Revenue Data To Inform Sanitation System Economics

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Global (28 low and middle income countries)
Published date: 2017

Brief description:

As partners build technologies, devise business models, and develop market launch strategies, they may seek additional economic data to support financial analysis and strategic decision making. This resource catalogues key cost and revenue drivers in 28 low and middle income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Key topics:

  • Electricity data
  • Water tariff data
  • Financial data
  • Fecal sludge tipping fee data

An Assessment of Small-Scale STP Technologies: India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: May 2017

Brief description:

Partners aiming to commercialize and launch novel sanitation technologies will likely wish to understand the current technology landscape. This study undertook a secondary data search for small-scale STP technologies (MBBRs, SBRs, MBRs) to provide background and context around existing STP solutions in India. The same stakeholders and potential customer segments for the small-scale STPs (e.g. building owners, developers, contractors) in India are relevant for MURTs.

Key topics:

  • STP descriptions and configurations
  • Feature and Performance Comparison for 3 STP Types
  • Cost Comparison for 3 STP Types
  • Additional Market Observations
  • Examples of Each STP Type

Shared Toilet Facility Use Cases

STeP or Partner: Quicksand
Country of focus: India
Published date: May 2017

Brief description:

This study was conducted to better understand the market opportunity for religious site and factory use cases in India, both of which require shared-toilet facilities, potentially relevant for both the SURT and MURT. Using stakeholder interviews and location observations across 22 sites throughout India, the study identifies qualitative insights around decision making, openness to new technologies, and value of certain RT features.

Key topics:

  • Religious site use case insights and opportunities
  • Factories use case insights and opportunities

Incineration and Combustion Toilets: A Product and Patent Landscape

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Global
Published date: April 2017

Brief description:

Understanding the existing patent landscape for a product category is an important part of an overall patent strategy. This study undertook a patent search to understand the patent landscape of incineration and combustion toilets and profile select players operating in the space.

Key topics:

  • Patent search overview
  • Patent trends
  • Key players deep-dive

Stakeholder perspectives: Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal
Published date: January 2017

Brief description:

This small qualitative research effort was conducted to assess stakeholder perspectives and build context around sanitation, new technologies, and water, among others in selecting cities of Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal. This work has been used to inform a series of qualitative and quantitative market research studies to define the value proposition of the RT for different customer segments in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Key topics:

  • Findings summary
  • Kenya: Mombasa and Kisumu
  • South Africa: Durban and Cape Town
  • Senegal: Dakar and Thies
  • Nigeria: Lagos and Jos

Market Insights for the RT: Europe

STeP or Partner: BCG
Country of focus: Europe, France, Poland
Published date: February 2018

Brief description:

This study focuses on Europe, looking at the opportunity for the RT in the region as well as specifically in France and Poland. The contrasts between France and Poland help articulate two very distinct SURT/MURT markets in Europe; a western European market that looks closer to the US with high sewerage and an eastern/southern European market that still has unmet need for improved sanitation. Regulations have a stronger influence on the market potential for the RT in this region, and thus there is an emphasis on articulating its impacts.

Key topics:

  • EU market overview
  • Eastern Europe deep dive: Poland
  • Western Europe deep dive: France
  • Competitive landscape
  • Go-to-market considerations

Technology Insights by Parameter

STeP or Partner: FSG
Country of focus: India
Published date: November 2016

Brief description:

As a supplement to the “Market Insights for the RT: India” report also provided by FSG, this document focuses on identifying technology insights for priority customer segments identified during the broader study. Specifically, this study hones in on customer preferences around 13 technical specifications (e.g. footprint, noise, by-products), which were identified through “solution building block” exercises with potential customers in Patna and Lucknow.

Key topics:

  • SURT technical insights and implications for five customer segments
  • MURT technical insights and implications for seven customer segments

Market Insights for the RT: India

STeP or Partner: FSG
Country of focus: India
Published date: November 2016

Brief description:

This study focused on the market opportunity in India looking primarily through the lens of the two RT categories separately: SURT and MURT. The study focuses on the unique characteristics of each SURT and MURT customer segment including describing the mental context, buying process for a toilet, spend on analogous products and services, and which features of an RT is valued most. The study utilized a combination of expert interviews, secondary research, and synthesis along with consumer insight interviews conducted across Lucknow, Patna, Pune, and Coimbatore.

Key topics:

  • Stakeholder map
  • Market understanding for the SURT
  • Market understanding for the MURT
  • Market understanding of public sector constructions

Market Features Report: High-level scan of four countries

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh
Published date: September 2016

Brief description:

There is a wide range of publicly available country-specific data sources that characterize the need in sanitation. This report focuses on getting a high-level understanding of the types and depth of national-level data with a primary focus on India and secondary focus on Indonesia, Thailand, and Bangladesh. Example data include % access to sanitation by toilet type and % access to electricity.

Key topics:

  • India market features
  • Indonesia market features
  • Thailand market features
  • Bangladesh market features

The Sanitation Solutions: Business Models for Access

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: Global
Published date: March 2016

Brief description:

Social impact business models are challenging to scale in developing and emerging economies. This study was undertaken to understand the success stories and challenge points in developing scalable business models in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WSH) sector and provide insight into how firms do (or do not) create, deliver, and capture value within sanitation businesses.

Key topics:

  • Business model case studies (e.g. Guardian, Clean Team, Sanergy)

Business Model Assessment of Sewage Treatment Plants

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: April 2016

Brief description:

Understanding the prevalent channels and relevant stakeholders in the current sewage treatment plant (STP) market in India may provide important context when considering go-to-market options for the RT. Many of these STP players target the same potential buyer segments as the MURT. This study conducted primary and secondary research of common business models used by vendors of STPs and wastewater treatment systems in India.

Key topics:

  • Company profiles
  • Business model assessment

Stakeholder Perspectives: Research Framing Study in Coimbatore, India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: March 2016

Brief description:

This small qualitative research effort was conducted to assess stakeholder perspectives and build context around sanitation, new technologies, and water, among others in Coimbatore, India. This work has been used to inform a series of qualitative and quantitative market research studies to define the value proposition of the RT for different customer segments.

Key topics:

  • Field Research Overview
  • Characterizing the Context and Mindset
  • Characterizing the Opportunity
  • Insights from stakeholders involved in commercial and residential buildings

Public & Community Toilet Market Landscape: India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: January 2016

Brief description:

This study was conducted to better understand the market opportunity for sanitation solutions in the public and community toilet market in India. The public and community toilet market represents an opportunity for both the SURT and the MURT that is less B2C but more B2B/B2G. Data such as % completion rate of community toilets under Swachh Bharat are included.

Key topics:

  • Public and community toilet market context
  • Impact of Swachh Bharat Mission
  • Primary research insights
  • Third party contractor profiles

Bio-based Sanitation Technologies: The Landscape in India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: December 2015

Brief description:

Partners aiming to commercialize and launch novel sanitation technologies will likely wish to understand the current technology landscape. This study undertook a secondary data review and analysis of bio-based waste treatment technologies to provide background and context around existing bio-based solutions in India. Many of these bio-based waste treatment technologies are aimed at building owners/developers as well as individual households, making these technologies potentially relevant competition for the SURT or MURT.

Key topics:

  • General landscape
  • Biological waste technologies
  • Anaerobic technologies with Biogas Capture

Wastewater Treatment Technologies: The Landscape in India

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: December 2015

Brief description:

Partners aiming to commercialize and launch novel sanitation technologies will likely wish to understand the current technology landscape. This study undertook primary and secondary research to develop an illustrative inventory of companies selling decentralized wastewater treatment technologies in urban India.

Key topics:

  • Waster Treatment Technologies and Company Profiles
  • Primary Research Insights

Public school toilets: An Indian Market Landscape

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: November 2015

Brief description:

This study was conducted to better understand the market opportunity for sanitation solutions in the public school toilet market in India. With ~1.5 million schools in India, the public school toilet market represents a sizeable opportunity for the SURT or MURT, especially in states facing challenges to meet Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya sanitation targets. Partnerships are likely to be particularly important to access this use case.

Key topics:

  • Context on school and sanitation in India
  • Sizing the opportunity
  • Stakeholder landscape assessment
  • Primary research insights

Apartments in India: Small Scale Survey

STeP or Partner: STeP
Country of focus: India
Published date: August 2015

Brief description:

Understanding the features of apartment housing in target settings will be important to designing and testing systems. This study undertook a modest mixed methods qualitative/quantitative study to identify and assess structural features in the city of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu to provide insight into the suitability for installation and testing of new sanitation technologies.

Key topics:

  • General descriptive statistics
  • Building feasibility analysis
  • User sanitation preferences