Vice President of Corporate Affairs, LIXIL Americas
What are some of the biggest challenges the sanitation crisis in the U.S. is facing?
Awareness of our sanitation problem is growing across the country, but we need to address the problem, not just recognize it. While the lack of basic sanitation may sound like a problem that only takes place in developing countries, this is happening in our own backyard and impacting the health of many Americans.
What is LIXIL doing to help support the affected communities?
Our engineers and designers are currently identifying and working on technologies that we hope will help address this sanitation problem. While we also recognize our work is just one piece of the puzzle, we want to collaborate with public and private sectors and non-profits on a system-wide sanitation solution. Collectively, we should be able to find a solution.
Why is it so important for organizations like yours to help address Alabama’s sanitation problem?
As the global leader in water technology, we have the experience and the know-how to help people gain access to basic and safe sanitation. One out of every three people in the world today live without access to proper sanitation. This has a major impact in their health and quality of life. Further, this holds back growth and development of local economies, which we are seeing in the communities impacted in the U.S.
LIXIL has pledged to provide improved sanitation to 100 million people by 2020. This motivates us, but it also means we have sense of responsibility when it comes to having an impact. Helping solve sanitation issues in the U.S., specifically Alabama, is an important step to fulfilling that commitment.
What are some of the key priority areas in ensuring sanitation solutions are sustainable?
At LIXIL, we are currently developing a number of solutions that will help people access better sanitation around the world. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to delivering sustainable solutions to market, however, is ensuring that the initiative is able to finance and sustain itself. Technological innovation is one thing, but if we can create products that are affordable for consumers and meet their lifestyle needs and preferences, then solutions can be self-sustaining and reach more people over time.
Where do you see the future of sanitation in America going?
The issue in Alabama is a wake-up call for other states that are suffering from a lack of proper sanitation. If we can see a coordinated effort of government, NGOs and the private sector, we can get a comprehensive solution, ensuring we reach as many people as quickly as possible. I’m hopeful that the current conversation on the topic leads to a collective effort and creative solutions that can improve the quality of life of impacted communities across the U.S.
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