Global Sanitation & Hygiene



Connection to UN Sustainable Development Goals LIXIL is committed to promoting and enabling access to safe and hygienic sanitation practices, especially for women and girls, while preventing the harmful transmission of diseases for children.


An estimated 2.3 billion people – one out of every three in the world today – live without access to proper sanitation, of which approximately 900 million still defecate in the open on a daily basis. These are figures with a devastating human cost: 800 children under five years of age are estimated to die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of clean water and sanitary living conditions.

The absence of safe, clean toilets is a particular threat to women. Not only is it embarrassing for women and girls to defecate outside, having to leave home or school to relieve themselves increases the risk of assault. As a result, the lack of sanitary toilets is one of the primary reasons young girls drop out of school when they reach puberty.

The impact of the sanitation crisis is felt throughout entire nations and regions, crippling opportunities for growth and development. According to an Oxford Economics report on behalf of LIXIL, global economic losses from poor sanitation were estimated at US$223 billion in 2015, an increase of more than 20 percent from five years earlier.


LIXIL has pledged to provide better sanitation to 100 million people by 2020. In addition to committing our own substantial corporate resources to this goal, we are at the forefront of public-private partnership, teaming with such organizations as UNICEF, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and WaterAid. LIXIL is also a member of the Toilet Board Coalition, a wide-ranging global alliance that aims to develop sustainable, scalable measures to tackle the sanitation crisis.

Given the immense size and complexity of the global sanitation issue, LIXIL is developing a number of products to fit different markets, infrastructure and income levels, as well as deal with environmental constraints. Our primary solutions are the SATO product series, already commercially available, and the Micro Flush Toilet System, Green Toilet System and Portable Toilet System, all systems are currently under development. Each represents LIXIL's dedication to improving the quality of people's daily lives.

LIXIL has also established the Social Sanitation Initiatives to strengthen the framework behind our commitment to resolving the global sanitation crisis through revolutionary products and sustainable businesses.

Time for Global Action Episode I - LIXIL (26 mins)

Preventing the transmission of disease and odors, and reducing open defecation

Having to defecate in the open, into an open pit or over an inadequate pit latrine, exposes millions of people to odors and disease. To combat this problem, LIXIL has developed the SATO series of products, the first model created with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and launched in Bangladesh in 2013.

Users pour in less than 0.2 ~ 1L of water to flush away waste, after which an airtight, counterweighted trap door quickly seals to block smells and flying insects. SATO products are safe for children, easy to clean and affordable. Each one is designed to suit the needs and preferences of users in different regions. More than 1.2 million are provided for use, improving the lives of 6 million people. (As of March 2017)

*Based on: no. of units produced. Avarage 5 users per unit.

How Sato Works

MAKE SELL USETo deliver sustained improvements to sanitary conditions for as many people as possible, LIXIL is focused on developing SATO operations in a tailored way to meet local needs.
Producing SATO toilets locally keeps costs down and facilitates broader distribution. Selling SATO toilets through local partners creates employment and more concrete and entrenched local operations. By establishing a local Make, Sell, Use cycle, individual regions can independently and consistently improve their own sanitary conditions.

Countries Where "SATO" is in Use

Countries Where 'SATO' is in Use

Micro Flush Toilet System:
Better management of water resources in urban environments

Using far less water per flush than a regular toilet, and recycling sewage water to assist the flow in outside pipes, the Micro Flush Toilet System significantly reduces the consumption of precious clean water. It is particularly aimed at mitigating problems related to scarce or unreliable water resources in urban environments where the population is rapidly increasing.

Suitable for both stand-alone homes and multi-unit buildings, the system avoids clogging of the sewage system and features a comfortable sitting-type toilet that is easy to clean and maintain. A flapper valve in the toilet bowl is operated with a handle, and the valve and accumulated water prevent odors from entering the room. A steeply angled pipe connected to the toilet and sewage water system assists the overall flow of waste.

How Micro Flush Toilet System Works

Green Toilet System:
Safety processing human waste into fertilizer

The Green Toilet System safely processes human excrement into fertilizer and provides that value to farmers through the creation of a viable business model. Solid and liquid wastes are separated to prevent odors and prepared for their subsequent conversion into fertilizer, with maintenance workers collecting the waste from different tanks behind the toilet and transporting it to a compost facility.

The Green Toilet System is aimed at communities with no water and sewage infrastructure, or that are too spread out to justify a large sewage system. No water is used to transport the waste, circumventing the need for a traditional sewage system. Additionally, the proper treatment of human wastes protects groundwater and other resources from contamination. The system also creates employment for collection services and compost facilities, providing a financial incentive to prevent dumping.

How Green Toilet System Works

Portable Toilet System:
Hygienic, efficient collection of human waste

The Portable Toilet System is an in-home sanitation solution designed for urban slums that lack proper sanitation infrastructure. It is being developed and field-tested to offer disadvantaged households an 'odorless' toilet from which human waste can be collected and treated hygienically and efficiently.
The system consists of a compact, attractive, stand-alone toilet and a collection station. The toilet, which has a mechanism for minimizing odors, can be easily placed in any household. It is equipped with a removable cartridge, which is transported from individual homes to a designated collection station, where the waste inside the cartridge is deposited and the cartridge cleaned. Professional waste treatment companies then collect the accumulated waste from the station and transport it to an offsite treatment site.

How Portable Toilet System Works

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