What it is:
Sanergy is a social venture that aims to build a sustainable sanitation network throughout Nairobi’s slums, by creating a network of local entrepreneurs who run small-scale sanitation centers. 10 million people in Kenya live in slums and only 80 % do not have adequate sanitation. Sanergy produces electricity and fertilizer by converting the waste from our sanitation facilities throughout the slums of Kenya by creating a sustainable sanitation cycle. Sanergy is tackling the issue of sanitation like many of its peers do by building toilets, but its innovation is really in its business model, creating value out of waste by really examining the value chain. The theory is that if you can create waste as a valuable product that people will buy or buy into, then everyone on the value chain will gain something. Sanergy’s model involves three actions: creating a network of franchised sanitation centers in slums, collecting the waste produced, and processing it into biomethane and fertilizer. Through each action, Sanergy creates jobs, opportunity, and profit, while simultaneously addressing serious social needs.
Why it is cool:
Sanergy is breaking away from traditional ways that sanitation projects have been conceived and implemented in the past. Sanergy is thinking creatively and looking at the problem of sanitation in the sum of all its parts – it is looking at the value chain of human waste and ensuring positive outcomes for all.