Girl with Peepoo in Kibera Photo credit: Peepoople/Camilla Wirseen
2014 Company of the Year
As the planet’s best of the best companies challenge each other for market share and are racing to space (Branson, Musk etc), some companies have gone back to the basics. Instead of driving unbelievable technology advancements, smart companies are trying to save the world by reinforcing its foundations.
In 2005 Peepoople established themselves with a mission to create a more hygienic planet. According to the Peepoople website every 15 seconds a child dies due to contaminated water from human excreta. Firstly, as shocking as that sounds, how can this actually be happening? Well, it is. Even with all the technology and methods of the modern world, people are still suffering from a poor quality of life through poor sanitation.
And the solution to this problem is – wait for it – a biodegradable toilet. Yes, it’s that simple. And yes we are talking about a company that has made it their business to help people in need to do their business in a sanitary manner. It is kind of like the business of making a business out of people doing their business!
Surely on a planet that has rocketed individuals to the moon, there should - by the year 2014 - be setups where everyone can do their business without worrying about catching or spreading something contagious. Well, apparently not. Despite how much the world has evolved, it is still very much so backwards in some ways. And yes, astronauts are able to go to the toilet in a hygienic way in space - something for many on Earth remains an impossible process.
“After studying the conditions of global urban slum development and the dreadful conditions people were living in, I decided to engage. My decisive moment was a meeting with poor so called pavement dwellers in Mumbai in the early summer of 2005. They explained with utter clarity how the lack of proper sanitation affected their lives and that this was the most difficult question for them to solve.” - Peepoople founder Prof Anders Wilhelmson on the reasons for starting the project.
Peepoople has created a range of affordable products that allow the planet’s poorest to be able to do their business in a hygienic manner without harming the evironment. Their products range from the Peepoo personal pack, basically a bag in which people can do their business and dispose of it by burying it in the ground. They also have the Peepoo Kiti and Peepoo Yizi which allow people to do their business comfortably in the peace and quiet.
The really cool part about Peepoople is that they embody the workings of an NGO, but they are a business. Meaning that they are a corporation that has been created to do good! It is this awesome and original combination that allows Peepoople to be successful. Their global reach stems from Sweden and has reached out to Africa, Asia/Oceania and the America’s.
It is still mind boggling to think that in this day and age the world is still suffering from sanitation issues. Solutions range from examples of better infrastructure and businesses built to do good. With Peepoople representing why some companies are willing to get their hands dirty to create an effective change. Managing the planet’s growth is one thing, maintaining its basic infrastructure is another - a balance that Peepoople has gotten correct and perhaps one that many other companies need to take note of!
Find out more visit Peepoople.com