Purpose 360

How LIXIL’s SATO Toilet Helped Unite a $17 Billion Company

Episode Summary

Present in nearly a billion households worldwide, LIXIL’s brands are united by a simple purpose: to make a better home a reality for everyone. Behind that simple purpose is a focused, integrated, and ambitious approach that has unearthed new business opportunities and powered LIXIL’s journey to improve 100 million lives.

Episode Notes

Let’s talk about toilets.

One in three people around the world lack basic sanitation. Of that 2.3 billion people, nearly 892 million relieve themselves in outside spaces.  Beyond the obvious health dangers (nearly 800 children die every day from diarrhea caused by inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene), lack of access to safe and clean toilets expose women and children to the threats of violence and harassment, according to UNICEF.

LIXIL – the $17 billion global company you may have never heard of – made social purpose a core business driver and is on a powerful path to change millions of lives by addressing some of the sanitation challenges above.

LIXIL brands (notably, American Standard, Grohe, Tostem, and Inax) are in almost a billion households around the world. Jin Montesano, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director at LIXIL, joined Purpose 360 to talk about LIXIL’s long-term commitment to improve basic sanitation for 250 million people around the world by 2021.

LIXIL partnered with UNICEF to achieve this goal through the cheekily-named Make a Splash program. Core to the program is LIXIL’s social enterprise to manufacture and distribute the proprietary $5 SATO toilet. Beyond providing basic sanitation, LIXIL and UNICEF say that the toilet can “transform lives – boosting child survival rates, making communities healthier, and even improving children’s chances of attending school.”

In this episode, Jin shares the “three As” process -- Articulate, Assimilate, and Activate -- that guided LIXIL’s purpose journey, as well as experiences in the field that ignited that purpose for her and her team.

Here are some of our favorite highlights:

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