World Water Day, Innovative Start Ups are at the Heart of Sustainability: the Case of WeCo
By Bertrand Viala, Président of Battle Tested Consultant
The March of the Century of 16 March 2019 preceded by high school demonstrations during the preceding week allowed to highlight again the issue of global warming on the front of the stage and with it, the issue of sustainability. The COP24 which has held in 2018 in Katowice, Poland, underlined the importance of this concept to effectively and rationally address the issue of the planet’s resources. The mixed results in terms of the commitments of the economic and government actors indicated that without the introduction of innovative technologies and corresponding economic models, focusing primarily on the recycling of natural resources and waste, no organization or company will be able to provide lnecessary changes. The events of the past week have come to recall the urgency of the matter and the global awareness of which they are subject. The sustainability calendar continues this week with the celebration on March 22nd of World Water Day. One of the consequences and cause of climate change is the inequitable distribution of natural resources such as water. The World Water Day, organized by the United Nations, around the world is there to remind this.
This year’s theme is revealing “leave no one behind”. As such, the United Nations recalls that 2.1 billion people do not have drinking water near their homes and that nearly 4 billion people, or about two thirds of the world’s population, have experienced severe water shortages. The climate issue is aggravating the context since the UN recalls that 700 million people around the world could be displaced because of a worsening water shortage by 2030. The impact of climate warming on water resources has been demonstrated by several studies. Scarcity of resources is not the only factor limiting access to drinking water, but also pollution and the lack of sanitation of resources already in use.
This will the opportunity for WeCo to invite experts and decision makers to inspect its unique system of autonomous flush toilets recycling on site black waters, next March 22nd at the KILOWATT site in Vitry-sur-Seine. Indeed, additionally pollution and consumption from industrial uses and agricultural negatively impact the quality of water available to people and the amount of drinking water needed for sanitary uses, especially in environments where infrastructure is deficient. The urgency of migratory crises which they are expected to intensify, and the Constitution in emerging countries of mega-cities growing and not equipped with networks health, indicate that far from being a sub-chapter of the climate crisis and sustainability, lack of water resources is one of the constituent elements. The United Nations still recalls that 2.4 billion people do not have access to basic health services, a tendency to increase which covers a wide variety of situations. For this reason, the United Nations has set the goal of sustainable development to be achieved in 2030, access to water and sanitation (SDG 6).
Cécile Dekeuwer, President and founder of Weco, recalls: “this is a finding I did when I was an expatriate. It all started in Korea, where I discovered with admiration Japanese high-tech toilets ». She adds: “in addition, my Travels in Australia and Canada have allowed me to see two situations où the water resource is Is very rare in the first case and abundant in the second, but with problems of freezing. These two divergent situations Have Brought these countries to adopt the same solution for their national parks, that is to say high quality dry toilets. This is where I could understand that ecological sanitation was possible and that I have sought to combine sustainable sanitation with new technologies ». The solution presented by its company WeCo is the result of these observations. The company has been awarded on numerous occasions, which allowed it to gain international visibility very quickly. Notably in China in 2016 where she received the award of excellence for her project from the Chinese national tourism agency and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as Cécile Dekeuwer reminds. On this occasion, she met with The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with which she develops the black water treatment technology for toilets through biological processes and electrolysis. That same technology which will be on show on March 22 in Vitry sur Seine. “My links with CALTECH led me to be validated as an expert in AFNOR and ISO on standards related to toilets and more innovative and sustainable sanitation, with norms such as ISO 30500 on autonomous and sustainable sanitary… “she says with a hint of pride.
WeCo’s visibility has been increased in the context of the many debates around the climate issue and sustainability. After a passage at the COP24 in Katowice in Poland in December 2018 (Video), Weco also exhibited its technology last January at the Carrefour des gestions locales de l’eau (CGLE) in Rennes: Watch the video of Cécile Dekeuwer Thanks to Monreseaudeau.fr Agency . In order to publicize this Cleantech, Cécile Dekeuwer was recently invited to the BFM channel to intervene in the Green Reflex show dealing with innovative ecological and sustainable solutions.
Visitors coming to Vitry on March 22 for world water day will therefore also have the opportunity to see and test a concept that provides a solution to one of the major emergencies of the Planet.