Geneva, Switzerland, November 19, 2018 – On the occasion of World Toilet Day, Firmenich proudly opened the doors of its new ‘Mobile Toilet for Her’ providing a safe, hygienic and pleasurable toilet experience for women in Pune, India. Accelerating access to sanitation, the fully refurbished bus features toilets, shower cubicles, a panic button, as well as diaper changing and nursing stations, all maintained by trained female attendants. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Ms. Kalinda Punde of Pune Municipal Corporation, the civic body that governs Pune.

“I believe safe, hygienic and pleasant-smelling sanitation facilities are critical to accelerating the Swachh Bharat initiative to “Clean India,” which is why we jumped at the opportunity to help Pune become the first “Smart Sanitation” city,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “This refurbished bus is a real game-changer for the women of Pune. Beyond the immediate need for safe and clean toilets, it is also helping to drive cultural change for a stronger, more inclusive India.”

“Evidence shows that even when toilets exist, they are often not used due to their unpleasant smell,” commented Satish Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, Firmenich India. “Together with Saraplast, inventors of the ‘Mobile Toilet for Her’, we are providing a safe and sustainable sanitation solution that will ensure local women keep coming back, helping to reduce disease in the long term.”

Rajeev Kher - CEO of Saraplast from Firmenich on Vimeo.

“A trailblazer in the toilet economy, Firmenich was the first to create affordable and sustainable malodor control technologies for low income consumers,” explained Rajeev Kher, Toilet Board Coalition Steering Committee Member, CEO of Saraplast Pvt Ltd and Founder of 3S (Sanitation Solutions Simplified). “Having a long-lasting and pleasant smell in the bus is essential, because no matter how efficient and innovative new toilets are, if bad smell prevents their usage, they will lack impact.”

Located in a high traffic area of Pune, the Firmenich ‘Mobile Toilet for Her’ is expected to positively impact the lives of more than 150 local women per day. Providing a superior level of quality and service along with sustainability technologies, the refurbished bus features western and Indian toilets, shower cubicles, water-saving sensor taps, solar-powered lights, a panic button, Wi-Fi, a digital feedback system and trained female attendants. The bus is also equipped to help new mothers with diaper changing and nursing stations.

Following a 4-year research partnership supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Reinvent the Toilet experience, Firmenich launched a range of breakthrough malodor control technologies in 2017. Since then, the leading Fragrance Company has been actively working with a number of its customers to embed its technologies into affordable and sustainable hygiene products to accelerate access to sanitation for all. For the very first time, these breakthrough malodor control technologies will be reaching low income consumers across South Africa and Bangladesh before the end of 2018, integrated into affordable and sustainable toilet cleaning products.

With smell recognized as the biggest barrier preventing people from using toilets, Firmenich has been awarded a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore the role and impact of odor in sanitation-related decisions. This pioneering study targets low income urban settlements in India, Kenya, South Africa and China to accelerate access to safely managed sanitation in these key countries.


About Firmenich

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895. Driven by its purpose to create positive emotions to enhance wellbeing, naturally, Firmenich has designed many of the world’s best-known perfumes and tastes, bringing delight to over four billion consumers every day. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, each year, Firmenich invests 10% of its turnover in R&D to understand and share the best that nature has to offer responsibly. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.7 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2018.