According to UN figures, more than four billion people around the world do not have access to satisfactory toilets. Incineration toilets made by Norwegian company Cinderella are a response to global sanitation challenges.
Preventing the spread of disease and pollution without consuming precious water resources is part of the philosophy behind Cinderella Eco Group. The incineration toilets ensure safe waste management without connection to sewers or water. The incineration process results in a handful of ashes, which are documented as being free of all pathogenic bacteria, and which can be easily used as fertilizer or disposed of as ordinary household waste.
The company started production in Sweden in 1997 and moved to Norway in 1999. Since then, the factory at Lyngen outside Tromsø has produced sustainable toilets for the Nordic countries, and later Europe, North America and Australia. The solutions are relevant not only to developing countries, but also to industrialised countries that have old sewer systems where the contents leak into drinking water and the environment.
Growth in new markets
Cinderella has recently been working actively towards new markets on the African continent, and has benefited greatly from participation in Innovation Norway’s Global Growth export programme.
“With good advisory services from Innovation Norway, both locally in regional offices and in international offices, doors have been opened for international expansion and product development towards new market segments at a pace we would not otherwise have been able to realise”, says Trude Margel, Chief Communications Officer at Cinderella Eco Group.
Internationalisation adviser at Innovation Norway Møreog Romsdal, Sunniva Hellandsvik Storhaug, thinks it has been incredibly exciting to take part in the company’s journey into new markets.
“They are not only working constantly to develop more innovative and customised solutions internationally, but they also have a genuine desire to make the world a better place.”
During 2020, the company has also been actively working to increase its market share in the Canadian cabin market, and Innovation Norway’s office in Toronto has assisted with both advisory services and market analyses.
“It has been a real pleasure working with Cinderella here in Canada. The company has made good decisions through a methodical understanding of the market, who its competitors are and how they should position themselves in the market. I believe that this will help ensure further growth for the company, both here and elsewhere in the world”, says Alana Prashad, marketing adviser at Innovation Norway’s Toronto office.
Sustainable solutions to environmental problems
Sustainable solutions that combat pollution in nature are an important initiative for Cinderella. With support from Innovation Norway, the company has developed and tested a public toilet prototype solution for hikers. Visitors accessed the toilet by using a code lock via an app, and the feedback was very positive. The company is now working on solutions to further utilise the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) and data capture.
“Thanks to the business support system, which open doors and mitigates the risks that resource-intensive investments in innovation and development involve, we can operate, develop and produce profitably in Norway, while also exploring new markets around the world. This results in a combination that contributes to growth in Norwegian employment, technology exports and solutions that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals”, says Margel.
Another project is underway in Hawaii, where 88,000 open cesspools that temporarily store liquid waste are a major environmental problem. In collaboration with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Cinderella has created a pilot solution that is being tested by scientists, technologists and locals. With support from Innovation Norway, the company is now conducting market analyses to identify opportunities and concretise the potential for its solution in the Hawaiian market.
A market opportunity has also opened up in Greenland, where the permafrost makes it difficult to implement necessary infrastructure regarding sewage and the supply of water. The bags that are used instead often leak and spread dangerous bacteria in the soil and ocean. Large and centrally located incineration plants that process the waste responsibly have been built, but getting there takes a long time. Cinderella’s incineration toilets allow the problem to be easily solved on site, for each individual household. After receiving good advisory services from Innovation Norway and from Norway’s consul on site, the company has now gained entry into the Greenland market.