American Standard has been honored with a Patents for Humanity award from the U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for inventing the hygienic SaTo toilet pan technology.
Launched in 2012, the Patents for Humanity program recognizes individual and organizational patent holders who have developed innovative and sustainable solutions that address global humanitarian challenges.
American Standard invented the SaTo (derived from Safe Toilet) sanitary toilet pan in 2013 to help reduce disease transmission and improve sanitation facilities and quality of life in Bangladesh.
“American Standard is truly honored to receive the prestigious Patents for Humanity award for our life-saving SaTo toilet pan,” says Steve Delarge, acting CEO of American Standard. “Our team was driven to develop the SaTo pan by the staggering statistics that 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to adequate sanitation facilities and every day 2,000 children die from diseases caused by this lack of proper sanitation.”
The SaTo toilet pan uses ingeniously simple mechanical and water seals with a trap-door mechanism to close off pit latrines from the open air, thereby preventing flying insects from spreading pathogens from contact with human waste. The company’s engineering team that designed the SaTo pan consisted of Jim McHale, Ph.D., Daigo Ishiyama, and Greg Gatarz.
American Standard also launched the Flush for Good campaign in 2013, with the goal of increasing awareness of the global sanitation crisis and improving the quality of life in developing countries. This program donated one SaTo pan for every Champion toilet sold in North America in 2013 and 2014. The company aims to donate 1.2 million SaTo hygienic toilet pans for installation in homes and schools in developing nations around the world through 2017, reaching an estimated 5.5 million people with life improving sanitation.
American Standard has partnered with NGO’s BRAC, WaterAid, UNICEF, Save the Children, Water for People, Food for the Poor and Plumbers Without Borders to distribute the SaTo pans to countries throughout the world in need of safe plumbing solutions. More than 700,000 SaTo latrine pans have been distributed in Bangladesh, Uganda, Haiti, Malawi, and the Philippines through year-end 2014.
“This latrine pan technology is simple ingenuity that goes beyond corporate sustainability to the sustainability of life,” says Maria Chiclana, senior vice president and general counsel at American Standard, who has orchestrated the filings for the SaTo pan’s patent protection in the U.S. and other regions.
“We are very proud of our ongoing commitment to address this critical global sanitation issue through sustainable design solutions. It aligns with our vision of raising the standard of living for all people, everywhere. Sanitation is truly the most vital prerequisite for health and quality of life,” concludes Delarge.