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Sanergy co-founder David Auerbach in factory
2021 Finalist
Build a
Waste-free World


Nominated by:

A sanitation and waste management crisis is unfolding across the developing world. Sanergy provide a clean, cost-effective ways to process organic waste.

Their Story

Booming cities are struggling with a deluge of waste as urban centres outgrow their sewage systems.

Sanergy, based in Nairobi, proves it can be managed safely. Locally built, cost-effective dry toilets offer a clean and affordable alternative to sewers. The sanitation waste from slums and all other forms of organic waste from kitchens, agricultural pack houses and markets is safely removed, transported to Sanergy’s factory where it is consumed by black soldier fly larvae and converted to safe agricultural inputs sold to local farmers.

Sanergy serves 150,000 residents daily and removes 50,000 tonnes of waste per year. It also combats food insecurity. Sanergy’s organic fertilizer and insect protein for animal feed boosts farming volumes by up to 30%, helping over 5000 farmers meet the needs of expanding populations.

Sanergy is already the largest waste recycling factory in Eastern Central Africa. Over the next five years the founders want to repurpose five million further tonnes of waste. It’s a resourceful solution to a mucky problem.

And they are on their way. Their series C funding closed successfully to allow them to scale up their fertilizer and animal protein production and to begin to expand internationally. The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Members Deloitte and Arup have both been actively supporting across scaling, upskilling, and project design.

Other Finalists in Build a Waste-free World

Learn About the Earthshots

and Restore

By 2030, we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting areas of high biodiversity such as forests, wetland, peatlands and wildlife corridors
  2. Restoring damaged ecosystems
  3. Feeding people while protecting nature
Learn more about this Earthshot

Clean Our

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean, healthy air – at World Health Organization standard or better. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Engaging citizens in data collection and clean air policies
  2. Preventing the burning of fields, forests and waste
  3. Transitioning to clean transportation for all
Learn more about this Earthshot

Revive Our

By 2030, we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems
  2. Replenishing fish populations
  3. Reducing demand for fishmeal
Learn more about this Earthshot

Build a

By 2030, we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Reducing food loss from farm to fork
  2. Phasing out single-use and non-recycled plastics
  3. High-value circularity in fashion and electronics
Learn more about this Earthshot

Fix Our

We choose to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon neutral economy that lets every culture, community and country thrive. 

This Earthshot focuses on three main areas of interest: 

  1. Creating an equitable clean energy future
  2. Addressing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Decarbonising hard to abate sectors
Learn more about this Earthshot
The Earthshot Prize