Last year, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a new book pushing for a radical rethink of the inefficient way we deal with our excreta and wastewater – and illustrating how it can be done.

One of the key themes running through the book is how sustainability in sanitation and wastewater management can contribute to so many other aspects of sustainable development. According to an analysis carried out by the authors, sustainable sanitation systems that protect people and ecosystems – while keeping valuable resources “in the loop” – can contribute significantly to no fewer than 32 targets in the Sustainable Development Goals, in areas as diverse as food security, gender equity, education, green business and climate change.

UNEP/SEI sanitation reuse book.

Photo credit: James Wheeler via / CC BY-NC-SA