The British Cleaning Council has announced that an award winning research team from Loughborough University will be one of the keynote speakers for its 2012 annual conference, taking place at Coin Street Conference Centre on London’s South Bank on 23 October.
Last month, the Loughborough team were awarded $60,000 (£48,000) in an international competition organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a toilet that is clean, safe, durable and affordable, without the need for connection to electricity or a sewer. According to the foundation, which is a developing world charity set up by the Microsoft founder and his wife, toilet hygiene is a major public health issue due to the 2.6 billion people worldwide who are unable to access safe sanitation. The team’s prototype toilet aims to address this problem by converting human waste into carbonised material to provide heat, minerals for soil conditioning and water for flushing and hand-washing. The toilet was praised for its affordability and sustainability and the design could potentially enable families in the developing world a source of sanitation and fuel for a few pence a day.
Loughborough University's project leader, Professor Mohammed Sohail - who will be hosting the session at the conference - told BBC news: "This toilet creates something that looks and smells like coffee and has a combustible element so could be used as fuel in home cooking or as a fertiliser."
The reinvent the toilet session will feature alongside already announced speakers including broadcaster Andrew Neil and businessman Sir Michael Darrington. Political journalist and businessman Andrew Neil will be sharing experiences from his career in the media during a keynote address, while Darrington will be speaking about his role in building Greggs Bakers into a successful, socially responsible business over the past 25 years.
In three just years, the BCC annual conference has established itself as one of the cleaning sector’s highest-profile events, offering creative solutions and commercial strategies for the leading figures in the industry. The previous two events have sold out, with over 200 senior executives convening each year to discuss, debate and disseminate the latest economic trends and managerial thinking within the sector.
Sponsorship partners for the conference include Advanced Mobile Communications, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Selden Research, The Hygiene Company, Diversey, C&M Magazine, South Thames College, Vitec Global, and Norse.
Tickets for the conference, priced at £149 plus vat, are available now from the British Cleaning Council’s website: www.britishcleaningcouncil.org/cleaningconference.html.