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Awarding the „Blue Responsibility Award“

As part of the 12th CIRP Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing (GCSM) on September 24th, 2014 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, the „Blue Responsibility Award: Manufacturing for a Sustainable Terra Preta Sanitation System“ was first awarded this year. The prize money of € 10,000 was awarded to four outstanding project teams for the design of sustainable sanitation systems.


The relevance of this issue and the importance of the results of all project participants appears by the demand of the United Nations for basic sanitation for everyone by 2015, a goal which, in view of 2.5 billion people without adequate sanitation appears almost impossible. Conversely, it is necessary to rethink in the Western world the sewage treatment and the lavish use of our limited resources.

For this reason the organizers of the GCSM originated last year a competition to design a sustainable Terra Preta sanitation system. The goal was to create a comprehensive sanitation system and manufacture a prototype, which derives value from what is today considered as waste. At the same time it should minimize the use of resources, such as infrastructure and water, in order to be applicable both in the urban areas of early industrialized nations and emerging countries. The focus was on the use of Terra Preta sanitation. This concept is based on a separation of solid and liquid waste as well as a multi-stage treatment of the excretions as anaerobic fermentation and composting. The final product is a nutrient-rich fertilizer, which is reused in the sense of a closed circuit.

The responsible jury team was composed of six internationally renowned personalities. Including the Mexican business woman Nuria C. Leonardo, the Chinese President of the „Low Carbon Clubs“ Hong Li, the Professor and Head of the Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection of the TU Hamburg Harburg Ralf Otter Pohl, founder of the Blue Economy Initiative Gunter Pauli, the Professor of environmental and resource management of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Mohd Salim Razman and the Professor and Head of the Department of assembly technology and factory management Günther Seliger. The jury selected out of the 25 competition submissions the seven most outstanding ones for the final round based on an extensive set of criteria. After the presentation of the competition entries at the conference in Johor Bahru the decision was made for the team of Xavier University with their project „Post Terra Preta Sanitation System for Disaster Transitional communities in the Philippines“.


The winners were delighted with prize money of 5,000€. The team convinced the jury through its proven Terra Preta concept, which helped in the past to ensure sustainable sanitation and thereby prevent possible epidemics by faecal pollution after natural disasters in the Philippines. Also the second-placed project team „Collective Disaster“ with their project „Temple of Holy Shit“ were able to enjoy a cash prize of € 3,000, as well as the two third-placed teams MAVUNO Project / Engineers Without Borders and a collaborative team of students from the Technical University of Berlin and FH Potsdam each priced again with € 1,000.


All award contributions as well as videos from the presentations can be downloaded from the GCSM website www.gcsm.eu/gcsm_award

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