The St Andrews Prize for the Environment

University of St Andrews


07 October 2016

An update from 2012 Finalist Sanergy

An update from 2012 Finalist Sanergy

It’s always exciting to hear from our previous finalists and how the Prize has impacted on their project. We were delighted to speak to Ani Vallabhaneni recently, co-founder of Sanergy Limited, who were finalists back in 2012. With it being nearly 5 years since they were shortlisted, a lot has changed for the company as they continue to grow and expand their operations.

A Nairobi-based social enterprise, Sanergy Limited offers an integrated waste management solution for urban slums in developing cities.

Combining technical ingenuity with business model innovation at each stage of the sanitation value chain, Sanergy creates a practical solution that effectively addresses the social, environmental, political, and economic realities in Kenya’s slums. Sanergy creates jobs and opportunities, while addressing serious social, economic, and environmental needs.

Since being selected as a finalist, Sanergy has been able to develop their solution even further, and expand their operations as a result.

“Sanergy has made great strides since being shortlisted for the St Andrews Prize. We have developed an efficient and effective solution for urban waste management that ensures waste is contained, collected, treated, and converted into high-value agricultural inputs. The financial support of the Prize has helped us grow and scale our operations to safely and professionally collect and remove more than 10 tons of waste from Nairobi’s informal settlements every day.”

Beyond this, Sanergy has also set up a network of over 800 Fresh Life Toilets.

“Our network of Fresh Life Toilets is used 40,000 times per day. Once we remove the waste, we convert it to organic fertilizer, which we’ve sold to over 300 farmers, and insect-based protein for animal feed, which we sell to feed millers.”

As well as the successes Sanergy has seen in the last five years, they show no signs of slowing down and are currently working on a number of new projects designed to take their work even further.

“We have several exciting developments in the near future, including piloting new and innovative ways to safely capture a larger portion of the waste produced in the communities we serve. We’re working on an in-home model for safe sanitation delivery and ways to ensure that pit-latrine waste is safely processed. We are also working to build out our biogas operation, so that we can offset our own energy needs.”

As a previous finalist of the Prize, Sanergy had some valuable wisdom to impart on those submitting entries for this year’s Prize.

“For those considering entering the 2017 St Andrews Prize, I would advise them to fully articulate the need or problem they’re addressing, and emphasize the current and potential impact of their project. Good luck to those who apply!”

To find out more about Sanergy, visit

Enter the 2017 prize here.