About us

VaLoo Charter

The VaLoo Charter is a declaration that the members of VaLoo shall devote their energies to resource-oriented sanitation systems in Switzerland and commit to the shared values set out here.

Resource-oriented sanitation systems

Resource-oriented sanitation systems go beyond the treatment of human excreta and wastewater. They close material cycles incorporating housing, food production, and consumption. New technologies for resource-oriented sanitation seek to minimize the resources used for treating human excreta and to protect public health and the environment. They also recover water, energy, nutrients, and organic raw materials from excreta and wastewater.

Vision

Resource-oriented sanitation systems are an integral part of the circular economy in Switzerland.

Mission

Our mission is to promote resource-oriented sanitation systems in Switzerland by connecting actors, raising awareness in society, and creating an enabling environment.

To fulfil our mission, we are:

  • a community whose actors share information and work together to achieve common goals. We provide a forum for actors who research and develop new solutions, who implement technologies and management systems, who use recovered resources, and who consume goods produced from recovered resources.
  • a source of credible knowledge about technologies, management solutions, and best practices for resource-oriented sanitation systems. We spread this knowledge through working groups, round tables, workshops, and awareness campaigns.
  • a legitimate representation of resource-oriented sanitation systems to policy makers, government agencies, and practitioners.

Values

Community

As a community, we practice co-creation and promote diversity and mutual respect to context-specific solutions to regional and global challenges.

Integrity

We recognize that resource-oriented sanitation systems have great potential for protecting the environment, but that they are still under development. To strengthen confidence in the new solutions, we strive to present their possibilities and limitations in good faith.

Sufficiency

We strengthen the local and regional circular economy to minimize resource consumption, waste production, emissions to the environment, and energy losses.

Ecology

We are aware that our planet’s resources are limited, and we strive to reduce the environmental impact of our activities through the protection, restoration, and sustainable use and reuse of natural resources.

Working groups

Co-creation is a driving force at VaLoo. For this reason, we are advancing our common cause, scaling Circular Sanitation, with working groups. All members are welcome to participate in the working groups and contribute their expertise and ideas on how we should move forward. Currently, the following working groups exist.

Go to working groups

VaLoo Working Group

Board of directors

VaLoo is organized as an association. Our board currently consists of eight members, who present themselves here.

Kayla Coppens

Project manager at Aneco and PhD student at the University of Geneva

«I produce the fertilizer I need to grow my own vegetables. I would love to live in a world where everyone can do the same!»

When Kayla became active in a housing cooperative in Geneva, her learning curve about wastewater problems and sustainable solutions to overcome them was steep. Kayla did her master’s project on a worm filter for wastewater treatment of for the housing cooperative Equilibre (2017) and became a founding member of aneco (2020). Aneco is an association dedicated to recovering the resources present in our wastewater through decentralized and sustainable treatment. Kayla played a key role in organizing VaLoo’s first General Assembly and is excited about the momentum generated by the co-creative power of its members. She strongly believes in VaLoo’s mission to enable innovative and sustainable solutions for circular sanitation systems in Switzerland.

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Bastian Etter

Co-founder of Vuna

«The sanitation revolution will be slow, but permanent!»

When he was a kid building cabins in the forest, he always wanted to build the toilets first. Later, in 2015, after several years at Eawag, he founded Vuna, which builds circular sanitation systems in Switzerland and beyond. Vuna has licensed Aurin, the world’s first fertilizer made from urine. Bastian finds it exciting to be one of 44 people in the industry who founded VaLoo. As sanitation systems grow, VaLoo gives some structure and visibility to this diverse group of players. Bastian wants to strengthen the network between professionals, the construction industry, the authorities, in the different language regions of Switzerland and across borders.

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Philippe Reymond

Independent consultant, member of Swiss Disaster Relief (SHA), working for UNHCR

«Even small-scale sanitation requires big visions.»

At the end of his studies, Philippe was given the opportunity to do a piece of work on urban sanitation planning in a city in Togo. There was no sewerage network there. The passion for decentralized sanitation has not left him, from the development context to humanitarian aid. The different realities were striking: institutional barriers, the level of commitment of the authorities, and the reality of a city where hundreds of micro-treatment plants stand side by side. For Philippe, it’s clear: governance matters! He sees VaLoo as a bunch of enthusiastic and committed people ready to take circular wastewater management to a new level.

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Vincent Carel

Co-founder at piss&love

«I want to understand social taboos and make the toilet a cool topic!»

As a student, Vincent landed in the field of sustainable sanitation through an internship at the architecture firm atba and the housing cooperative Equilibre. He was curious to learn more about circular sanitation systems, a marginalized field but full of positive aspects (environmental, economic, and social). Vincent transported tons of urine, excrement and dry toilets throughout western Switzerland, which led to some unusual encounters. He wants to understand the psychological barriers associated with the topic in order to break social taboos and make the toilet a cool topic!

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Jonas Linder

Co-founder Kompotoi AG

«My vision is to be able to reuse the resources from the toilet as nutrients after treatment, and that we all find that normal!»

In 2010, Jonas helped plant over 100 trees in a permaculture project, which were fertilized with the best compost from the toilet. That day, he decided to commit to contributing to putting those nutrients back into the loop. Kompotoi has built more than 700 mobile composting toilets, which operate year-round or during the summer. Ever since he started Kompotoi in 2012, he has been thinking about forming an association with other organizations. Now Jonas is more than happy that we could found such a broad-based association.

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Dorothee Spuhler

Contact person for international cooperation and decentralized systems, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences

«I want to help VaLoo become a nationwide network, without forgetting any stakeholder.»

When she heard about pollution and forest dieback in elementary school, she started inventing a machine that sucks in bad air, compresses it and releases good air. Later, wastewater treatment and circular economy became her favorite topics of her work, her dissertation at Eawag and her involvement as a member of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSaNa) core group since 2010. Today, direct air capture is a commercial technology available worldwide. Dorothee herself is still working on concepts to reduce wastewater and close nutrient cycles. Dorothee wants to support VaLoo in becoming a nationwide network, without forgetting any stakeholder.

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Kai M. Udert

Titular Professor, ETH Zurich; Group Leader, Eawag

«With my involvement in VaLoo, I would like to help make the idea of resource recovery in the bowl socially acceptable.»

When Kai agreed to do a dissertation on urine source separation a good 25 years ago, the idea was completely new and surprising to him. During his work on “separation at the source”, he was able to work with very motivated and committed people, whether in research or practice. Particularly important to him are the Vuna project, which gave rise to the spinoff company of the same name, and the Blue Diversion Autarky project, in which teams were able to realize the ideas of wastewater separation and resource recovery for a toilet block. Kai believes that VaLoo provides us with a platform to discuss ideas and build foundations to implement sustainable concepts. With his involvement in VaLoo, Kai wants to help making the idea of resource recovery in the bowl socially acceptable.

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Reto Wey

Founder Consulting for Impact, Basel, Switzerland

«The composition of the board with university professors, researchers and entrepreneurs fascinates me.»

Reto’s career in finance has allowed him to travel internationally and learn a lot about different cultures and approaches to life. His strength is to combine long-term visions with short-term actions. Having been involved in several circular economy companies as the founder of Consulting for Impact, he found VaLoo’s mission extremely important and wanted to contribute. He was also intrigued by the composition of the board with university professors, researchers and entrepreneurs. Reto’s goal is to make the approach of circular sanitation systems better known in Swiss economic communities.

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Philipp Markus

Project engineer at HFS Aqua AG, member of VSA YP board & CC wastewater treatment

«I am keen to integrate resource orientated sanitation systems into the existing infrastructure in Switzerland.»

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Office

You can reach our office by email

Louise Carpentier

Head of office
«I'm passionate about connecting everyone and inviting them to shape tomorrow's solutions together.»

Louise Carpentier manages the VaLoo office. She became interested in circular sanitation systems through her studies in soil and water management with a focus on sustainable agriculture. Now, at VaLoo, she wants to connect housing and agriculture through sustainable resource management. Thanks to her experience in research, consulting, volunteer work and project management, she is moving the association forward by strengthening collaborative processes – because the path from linear to circular systems can only be taken together.

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Gina Marti

Communication
«At VaLoo I keep learning how much potential there is in circular sanitation systems.»

Gina Marti is head of communications at Valoo. Before that, she studied political science and communication. She learned about circular sanitation systems when she joined the Valoo team and her fresh perspective on the topic helps her especially in communicating with stakeholders, for whom the concept is still new territory. She keeps learning and finds it great to support such a high-potential and sustainable project.

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Andri Heidler

Advocacy
«VaLoo is about collectively influencing social development in order to guide it in a sustainable and ecological direction!»

Andri Heidler is responsible for politics at VaLoo. He studied geography and agronomy, because for him a deep understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment is the key to a sustainable future. This is demonstrated particularly when it comes to food. The scientific, political and social discourse on local food systems is limited to food and ignores the local production of agricultural inputs such as fertilisers. VaLoo is the missing building block on the way to local and sustainable food systems.

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Till-Baptiste Römmelt

Roadshow
«At VaLoo, I am committed to bringing the visionary ideas of our members out of the hidden chambers and into the public.»

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Partnerships

Migros Pionierfonds

Migros Pioneer Fund

The Migros Pioneer Fund looks for and supports ideas with social potential. It enables pioneering projects that break new ground and seek out forward-looking solutions. Its impact-oriented funding approach combines financial support with coaching services. The Migros Pioneer Fund is part of the Migros Group's social engagement and is enabled by the Migros Group with around CHF 15 million annually.
engagement.migros.ch/en/pioneer-fund 

Circular Economy Switzerland

Circular Economy Switzerland is committed to push the circular economy in Switzerland. With a creative approach a variety of private companies and public organisations want to make the Swiss economy more circular. With various projects and events, the network acts as an engine for a new, Switzerland-wide circular economy movement and sees itself as a coordination and exchange platform. VaLoo is part of the network and has realised a joint project with CES to strengthen the discourse.
circular-economy-switzerland.ch

NetSan – Netzwerk für nachhaltige Sanitärsysteme

NetSan e.V. works as a network for the sanitation change in Germany. To this end, people from science and research, from start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and also interested individuals meet, network, exchange information about their fields of work and work together on new projects for the sustainable and climate-friendly handling of human excreta. NetSan e.V. and VaLoo regularly exchange information about current developments in the sanitation and nutrient turnaround.
www.netsan.org

RAE réseau de l’assainissement écologique

The Réseau d'Assainissement Écologique (RAE) is an association that defends and promotes the values and principles of ecological sanitation. It brings together more than a hundred members, mainly in France. RAE is committed to the preservation of the environment through the responsible management of natural resources and the prevention and reduction of domestic organic pollution. VaLoo and RAE share knowledge between their members.
reseau-assainissement-ecologique.org
Logo Kleinwohnformen

Kleinwohnformen Schweiz

Since its founding in 2018, the association Kleinwohnformen Schweiz has put a lot of heart, commitment and expertise into ensuring that a Tiny House, a construction trailer, a mini house or a yurt is accepted as a recognized form of living. Small forms of housing should have just as much of a place in our society as rental apartments and home ownership.
kleinwohnformen.ch

Documents

Annual Reports
Annual Report 2022