JCDecaux SE (Euronext Paris: DEC), the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, has been committed for over 40 years to facilitating access to public hygiene facilities by creating universally accessible self-cleaning toilets for city residents, visitors and tourists across the world.
First designed as street furniture in nineteenth century in France for the universal benefit of tackling urban squalor, public toilets have been continuously developed and modernised in an effort to meet the ever-increasing challenges of health, cleanliness and hygiene in cities and human dignity. From Paris’ first public urinals in 1834 that were exclusively for men, to the automatic public toilet invented by JCDecaux in the 1980s and accessible for the first time to women, this street furniture helps to keep public spaces ever cleaner.
Ever since JCDecaux installed the first self-cleaning toilets in Paris in 1981, the company has consistently innovated by developing a complete ecosystem. To this end, the Group has created eco-designed, high-performance furniture which integrates patented solutions (automatic washing and disinfection of the toilet), rigorous processes and integrated teams dedicated to upkeep and maintenance, providing a high-quality service up to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. JCDecaux’s Design Office, based in Plaisir, Les Yvelines (France), constantly develops new features to make life easier for city residents and visitors accessible to women, men, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
In 1993, the self-cleaning toilet became accessible to people with reduced mobility. Voice instructions were made available in several languages, as well as in braille. In 2006, the service became free in Paris, leading to a huge increase in usage. This demonstrated the robustness of both the design and the upkeep/maintenance process. The self-cleaning toilet is designed to balance quality with an optimised environmental footprint at each stage in its life cycle. In 2020, JCDecaux developed a urinal module, which can be added to an existing toilet. This increases the availability of the main toilet while also significantly increasing its daily capacity. With the drinking water fountains and hand sanitizer dispensers installed outside since the first lockdown, self-cleaning toilets have become multi-service hygiene points unlike any other in today’s urban environment.
Public toilets have specific requirements and cannot be compared to other street furniture. Their operation demands a clear understanding of usage, along with expertise in design and operation. Through this unique expertise, JCDecaux has become the operator of the world's largest network of self-cleaning public toilets. Today, many cities around the world such as San Francisco or Stockholm can install public toilets fully funded by advertising on street furniture, benefiting from the economic model invented by JCDecaux. The Group operates over 2,500 self-cleaning toilets in 28 countries, used by almost 31 million people every year, including 15 million in Paris. Its self-cleaning public toilets are an integral part of the global urban landscape. From Paris to Berlin via Marseille, Abidjan and Lagos, JCDecaux’s street furniture and associated services are designed to evolve with their environment and their needs across the globe.
New public toilets designed by JCDecaux for San Francisco will soon be launched in the city centre, continuing the collaboration initiated in 1994.
JCDecaux was selected by the City of Paris to supply and operate its new automatic public toilet service, replacing the existing facilities installed in 2009 that were also operated by JCDecaux. These new toilet facilities, which were designed and assembled in France, will increase access to the service in Paris: 435 new-generation automatic toilets will be rolled out between 2024 and the beginning of 2025. In addition to providing a spacious cabin that enables universal access, the new street furniture facilities will also be equipped with a second urinal cabin, complete with a door and roof to ensure user privacy. The waiting time between each visit to the main cabin will be reduced by a third, with the time between a customer leaving the toilet and it being available for the next customer reduced to just 30 seconds. During this time, the toilet cabin will be cleaned and disinfected for the comfort of the next user. The urinal cabin will be disinfected immediately after each user visit and available immediately with no waiting time.
As a result, the capacity of the automatic public toilets in the French capital will be doubled while the availability of the service will be multiplied by four, making it the largest network of public self-cleaning toilets in any city worldwide. The toilets will be particularly sustainable as water consumption will be cut by almost 2/3 and electricity consumption by 1/3 compared to the current position. The toilets will also be powered by 100% renewable electricity and the contribution to collective carbon neutrality will cover all their activities. Patrick Jouin, who also designed the capital’s existing fleet of public toilets was tasked with creating the aesthetics of the new toilets. The silhouette of the new toilets will be in line with the existing model, enabling the easy identification of the service by the public and seamlessly integrating into the Parisian cityscape: providing an elegant, sleek and timeless aesthetic with this subtle redesign.
Jean-Charles Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and Co-Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux, said: “Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the World Toilet Day initiative to recognise an essential service. For over 40 years, JCDecaux has contributed its expertise to this human necessity. Through its vision and pioneering approach, our Group provides local communities with increasingly efficient and accessible public toilets, in use more than 721 million times worldwide over the past two decades. World Toilet Day draws our attention to the importance of taking action to promote public hygiene, providing access to this service for absolutely everyone. As of today, in 2022, 3.6 billion people around the world do not have access to toilets. Across the board, we must continue our efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6, ensuring access to clean water and sanitation by 2030 which includes universal access to safe toilets. To address the cornerstone issues of hygiene and human dignity, JCDecaux reiterates its long-standing commitment and will continue working closely with local authorities and its various partners to supply best-in-class public toilet facilities.”
(a) Adjusted revenue