EPA Taps Kohler for Inaugural Partner of the Year Award

KOHLER, Wis. — October 9, 2008 — Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath design and technology, was chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program as the Manufacturing Partner of the Year.

"Kohler is honored to be recognized by the EPA for the company’s efforts promoting the WaterSense program, and overall water efficiency," said Shane Judd, senior product manager for water conservation at Kohler. "Public education, along with new water-efficient products and building design methods, are critical to contain water use. Kohler has responded to this need by developing new products that use less water, but don't sacrifice performance."

EPA launched the WaterSense Awards program last February, honoring work performed during 2007. The new awards recognize WaterSense partners who helped advance the overall mission of WaterSense; increased awareness of the WaterSense program in a measurable way; and demonstrated overall excellence in the water-efficiency arena.

Kohler prominently displays the WaterSense logo in product literature, on its Web site, at trade shows and regularly conducts continuing education courses on water efficiency. These courses are hosted across the country, where architects, designers, builders and plumbers learn from Kohler-trained associates the importance of specifying water-saving products inside the home, and the ultimate benefits to the end customer.

Moreover, the company’s spokesperson, Ed Del Grande of Ed the Plumber on the DIY Network, tours the United States talking about high efficiency toilets, conducting interviews on reducing water use, and promoting WaterSense for audiences at national trade shows.

In August 2007, Kohler signed on as a Presenting Sponsor of the new IMAX film, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, from MacGillivray-Freeman Films. The film, released in March 2008, speaks powerfully about how civilization is impacting the Colorado River, and what can be done to reduce our use of water. Kohler hosts more than 25 IMAX events around the country throughout 2008-09, and invites guests to view the movie and learn about the water-conserving products from Kohler.

One of the major promotions accomplished by Kohler in 2007 was the promotion of WaterSense toilets at the Charmin Holiday Restrooms in New York City. A combination of high efficiency toilets and low-flow faucet aerators saved New York more than 500,000 gallons of water in a six-week period.

"Kohler understands that using water more wisely is an imperative element to sustainable design, and choosing water-saving plumbing products is easy and can have a huge impact on water consumption," added Judd.

WaterSense, the EPA’s voluntary public-private partnership program, seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs and practices. Plumbing fixtures and faucets that qualify for the WaterSense label assure consumers of actual water savings and strict performance standards.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power generation systems, cabinetry, tile and home interiors, and an international host to award-winning hospitality and world-class golf destinations.