KOHLER, Wis. (June 30, 2020) – Kohler Co., a global leader in the innovation and design of plumbing products, engines and generators, released its 2019 Social Impact Report. The Report highlights initiatives where Kohler can make the biggest impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key areas of focus are providing equitable access to safe water and sanitation and responsible consumption and production. Kohler’s efforts to improve its environmental performance are highlighted including a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emission intensity and a 48% reduction in waste to landfill since 2008.
"Kohler has always been guided by the idea that our best can be better. That’s why we are committed to applying our resources and expertise across our organization to improve the lives of people and the communities where we live and work,” said Laura Kohler, senior vice president of human resources, stewardship and sustainability at Kohler Co. “Our associates are taking action and implementing solutions to pressing global challenges including clean water and sanitation – an issue that is even more critical given the current global health crisis - and supporting disaster relief with innovative products and efforts. We are also highly focused on applying advanced technologies and processes to further reduce our manufacturing footprint.”
To maximize impact and reach, in 2019 Kohler formalized its sustainability and social impact efforts into three core areas:
Innovation for Good, Kohler’s internal incubator, hosted its second annual I-Prize competition. Kohler associates from around the world developed business ideas that meaningfully enhance lives and reduce environment impact. Three global semifinal competitions were held throughout the year with 10 teams advancing to the I-Prize final – where they competed for incubation funding. While this year’s four finalists are working on their projects, the 2018 Kohler Power team winner has begun developing and testing its automated blending device to power water filtration sites with a combination of solar energy and generator power.
Kohler launched its inaugural Water Impact Project to study pressing water and sanitation-related issues, discover and implement solutions, and share findings to encourage others to join the company’s efforts. Kohler’s partnership with World Vision is an example of how the Water Impact Project helped a small community in India’s Randerhi Village increase access to safe water. After studying the water needs of the village, Kohler built a centralized kiosk with a large-scale reverse osmosis filtration system that can provide 500 liters of safe water each hour—enough for the entire community.
In 2019, Kohler continued to emphasize product life cycle and environmental impacts related to supply chain, operations and customer use and end of life and now provides clear, easy-to-understand environmental and human health data on the products it manufactures. Transparency documents, like Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Declare labels, are available for plumbing products by visiting Kohler’s Transparency website. Declare labels, similar to food ingredient labels, detail the material composition of plumbing fixtures and help inform consumers about the safety of the products they use every day. In the coming year, Kohler plans to provide the first Declare labels and EPDs for its faucet products, and has committed to screening all of its Kitchen and Bath products using Design for Environment (DfE) methodology by 2021.
To view Kohler’s 2019 Social Impact Report in its entirety, please visit kohlercompany.com/BelievingInBetterReports.