Kohler Co. Makes Progress Towards its 2035 Net Zero Operational Goals And Expands Safe Water For All Programs

2020 Metrics Report highlights the company’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact across product life cycle, impact in communities across the world and progress towards commercializing business opportunities with a social purpose

KOHLER, Wis. – July 20, 2021 – Kohler Co., a global leader in the innovation and manufacture of plumbing products; tile, cabinetry and lighting; and engines, generators and clean energy solutions, released its annual 2020 Believing in Better Metrics Report outlining progress in reducing the company’s GHG emission intensity, waste to landfill intensity, water use intensity and other key social and environmental commitments. Kohler is committed to providing access to safe water for communities around the globe, delivering innovative solutions to address pressing social issues and strengthening its efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion.

“While Kohler celebrates creativity, diversity, and innovation in all its forms, we know we can do more to protect the planet, build resilient communities, and enrich the quality of life for everyone,” says Laura Kohler, senior vice president of human resources, stewardship and sustainability at Kohler Co.  “That’s why we continue to focus on harnessing the power of our business and associates to address global challenges like water conservation and access, as well as education and well-being.”

Believing in Better is a framework that enables Kohler to deliver on its environmental, social and governance commitments and is defined by three pillars: Better Planet, Better Communities and Better Lives. Guided by UN Sustainable Development Goals 6, 7 and 12, the 2020 Metrics Report covers the programs, impact, and learnings across all three pillars:

Better Planet.  Kohler is reducing its manufacturing footprint and creating well-designed, innovative, and environmentally friendly products and services to help customers and consumers reduce their impact and improve well-being. 2020 highlights show Kohler has:

  • Reduced operational intensities since 2008: net greenhouse gas emissions by 48%, operational energy use by 22%, waste to landfill by 47% and water use by 46%
  • Saved 388 billion gallons of water through KOHLER WaterSense-labeled products in the US since 2007
  • Used 53% of its electricity from renewable resources in 2020
  • Generated over $1 billion in sales from environmentally favorable products in 2020
  • Completed more Design for Environment (DfE) projects, an incubator for developing products that are better for the planet, than in all previous years combined.

Better Communities: Kohler takes a holistic approach to its social impact efforts and considers how its initiatives work together to address the long-term health, well-being and prosperity of the communities it serves through clean water and sanitation, education, arts and historical preservation and community health and well-being. In 2020, Kohler:

  • Pivoted its manufacturing facilities to produce and donate 80,000 face shields during the height of the pandemic for frontline workers
  • Engaged 66,300 associates, friends and family in Run for Safe Water and served 22,600 meals to associates
  • Provided 3,500 showers for the unhoused with the Kohler Shower Trailer

Better Lives:  Water is essential to life and having access to safe water directly ties to our ability to grow, advance education, and improve a sense of well-being. Kohler has been positively impacting millions of lives with innovative products that serve a social purpose. Highlights from 2020 include:

  • 26 teams competing in the annual Innovation for Good I-Prize, an internal competition that encourages associates to develop solutions with a social purpose. Three ideas were awarded funding for incubation
  • More than 1,600 associates from around the world united around various communities and their allies, including launching a “hate has no home” education and fundraising campaign

“We are proud of our accomplishments, but our relentless focus on doing better is forcing us to continually think differently as we work to address environmental and societal issues. But solving them is not easy,” says Laura. “We believe we can learn from our success and failures and are committed to using these learnings to always do better.”

About Kohler Co.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 35,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines, power systems and clean energy solutions; luxury cabinetry, tile and lighting; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland, as well as Lodge Kohler in Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Titletown district. Kohler’s Whistling Straits golf course will host the 43rd Ryder Cup in 2021. The company also develops solutions to address pressing issues, such as clean water and sanitation, for underserved communities around the world to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. For more details, please visit kohlercompany.com. 

Media Contacts

Vicki Valdez Hafenstein
Kohler Public Relations
920-457-4441 ext. 70519