Water beaded up on a silver surface with the KOHLER logo over it

The Abstra Collection by Kohler WasteLAB Earns Top Product of the Year Award from Environment + Energy Leader

KOHLER, Wis. – July 20, 2022 – The Abstra™ Collection by Kohler WasteLAB® is named a Top Product of the Year Award in the elite Environment + Energy Leader Awards program. The win is an indication that the program’s expert judges consider Abstra a top example of the exemplary work being done today in the fields of energy and environmental management.

The Environment + Energy Leader Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, and in projects implemented by companies that improved environmental or energy management and increased the bottom line. 

“With a very experienced and critical judging panel and a strict set of judging criteria, entrants faced an extremely high bar to qualify for an award in 2022,” says Sarah Roberts, publisher of the Environment + Energy Leader.

The Abstra Collection by Kohler WasteLAB is made from nearly 100% recycled waste materials. From the tile body to the glaze, Abstra explores the tenets of a circular economy, inspired by nature as a model for sustainable processes. Each tile is unique and handcrafted, allowing architects, designers and the end user to purchase sustainably without sacrificing beauty or functionality.

“In a crucial time for environmental action, Abstra takes a radical sustainable approach that helps Kohler contribute to a circular economy,” says Ratish Namboothiry, Kohler Co. Director of Innovation for Good and Sustainability. “Just as Kohler’s processes draw inspiration from the circularity of nature, they contribute to preserving those systems of nature to be better for the planet and the people who inhabit it.” 

Kohler has a longstanding belief that being a responsible steward of the environment and a leader in business can go hand-in-hand. It is a core concept that guides the company’s Believing in Better operating philosophy that strives to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations through design, craftsmanship, and innovation. An initiative within Believing in Better, Kohler WasteLAB originated from the company’s Innovation for Good, an in-house incubator, and carries the objective to reimagine the approach to waste by finding the value in landfill-bound material and engaging in a manufacturing process where nothing is wasted. Abstra is the second tile collection to come from Kohler WasteLAB and the first to explore new uses for pottery wastewater sludge.

WasteLAB’s operations act as inspiration across Kohler’s various businesses to find creative uses for waste streams and exemplify Kohler’s commitment to achieving net-zero waste to landfills by 2035. The Abstra collection also provides consumers with an opportunity to consume responsibly and gain a new perspective on sustainable products.

“Through this approach, we’re taking a step toward building a better planet, one in which we reuse, rethink and repurpose our waste streams as part of a sustainable circular economy to create beautiful, thoughtful products,” says Namboothiry.


About the Environment + Energy Leader Awards

For the past decade, the Environment + Energy Leader Awards have celebrated excellence in the world of environmental, sustainability and energy management. Award winners are truly buzz-worthy, and companies that sport a Top Project or Top Product of the Year Award badge are known to be the best of the best. When other companies are seeking a sustainability or energy management solution, they know that E+E Product of the Year Award winners offer a significant group of products, vetted by experts, to peruse for help in making their decisions. Project of the Year Award winners are known to illustrate how sustainability and energy management projects can successfully help other companies improve the bottom line.


About Kohler WasteLAB: At the Kohler WasteLAB, we look for ways to see the world differently. Specifically, we look to nature as a model for sustainable processes. Through nature’s cycles of growth and decay, waste simply doesn’t exist. The WasteLAB applies such an approach in its manufacturing process, using landfill-bound pottery, wastewater sludge and other forms of waste to design and produce stunning products. The Kohler WasteLAB is just one of the several success stories to come out of Kohler’s innovative start-up business called Innovation for Good (IfG). For more information, visit https://wastelab.kohler.com/.


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 40,000 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 and power systems; luxury cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland. 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