KOHLER, Wis. – April 19, 2017 – In honor of Earth Day, Kohler Co. is showcasing its work to repurpose industrial waste materials via a Facebook Live panel discussion. The panel, slated for Monday, April 23 at 2:30 p.m. CDT, will feature KOHLER WasteLAB associates talking about their experimentation with byproducts from the company’s vitreous and cast iron manufacturing operations.

The team’s first project uses pottery cull, iron slag, and leftover glazes and enamel powder for a line of ceramic tiles, which the company expects to begin marketing under the Ann Sacks brand in 2019. They hope to create additional salable product offerings from these nonhazardous waste materials, which otherwise would be sent to the company’s landfill.

The idea for the innovative project originated in 2013 at the company’s annual Innovation for Good retreat. A group of associates studied nature’s ability to break down and reuse byproducts within an ecosystem lifecycle and considered how this model might work within an industrial manufacturing system to use waste as an ingredient in new products.

The lab captured the attention of sustainable-minded interior designers and architects when its work was previewed at the Greenbuild international trade show and expo in November. 

“Kohler has long been known as an industry leader in water efficiency and environmental sustainability,” said Rob Zimmerman, director of sustainability. “Earth Day is a great opportunity to showcase this innovative program that reduces our company footprint while also delivering entirely new product offerings to our customers.”  

The WasteLAB discussion will be available on Kohler’s Facebook channel or YouTube.


Additional Resources

Webpage: https://wastelab.kohler.com/


Video: https://www.youtube.com/kohlerco/wastelab

Photos and interviews available upon request.


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 manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; premier cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two of the world’s finest five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St Andrews, Scotland. Kohler Co. has a long history of supporting water efficiency and sustainability and is a leading producer of water-saving plumbing products, which has earned the company 10 consecutive awards from the EPA WaterSense® program. For more details, visit kohler.com for information on water-saving plumbing products, and follow KOHLER on Twitter and Facebook.