Innovation for Good® (IfG) is an in-house startup comprised of Kohler Co. entrepreneurs commercializing business opportunities with a social purpose. Since 2011, IfG has brought together associates from across industries, skills and perspectives in an innovation incubator designed to explore products and solutions for pressing global social and environmental issues. We believe that the private sector has an important role to play in the development of scalable solutions that improve people’s lives, and we are committed to doing our part.
Manolo Caballer, Vice President – Engineering and Advanced Development, shares with Fast Company how Kohler fosters innovation to help solve some of today’s most pressing global issues.
We support the United Nations goals by focusing our expertise on areas where we can have the greatest impact: water, power, and manufacturing.
Hear how two Kohler engineers have combined engineering skillsets with entrepreneurial mindsets to create positive change by developing innovative WaSH solutions.
As a part of our Innovation for Good incubator, the annual I-Prize competition invites our associates to propose new products and business opportunities to address environmental or social issues—particularly those aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on safe water and sanitation, reliable power and responsible production and consumption. Each year, the top teams compete in "Shark Tank"-style competitions to earn incubation funding to further develop their ideas. Pitches have addressed everything from water quality and hygiene stations to energy and industrial waste, with the ultimate goal of transitioning to business development and commercialization.
Dreamers. Doers. Status quo busters. Be the change-rs. Nothing’s impossible-rs. Kohler Co. has been brimming with them for 145 years—and now we’re tapping into that potential like never before.
Kohler engineer James Bourne took the “I-Prize” for designing a new handwashing solution for the developing world.
When a real-life opportunity to help make the world a little better came knocking on Kohler Product Manager Brad Meissner’s door, he made sure he was ready to go.
See how one I-Prize team found greater success in failure, inspiring much-needed conversations and product innovation around female sanitation and hygiene needs.
Kohler associate Lokesh Mohanpuri may not have brought home the I-Prize, but the business knowledge and new skills he developed changed his approach to his work.
One of the Innovation for Good incubator’s first success stories developed from taking a closer look at our manufacturing waste streams. In exploring ways to reduce our waste, we looked to biomimicry – a design approach that takes nature and its systems or processes as its inspiration. It turns out nature is an extraordinary manager of waste. We began to wonder if what might happen if we looked at our waste as a raw material, an opportunity to create something new? Enter the WasteLAB. Follow our journey and see the beautiful products we’re making.
Associates passionate about sustainability looked at the way forest ecosystems manage waste (hint: there isn’t any) and applied it to our manufacturing waste streams.
Part lab, part studio, part manufacturing space, the WasteLAB is exactly where project specialist Kelsey Holtz wants to spend her days. See what her “typical” day looks like.
The Kohler WasteLAB is the proud recipient of a Wisconsin Innovation Award. In 2019 the lab was recognized for its innovative and groundbreaking work.
Across all our brands, products and services, we believe that doing well as a business and doing good in the world go hand in hand, and we hold ourselves accountable to take a larger role in addressing some of society's biggest challenges. In addition to our commitment to product transparency, renewable energy and reduction of our operational impact, we strive to develop new products and business solutions to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.
Since 2016, the Kohler Clarity Pro water filtration system has provided safe drinking water to those who need it most, as part of disaster relief and community development efforts around the world.
Born from our Innovation for Good program, the ANN SACKS Crackle Collection is a unique, handmade tile series created from recycled dry cull by our WasteLAB artisans.
Designed to offer a basic sanitation option to areas that need it most, the KOHLER pour-flush toilet is an affordable seated toilet and safe alternative to disease-spreading open defecation.