A core initiative of our commitment to addressing the global water crisis is Kohler’s Innovation for Good® (IfG) incubator. What started as an informal gathering of associates passionate about innovation with a social purpose has evolved into a formal business unit that drives innovation across the company. The early days of IfG led to the development of several products, including KOHLER Clarity, a water purification system designed for use in emergency situations and for the communities around the world plagued by unsafe water conditions.
Launched in 2016, KOHLER Clarity was one of Kohler Co.’s first solutions aimed at providing safe drinking water to more than the 2 billion people around the world who lack access. Partnering with humanitarian organizations like Water Mission and World Vision, we delivered Clarity systems to communities in need, including hurricane survivors in Haiti, and Cambodians without potable water. In the three years the product was available, it helped an estimated 930,000 people worldwide access safe water.
In addition to the direct impact of the product, Clarity also advanced the vision of Safe Water for All, our flagship initiative committed to creating innovative solutions in four focus areas: Water Stewardship, Products, Impact Projects, and Advocacy. From fundraising efforts like the Run for Safe Water, to partnerships designed to provide access to safe water in disadvantaged communities, the learnings from KOHLER Clarity helped shape the future of Kohler’s safe water and sanitation impact.
In 2018, IfG initiated its annual I-Prize competition to expand associate-led innovation with a social purpose across the company. The competition brings together Kohler associates from around the world to pitch viable business opportunities that address social and environmental issues through innovative products and solutions. While Clarity was developed prior to I-Prize, it served as a catalyst for Kohler to prioritize this type of innovation and the learnings from the product development and go-to-market strategy were shared with associates engaging in the competition.
Understanding that innovation is a journey where learnings build on each other and we become more precise in our ability to optimize our product impact, we came to the decision to stop producing KOHLER Clarity and KOHLER Clarity Pro, effective in 2022. We are very proud of the positive impact this product has had on so many lives, and will continue to use our learning to advance other innovations in water, sanitation and hygiene where we can drive sustainable, long-lasting impact at scale.
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 harnesses the expertise of its global associates to generate solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges through Innovation for Good. This initiative develops products and solutions for pressing global social and environmental issues, plus works with partners to test and implement innovations at-scale. Photo courtesy of Water Mission.
Kohler’s Safe Water for All initiative enables solutions around water, sanitation, and hygiene access through four pillars: water stewardship, innovative products, water impact projects, and advocacy and fundraising. Kohler’s work with partners elevates each pillar to deliver solutions directly to communities. Photo courtesy of Water Mission
The efforts behind KOHLER Clarity have been a catalyst for how we think about innovation and safe water. It has taught us the importance of building local partnerships to drive sustainable distribution and lasting impact to communities.