Water and climate change: how we can all help make our planet better.

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You’ve likely heard about pressures facing the world’s clean water supply. At the same time, like many, you may be increasingly cognizant of the need to curb carbon emissions, the primary source of greenhouse gases, to reduce climate change. But what you may not be familiar with is the connection between water and carbon emissionsand that making smart choices about water can impact climate change too.

Water usage is responsible for approximately 16 percent of energy consumption in the home.1 So when we reduce water usage at home, we also reduce overall household energy--and costs--related to heating and distributing water for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and drinking.2

While Kohler Co. has worked to reduce water usage in our operations and manufacturing processes for several years, we have also recognized the need to continually innovate. As a company, we believe our products can be a catalyst in driving more efficient use of water at the household level--while still delivering beautiful designs and enabling gracious experiences.

In the United States alone, KOHLER® WaterSense-labeled products helped save 388 billion gallons of water in 2020. Choosing a 1.28 gpf toilet such as the Corbelle® Comfort Height® toilet or a low-flow showerhead like the Moxie® 1.75 gpm showerhead and wireless speaker are easy steps we can all take to cut back on home water usage. And other steps--like using cold water for laundry, reducing shower time, or turning the faucet off while we brush our teeth--don’t require any purchases at all. 

As we look to make a continued impact, we’ll leverage our annual Innovation for Good® (IfG) I-Prize competition, which invites associates to pitch innovations with a social purpose. This year’s competition will focus on product designs and operations that will help us reduce our carbon footprint.

At the same time, our Innovation for Good in-house startup has been working with our kitchen and bath team to explore new ways to reduce at-home water usage. In the critical space of water efficiency, Kohler has been a leader, innovator, and advocate. We were an early partner in the EPA’s WaterSense® program and have been recognized 11 times--including last year--with awards in sustained excellence. We were also one of the founding members of the 50L Home coalition, a cross-sector collaboration meant to drive innovation in residential water use down to 50L/person/day.

As we strive to work toward a better planet, Kohler associates continue to look at their own water usage–at home and at work–and we encourage our partners and consumers to join us. Simple steps, taken collectively, enable us all to be stewards building a better planet.


1. 50L Home. https://50lhome.org.

2. Energy.gov. Ensuring the Resiliency of Our Future Water and Energy Systems. https://www.energy.gov/articles/ensuring-resiliency-our-future-water-and-energy-systems.


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