Preserving, protecting and improving the world in which we live are essential goals for us all. Growth cannot be at the expense of our environment. True success lies in companies taking on the responsibility to do what they can to make the world a better place.
These principles lie at the very heart of Kohler’s Better Planet Strategy. The urgency of climate change, global access to clean water and the rapid degradation of our natural environment have made it clear that we must take positive action today if we are to safeguard our future.
Kohler has taken up this challenge, embracing a culture of knowing our best can always be better to address environmental issues by expanding our use of renewable energy to innovative waste recycling and more efficient manufacturing processes that reduce environmental impacts.
We’re able to take our passion for design innovation and bring it to bear on our commitment to sustainable practices and products. It’s allowed us to introduce kitchen and bath products that aren’t only aesthetically design-forward but also better for the environment. We believe that giving homeowners, designers and architects the means to create beautiful, smart spaces that they can feel good about is essential to driving environmental change.
Dust. Powder. Scraps. What if waste, bound for the landfill, has hidden value we haven’t explored? The KOHLER WasteLAB is where we ask “What if?” and experiment until we find answers, until we turn waste into something meaningful.
Today, the KOHLER WasteLAB is rethinking and reshaping traditional manufacturing processes through its use of discarded materials. We turn to the natural world for inspiration. There, the concept of waste doesn’t exist: leaves fall, decay and then fertilize our soil, propagating the cycle of life. Our work in the WasteLAB applies this system thinking to our sustainable manufacturing process.
The small but intrepid WasteLAB team has already succeeded in transforming landfill-bound foundry dust, pottery cull and spilled enamel powder—all generated at the Kohler factory in Wisconsin—into rich, deep-colored ceramic tiles. The Crackle Collection by the KOHLER WasteLAB is now available through ANN SACKS. The Crackle Collection means you don’t have to compromise on beauty and design when specifying a sustainable product. And tile is just the beginning. The possibilities are only limited by our innovation.
Kohler’s commitment to sustainable practices isn’t confined to recycling waste. Sustainability and care for the environment are woven into the development of all of Kohler’s products.
Our belief is that great design is not only about form and function. Rather, it is form and function in harmony with the environment to inform the thinking and processes at play throughout a product’s life, from conception to end of use.
Through Design for Environment (DfE) innovation strategies our new product development teams work to drive sustainability through each stage, from sourcing our materials responsibly to understanding what the options are for disposing of a product when it’s no longer in use.
And while this information is essential in designing products for a better planet, we recognize it’s just as important to share these details with our customers so they can make informed decisions that align with their values.
In today’s world, as public concern for the environment and human health grows, consumers are increasingly hungry for information. They want to know how a product was made, what materials it was made of and what the environmental impacts are.
Kohler has responded with two types of product transparency documents. The first being Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Kohler offers more EPDs than any other building products manufacturer and we have the unique capability to create on-demand EPD documents. EPDs include detailed information about a product’s environmental impact over the span of its life cycle including raw material extraction, manufacturing, consumer use and end of life.
The second type of product transparency document extends to material health and ingredient disclosure. This is in the form of a Declare label. Similar to the level of transparency produced by EPDs, these documents display product materials and highlight those with potential impacts on human health. Declare labels complement EPDs by considering human health as a sustainability priority. Kohler is currently expanding the availability of Declare labels for its products, adding credibility through third party verification.
This exceptional degree of transparency creates a bond of trust that Kohler’s commitment to sustainability will be maintained through every step of the product life cycle.
The goal is to be kind to our planet while helping our customers—architects, designers and specifiers—achieve points toward LEED V4 Green Building Standards and fulfill requirements for the Living Building Challenge. You can specify KOHLER® products in the full confidence that concern for the environment was an integral part of their design.
There can be no truly sustainable approach to the environment without water conservation. Aside from the air we breathe, there is perhaps no other element as essential to human life. The effects of climate change on fresh water availability and accessibility are already being felt in communities around the world.
By developing products specifically engineered to save water, Kohler makes it possible for specifiers and designers to select stylish, high-performance products, and be secure in the knowledge they are helping their clients save water and protect our planet. It’s a win-win proposition that contributes to gracious living and a sustainable natural environment.