KOHLER, WIS.—Kohler Co., a global leader in the design and manufacture of kitchen and bath products, has released its third public Social Impact report. As in years past, the report examines Kohler’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and positively impact local and global communities. The company’s report centers on three key programmatic areas: Stewardship, Innovation for Good (IfG) and Sustainability. This year, a new format offers the report in two different versions, one focusing on key metrics and the other highlighting achievements through visual storytelling focusing on people, events, actions and partnerships.
Kohler’s social impact work continues to be guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including Goal 6 (Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for All), Goal 7 (Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy) and Goal 12 (Ensure Responsible Consumption and Production Patterns). Notable 2018 highlights include the reduction of energy by 7 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent. Additionally, a continued focus on identifying opportunities for repurposing manufacturing waste led to a nearly 4 percent reduction in waste-to-landfill.
Safe Water For All
The report also highlights Kohler’s ongoing and growing efforts to address the global need for access to safe water. Under the umbrella “Safe Water For All,” Kohler is helping to address this global need through its associates, products and services. In India, two villages near a local Kohler facility accounted for 1,300 residents but had only seven public toilets. The company partnered with the Indian government and its Clean India Mission to help end open defecation. As a result, residents of these two villages now have access to 200 public toilets. Additional highlights from the 2018 Kohler Social Impact Report include:
Stewardship—Relief for Relief Volunteers—An initiative born out of Kohler’s Innovation for Good program, the KOHLER Relief Trailer was created to support relief volunteers in disaster zones. The trailer’s first deployment came after Hurricane Florence struck North Carolina in September 2018. Since then, the trailer has provided nearly 3,000 showers for relief volunteers across the United States, including those who fought wildfires in California.
Innovation for Good—Innovating for Change—Innovation for Good (IfG) is Kohler’s innovation incubator focused on developing and implementing sustainable business solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing problems related to safe water, sanitation and reliable power. A signature program within Innovation for Good, the I-Prize competition identifies innovative ideas and creative talent within Kohler. This year’s winning idea centered around applying human-centered design to handwashing. In 2018, Innovation for Good was also recognized with a Mahatma Award for Social Good, which spotlights changemakers and are awarded annually to individuals or organizations committed to addressing complex social issues like safe water, sanitation, disease, poverty and hunger.
Sustainability—Investing in Renewable Energy—Last year also marked Kohler’s first entry into a Purchased Power Agreement (PPA) with Enel Green Power in the Diamond Vista Wind LLC located in Kansas. As part of the agreement, Kohler receives 425,000 megawatt hours annually to offset all electric use in the United States and Canada, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions footprint globally by 26 percent. Kohler’s energy reduction strategy relies on reducing overall energy use in manufacturing plants and facilities, as well as actively identifying ways to implement renewable energy solutions. Globally, Kohler has invested in 12 solar array projects, including one at the company’s Foshan, China facility, which will generate 240,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
To view the full Kohler’s 2018 Sustainability and Stewardship Report, visit http://kohlercompany.com/socialimpactreport.