Published 2 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
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While it can feel overwhelming to see how much our actions impact the Earth, we still have a small window of opportunity. And by changing how we consume, store and distribute water, the water sector alone could eliminate 10% of global GHG emissions.
All eyes are on
where countries and corporations are committing to further curb emissions. While
the focus on greenhouse gases (GHG) is paramount to tackling the climate crisis,
it’s important to remember how the changing climate is actually affecting our
world. With temperatures rising, we are seeing severe weather patterns take a
significant toll on our water resources. From depleted reservoirs in the
Southwest US to extreme rainfall in
climate change is shrinking and contaminating water supplies for millions of
people around the world and reducing the ability to adequately grow food. The
depleting water supply is also causing widespread disease due to lack of safe
drinking water and poor sanitation. As of today, 14 of 20 of the world’s
experience water scarcity, and two-thirds of the global
population is projected
to live in water-stressed areas by 2025.
When the world went into lockdown due to
COVID-19, there were
visible improvements in the environment around us. Pollution lifted; and in many
parts of the world, the air became cleaner and clearer for the first time in
recent memory. Since the world began reopening, pollution levels have also
started to rise again — along with the certainty that our everyday actions are
negatively impacting the planet’s health. While it can feel overwhelming to see
how much our actions are impacting Earth, we still have a small window of
opportunity. It’s time to capitalize on this new, collective consciousness to
change behaviors that can lead to a better planet.
Globally, we consume 4 trillion cubic
water per year. On average in the US, water use at
(water from the tap, toilet, dishwasher, etc) averages roughly 138 gallons per
household per day, or 60 gallons per person per day (around 522L per household
Additionally, heated water accounts for 19 percent of household GHG
These eye-opening numbers call for more focused efforts on water use and water
conservation. For example, by changing how we consume, store and distribute
water, the water sector alone could eliminate 10 percent of global GHG
according to CDP.
According to a recent Barron’s
two-thirds of North Americans prefer to buy eco-friendly products. Harvard Business Review
also indicates that most US consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable
products. While these findings are admirable, it's up to companies, including
Kohler, to make it easier to for
consumers to choose better. That’s why we are focused on developing kitchen and
bath products such as EPA-approved,
toilets, showerheads and faucets that are not only beautifully designed and
deliver stellar consumer experiences, but also reduce water and energy. The
mission to develop products that are both beautiful and better for the
environment is why Kohler began our in-house incubator, Innovation for
(IfG). Started over a decade ago, IfG provides an opportunity for Kohler
associates to innovate with a social purpose. Over the past four years, it has
evolved into a formal business unit that hosts the annual I-Prize — an
internal, Shark Tank-style innovation competition that produces viable solutions
to pressing issues such as water conservation, hygiene and reducing GHG
emissions. As of this year, more than 81 ideas have been generated, 2 ideas have
been mainstreamed into the business, 3 projects are currently in the incubation
phase, and over 14,000 lives have been positively impacted.
Join us for a transformational experience at SB Brand-Led Culture Change — May 8-10 in Minneapolis. This event brings together hundreds of brand leaders eager to delve into radical lifestyle shifts and sustainable consumer behavior change at scale. The trends driving cultural acceleration are already underway, and you can be at the forefront of this transformative movement.
But, in order to significantly reduce household water use, more drastic measures
are needed. That’s why Kohler became a founding member of the 50L Home
Coalition — a global, action-oriented platform that’s
working to develop solutions that could reduce water consumption in the home to
50 liters per person per day.
While Kohler is relentless about innovation, we know that to develop
water-saving products people will buy and use, we must continue to deliver on
performance, design and experience. Although the thought of reducing our
individual daily water use to 50 liters per person per day may seem like a
daunting task, we at Kohler believe that this can be achieved through a
collective commitment to innovation in technology and innovation in policy
frameworks needed to implement these solutions. By changing how we approach
water challenges, solutions will not only come — they will have an everlasting
impact resulting in better lives, better communities and a better future.
Published Nov 9, 2021 7am EST / 4am PST / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.