The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has named Kohler, a global manufacturer of kitchen and bath products, the winner of its 2017 Ray Anderson Radical Industrialism Award at its leadership awards luncheon held in conjunction with the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston.
The award is presented annually in memory of sustainability leader and Interface modular carpet founder Ray Anderson to an organization that embodies vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green buildings and communities as vehicles to enhance quality of life.
“Kohler is one of our longstanding partners, and this award recognizes the efforts the company has undertaken to reduce environmental impact in its operations, demonstrate socially responsible practices, and create products that define the sustainability landscape of the future,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “Kohler’s Net Zero 2035 program and the work it is doing to engage nonprofit partners speak volumes about its core values and dedication to improving the lives of consumers and entire communities.”
Kohler announced its Net Zero 2035 commitment to reducing waste to landfill and carbon emissions in 2008, and since that time has reduced its environmental footprint per unit of revenue by more than 30 percent. Kohler has also partnered with nonprofits addressing water sustainability issues, including the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the “Change the Course” Colorado River restoration campaign, Ceres Connect the Drops, and Lava Mae. In addition, the company has partnered with the EPA’s WaterSense program since its founding and has earned 10 consecutive awards for its leadership in producing and promoting water-efficient plumbing fixtures, faucets and showerheads. In total, KOHLER products have helped Americans save nearly 140 billion gallons of water; avoid 3.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions associated with pumping, treating, and heating that water; and save more than $2.3 billion on their water, sewer, and energy bills.*
David Kohler, president and CEO of Kohler Co., accepted the award on the company’s behalf and stated: “It’s very humbling for Kohler to be associated with Ray Anderson and his sustainability leadership, and to also be recognized as a company that has and will continue to carry on his incredible legacy.
“Kohler is committed to innovating and manufacturing products that are more environmentally sustainable, from material selection to their end use,” he said. “In addition, we continue to advocate for regulations that protect our nation’s water supply and to encourage consumers to reduce their water consumption.
“I want to thank our past and present Kohler associates for their drive and passion around sustainability. Like Ray Anderson who pioneered the concept, we believe that sustainability is not about compromise or tradeoffs and that business success can be enhanced while also improving the environment. Integrating business and environmental practices is undeniably better – for our company, associates, customers, and the environment.”
*Per EPA calculations.