Recently, Kohler replaced the material for consumer riding mower engine covers with EcoLon® resin. EcoLon® is a polypropylene resin made from recycled carpet destined for the landfill.
As of April 2012, more than 500,000 pounds of EcoLon® resin has been used for the engine covers. That’s more than 1.2 million pounds kept out of landfills.
Since carpet fibers are petroleum-based, repurposing carpeting into EcoLon® resin also saved nearly 118,000 gallons of oil. These savings continue to grow with every KOHLER Courage® engine that rolls off the production line.
Kohler sharing sustainability stories through interactive blog
Environmental sustainability takes many forms at Kohler Company – from designing more water-efficient plumbing products to restoring iconic buildings, and from polypropylene resin engine covers made from recycled carpet to associates completing hundreds of projects in-house to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. Sustainability is a journey that many of Kohler’s 30,000 global associates have embraced and are taking action to positively affect the world around them.
As an appropriate next evolution, Kohler has created a story-sharing platform to highlight the successes around sustainability achieved by its associates, channel partners and consumers. Their stories are now being told on a new blog called “Believing In Better.”
“Believing In Better is grounded in humility and authenticity that each of us can be better, and that we must continuously improve every day,” said Rob Zimmerman, senior channel manager-sustainability at Kohler. “If we do that, then we believe the things we do – big or small – will help make this world a better place. As we continue down our sustainability journey, we have much to learn, but also much to share. That’s why we created this interactive platform.”
In delivering content and inviting others to join the conversation through the Believing In Better blog www.believe.kohler.com, Kohler is focusing its story-sharing around four pillars, including the company heritage, process efficiency, product innovation and associates’ actions. The company also encourages participation on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook@kohler via the hashtag #believinginbetter.
“Since launching our sustainability strategy, we’re getting better and making progress because of the efforts of Kohler associates, who led or participated in footprint reduction projects at our facilities worldwide,” said Zimmerman. “We are also ahead of our sales target for more environmentally favorable products.”
In 2008, Kohler formalized its three-plank sustainability strategy: 1) reducing its environmental footprint (greenhouse gas emissions and landfill disposal of solid waste) to Net Zero by 2035 with offsets; 2) developing more environmentally favorable products; and 3) driving awareness and education around sustainability and water/energy conservation.
Kohler is showcasing myriad achievements centered on the idea of betterment in Believing In Better blog posts, such as:
* Collaborating with a national organization to plant 1 million trees in China to help support the country’s ecological system.
* Saving hundreds of Many Glacier Hotel’s (Montana) century-old cast-iron fixtures headed for scrap heap by re-enameling them to look new and last another 100 years.
* Donating discontinued plumbing products to World Vision, a non-profit organization that distributes donated goods to under-resourced communities across the United States.
* Repurposing used water from its plant in Reynosa, Mexico, to irrigate a nearby soccer field which now hosts friendly neighborhood matches.
* Constructing new facilities in Zibo, China, and Kohler, Wis., which have achieved LEED Gold accreditation from the United States Green Building Council.
* Earning its sixth consecutive WaterSense award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, including the inaugural 2013 Sustained Excellence Award for Kohler’s ongoing commitment in product development and education/awareness in water efficiency.