Water is at the heart of everything Kohler does, and conserving water and ensuring safe water and sanitation is critical to daily life—not only for drinking but also for sanitation, handwashing, and overall health. There is a safe water crisis globally, with more than two billion people living without access to safely managed water, more than four billion people living without safe sanitation, and three billion people living without access to basic handwashing at home. We believe this safe water crisis is unacceptable, and at Kohler we’re taking action to make safe water and sanitation a reality for all.
Kohler’s flagship initiative, Safe Water for All, leverages our company’s expertise and global reach along with the talent and passion of our associates to push change and awareness for populations around the world. Since 2014 we have impacted more than 2.2 million lives through Safe Water for All initiatives and products. These initiatives are pursued across four focus areas:
Water Stewardship: As discussed in our Better Planet chapter, Kohler is committed to sustainable water management at our plants and the watersheds they inhabit.
Products: We are committed to developing environmentally friendly products that conserve water and provide solutions for safe water and sanitation in underserved communities, including the WaSH products developed through our Innovation for Good® incubator.
Impact Projects: We partner with humanitarian organizations and local partners on community projects to develop, fund, and monitor customized solutions that meet the unique needs of each community.
Advocacy: We use our reach and platforms to build awareness around the intersection of the global water crisis and climate change through events, responsibility of design, and key partnerships.
In 2022 we impacted the lives of 356K people around the world through Safe Water for All initiatives and products
Updated Plumbing 8.3M lives benefited from updated plumbing since 1990, including 404,000 in 2022
Safe Water for All Initiatives
Kohler Run/Walk for Safe Water
The annual Kohler Run/Walk for Safe Water is a month-long challenge that attracts thousands of participants from around the globe with intent to educate and raise awareness around the global water crisis. In September 2022 more than 100,000 runners, walkers, wheelchair users, and hikers from 182 countries covered a total of 8.8 million kilometers. To date, Kohler has contributed over $1 million on behalf of participants in the Run/Walk for Safe Water. Kohler has contributed over $1M on behalf of participants in the Run/Walk for Safe Water since its launch in 2017
Raising Awareness of the Global Water Crisis
Through our Safe Water for All exhibition at the Kohler Design Center located at our headquarters, we raise awareness of positive solutions to the global water crisis, including innovative product design and technology. In 2022 over 40,000 in-person visitors to the Kohler Design Center had access to the exhibit, and the exhibition is shared through an online virtual tour. In 2022 over 40K in-person visitors to the Design Center had access to the Safe Water for All exhibit
WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Projects
Xingren, Guizhou, China Drinking Water and Sanitation System Project: 757 students and 60 teachers of the Xingren Wangjiazhai School benefited from new water pipes, a gutter system, and handwashing stations in partnership with World Vision China.
Yangxian, Shaanxi, China Shijiawan Community Drainage Project: 500 community members benefit from this project with World Vison China that provided handwashing sinks and improved washbasin and community sanitation facilities in rural areas. This kicked off in August 2022 and will be completed in 2023
Jhagadia, India Navagam Community Bathing Stations: 142 households have been equipped with secure and private bathing stations to improve health and hygiene outcomes and security
Gujarat, India Handwashing Stations: 1,150 students supported across ten government schools in the state of Gujarat
Indonesia Supporting At Home Water Monitoring: 19 communities supported with ongoing water quality monitoring executed by Water Mission
Thailand Water-Filtration System Update: 100 students in the Kaeng Khoi community area benefited from a water-filtration system at Watnoisamakkeethum Primary School to make the water, which had previously only been safe for washing and cleaning, now safe for drinking. In addition, the team renovated the school’s toilets to enable students and teachers to have an improved sanitation experience
Indonesia Rumah Harapan Cikarang School and Orphanage Improvement: 200 students and children impacted by improved bathrooms and handwashing facilities and hygiene education
The Power of a Shower
In a 2022 initiative driven by the Kohler Kitchen & Bath Group, Kohler partnered with LavaMaex, a San Francisco-based organization providing education and training to organizations and bringing mobile showering and essential care services to the streets. Kohler’s support helped supply grants to seven mobile showering service providers across the United States, impacting an estimated 20,000 lives. In December alone, 14,703 showers were provided to 9,219 guests, supported by 3,887 volunteers across service providers that received support via Kohler and LavaMaex.
The KOHLER Relief Shower Trailer, which was born out of the Innovation for Good® program, has been under the care of The Shower of Hope, a Los Angeles-based organization. The trailer is used to provide showers to the unhoused and low-income people in the Los Angeles area, with more than 7,000 showers provided in 2022.
In 2022 Kohler continued to fund the Water Is Life Fund microgrant program, which funds grassroots projects that provide access to water solutions across the Navajo Nation. The program funded ten projects in 2022, including community water storage and water delivery programs which have impacted an estimated 1,806 lives and a water project at the Western Navajo Fairgrounds.
Since 2021 the Water Is Life Fund has supported 23 projects and has impacted an estimated 4,000 lives in over 815 households across Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, and will benefit 100,000 annual visitors to the Western Navajo Fairgrounds.