More Environmentally Favorable Products



Our aim first and foremost is to pioneer design advancements that bring enhanced functionality and beautiful style to your life. Environmental considerations are one of the many lenses through which we approach innovation.





Design for the Environment (DfE) is an approach to product development that considers the environmental impact of a product throughout its lifecycle – from the extraction of its raw materials through manufacturing, packaging, use and to its ultimate end via recycling, repurposing, or disposal. In 2013, Kohler formalized its commitment to developing more environmentally favorable products and incorporated DfE principles into our product development process. We set criteria in the following areas to determine if a product really is more environmentally favorable:

  • renewable/sustainable/recycled material content
  • toxic material content
  • volume or net weight (for shipping and warehousing)
  • expected production waste
  • water and/or energy consumption when in use
  • emissions when in use

Today, DfE is a normal part of how Kohler designers approach their work. As recycling and reuse technologies continue to evolve, we continue to learn how to create products that you not only love and want in your life, but that make good environmental– and business – sense.


Square pegs, round holes. That was the problem with our Toilets-to-Go packaging. The boxes were cumbersome, they enclosed a lot of air and they wasted a lot of material. Applying some innovative, DfE thinking, our team came up with the “Octobox,” an eight-sided wonder that’s stronger, easier to pick up, and uses 23% less cardboard – which translates to an annual savings of more than 20 million square feet of material. Taking our thinking a step further, we now print the installation instructions on the box rather than on separate sheets of paper, and that amounts to an additional annual savings of more than 11,200 pounds of paper.

  • Saves more than 20 million square feet of cardboard annually
  • Is easier for customers to lift and carry
  • Maintains its box strength even with 23% less corrugate


Our tailored bathroom vanities have DfE woven into almost every aspect of their design.

  • They are frameless, which means less wood and more storage space.
  • Drawers and other storage elements are made from bamboo, a quickly renewable material.
  • All wood used is from all native North American trees. Exotic finishes are engineered veneers.
  • VOCs meet or exceed all environmental health standards.
  • Scrap from the manufacturing process is repurposed as animal bedding or for onsite heat.

In addition, the factory uses a closed-loop chemical recovery system, efficient lights and low-emission vehicles in the logistics and delivery of materials and finished products.


When it was time to update the electronic fuel injection (EFI) system developed years ago for our general purpose engines, Kohler engineers went several steps further, developing it for propane as well as gasoline-fueled engines. The result was an EFI that reduced fuel consumption by up to 25% compared to an engine with a carburetor and one that in its propane-fueled version reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.




We’ve committed to steadily increasing the number of more environmentally favorable products in our portfolio and total sales. These are products that provide measurable environmental benefits to either you or us or both. For us, that means bringing you products that deliver the incredible performance and style you know and love, in a way that’s responsible and respectful of the environment. And simply put, that’s just good business.

We set criteria in the following areas to determine if a product really is more environmentally favorable:

  • expected production waste
  • water and/or energy consumption when in use
  • air emissions when in use
  • renewable/sustainable/recycled materials
  • toxic materials
  • volume or net weight for shipping and warehousing





When it comes to products, Believing in Better means challenging ourselves to create products and services that exceed our customer’s performance and design expectations and are also better for the environment.