industry insider | Jun 15, 2018 |
Kohler is adopting green ‘nutrition labels’ for two top sellers

Kohler—which earlier this year was one of 34 building product manufacturers that publicly dedicated themselves to transparency in a letter from International Living Future Institute (ILFI) sent to architects, designers and other green building leaders—is making another earth-friendly move. The Wisconsin-based kitchen and bath titan released its first Declare human health product labels for two of its top enameled cast iron fixtures. Declare is a transparency platform and product database; it offers a “nutrition label for products.”

KOHLER Villager tub
Kohler Villager tub label; courtesy Kohler

The Villager bathtub and the Brockway sink will bear the labels, which, as the brand explains, “are produced using a format developed by the International Living Future Institute and they fulfill product disclosure requirements in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ... rating system.”

“Developing our first Declare labels required gathering details on the sourced raw material from each supplier, the quantity of naturally occurring impurities, and the final material composition after undergoing chemical transformation during the casting and firing process,” says Jeff Zeman, principal engineer for product sustainability engineering at Kohler.

“Architects and designers have asked for information about the products they specify for building projects, and knowing the exact makeup of the raw materials helps us continue to invest in product innovation that benefits our customers.”

The brand also recently added more environmental product declarations (EPDs) for plumbing fixtures it produces for North American and select Asian markets, which helps architects and interior designers maximize the credits they can earn toward achieving LEED certification for a building.

“Kohler has long been known as an industry leader in water efficiency,” said Rob Zimmerman, director of sustainability at Kohler. “Providing clear, easy-to-understand environmental and human health data on the products we manufacture takes our sustainability commitment one step further. In partnership with the green building industry, we strive to ensure that all residential and commercial buildings contribute to the overall health of their occupants while minimizing their environmental footprint.”

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