What if the word ‘waste’ wouldn’t exist?
The way we live now, we produce almost more waste than products. What if we could turn it into something else?
We committed to NetZero by 2035 in terms of greenhouse emissions and solid waste going to landfills. To fulfill this promise of reducing and eliminating them, we constantly think of new ways to approach this challenge. As a large manufacturer solid waste is a byproduct of factory processes and a mountain of worry.Born out of our employee initiative Innovation for Good, the idea of looking at industrial waste in a new way and as raw material emerged in October 2013. The team developed solutions to keep clean manufacturing waste out of landfills, make it valuable again, and turn it into innovative products.Since then, Theresa Millard, an artist and biomimicry expert, and her team have experimented and tested ways of transforming how people look at waste. At the brand new Kohler Waste Lab, they are finding environmentally sustainable solutions and contributing to the circular economy by imitating nature and recycling, reusing and repurposing factory byproducts.Currently, foundry dust, spent sand, green cull from the pottery, and enamel powder are almost magically transformed into decorative kitchen and bathroom tiles for Ann Sacks.
The Waste Lab located in the glass production building in a disused lab facility is an innovative, cross-discipline team of engineers, industrial designers, waste specialists, and artists who create something new, valuable and worthwhile with potential landfill material and with equipment that is no longer in use in the production plants.Millard knows that with a craftsman’s eye and the understanding of composition and characteristics, waste can be repurposed as raw material for new, precious products that bring joy and a good feeling to the customers.