Kohler receives inaugural Excellence award from the EPA's WaterSense Program.

Kohler Co.was chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program as an inaugural Excellence Award recipient for strategic collaboration.

The 2010 Excellence Award was given to Kohler for its efforts to bring together industry leaders and bolster the WaterSense program. Kohler hosted 49 Save Water America educational and promotional events across the United States in 2009.

Collaborating with national retailers, its extensive distribution network and an interactive Web site – SaveWaterAmerica.com – Kohler reached out to tens of thousands of consumers and trained more than 8,000 professionals on water efficiency.

Kohler completely redesigned its retail packaging, where the majority of consumers purchase their plumbing products, namely toilets, bringing increased importance to the WaterSense logo for qualifying products. Water-saving benefits were also displayed prominently on product packaging and displays so consumers could easily compare toilets in the stores.

In showrooms nationwide, Kohler placed more than 1,000 WaterSense toilets on display, educating homeowners about the program with messaging about the water-saving benefits of these products. Many of these displays were self-contained plumbed units, so that people could actually flush the toilets and “test” the performance.

Also, Kohler collaborated with EPA in driving a national publicity campaign on WaterSense, including participation in EPA’s “Fix-A-Leak” week, and “We’re For Water” events, as well as leveraging national spokesperson and three-time Master Plumber Ed Del Grande with media and at events.

Kohler was named WaterSense Partner of the Year in both 2008 and 2009.

“Save Water America is just one example of our strategic collaboration with EPA and was a multi-faceted initiative involving touch points with consumers and trade alike in delivering key messages about water conservation,” said Rob Zimmerman, water conservation and sustainability manager for Kohler Co.