What If Everyone Had Access to a Toilet?

What If Everyone Had Access to a Toilet?

By Laura Kohler, SVP HR, Stewardship & Sustainability

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4.5 billion people worldwide don’t have access to adequate #sanitation. @Kohler shares what their innovation teams are doing to change that and the difference a toilet can make for the future http://bit.ly/2DNEfjl #WorldToiletDay
Monday, November 19, 2018 - 3:35pm


Throughout my 25-year career at Kohler Co., I’ve traveled the world and witnessed firsthand how a lack of sanitation impacts communities. It’s heartbreaking to hear the stories of young girls who’ve stopped going to school simply because they don’t have proper toileting facilities. Without an education, it’s difficult to dream, to dare, to pursue a different life. At Kohler Co., we’re imagining a better future for these girls and for everyone.

We’re asking, “what if?” What if everyone in the world had access to a toilet? What if waste was properly managed everywhere in the world? What might that mean for the future of the 4.5 billion people who don’t yet have access to adequate sanitation?

I am humbled to lead Kohler’s social impact team and have the opportunity to work on innovative solutions to sanitation and hygiene issues around the world.

I recently traveled to India to help kick off a partnership between our Kohler India stewardship team and Habitat for Humanity. We’ve been in India with our kitchen & bath business for over 12 years and feel strongly that we can lend our expertise to Prime Minister Modi’s Clean India mission, to provide access to toilets for every person in India.

We’re focusing on schools because we understand that’s where the foundation of hygiene education is built. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we broke ground on bathroom construction projects for two village schools in the Alwar district, part of a long-term project taken on by several passionate members of our Kohler India team.

The group has been working with the schools on hygiene education and driving cleanliness initiatives. After construction, those associates will continue to support the project with facility maintenance and on educating not just students, but school staff about the importance of proper hygiene. The energy from this team is contagious and I’m so thankful for the passion of our Kohler associates all over the world who are plugging into this important work.

We’re hoping to learn more about how our products are working in this setting, if the students are grasping the hygiene concepts they’re learning and if the facility is being used and maintained. This ongoing connection to the project will enable us to offer the best support we can to these schools and others.

If we can use our expertise to change the experience of a child, we believe that child will carry that experience into adulthood as they strive for improved sanitation in their communities. Just imagine the momentum that can build from this one investment.

Kohler associates are unlike any other. Driven by a greater purpose, we’re impacting the world. That’s my Kohler.

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