KOHLER, Wis. – Kohler Co. has announced that Laura Kohler will be the company’s first Chief Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, reporting directly to Chair and Chief Executive Officer David Kohler. This new appointment continues the company’s legacy of gracious living and marks a significant step forward in accelerating the incorporation of sustainability, social impact and DEI across Kohler’s global Kitchen & Bath, Energy and Hospitality business groups and product portfolios.
Throughout her 30-year tenure at Kohler Co., Laura, who most recently held the title of SVP – Human Resources, Stewardship and Sustainability, has helped to formalize and strengthen Kohler’s commitment to environmental sustainability and social impact. Her leadership in these areas has led to the creation and success of many Kohler programs, such as Innovation for Good®, the I-Prize, Safe Water for All, and the KOHLER WasteLAB, as well as a commitment to transparency which culminated in the release of the company’s first ESG report in 2022.
“Addressing major societal challenges like climate change and water scarcity, while promoting diversity and inclusion and building resilient communities are not only our responsibility as a global company, but also imperative to engage our associates, grow our business, and manage risk,” said David Kohler, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Kohler Co.
Kohler Co. has been at the forefront of environmental sustainability and social impact since it was founded in 1873. At the core of Kohler’s business is the belief that its best can always be better, which led the company to formalize its sustainability and social impact efforts under the umbrella of Believing in Better: Better Planet, Better Communities and Better Lives. The company first came out with its 2035 Net Zero goals in 2008, years ahead of other companies, and has been firmly expanding its commitment since. As Chief Sustainability and DEI Officer, Laura, under the leadership of David Kohler, will help the company fully focus on this effort at every level, while also fostering a culture of innovation and inclusion in all aspects of the Kohler experience.
“I am looking forward to leading these initiatives for Kohler and building on our company legacy as we celebrate 150 years of business in 2023,” said Laura Kohler. “I will continue to promote transparency, push for innovative solutions, foster associate engagement, and raise awareness through programs and partnerships around the issues that impact our planet, business and people.”
With her previous experience in human resource leadership, Laura will harness the power of Kohler’s associates to help the company deliver on its sustainability and social impact strategy. She will continue to play a vital role as an executive member on the Kohler Leadership Team and Kohler Co. Board of Directors, as well as continue her role on Kohler’s Executive Leadership Diversity Board.
Kohler Co. is also investing in several other positions that will help the company achieve its long-term sustainability, social impact and DEI vision and goals. Laura will lead a team of 40+ experts who will focus on strengthening the company’s relationship with key stakeholders, expanding the development of environmentally friendly products and processes, and advocating on important industry and societal challenges.
Laura currently serves as Chair for Kohler’s Trusts for Arts and Education, Preservation, and Clean Water and is on the board of Bank First Corporation, Outward Bound USA, Duke University’s Trinity College of Visitors, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the Kohler Foundation, Inc., and The African Wildlife Foundation. In 2020, she was recognized with the Kurt Hahn Award, Outward Bound’s highest honor, for her dedication to changing lives and inspiring others through expeditionary learning and in 2021, was named as a finalist for Fast Company’s Innovative Leader of the Year.