On November 1st, 2010, Kohler completed the installation of a 742-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, consisting of 3,302 modules. This system will provide all of Kohler’s electrical needs, and is tied to the grid, so if more energy is produced than needed, our meter will spin backwards. This provides the utility companies with energy they won’t have to produce for other users.
Over the course of a typical 35-year lifespan, a 10-kilowatt system provides the equivalent carbon dioxide reduction as planting 1,189 trees. Based on typical utility pollution, it will prevent emissions of 789,762 pounds of carbon dioxide, 3,474 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 1,118 pounds of nitrogen oxides. The 10-kilowatt system also produces 476,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, the same amount generated by burning 478,060 pounds of coal.
With Kohler’s 740-kilowatt system, these numbers drastically increase. Our system reduces the same amount of carbon dioxide as 87,986 trees, and prevents emissions of 29,221 tons of carbon dioxide, 128.5 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 4.3 tons of nitrogen oxides. It produces 34 megawatts of power, which eliminates the burning of 17,688 tons of coal.
With a fleet of 50 heavy-duty delivery trucks, Kohler Distributing Company has contributed to clean air initiatives by investing significantly in new trucks outfitted with the least polluting technology available. Furthermore, the Kohler fleet makes use of recapped tires, which reduces landfill build-up as well as contributing to rubber recycling.
Kohler’s new building (opened in 2004) was designed from the outset with fundamental green building initiatives in mind. All heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and ventilation systems are computer-controlled, seasonally-adjusted and regularly maintained to optimize efficiency and minimize the usage of non-renewable energy sources.
Kohler is also a good environmental neighbor in several other ways. Two acres of the company’s riverfront property has been left in its natural state, thereby acting as a flood buffer. Plus, the company’s forklifts are electric, thus eliminating emissions for Kohler warehouse employees.
Kohler Distributing Company has comprehensive recycling programs in all areas of its business. In its warehouse operations, over 39,000 wood pallets are recycled annually, plus some 8,000 wood pallets are returned to breweries. 26.5 tons of shrink wrap is sent to recyclers annually and 17 tons of corrugated cardboard is recycled annually. From Kohler’s 50 delivery trucks and 10 merchandising vans, 1,200 gallons of engine oil are recycled annually.
A total of 78,000 kegs annually of over a dozen brands are taken in, warehoused, delivered to retailers, picked up by Kohler drivers, warehoused empty at Kohler and returned to source breweries across the U.S. and Europe.
From Kohler’s office operations, five tons of paper is recycled annually. Our recycling practices are state-of-the-art. Over 90% of all paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and wood items that come into our building is diverted from the solid waste refuse stream.