In recognition of TOTO’s longstanding commitment to water conservation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has honored the company with one of its first-ever national Water Efficiency Leader (WEL) awards. TOTO USA is the only plumbing manufacturer to receive the EPA’s Water Efficiency Leader Award. It’s an award given to those that foster an ethic of water conservation. In giving the award, the EPA and its panel of nationally recognized water efficiency experts lauded TOTO for its outstanding leadership and innovation in water-efficient product development, sustainable manufacturing processes, and water conservation advocacy.
The 2006 WEL award winners were lauded as “water-efficiency stars” and “shining examples of cooperative conservation and innovative technology” by Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water. He added, “EPA salutes these leaders for helping America save water, money, and energy for families and communities.”
Water-Efficient Product Development
In making the award, EPA commended TOTO for pioneering water-efficient products—from its unparalleled high-performance sustainable design toilets that work effectively with one flush to its line of EcoPower self-generating hydropower sensor faucets and flush valves that harness the kinetic energy of flowing water to power their electronics, greatly reducing maintenance, and eliminating hazardous battery waste. TOTO’s engineering innovations have had a dramatic impact on water-use reduction in both the residential and commercial segments, saving billions of gallons of water in the U.S. since its arrival in American market in the early 1990s.
Water-Efficient Manufacturing Processes
The EPA also praised TOTO for its resource-efficient manufacturing processes. TOTO has implemented a program to recycle the water that it uses to make vitreous china products at its state-of-the-art Morrow, GA, manufacturing facility. With this water-recycling program, TOTO has been able to reduce the amount of water used on a monthly basis by 18%, which is equivalent to 250,000 gallons of water per month or 3 million gallons of water per year. Additionally, TOTO puts the water it uses through extensive treatment and purification processes before returning it to the Clayton County Water Authority.
Water Efficiency Advocacy
In addition, the 2006 Water Efficiency Leader’s award recognized that TOTO has partnered with the EPA and other stakeholders to help develop the language of the new WaterSense labeling program for high-efficiency toilets and to help establish testing criteria to validate their flush performance integrity. TOTO is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Water Efficiency Technology Advisory Group. As the first major plumbing manufacturer to join the USGBC, TOTO works to promote effective water-efficiency guidelines in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. At the local community-level, TOTO provides plant tours that demonstrate its stewardship of water. Often given in cooperation with local municipalities, these tours offer an educational opportunity for visiting water treatment professionals from around the world who seek to replicate the symbiotic bond between water suppliers and water users.