Kohler Co. Partners with Polar Explorer Robert Swan on Antarctic Expedition

KOHLER, Wis. – Dec. 8, 2022 – Kohler announces a partnership with Robert Swan, OBE (Order of the British Empire), on his 2023 Undaunted Expedition that will take him across the Antarctic landmass to the Geographic South Pole relying solely on renewable energy sources. Swan characterizes himself as a modern-day explorer and is the only human to have walked to both the North and South Poles. He has dedicated his life’s work to the preservation of Antarctica and the planet through promoting renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change through his 2041 Foundation. Swan embarks on his journey in December 2022 relying on KOHLER energy solutions, with the goal to reach the South Pole mid-January. 

A leader in energy resiliency for more than 100 years, Kohler is equipping Swan’s journey with a customized KOHLER generator that utilizes a KOHLER diesel engine fueled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). The fuel is 90 percent carbon neutral and sourced entirely from waste products, making it part of a circular economy. HVO is a high-quality replacement of fossil diesel made from waste vegetable oils and other sustainable materials. It allows generator users to adopt low carbon, renewable energy without compromise on performance.

“Increased climate challenges have made critical resiliency solutions more important than ever,” says Swan. “We all have a responsibility for this last great wilderness left on Earth. Antarctica has always been a natural reserve land for science and peace, and it’s the only place like it on the planet.” 

The off-grid sustainable system will provide the energy needed to operate Swan’s base camp and provide battery charge to his mobile equipment. The integrated energy system is controlled by the Heila EDGE, a modular and decentralized energy platform from Heila Technologies – part of Kohler Co. – that connects and optimizes solar arrays, batteries and other distributed energy resources, creating a resilient microgrid solution for Swan’s Antarctic base camp.  

Kohler’s portfolio of energy products is built to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide reliable, resilient power when the grid cannot, making them a dependable energy solution for Swan. Kohler has a proven history of resilient power solutions that have survived the unforgiving terrain of the South Pole. More than 90 years ago, Admiral Richard Byrd powered his Antarctic journey with KOHLER generators, and they were his only means to communicate back to the civilized world from the depths of the Antarctic. Swan and Kohler’s partnership on the Undaunted Expedition honors the progress of resilient and clean energy solutions and celebrates future possibilities of helping to control climate change and preserve the planet. 

“Kohler’s relationship to the Antarctic and environmental sustainability is deeply rooted within our history,” says Francis Perrin, VP of Marketing for Kohler, adding that Swan’s passion and perseverance are admirable traits that have also served Kohler well for 150 years. “Supporting the Undaunted Expedition with renewable energy solutions illustrates Kohler’s ongoing commitment to provide resilient energy systems and our journey toward strengthening our clean energy offerings.” 

About Robert Swan

With his presence and integrity, accomplishments and reflections, Robert has an extraordinary ability to inspire and motivate audiences worldwide. Robert applies leadership and teamwork skills he developed while surviving some of the world’s most hostile environments to inspiring bold management practices and effective communication styles. Robert’s talks are thrilling, uplifting and stimulating – all while fostering courage, vision and teamwork. His core themes are inspiration, leadership and future thinking for business, society and the environment. 

30 years ago, French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau gave Robert Swan a 50-year mission to save Antarctica from the realities of climate change. The 2041 Foundation was founded and through perseverance and dedication, Robert has helped inspire the next generation of leaders to take responsibility for their life paths. The organization is dedicated to the preservation of the polar regions and engages businesses and communities on climate science, personal leadership, and the promotion of sustainable practices.

About Kohler Co.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 40,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines, generators and clean energy solutions; luxury cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland. The company also develops solutions to address pressing issues, such as clean water and sanitation, for underserved communities around the world to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. For more details, please visit kohlercompany.com.   

Learn more about Kohler’s Social Impact and Sustainability initiatives through the company’s first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report highlighting goals and progress across environmental sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion and social impact. 


Media Contacts:

Vicki Valdez Hafenstein, Kohler Co. Public Relations,