Milwaukee Electric Tool: Leading the Way in Sustainability

What exactly does it take to win Call2Recycle’s Leader in Sustainability Award?

Just ask Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., a U.S. manufacturer of professional, heavy duty power tools and accessories, who was honored with the award for 2012. The annual award is given to companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability as part of the Call2Recycle program.

What’s Milwaukee’s secret?  A corporate culture committed to leading the industry in sustainable practices, including responsibly recycling their products, such as rechargeable batteries, at the end of their lifecycle. Milwaukee was one of the early companies to join the Call2Recycle program and continues to provide valuable funding as a Call2Recycle Licensee. The company has also proven its commitment through its actions: It has diverted nearly 900,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries from the waste stream.

Recycling of rechargeable batteries is clearly viewed as a corporate priority. At the factory, each product is marked with the Call2Recycle Licensee Seal. Product user manuals and the web site prominently feature recycling information. Call2Recycle collection boxes are often visible to the public in the 21 factory service centers. Even the corporate R&D lab and factory use the boxes to recycle used or damaged rechargeable batteries.

Mark Hickok, Director of Safety and Regulatory for Milwaukee Tool, says he is always looking for ways to improve. He uses the Call2Recycle quarterly update report to take the pulse of each location, then looks for ways to make sure the collection rates are trending upward. He also takes advantage of Call2Recycle’s marketing materials, including posters, flyers, and web-site banners to keep his program fresh and up-to-date. His newest project? Working with Call2Recycle to design custom Milwaukee Tool posters to better promote recycling.

“We’ve had a rechargeable battery recycling program for nearly 20 years, so our customers are familiar with our process. Recycling is now part of what they do,” says Hickok. “With Call2Recycle’s help we want to continually improve our collection rates and keep this program successful.”


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