AEM Members Visit Milwaukee to Learn, Converse and Ideate on All Things Sustainability



Sustainability AEMAs part of its ongoing efforts to increase education, adoption and action around sustainability in equipment manufacturing, AEM brought together representatives from its Sustainability Council last week for an in-person meeting at the association’s headquarters and a tour of AEM member company Komatsu's new Milwaukee campus.

Discussions focused on progress and success associated with a trio of goals the council established to drive its sustainability efforts for the remainder of 2023. The goals – building alignment, growing supply chain success and powering positive sustainability perception – will help AEM and its Sustainability Council spark ideas to set sustainability priorities for equipment manufacturers and provide a framework that supports best practices for a more viable world.

“As always, AEM is committed to serving as a catalyst for transformation in the equipment manufacturing industry, and the efforts being put forth by our Sustainability Council reflect that,” said AEM Senior Vice President Curt Blades. “We’re incredibly thankful for the ongoing contributions of our council members, who are working diligently to move the industry forward and align equipment manufacturers as they navigate increased ESG-related expectations and regulation.”

Specific agenda items covered during last week’s meetings included:

Prior to holding the in-person meetings at AEM headquarters, the council joined association staff for a visit to Komatsu’s new $285 million Milwaukee campus. Featuring a three-story, 180,000-square-foot building and 430,000-square-foot manufacturing space, the facility produces the major components of Komatsu’s large mining machines, including rope shovels, hybrid shovels, draglines and blasthole drills.

The location serves as the large gearing center of excellence and the large fabrication and machining center of excellence for Komatsu's global mining division. In addition, the new location features cutting-edge sustainability technology that reflects Komatsu's commitment to the environment.

  • The LEED Gold-certified facility aims to reduce energy consumption by 75% and water consumption by 80% compared to usage at the company’s legacy Milwaukee facilities
  • A solar array and wind spires generate power for the campus
  • A water system captures more than a month’s worth of rainwater that is then used to flush toilets in the office building
  • A centralized closed-loop cooling water system reduces water use
  • High-efficiency chillers make ice at night using off-peak electricity to create stored energy for use during peak hours
  • Landscaping beds filled with native species, a strategy designed to reduce the need for watering

KomatsuAccess AEM’s Sustainability Toolkit

AEM’s equipment industry Sustainability Toolkit provides assessments and resources to help manufacturers and their supply chains minimize operational impact on the environment. Available now, the AEM Sustainability Toolkit can be accessed by visiting

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The next meeting of the AEM Sustainability Council is scheduled for September. For more information, contact AEM’s Curt Blades at

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