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June is Environment Month, making it a fine time to showcase how protecting the environment is entrenched within Willard’s process and legacy.  

During the 1990s, Willard Batteries compiled annual catalogues that offered South African customers useful information on the latest models of cars and what their respective replacement batteries were. As the variety of cars increased and customers moved away from printed catalogues, this information was published online.

Willard Batteries took their creativity even further by including key associations to critical causes in their campaigns. This increased brand relevance and truly touched the hearts of consumers. Environmental care was one such cause.

In the 1980s, the importance of recycling batteries came to the fore due to the nature of the product and that they are potentially noxious products if not disposed of correctly. A new message needed to reach the customer: hand in your old battery when you buy a new one so that the company can recycle it and dispose of the scrap in a responsible manner.

Although brand building was a phrase yet to be coined in the 60s and 70s, Willard’s marketing strategy entailed holistic brand building in every sense. Everything the company did was to promote the company name and image. The Willard brand colour was changed from the original red to green and each battery was clearly branded.

Willard earned respect as not only the leading automotive battery, but as a socially and environmentally responsible brand as well. Willard initiated the recycling of scrap batteries and the company got involved with the NGO, Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA). A percentage of the proceeds of recycling were donated to FTFA, who then used the funds to plant trees where it was most needed. This made a significant difference to the spirit of the communities that benefitted from the tree plantings. In the process, the Willard brand gained exposure and it was aided by the marketing slogan: Go green. Go Willard. People soon connected Willard with environmental and social care.

The partnership between FTFA and Willard recently resulted in the planting of 750 trees in Buhle Park in April. These fruit trees will provide food, shade and other benefits families in the area. You can watch our latest video here.

In 2020, Willard partnered with NGO ‘The Beach Co-op’ to highlight the threat of litter to our beaches and marine life. A clean-up activation of just over 100 people at Bonza Bay Beach, East London, retrieved almost 200kgs of waste across just a kilometre stretch of beach. As part of the initiative, Willard made a donation to assist with the clean-up. You can read more about this initiative here.

Did you know?

At Willard we care about battery disposal and a Willard battery is typically 99% recyclable. As batteries can potentially be a noxious product that can harm the environment if disposed of incorrectly, Willard Batteries considers it to be their responsibility to recycle scrap batteries. The life cycle of a lead-acid battery follows a continuous, closed loop. When a scrap battery is collected and returned to Willard Batteries, its lead and plastic are reclaimed and directed to new battery manufacturing.

To find out more about how to recycle your car battery, click here.

Don’t forget you can purchase your Willard Battery or recycle your old one at one of our approved fitment centres here.