Wheels Asia - - Feature -

Toy­ota’s green ini­tia­tive goes be­yond their cor­po­rate iden­tity of typ­i­cal brand poli­cies

ithout a doubt, Toy­ota has be­come more

just a car brand. In fact, its wide­spread pop­u­lar­ity has some­what given it a house­hold sta­tus. Given its mas­sive deal­ings with many coun­tries across the world, its man­u­fac­tur­ing process is with­out doubt, one large op­er­a­tion spread across the globe.

With such an enor­mous un­der­tak­ing, pro­duc­ing mil­lions of ve­hi­cles world­wide an­nu­ally, the spot­light is on Toy­ota to re­duce the amount of car­bon foot­print that most in­dus­trial and man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions pro­duce daily.

To put things into fo­cus, Wheels Asia had the ex­clu­sive op­por­tu­nity by Toy­ota Mo­tor Asia Pa­cific, to visit Toy­ota’s Tsut­sumi prod­uct plant in Aichi, Ja­pan and we found out, just how se­ri­ous the Ja­panese are when it came to keep­ing emis­sions low, like how they pro­duce their cars.

There are three key sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tives; Prod­ucts, Monozukuri (sus­tain­able plants) and So­cial Con­tri­bu­tion. The Tsut­sumi plant is the key plant that will act as the role model for other Toy­ota plants to fol­low. Three main pil­lars; eco-think­ing, re­new­able en­ergy, plant foresta­tion ac­tiv­i­ties are the foun­da­tion of its green move­ment. Eco-think­ing in­volves im­prov­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness of em­ploy­ees and to en­cour­age them to take eco­log­i­cal ac­tions vol­un­tar­ily, while re­new­able en­ergy is the use of equip­ment that gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity with­out the con­tri­bu­tion of car­bon to the en­vi­ron­ment, such as the use of so­lar pan­els. Fi­nally, Plant Foresta­tion Ac­tiv­i­ties have em­ploy­ees and staff con­tribut­ing to build­ing a green and plant-rich scenery within the pro­duc­tion plant it­self. Other green-move­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude in­ter­act­ing with lo­cal res­i­dents, plant­ing plants and clean­ing the ar­eas out­side of the fac­tory. In fact, the plant it­self is so clean, that water from the plant is ster­ile enough to sus­tain plants and even fishes in a pond!

Primearth EV En­ergy Co. Ltd, the sup­plier of bat­ter­ies for Toy­ota cars such as the Prius and other hy­brids has also adopted the same en­vi­ron­men­tal­lyfriendly acts. Their be­lief is to prac­tice the en­vi­ron­ment preser­va­tion/ im­prove­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in an ef­fec­tive and con­tin­u­ous man­ner by pro­mot­ing the en­vi­ron­ment man­age­ment sys­tem con­form­ing to ISO stan­dards, while ex­e­cut­ing ad­e­quate eval­u­a­tions and re­views. Within the plant, PEVE has cul­ti­vated their own biotope en­vi­ron­ment, while tak­ing care not to waste any in­dus­trial waste or by-prod­ucts. Old bat­ter­ies are sorted, re­cy­cled and re­fined and the raw ma­te­ri­als are then made into new bat­ter­ies, ready for new Toy­ota cars. PEVE’S man­age­ment is also con­tin­u­ously work­ing on the de­vel­op­ment of tech­nolo­gies that pro­duce zero car­bon emis­sions and of those that re­duce waste, re­use and re­cy­cle parts to min­imise the im­pact to­wards the en­vi­ron­ment.

What is an achieve­ment if it isn’t with­out a chal­lenge? Toy­ota has set it­self a chal­lenge, that by the year 2050, it in­tends to pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of next-gen­er­a­tion ve­hi­cles with low or zero CO2 emis­sions; hy­brid, plug-in hy­brid, elec­tric, and fuel cell ve­hi­cles and fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate the spread of these ve­hi­cles. This also in­cludes ef­forts to re­duce to zero not sim­ply the CO2 emis­sions pro­duced in trav­el­ling and man­u­fac­tur­ing, but all CO2 emis­sions in­clud­ing in the pro­cesses of ma­te­ri­als pro­duc­tion, and dis­posal and re­cy­cling of ve­hi­cles. These are sim­ply just two parts of a com­pre­hen­sive, six-part chal­lenge that Toy­ota in­tends to achieve by the said date. With so much thought and ef­fort go­ing into re­duc­ing emis­sions, you can be sure Toy­ota doesn’t want to be play­ing any part in melt­ing ice­caps and in­creas­ing sea lev­els!

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