SURPASSING YET SUSTAINING
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!