Toyota SA goes green
Toyota South Africa Motors is investing in solar energy at its manufacturing plant in Prospecton in Durban, with the aim of achieving zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the factory by 2050.
Toyota SA president and chief executive Andrew Kirby confirmed the company has been installing photovoltaic (PV) panels around its plant site since 2016. Three megawatts (MW) of solar power was installed at a cost of R33 million – saving 3 600 tons of CO2 a year.
These initiatives involved generating solar power from PV panels on the roofs of its blanking plant, paint plant, HiAce plant and chassis plant.
Kirby said at a recent Toyota State of the Motor Industry event that Toyota SA has set itself some fairly stiff targets and the aim of its overall road map is to generate 16MW of solar power at its plant by 2025.
“We have a day and night shift and when we combine both, [solar power] will equate to around 22% of our total consumption in the plant and save us 20 000 tons of CO2 a year... this is probably one of the bigger initiatives that we have.”
Toyota SA reported last month it will be investing R4.28 billion in SA, which will create more than 1 500 jobs – a third of which will be at its Durban plant.
Of this, R928 million will be for environmental investments, production facility upgrades and tooling for new models, including the new Corolla Quest.
Kirby said Toyota SA’s environmental targets and strategy are largely set by the direction Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) takes globally. TMC has established six key performance indicators with clear targets to 2050 in terms of the Toyota Global 2050 Environmental Challenge.
The zero CO2 action involves increased electric vehicle sales, lifecycle CO2 reductions at suppliers, logistics and dealers, and zero CO2 from manufacturing.
The net positive impact of these actions is to reduce water usage and water risk. It also has a zero waste initiative, including end-of-life vehicle recycling, as well as sustainable plant activities.