Section 2. Response to Environmental and Safety Issues
Item 1. Company-wide Action on Environmental Problems
Introduction of the Guiding Principles at Toyota and the Toyota Earth Charter
With the adoption in 1987 of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a major focus on environmental problems at a global level began from the end of the 1980s. In April 1991, under a basic philosophy of working for a society where sustained development is possible worldwide, Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (now Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren) formulated the Keidanren Global Environment Charter, which marked the start in earnest of a wide range of initiatives by Japanese industry.
At TMC, January 1992 saw the formulation of the Guiding Principles at Toyota, which made a statement of the kind of company TMC wanted to be, and the Toyota Earth Charter. In the second of the Guiding Principles, TMC undertakes to "dedicate our business to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere through all of our activities". The Toyota Earth Charter was drawn up to give concrete shape to this commitment. The charter consisted of three frameworks: basic policy, action guidelines, and organization in charge. It established guidelines for corporate action that included development of vehicles with minimum emission and production activity with minimum waste and cooperative efforts as a member of society.
As a framework for action, the Toyota Environment Committee was established consisting of senior executives and chaired by President Shoichiro Toyoda, and a policy of promoting the environment as one of the most important management issues was announced internally and externally. It was also decided to reinforce still further cooperation with suppliers, dealers, and other partner companies. Additionally, in February 1993, in order to reflect the Toyota Earth Charter in a concrete form in corporate activity, the Toyota Environmental Action Plan was formulated and TMC set about putting into practice its first phase covering fiscal 1993 to 1995 (ending June 1994, June 1995 and March 1996).
In this first phase, actions were taken in 22 areas. In the development field they included reduction of exhaust emissions and achievement of leading levels of fuel efficiency; in the production field, they included energy conservation, energy conversion, and complete elimination of CFC12. From the second phase of the Toyota Environmental Action Plan (fiscal 1996-2000, ended March 1997-2001), a policy was adopted of expanding and developing the plan every five years. In the second phase, initiatives included adaptation to the ISO14000 series of international standards for environmental management systems, while the third phase (fiscal 2001-2005, ended March 2002-2006) placed emphasis on promoting environmental measures on a consolidated basis and included the additional aim of achieving zero waste in production activity.
In April 2000, ahead of the formulation of the third phase of the Toyota Environmental Action Plan and eight years after it was first introduced, the Toyota Earth Charter was amended to include perspectives that reflected the needs of the times, such as working to achieve zero emissions and contributing to the creation of a recycling-oriented society. The subsequent fourth phase, implemented in fiscal 2006-2010 (ended March 2007-2011), carried on the initiatives from the third phase that sought to shift emphasis from the parent company to the Toyota Group and from the domestic to the global sphere, but simultaneously focused around four major themes: energy and global warming, resource recycling, substances of concern, and the atmospheric environment.