Section 2. Response to Environmental and Safety Issues
Item 1. Company-wide Action on Environmental Problems
Establishment of Environmental Affairs Division
These moves by TMC to take the lead in action on global environmental problems gradually strengthened its image as an environment-friendly enterprise. The development of corporate advertisements with striking designs also contributed to Toyota's image. Among its environment-related advertising, particular attention was attracted by the 1990-91 series in which Dr. Dolittle, who can talk freely to animals, discusses issues concerning automobiles and the planet. At the end of 1997, with the sales launch of the Prius hybrid vehicle imminent, initiatives were concentrated on communicating information on the environment.
One of these initiatives was a year-round corporate advertising campaign entitled the Toyota Eco Project. More than 20 newspaper advertisements throughout the year were among the methods used to raise awareness of the issue of global warming and to present TMC's concrete approach to action. The campaign slogan-"ECO: Act today for a better tomorrow"-had the benefit not only of improving TMC's corporate image but also of promoting a change of attitude throughout Toyota.
Another initiative was the Toyota Environmental Forum held for the first time in July 1997, at which President Hiroshi Okuda stated that the concept of sustainable growth represented the direction TMC should follow going forward. Taking the same perspective, he also emphasized TMC's commitment to establishing global environment preservation as one of TMC's most important tasks and pursuing it with increased vigor. The Toyota Environmental Forum also attracted attention from the media as a forum where senior executives actively discussed environmental policy and has continued to be held since.
With environmental action being implemented horizontally across the whole Toyota organization and also showing a global spread, the Environmental Affairs Division was established in January 1998 as a dedicated unit under the direct control of the company president with the task of planning and coordinating relevant action. At the same time as coordinating environmental activities-from policy formulation in response to various issues to public relations activities and dissemination of information-it is also responsible for setting the direction of Toyota-wide environmental action.