Aiming for the enrichment of society and sustainable development, Toyota joins forces with a broad range of individuals and organizations to make effective use of resources while engaging in social contribution activities that focus on "the environment," "traffic safety," and "education," to resolve social issues.
Initiatives in Japan
Toyota City, the Support Center for Sustainable Regional Design (NPO) and Toyota Motor Corporation have been running a joint project called "Toyomori," which focuses on human resource development. The project aims to foster people who can—utilizing local natural resources—create new businesses and livelihoods that will touch the lives of people living in the farming and mountain villages in Toyota City. The core of this initiative is the Toyomori Institute of Sustainable Living. In May 2009, the project's first group of 30 participants was selected from public applicants and given the goal of developing business plans that would connect cities and rural communities. The participants learned together over a period of about two years through once-a-month classroom instruction and fieldwork in the mountain villages. The 26 participants of the second phase were selected from public applicants in April 2011 and completed their activities, which spanned two years and were centered on the Asahi District of Toyota City, in March 2013. The third phase will last from June 2013 through March 2014, with the Asahi District again the main field of activities, and will focus on developing human resources who can create new, community-based ways of living.
After graduating from the Institute, I have been utilizing the "ability to go one step further" that I learned at the Toyomori Institute of Sustainable Living to grow 15 kinds of vegetables and practice a satoyama philosophy cafe. My motto is "Start doing things where I can, without straining and while having a good time." Together with my friends in the cities, I'm sharpening my five senses while staying in touch with nature and people in the community.
Overseas Initiatives (Brazil)
The APA Costa dos Corais, which straddles Brazil's northeastern states of Alagoas and Pernambuco and has a total length of 135 km, is the largest coastal ecosystem preserve in Brazil and the second largest in the world. However, due to the absence of policies and rules that ensure sustainable utilization and protection of natural resources, the environment there had been severely degraded. In 2009, Toyota do Brasil established the Toyota do Brasil Foundation and in 2011 created the Toyota APA Costa dos Corais Project in partnership with SOS Atlantic Forest—a local NGO— and Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation—a government agency—with the goal of protecting plants and animals in the region, such as coral reefs, mangroves, and the endangered manatee.
The Toyota do Brasil Foundation cooperated with us to expand our auditorium. With multimedia equipment, it is a lot easier to show tourists and the community that the conservation of the natural environment and preservation of the manatees are important. We are very grateful to the Foundation for making it possible to continue protecting the manatee.
Initiatives in Japan
Every spring and autumn, Toyota carries out the Toyota Traffic Safety Campaign with the cooperation of Toyota dealers and other companies, which is timed to coincide with national traffic safety campaigns. During the campaign, traffic safety picture books and storytelling card sets are distributed under the campaign to children newly entering kindergartens and nursery schools nationwide. These educational materials help children learn how to cross streets correctly, while the picture books, that also have a part for parents, emphasize the advantages of using child restraint systems. These activities started in 1969 and have continued every year for more than 40 years. More than 128 million picture books and 1.3 million storytelling card sets have been published to date. Toyota also creates and donates a leaflet describing each year's focal themes. (The 2012 themes were "encouraging the use of reflective materials" and "turning vehicle headlights on earlier").
Overseas Initiatives (Thailand)
Since 1988, Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) has been carrying out the White Road Traffic Safety Campaign throughout Thailand. In Thailand, the term "White Road" implies traffic safety and TMT established the White Road Project in the hopes of making all roads in Thailand safe. The campaign opened two White Road Theme Parks, including one in Bangkok, to teach children about road safety. A total of more than 15 million children have already visited the parks. In 2005, TMT also started a traffic safety program called the Milky Way and the Gang featuring mascots that visit elementary schools throughout the country and distribute educational multimedia resources consisting of 10 animated episodes. In 2012, the year of its 50th anniversary, TMT established the goal of holding various events at a total of 50 locations in 2012 and 2013 to widely promote traffic safety.
Initiatives in Japan
Toyota, Children Meet Artists (NPO), AIS Planning, and executive committees in each region have joined together to hold an educational program called the Toyota Children Meet Artists Program, which supports dancers and artists in visiting workshops held at schools. The program's goal is to help foster abilities and sensitivities that will enable children to respect diverse ways of thinking by meeting and spending time with artists. In FY2012, the Toyota Children Meet Artists Program held the "Workshop to Discover Sounds Heard in Daily Life" at the Children's Center in Kanazawa. It also created short-term festival teams through its "Festival Just for Us" workshop at a school for children with disabilities in Kochi Prefecture, to encourage greater participation.
Being exposed to a free, open way of thinking and a mode of self-expression they had never experienced before, the children really opened up and enjoyed the workshop. In the process of interacting with the artists and staff, the children seemed to discover lots of good things about each other.
Overseas Initiatives (United Kingdom)
Established in 2003 by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, the Toyota STEM Challenge is a national school-based competition aimed at 11-16 year old Design & Technology, ICT and Science students. Developed in partnership with Rapid Electronics, a distributor of electronic components to schools, the Challenge invites students to design, build and race an environmentally friendly model vehicle made from recycled materials. The Challenge aims to encourage them to apply their knowledge and understanding from a wide range of curriculum subjects including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Designed to be fun and affordable, the Challenge reaches over 10,000 students each year, setting new, higher standards of excellence and innovation.
Initiatives in Japan
In FY2012, seven concerts were held between April 3 and 11 in seven cities in Japan from Sapporo to Fukuoka featuring some 30 members of the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera who were brought together specifically for this event. The concerts were held with the aim of providing fans with an opportunity to enjoy first-rate music at affordable prices and to help nurture a richness of spirit through music.
Overseas Initiatives (The Philippines)
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), through its social and humanitarian arm, Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation (TMPF), recently partnered with the City Government of Santa Rosa and the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community Development Foundation to begin a project that provides houses to the homeless. In 2013, the plan is to build 160 housing units and a community meeting hall in an area measuring approximately 8,000 square meters. Eighty units have already been completed and preferentially allocated to qualified beneficiaries who are willing to render volunteer time to build houses. Before the hand-over of the housing units, TMP employees also volunteered to help with tasks such as painting of houses, further strengthening their bonds with the community.
I feel privileged for being chosen as a qualified beneficiary. I made a promise to abide by GK's rules. In fact, I have already completed the required 2,500 volunteer hours and moved in to my housing unit. But still, I continue to work for the project in order to show my gratitude and support to those who made the project possible.
Rodelio Caguioa, Homeowner officer
The Toyota Foundation (Public Interest Incorporated Foundation) was established in 1974 with the goal of providing grants to research and projects in a wide variety of areas relating to human and natural environments, social welfare, and education and culture, in line with the founding philosophy of "contributing toward the realization of a more people-oriented society and a resulting increase in human happiness." The Greater Mekong Subregion Migrant Workers Project, one of the Foundation’s grant programs, is a project that establishes a base for fostering a shared understanding about migrant workers in the Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia, Thailand, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos). In the Greater Mekong Subregion, several million migrant workers live without clear resident status, resulting in a wide variety of issues. Many live in Thailand, which has been experiencing phenomenal economic growth and accepts these workers because of its constant labor shortage. To resolve these issues surrounding the migrant workers, the governments of the sending and receiving countries must cooperate with NGOs and corporations beyond national and sector boundaries to establish a shared understanding of the workers. To assist in this work, the Toyota Foundation supported a project for the three-year period from 2009 to 2011 to create "Speaking of Migration: Mekong Vocabulary on Migration" and "Legally Binding: A Summary of Labor Laws in the Greater Mekong Subregion." These publications compare the languages and laws related to immigration in the countries located along the Mekong River, providing government personnel and NGOs with a common platform for discussing the various issues. In 2013, to widely disseminate the results of the project, a symposium was held in Bangkok by a network of NGOs, governments, and international organizations where issues and policies related to migrant workers were discussed. The Toyota Foundation also provided assistance for holding this symposium.