According to forecasts, the world’s population will grow to 9.1 billion by 2050, water demand will increase 55 percent from current levels, and 40 percent of the world’s population is therefore expected to suffer water shortages*. Water is used in painting and other car manufacturing processes, making it imperative to reduce impacts on the water environment as much as possible. We have two main strategies to adopt our challenge; thoroughly reducing the amount of water used, and comprehensive water purification and returning it to the Earth.
Toyota has pursued various effective initiatives, such as collecting rainwater to reduce the amount of industrial water usage, raising the water recycling rate through filtering, recycling wastewater for reuse, and returning clean water to the local environment. As the local water environment differs depending on the region, moving forward, we intend to expand our water environment initiatives around the world, taking the local needs into account.
The Earth is called "Planet of Water" with two-thirds of the surface area covered with water, and it seems we have abundant water resources at first glance. However, water resources are now called scarce resources, and the "Water crisis" has always been recognized as a global risk in the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum) since 2012.
Water risks that companies face include physical risks resulting from water shortages, water pollution, floods, etc., regulatory risks associated with taxation, regulation of discharge, etc. and reputation risks to the brand image, etc. Because of the spatial and temporal variability of water-related issues, it is necessary to promote water risk management according to the actual water environment in each region.
To identify water risks in each region, Toyota uses each regional database, information and the water risk assessment tools provided by WWF, WRI and WBCSD* 1, etc. as well as plant information such as operational data. Based on them, we evaluate the impact on the water environment.
In order to adapt to the climate change actively and flexibly, we continuously collect water-related information. We work on water usage reduction and water quality improvement based on the regional situations.
Toyota has actively cooperated with and disclosed information to its stakeholders. We continue our efforts to ensure mutual communication with local communities through collaborative councils, plant tours, etc. and disclose information through CDP Water, etc.
Although water-related issues and measures differ depending on the region, it is necessary for Toyota as a whole to unite behind a common approach in order to achieve the goals of our water environment Challenge on a global level. To achieve that end, we formulated the Toyota Water Environment Policy.
The Toyota Water Environment Policy is comprised of a “Basic Stance,” “Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage,” and “Three Directions for Initiatives (Pursuit of Environmental Technologies, Community-rooted Operations. Cooperation with Society).” Based on this policy, we will strive for societies with plentiful water environments.
To reduce water usage in our production activities, we have been working to introduce innovative technologies alongside planned upgrades to our production lines, and to conduct regular activities to reduce water consumption. In FY2016, total water consumption at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) was 10.7 million m3 (down 1.9 percent year on year) and water consumption per unit produced was 4.3 m3 (down 8.0 percent year on year). Globally, Toyota is steadily implementing measures to gradually conserve water usage consumption depending on the water environment in each country and region. In particular, we are encouraging water recycling in those regions with scarce water resources. In FY2016, our water consumption totaled 31.3 million m3 (up 7.0 percent year on year) and water consumption per unit produced was 3.0 m3 (up 1.4 percent year on year).