Environmental Glossary


Airbag Recycling

Japan's Automobile Recycling Law designates unused airbags in end-of-life vehicles as items for recycling. In order to recycle the metals in the airbag systems they must first be deployed in one of two ways, either by electrically firing the inflators onboard or by removing and transporting the airbag modules and firing them later using a heat processing method. Firing the airbag inflators onboard is the more effective recycling method because the airbags do not have to be removed or transported. Vehicles that also have curtain-type airbags besides the airbags on the driver's and front passenger's sides are fitted with a simultaneous deployment system for firing all the airbags at the same time.

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Air Resistance

When a vehicle is moving, the air around it applies a force to the vehicle body. This force can be divided into three components according to the direction of their application: drag (air resistance), lateral force (force applied to the side of the vehicle), and lift (force that tries to lift the vehicle). The drag (air resistance) is a force that opposes the movement of the vehicle and is proportional to the squared value of the vehicle's speed, and therefore greatly affects the fuel efficiency at high or maximum speed. The reference value often used is the Coefficient of drag (Cd). The smaller the Cd value, the smaller the drag, which results in higher fuel efficiency. Since the drag varies depending on the vehicle shape as well as the size of the front face, a larger car with a bigger front face will have greater drag than a smaller car with the same Cd value. Therefore, to reduce drag, it is necessary to optimize the vehicle shape and reduce the size of the front face.

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Automobile Fuel Efficiency Improvement Technologies

We are taking actions to improve fuel efficiency in three major areas: the engine, the transmission, and the body. Since the engine supplies the power to drive the vehicle, fuel efficiency can be improved by ensuring that the engine burns fuel efficiently and by reducing internal friction. The transmission is the generic term for the power transmission system, which must relay the power created by the engine to the wheels efficiently with minimal loss. The main challenge in terms of the vehicle body is to reduce its weight and to create a shape with little air resistance without sacrificing the cabin environment or safety. Improving fuel efficiency requires the accumulation of many finely tuned technologies to address these kinds of issues.

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Automobile Recycling Law

As one part of creating a recycling-based society, Japan's Automobile Recycling Law was established in July 2002 and enacted in January 2005 to promote the recycling and proper processing of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). Relevant qualified businesses are obligated to carry out their respective responsibilities. Automakers are required to recover CFCs/HFCs, airbags, and shredder residue generated from ELVs, ensure that they are properly processed and recycled, and to publicly announce the results of their activities. The Law's goals for recycling ASR are at least 30% by 2005, at least 50% by 2010, and at least 70% by 2015. The recycling rate goal for airbags is at least 85% per year. Another responsibility for automakers is the development of vehicles that are easy to recycle, and the provision of information related to vehicle structure and materials.

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Automobile Shredder Residue Recycling

Automobile shredder residue (ASR) refers to the plastic, rubber, glass and other materials remaining to be recycled after the metal products are removed from shredded end-of-life vehicles. Japan's Automobile Recycling Law obliges automakers and car importers to accept and recycle ASR. The law includes both materials recycling and thermal recycling. One form of thermal recycling involves the ASR being gasified through carbonization, with the resulting residue melted, and the resulting gas and slag reused; one method of materials recycling reuses the ASR material remaining after mechanical selection/separation.

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The variability among living organisms, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems. Biodiversity includes diversity within species, between species and between ecosystems.

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Biofuels are produced by biological resources, and represent an important countermeasure for global warming. Typical examples include sugarcane, corn, waste materials and livestock manure. Unlike fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal, biofuel can be produced more than once in a short time. From the viewpoint of stable energy supply, it is essential to ensure the stability of raw material procurement and prices. Other critical issues that must be addressed include conflicting needs for foodstuffs and fuel and the danger of destroying ecosystems such as forests.

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Carbon Neutral

Zero increase/decrease in CO2 emissions in the product life cycle. A concept that plants if burned do not contribute to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere in the life cycle because they absorb CO2 by photosynthesis to grow.

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Compressed Natural Gas, is a clean energy with lower CO2 emissions than other fossil fuels, and minimal emissions of soot, dust and SOx.

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Cogeneration System

A cogeneration system continuously and simultaneously generates at least two different forms of energy from a single fuel source. The thermal energy from combustion of processed natural gas or petroleum gas, for example, can be used to drive turbines or as a substitute for diesel to drive engines. The system makes it possible to use motive power (electricity generation) and heat that is otherwise discarded.

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Conference of Parties. It includes the "Framework Convention on Climate Change" and "Framework Convention on Biodiversity." The Framework Convention on Climate Change" set the final goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The third Conference of Parties (COP3) in 1997 adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which established the legally binding numerical targets.
The "Framework Convention on Biodiversity" is an international treaty aimed at maximizing the conservation of diversity in every living organism on the globe and habitat environment to ensure sustainable use of genetic resources and further, fair distribution of profits gained from those resources. In October 2010, the 10th COP (COP10) was held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

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Coal to Liquid
A technology to convert coal to liquid fuel

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CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. Because typical automatic transmissions use gears, they are constrained to between three and six gear ratios. In contrast, a CVT combines a pair of pulleys with a metal belt to achieve continuously variable transmission in which the contact radius between the belt and the pulley is varied by changing the pulley groove width. This results in smooth operation with little transmission jerking, and allows the engine output to be utilized efficiently, achieving excellent fuel efficiency.

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Dealer Environmental Risk Audit Program

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Eco-efficiency refers to the volume of business activity per unit of environmental impact. It is a guideline for reducing environmental impact through improvements in technology and economic efficiency. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) proposed this approach in 1992. Generally, eco-efficiency is calculated by comparing a company's business activities, such as sales and operating income, to the environmental impact of emissions related to its business, such as the volume of CO2. Watching year-on-year changes of eco-efficiency provides the basis for the company to achieve both its economic and environmental performance goals.

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Ecological Plastic

Ecological Plastic is the generic name for a Toyota-developed plastic made of plant-derived materials. Ecological Plastic was designed for use in automobile parts, with improved resistance to heat and impact compared to common types of bioplastics.

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An ecosystem is a single cohesion of all the organisms living in a particular area, and all the nonliving, physical components such as climate, soil, geography, light, temperature and air. In some cases, this term is used to place emphasis on the environment as organisms cannot live without the environment. Ecosystems can be classified as marine ecosystems, desert ecosystems, forest ecosystems, urban ecosystems and so on. In some cases, the entire world can be considered a single ecosystem, too.

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Electronic Manifest System

The electronic manifest system refers to a scheme based on Japan's Automobile Recycling Law enacted in January 2005 in which companies related to automobile recycling report on the Internet the results of collection and transfer of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), their parts, and materials used in them between companies. According to the Automobile Recycling Law, vehicles turned over to qualified collection companies are designated as ELVs and they are recycled afterward by relevant recycling companies. The Japan Automobile Recycling Promotion Center manages and operates the electronic manifest system. The system makes the flow of the recycling of ELVs in Japan more transparent. It is expected to prevent activities such as improper processing or illegal disposal of ELVs.

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End-of-life Vehicle

End-of-life vehicles (ELV) are vehicles that have served their original purpose and are no longer being used. Under Japan's Automobile Recycling Law, ELVs are defined as out-of-use vehicles that have been collected by collection companies. These vehicles are then delivered to recyclers for dismantling and recycling as appropriate. Automakers buy refrigerants such as CFCs/HFCs, airbags, and shredder residue from the recycling companies, and after conducting the necessary processing they reuse the remaining materials in various ways.

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Environmental Accounting

Environment accounting is a system in which an organization calculates its costs for environmental preservation, such as for waste processing, wastewater treatment, and R&D related to developing environmentally considerate products, and measures those expenses against income such as savings from conserving energy and profits from selling recycled products, to come up with an environment-related economic effect. The organization then conducts a cost/effect analysis, and after making an appropriate business decision promotes a more effective, more efficient approach to environmental preservation. The organization also considers material effects such as the reduction volume of CO2.

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Environmental Data

Environmental data refers to the environmental performance of each vehicle series listed in chart form for customers to review and compare. In its product catalogs, Toyota lists fuel efficiency, volume of CO2 and other exhaust emissions, noise levels, amount of air conditioning coolant used, substances of concern, and recyclability.

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Environmental Labels for Fuel Efficient Vehicles

An environmental label is attached to automobiles to indicate their fuel efficiency performance and the fact that they have either met the fuel efficiency standards specified by the Japanese Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy or achieved a fuel efficiency performance 5% or higher than those standards. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport devised this environmental label as a means of widely publicizing to society-at-large the fuel efficiency performance of automobiles, and making it easy for them to recognize vehicles that meet or surpass the government standards. The vehicles covered include passenger cars, and commercial vehicles weighing 2.5 tons and under. The target years for meeting the standards are 2010 for vehicles with gasoline or LPG engines, and 2005 for vehicles with diesel engines.

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Environmental Labels for Low-emission Vehicles

An environmental label is affixed to the body of vehicles that comply with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport's Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles. Vehicles with emissions lower than the emissions standards of 2000 and 2005 have specific environmental labels affixed to their bodies showing the compliance level they have reached. The system is aimed at raising the interest and understanding of consumers in the emissions performance of automobiles.

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Environmental Management System

Companies establish environmental management systems as part of their efforts to reduce their environmental impact. A system includes an organizational structure, planning, responsibilities, procedures, and processes for preparing environmental policies, implementing them, achieving the goals set in them, and reviewing/maintaining them. The policies are continuously improved in a PDCA (plan, do, check, act) cycle. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established the ISO 14001 international environmental management standards in 1996. As the system of inspection by, and registration (acquisition of certification) with, third-party organizations became more widespread, the term "environmental management system" came to be used in the environmental field.

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Environmental Performance Indicators
An environmental information network system

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Automobile exhaust emissions regulations effective 2009, that define the emissions standards for diesel and gasoline powered vehicles in EU countries. Compared to EURO 4, which took effect in 2005, the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide are tightened.

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Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a strategy that imposes producer accountability over the entire lifecycle of its products, including the stages after consumption. The strategy's aims are: 1) to shift the physical and economic responsibility of end-of-life products upstream to the producer; and 2) to give the producer an incentive for considering the environment starting at a product's design stage. In March 2001, the OECD published an EPR Guidance Manual for its member countries to provide guidelines for creating a recycling-based society.

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Fuel cell

Power generation system (chemical cell) that creates electricity (and water) using hydrogen and oxygen

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A technology to create liquid fuels such as kerosene and light oil though a chemical reaction with natural gas. The result is a clean liquid fuel with little sulfur and aromatic content.

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Green Power

Green power refers to electricity generated by natural energy and retrieval energy with a small impact on the environment such as wind power, solar power, biomass and geothermal heat. It also includes the system to select and purchase green power.

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Green Procurement/Green Purchasing

Green procurement means selecting and purchasing environmental-considering containers and packaging, components and parts and raw materials.
Green purchasing means selecting and purchasing products that have a low impact on the environment. The Toyota Green Procurement Guidelines is published to encourage suppliers of parts, components and materials to take proactive measures to protect the environment.

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Green Taxation System

This is a Japanese system for reducing automobile and automobile acquisition taxes in order to promote the wider use of automobiles that provide superior performance in terms of exhaust emissions reduction and fuel efficiency, thereby resulting in lower environmental impact. The taxation system is periodically reviewed, and the level of tax reduction depends on how well an automobile performs in the two categories of exhaust emissions reduction and fuel efficiency. Revisions to the system in 2004 stipulate the tax reduction for vehicles that fit in the new 3-star or 4-star categories for vehicles that meet the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport's Approval System for Low-Emission Vehicles, as well as satisfy the Japanese government's 2010 fuel efficiency standards or the ‘2010 fuel efficiency standards plus 5% greater fuel efficiency' requirements. The system also stipulates that after new vehicles are used for a certain number of years after initial registration, the owners begin paying a higher tax rate.

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Green Walls/Roofs

Planting trees on rooftops, roof terraces and exterior walls for heat insulation and landscaping of buildings. The idea is to mitigate the heat island effect.

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Greenhouse Gas

Gases that absorb infrared waves radiated from the earth's surface and cause global warming are collectively known as greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol lists CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and CFC substitutes (HFCs, PFCs) and SF6 as the main gases contributing to this phenomenon. The greenhouse effect of each gas is different. Methane has 21 times the effect of CO2, and HFC134-a, an air conditioning refrigerant used in car air conditioners, has 1,300 times the effect of CO2. In Japan, CO2 accounts for about 94% of the total volume of all human generated greenhouse gases (converted into their CO2 equivalent).

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Home Energy Management System
Automatic control system using sensors and information technology for energy-efficient management of multiple home electrical appliances and hot-water supplies

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International Material Data System
A system developed to collect information on the materials and substances used and contained in automobiles parts

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International Organization for Standardization
The Geneva-based international organization that sets common worldwide standards in industrial fields except electricity and electronics. It was established to address the need for consistent standards in today's international trade-based economy to solve problems such as difficulties in ensuring repairs for consumer products. Typical international standards include "ISO9000: Quality Management and Quality Assurance" and "ISO14000: Environmental Management."

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established the ISO 14001 international standards for environmental management systems. Discussions originally took place at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 concerning the need for corporations to have environmental management systems. ISO announced its first international standards for environmental management in 1996. The standards allow all organizations to use them, regardless of size or industrial sector. The ISO is a global network, a network of the national standards institutes of some 150 countries. It publishes international industrial standards, and quality management standards such as the ISO 9000 series.

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Kyoto Mechanism

The countries that ratified Annex I of the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, have committed themselves to reducing their emissions of six greenhouse gases. A market principle was introduced to complement efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Countries can engage in emissions trading, join the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or conduct Joint Implementation (JI). National targets were agreed upon, and countries can engage in emissions trading depending on the level they reach in achieving those targets. Under the CDM, the industrialized countries can invest in shared clean energy and other programs in developing countries for reducing the overall volume of greenhouse gases, and receive "credits" for their investments. JI refers to trading between industrialized countries in which a country invests in emission reducing projects in another industrialized country in return for emission credits that can be used in meeting its own targets.

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Life Cycle Assessment
A method for assessing the overall environmental impact of a product.
LCA is also a methodology to analyze what resources and energy sources were used from the stage of collecting raw materials used for the product from the earth, to the manufacturing stage, usage stage, recycling stage, and then to final disposal stage, and the type and quantity of substances emitted into the environment; and to indicate these analysis in an input/output display of flows (balance sheet).

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Modal Shift

This term refers to shifting from a conventional mode or modes of transport to a different mode or modes providing maximum transport efficiency (= the least amount of CO2 emissions during transport). In order to reduce the volume of CO2 emissions, railway and marine transport are the ideal modes of transport, meaning that a shift from trucks to trains and/or ships would prove effective.

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Muskie Act

The Muskie Act refers to the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970. It is called the Muskie Act because of the central role Senator Edmund Muskie played in drafting the content of the bill. There were no emissions controls on automobiles at the time, and the aim of the Muskie Act was to reduce HC, CO, and NOx emissions by 90% each. The goals for HC and CO were to be achieved by 1975, and those for NOx by 1976. Partly because the standards were overly strict, the target dates were extended a total of three years. The law was subsequently revised as the Clean Air Act of 1977

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New Energy

Includes wind power, solar power, biomass, mid- and small-scale hydrogen power, snow and ice cooling and geothermal heat ― types of energy that emit low levels of CO2, a major cause of global warming, and contribute to diversification of energy resources.

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Polychlorinated Biphenyl
PCB was used such as a dielectric oil and coolant for electrical equipment because it is chemically stable, flame-retardant, non-conductive to electricity and so on. However, it is highly toxic and falls under the general term "dioxin." In Japan, its manufacture and use have been prohibited since 1972.

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Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

Under this system, businesses are made responsible for identifying the volumes of emissions (released into the atmosphere, bodies of water or the ground) of designated chemical substances, as well as the volumes of the same substances that leave a facility as waste. It is a legal system for preventing pollution by making businesses responsible for reporting annually to the authorities. In Japan, the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) system was adopted by statute in July 1999 and came into effect in 2001, with results being first reported in 2002

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Quantity Per Unit or Sales

Volume of various production elements needed for production of a specified amount

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Register Evaluation Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals

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Rebuilt Parts

Recycled parts; the collective term for used parts and rebuilt parts is recycled parts.

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Recycling for Profit

Materials discarded that are sold for recycling

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Recycling with Fee

Discarded materials that are recycled for a fee

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Recycled Sound-Proofing Products

Materials such as urethane foam and fibers comprise the largest volume of automobile shredder residue (ASR) from end-of-life vehicles. They are recycled to produce a new soundproofing material used to produce soundproofing products that fit different parts of automobiles. It has sufficient air voids to provide a performance with a nice balance between sound absorption and sound insulation, and is very cost effective. The technology allowing waste material to be made into high value-added material has gained wide attention around the world, and is evaluated highly. Toyota is using it in a wide range of new models, from the Prius and Vitz to the Celsior.

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Recycling Rate

The recycling rate is the percentage of an end-of-life vehicle's total weight accounted for by the weight of the recycled materials after it is dismantled and shredded. In comparison to a vehicle's total weight, the weight ratio of theoretically recyclable materials-metals, thermoplastic resin, etc. is called the potential recycling rate. Also, compared to a vehicle's total weight, the weight ratio of the remaining recyclable materials after subtracting the weight of the non-recyclable shredder residue is called the actual recycling rate. One way to increase the recycling rate is to introduce design for recycling (DfR) that considers ease of dismantling and use of easily recyclable materials.

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Refuse Derived Fuel

Refuse derived fuel (RDF) is produced mainly from household refuse. Noncombustible materials such as glass and metal are removed during waste sorting, and the remaining material is then shredded and compressed into a solid form ready for combustion. Different processes are used to produce different types of RDF. Some of its benefits include ease of storage and transport, allowing collection of source material from a wide area and concentrated processing in a large plant.

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Smart Grid

The next-generation power distribution network that can control the flow of electric current from both supply and demand sides.

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75% lower emissions than standard levels for 2005

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Sustainable Mobility

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) defines sustainable mobility as "the ability to meet the needs of society to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade, and establish relationships without sacrificing other essential human or ecological values today or in the future."

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SVHC: Substance of Very High Concern

Chemical substances listed by the European Chemicals Agency as being "carcinogenic" or having other harmful effects (30 of these substances were listed as of March 2010; additional substances will be listed in the future.)

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50% lower emissions than standard levels for 2005

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Volatile Organic Compounds

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Weight Reduction

Making a vehicle lighter reduces the energy necessary for moving it, and thus is an effective means for improving fuel efficiency. Vehicle weight can be reduced by making materials lighter (by using lightweight metals and composites), making individual parts smaller and lighter, and reducing the component count through functional enhancements. In addition to the vehicle's fuel efficiency, there are many issues that must be addressed, including reducing exhaust emissions, improving powertrain performance, and enhancing safety performance. Therefore, when reducing vehicle weight, it is necessary to evaluate the performance of the entire vehicle in order to avoid compromising its safety performance.

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Literally,"stopping and consolidating," the integration of plant operations or processes to ensure a certain production ratio by projecting the loads of equipment and lines.

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In Japan's Basic Law for Establishing a Recycling-based Society, the order of priorities for processing waste are stated as reduce, reuse, and recycle, referred to as the 3Rs. For overall promotion of the 3R approach, a related law, the Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources, includes a government ordinance stipulating the industrial sectors and products where the 3R approach is required. A ministerial ordinance defines specific areas where companies should assume the initiative. The automobile manufacturing industry is stipulated as a designated resources-saving industry, and vehicles are defined as a specified resources-saved product or specified resources-reutilized product.

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