FY2010 is the final year of Toyota's Fourth Environmental Action Plan. Moving forward to that final year, Toyota further strengthened its consolidated environmental management in FY2009, and worked to establish (the environmental measures in the plan). Most of the objectives of the consolidated environmental management program were met. Further, Toyota continued to promote programs based on the "Toyota Biodiversity Guideline." A new program was launched to systematize environmental education and implement environment-considering activities among administrative employees. FY2009 was the tenth year of Toyota's Bio-Greenery businesses, and each of the business is continuing. The LCA's Eco-VAS rating system evaluated and confirmed that all Toyota new models and full model change automobiles show reduced environmental impact.
Toyota's Biodiversity Guidelines
Along with climate change, conserving biodiversity is said to be one of the major environmental issues of global concern, and measures are being promoted on a global scale. The United Nations has designated 2010 as the International Year of Biological Diversity, and in October, they will hold COP 10 (the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity) in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Toyota is taking a variety of actions under the Toyota Biodiversity Guidelines announced in March 2008, such as the development of technology with a low biodiversity impact, the prevention of biomass depletion through the recycling of resources, and the contribution to the prevention of natural environment deterioration. The purport of these efforts aligns also with the Declaration of Biodiversity and Action Policy by Nippon Keidanren, drawn up in March 2009, and Toyota also joined at the time it was established "The Declaration of Biodiversity by Nippon Keidanren" Promotion Partners (December 2009), a gathering of companies agreeing with and putting into practice the content of that declaration. Taking into account the object of the guidelines, two items were incorporated in the new medium term Fifth Toyota Environmental Action Plan (FY2011-FY2015), namely "biodiversity actions" and "the promotion of social contribution activities conducive to the construction of a society coexisting with nature."
Main Examples of Toyota's Biodiversity Conservation Activities
|Automobile, Housing Businesses, etc.||Global warming countermeasures||•Improved global fuel efficiency
•CO2 reduction in production and logistics activities
|Response to atmospheric environment problems||•Reduction in emissions gases
•Reduction of VOC emissions
|Promotion of resource recycling||•Promotion of recyclable designs
•Expansion of recyclable material use
|Afforestation activities at plant sites||•Planting of trees native to the region|
|Reforestation||•Restoration of undergrowth through tree thinning (Mie Prefecture)|
|Consideration of a new R&D facility in harmony with community||•Preservation of habitats for rare animals and plants
•Environmental improvements around Yatsuda
•Maintenance of mountain forest areas
|Contributions to Social Issues||Human resource development and the protection of rare species||•Natural environment education at the Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute and the Forest of Toyota|
|Global afforestation||•Afforestation using native species (China, Philippines)|
|Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program||•Initiatives focusing on biodiversity and global warming|
For details about our new R&D facility, please visit the Web site:
As part of its social contribution activities, Toyota has been carrying out a grant program from FY2000 to support the environmental activities of non-profit organizations and others. Within the program Toyota has thus far supported many projects with the grant-focused theme of biodiversity. The chart below divides projects into two large categories, and shows the number of activities per region. Activities in Laos are introduced as a representative case.
Activity Region Breakdown (Totals)
|North America, Latin America||17|
Breakdown of Toyota Environmental Activities Program Grant Recipient Projects (Totals)
Discussion of village issues
Laos is aiming to break from the least developed countries by planning rapid economic development, and the development of dams, afforestation, and minerals is progressing. With population growth and demand from neighboring countries, the overuse and depletion of natural resources is becoming a serious problem. In this project, Japan International Volunteer Center under grant from by Toyota, through agriculture activities such as forest preservation and technological improvements in rice farming, is working on sustainable life improvements for local residents, and human resource development to protect the region's natural resources.
Toyota has been pursuing sustainable plant activities since 2007, with its Prius producing Tsutsumi Plant as a model plant, in order to bring the concept of sustainability into monozukuri. That concept is "building plants that utilize and harmonize with nature", and with the three basic approaches of "energy reduction, energy conversion, and regional interaction/ecosystem preservation" as pillars, Toyota is concentrating all its employees' ecological mindset, and is moving forward with positive activities. In FY2009, among the three pillar activities, Toyota has made particular efforts in afforestation activities at plants, and has held afforestation events with trees native to each area at the Motomachi, Kinuura and Tahara plants domestically, and at TKM and TKAP in India. Thus far through these activities, Toyota has planted more than 230,000 trees (as of March 2010). And in addition to afforestation events, Toyota has also carried out activities in each area for raising seedlings and making compost for the future afforestation activities. In October 2009 the Tsutsumi Plant received the 29th Green City Award and the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Award. Toyota will continue to make these efforts, not only to raise ecological awareness, but also to conserve ecosystems.
Sustainable Plant Concept
Tree Planting Events Summary
|TKM||TKAP||Motomachi Plant||Kinuura Plant||Tahara Plant|
|Date||June 2009||June 2009||May 2009||March 2010||March 2010|
|No. of Trees||32,500||7,500||6,000||1,400||2,100|
|No. of Participants||5,800||600||1,500||400||190|
The March 2010 tree planting event
With the basic philosophy of creating through afforestation an environment worthy of a Lexus production plant that continuously seeks substance even as the times change, afforestation events have been held five times to date at the Tahara Plant. About 750 employees and area residents participated in the first afforestation event in March 2009, planting 2,500 trees. Afforestation events held three times in November and December 2009 aimed for creating small forests within the plant, and 180 trees were planted in each manufacturing division. The 5th event in March 2010 was held independently amidst a difficult administrative environment. Every aspect of the event was handled by employees on their own initiative, including preparation and management, from soil enrichment to mound preparation, and all the way through provision of materials (straw). 23 varieties of trees native to the region were selected, and 2,100 seedlings were planted. And since 2009, Toyota has supported the "Atsumi Peninsula Rape Blossom Scenic Highway Action Plan" by Tahara City, growing rape blossoms in part of the plant perimeter, and furthering relations with the local community. Toyota will continue to work at making seedlings with employees' own hands in its aim for a plant surrounded by woods.
An employee and his family planting a seedling
In Asia there is concern about the rapidly diminishing tropical forests, and also from the perspective of flood control measures and the prevention of desertification and global warming, afforestation activities are effective. TKM created a plan to plant 40,000 m² of trees in three stages along its approximately 1.7 million m² site. In June 2009 the first afforestation event was held at the plant in Bidadi, Karnataka. More than 6,000 people including Karnataka state representatives, local students, suppliers, dealers, Professor Emeritus Miyawaki of Yokohama National University, TKM President Nakagawa, and employees and their families participated as volunteers in the afforestation event, planting 32,500 seedlings. 51 varieties of trees such as mango and margosa were selected to be planted based on a field study of the surrounding region. In August and December 2009 during the second event held, TKM planted 35,000 trees. Continuing into 2010, we have plans to hold events again in August and December. With the goal of raising in the next 20 - 25 years a natural environment where a variety of creatures can live, Toyota will promote afforestation with a multi-tier structure of vegetation native to the region.
Snow Cooling System
Toyota Motor Hokkaido, Inc. is achieving low energy cooling during the summer with the installation of a snow and ice hybrid cooling system in their plant that produces automatic transmissions (FY2009 results for the plant break room).
This system incorporates a well air-snow heat exchange like that used at the Lake Toya Summit, creating cold air by taking the outside air from the crest of a snow covered mountain into the mountain, exchanging heat, and carrying that cool air into the plant with ventilation fans, thereby enabling a reduction in the load born by the existing air cooling facilities.
In FY2009 this reduced 10 tons of CO2. To produce the same cool air with air conditioners would cost close to 1 million yen. Also, work to plow and remove snow that occurs each winter becomes a beneficial energy gathering exercise. Further, ingenuity has been applied to insulating material, and by covering the surface of the snow with just 150 mm of natural wood chips finely crushed from thinned trees and bark, we are able to efficiently keep through summer the snow that falls in winter.
In the north country there is a wise practice from long ago of preserving vegetables in ice rooms. It is more efficient to effectively use energy existing in nature than to create electricity with natural energy to run a cooler, so we wanted to bring this ice room wisdom into our plant somehow. Thinking this way, the people in charge of the environmental technology section implemented the snow cooling system. And they are researching jointly with universities the simplification of artificial snowfall to avoid the weather risk of having no snowfall. This is something that utilizes the cold of the north country where artificial snowfall is created by just spraying water during winter. Toyota Hokkaido will continue to actively develop natural energy uses particular to the Hokkaido region.