Section 2. Response to Environmental and Safety Issues
Item 3. Making Efficient Use of Limited Resources
Formulation of Toyota Recycling Vision
In June 2003, ahead of full enforcement of the Automobile Recycling Law in 2005, TMC formulated and published the Toyota Recycling Vision, which set key targets such as the development of dismantling technology and recycling and recovery technology, utilization of recyclable resources such as plant raw materials, and achievement at an early stage of a vehicle recovery rate of 95 percent. In Japan, a vehicle recovery rate of 97 percent had been achieved as of fiscal 2010 (ended March 2011).
In 2008, internal systems were reorganized to create the Resource Recycling Committee, which reinforced activities by establishing recovery/logistics and technology development as the two pillars of recycling, concentrating mainly on rare metals contained in component parts.
In particular, so as to be able to meet the increased requests for collection of nickel-metal hydride batteries from dealers and dismantling businesses that accompanied the increasing spread of hybrid vehicles, a safe and effective logistics network was built. In October 2009 the Toyota HV Call Center was established as part of the Environmental Affairs Division, placing the collection and recycling of these batteries on a business footing.
In October of 2010, in a joint project with Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., and Primearth EV Energy Co., Ltd., TMC began a business for recycling nickel from used hybrid-vehicle nickel-metal hydride batteries into raw material for new batteries.
Taking advantage of the collection and logistics network it had previously built, Toyota additionally built a collection network for the lithium-ion batteries fitted in the version of the Prius α (Prius Alpha) that has three rows of seats and that was launched in May 2011. Under this initiative, which shares resources with a nickel-metal hydride battery collection system that makes use of the return journeys of spare parts logistics vehicles and the catalyst collection network of Toyota Tsusho, Toyota is working for a more efficient collection system with lower carbon emissions. As an additional effort to create a sustainable recycling-oriented society, Toyota is promoting the development of recycling technology for magnets and copper and the rare earth metals neodymium and dysprosium used in nickel-metal hydride battery units.