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Environment

Challenge 6Challenge of Establishing a Future Society in Harmony with Nature

Fundamental Approach

It is critical for humans to conserve forests and other natural environments in all regions for coexistence in harmony with nature. However, deforestation is progressing across the world, resulting in the fragmentation of habitats of diverse species, as well as the continuing loss of biodiversity. This entails a number of issues including the loss of biological resources that are essential for society, causing natural disasters, and spurring global warming, and we believe that it poses a risk to the potential for the sustainability of society as a whole including Toyota. In light of this risk, Toyota launched three “connecting” projects and is taking action to expand activities various regions of Japan and overseas in order to “enrich the lives of communities” in each region. We will expand these activities at group, regional, and organizational levels using the insights we have gathered so far, aiming for a future where people and nature live in harmony.

Initiatives Related to Biodiversity Conservation

Although our lives are supported by various benefits brought by biodiversity, some sources say approximately 40,000 species are becoming extinct annually, possibly due to overexploitation of rare species and destruction of ecosystems, including forests, posing a major threat to global biodiversity.
Toyota is carrying out a variety of activities in accordance with the Toyota Biodiversity Guidelines.

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Promote Expansion of Nature Conservation Activities Connecting Communities ― Toyota Green Wave Project

Toyota Group companies have conducted afforestation activities at their respective plants and undertaken environmental conservation activities in their surrounding areas. The Toyota Green Wave Project is an initiative to connect regions through these diverse activities promoting harmony with nature. By extending Toyota Group activities to promote harmony with nature in Japan and overseas, we aim to expand natural habitats and help create a sustainable society, benefitting biodiversity.
Specific programs include the Plant in Harmony with Nature Project, which creates environments that foster nature and living creatures, and the All-Toyota Green Wave Project, which fosters ties between local communities and the Group.

Evolution from “Afforestation Activities at Plants” to “Plant in Harmony with Nature”

Afforestation activities have been conducted since 2007 with the theme of creation of forests at plant sites. The Tsutsumi Plant, where the Prius is produced, serves as a model plant for this project. We expanded activities in FY2018, and in the future will carry out the Plant in Harmony with Nature Project. These activities are not limited to forest environments covering forests at plants, but are being expanded to cover the habitats of various living creatures.
In addition, species that serve as indicators (indicator species) are selected to quantitatively assess ecosystems and are continuously monitored.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • The Kinuura Plant and Tajimi Service Center won the Japan Greenery Research and Development Center Chairman’s Award at the 36th National Factory Greenery Promotion Conference

All-Toyota Harmony with Nature Working Group Activities: All-Toyota Green Wave Project

The All-Toyota Harmony with Nature Working Group was established by 23 affiliates in May 2015 to undertake Toyota Green Wave Project activities and expand Toyota Group activities in harmony with nature, enhance the dissemination of information, and strengthen Group collaboration.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • A total of 217 projects were carried out at all Toyota companies
  • Collaborative activities included in a tree planting festival at Millennium Hope Hill in the Tohoku region held with the participation of 30 employees from 18 companies and bamboo forest maintenance work at the Yahagi River conducted with the participation of 54 employees from 18 companies

All-Toyota Green Wave Project Booklet Published and Website Created

A booklet with information on the meaning of the Toyota Green Wave Project, the importance of biodiversity, and examples of programs by Group companies was published and distributed to employees and ongoing efforts were made to raise awareness of participation in activities and inform employees about the importance of inter-company cooperation. A dedicated website was also launched to disseminate information on the activities of each company in a timely manner.

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Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • Three Toyota Group companies—Toyota Motor Corporation, JTEKT Corporation, and Toyota Industries Corporation—collaborated and implemented a program to protect the little tern

Boost Grant for Environmental Activities Connecting to the World ― Toyota Today for Tomorrow Project

Toyota has conducted cooperative activities in Japan and overseas with environmental NGOs including the Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program and afforestation programs in China and the Philippines. We have established Toyota Today for Tomorrow Project to bolster our long-standing grant program on a global basis. With the aim of contributing to society, we will work together with organizations engaged in nature conservation around the world by establishing projects to solve issues in the areas of living in harmony with nature and biodiversity.

Collaborative Project with International Organization

Toyota became the first car company and the first Japanese company to sign a Global Corporate Partnership agreement with WWF.*1 To promote biodiversity conservation, Toyota has made annual 1 million US dollar grants to WWF since 2016. Toyota began a five-year partnership with the IUCN*2 to raise awareness of the biodiversity crisis. Under the partnership, Toyota provides annual grants of approximately 1.2 million US dollars and began support for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ (IUCN Red List).*3

  • *1WWF: World Wide Fund for Nature
  • *2IUCN: Founded in 1948 through an international initiative, International Union for Conservation of Nature is a global nature conservation network comprising nations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations
  • *3IUCN Red List: The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM (IUCN Red List) is a list of threatened species in the world managed by the international organization IUCN

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • A WWF seminar on sustainable natural rubber production and procurement was held in Japan as an educational event to provide information on conditions at natural rubber production sites and convey local opinions
  • A website for the Living Asian Forest Project in both Japanese and English was launched
  • Toyota and the IUCN organized an event in Bangkok, Thailand to raise awareness of biodiversity and the IUCN Red List in Thailand
  • During a panel discussion at an event held by the IUCN, Toyota highlighted that the IUCN Red List is an important pillar of Challenge 6
  • To support the activities of environmental NGOs such as BirdLife International and Conservation International, which conduct IUCN Red List surveys and conservation activities, Toyota donated vehicles to both organizations and supported their local surveys.

 

Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program

In 1999, Toyota was honored with the Global 500 Award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for its launch of the world’s first mass production hybrid electric vehicle, development of environmental management systems, active disclosure of environmental data, and other initiatives. To commemorate receipt of this award, Toyota established a subsidy program in FY2001 to support the environmental activities of NPOs and other groups with the intention of resolving problems in environmental fields and fostering people responsible for the next generation.

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Boost Contributions to Environmental Education Connecting to the Future Forest of Toyota -Toyota ESD Project

Human resources development is crucial for expanding environmental conservation activities to the future. Consequently, the Toyota Education for Sustainable Development Project promotes sustainable human resource development suited to local communities. Our corporate training approach is to nurture environmentally conscious employees and leverage their awareness to make it better for business. Additionally, we are connecting our training activities to the future by making the best use of the features of business sites and company-owned fields to provide environmental education for children, who will be responsible for sustainable societies in the future.

 

Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute

Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute opened in 2005 at the Shirakawa-Go world heritage site with the goals of widely promoting locally rooted environmental education valuing nature’s inherent wisdom. The concept of “living in harmony” is central to the Institute, which is located in rich nature at the foot of Hakusan (Mt. Haku), and which provides many adults and children visiting Shirakawa-Go with hands-on nature programs as well as working on ecosystem surveys of wildlife, along with forest conservation activities.

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Forest of Toyota

Forest of Toyota in Toyota City is a company-owned forest near the urban areas. It has been maintained based on the environment of satoyama, which was once part of our lives, creating a forest where living creatures can naturally inhabit.
Since 1997, the forest has been open to the public. Anyone can walk freely through the forest and take part in various events to experience the satoyama environment and learn about nature through their five senses. In 2017, we celebrated 20 years since the forest opened to the public.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • Hand-on learning events for local elementary school students were attended by 5,538 children
  • The “Future of Harmony between People and Nature as Learned from Dragonflies” event was held as the second program in a series held to learn about the ecology of the living creatures of satoyama

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Promoting Environmental Contributions Through Biotechnology and Afforestation Business, Automotive Peripheral Technologies, and Forest Conservation Activities

Cooperation with Preservation of Peat Swamp Forests in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the third largest emitter of CO2 in the world when forest fires, peat fires and other factors are included, in order to preserve swamp forests and prevent CO2 release, accounting for 37% of emissions, in addition to fire prevention and monitoring activities, we are carrying out activities for the economic independence of local residents to prevent the depletion of forest resources. Toyota has verified that a fast growing Napier grass has large yields, with an improved variety to encourage economic independence. In the future, on the basis of cooperation with local companies will verify effectiveness on a practical scale, such as by expanding activities to other rural villages.

TOYOTA Mie Miyagawa Mountain Forest

To its own forest site in Odai Town, Taki District of Mie Prefecture, Toyota has introduced automobile manufacturing expertise for management, such as soil and water conservation* and providing other functions which benefit the public. We are also conducting programs to learn about forestry and the deep relationship between the forest and human beings fully using the nature properties of Miyagawa region which has the history of timber industry.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • A new program called the Forest Challenge and Development Project was launched to tackle the challenges of using trees and forested areas with the aim of connecting forests with future generations

Find out more about TOYOTA Mie Miyagawa Mountain Forest