Toyota’s environmental philosophy and policies are based on the Guiding Principles at Toyota established in 1992 (revised in 1997). Policies for environmental initiatives were formulated in 1992 as the Toyota Earth Charter (revised in 2000). This Charter is shared among 671 Toyota affiliates* subject to the Consolidated Environmental Management System (consolidated EMS) around the world.
The Toyota Global Vision announced in 2011 emphasizes the importance of “Respect for the Planet.” Based on its philosophy and policies, Toyota formulated the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 in FY2016 as its first long-term vision for environmental initiatives. In FY2017, Toyota launched the Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan (FY2017–2021). Under this structure of environmental management system, Toyota is identifying environmental risks and opportunities that can affect business operations and is working for sustainable development in harmony with society toward the year 2050.
The Toyota Earth Charter outlines a basic policy, action guidelines, and organization which are the framework for Toyota’s environmental initiatives.
The Corporate Planning Meeting, and the three core environment-related committees: the Environmental Product Design Assessment Committee, the Production Environment Committee, and the Resource Recycling Committee, consider their issues and responses in various fields and solutions for addressing these issues to promote company-wide initiatives.
The consolidated EMS scope covers all consolidated subsidiaries on the financial accounting basis and non-consolidated subsidiaries considered material from the viewpoint of environmental management. The 671 consolidated EMS companies consist of 246 production and sales companies under the direct control of TMC, as well as 425 companies managed by way of consolidated subsidiaries.
The Toyota Environmental Action Plan defines the Toyota Earth Charter in specific corporate activities to ensure steady progress of our goals. Goals in the action plan are reviewed once every five years. The Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan clearly defines the initiatives to be implemented between FY2017 and 2021 in order to meet the Six Challenges of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.
We will contribute to the sustainable development of our society and the Earth in harmony with the global environment through monozukuri (manufacturing), car-manufacturing, providing products and services.
Toyota formulates annual policies and conducts initiatives based on the policies to ensure that all business activities achieve top levels of environmental performance.
Toyota has been conducting eco-factory activities since FY2004 with the aims of steadily incorporating environmental measures into plant activities and becoming No. 1 regional plant. Our eco-factory activities are to build and develop a mechanism which surely incorporates environmental measures into each stage from planning to design and operations. These measures will be utilized for projects such as construction of new plants, major renovations of existing plants, and capacity expansions.
Toyota presents its own Global ECO. Awards for production and logistics companies to encourage environmental kaizen activities at overseas affiliates for carrying out the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 and promote yokoten* of the best improvement practices.
Toyota aims to ensure that its production activities pose zero environmental risk to local communities. The foundation of our efforts is preventive measures to avoid non-compliance issues and complaints. Neglecting preventive measures can lead to situations where non-compliance may occur. We consider these situations to be non-compliance near-misses, and we take stringent measures to root out the causes of these near-misses and prevent reoccurrence. For incidents posing significant risk, Toyota disseminates information on reoccurrence prevention measures through environmental affairs meetings at all Group companies. Additionally, we are taking measures to completely eliminate the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
In FY2018, Toyota was not involved in any major environmental incidents causing air or water pollution, nor was the Group subject to fines or penalties. We continued to outsource proper treatment of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). At six of our production plants, we completed groundwater pollution prevention measures in 1997. The levels of trichloroethylene at production plants are reported to the government and to local councils
in the surrounding communities.
Toyota aims to improve air quality through the use of fewer precious metals to achieve cleaner exhaust gas emissions. We are collaborating with Group companies and partners and actively conducting research and development on catalyst technologies which enhance air purification performance.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs*) are one of the causes of photochemical oxidation, the cause of photochemical smog. Toyota has been striving to reduce VOCs emitted in vehicle painting processes.
In FY2018 , the volume of VOC emissions per area painted in TMC body painting processes (average for all lines) was 14.4 g/m2 (down 8% year on year). For TMC and its consolidated subsidiaries in Japan, VOC emissions volume was 21.5 g/m2 (up 0.2% year on year). Meanwhile, the volume of VOC emissions per area painted in TMC bumper painting processes (average for all lines) was 176 g/m2 (down 8.8% year on year).
Toyota purchases a wide range of materials, parts, and equipment from many different suppliers. We have collaborated with suppliers on implementing environmental initiatives through TOYOTA Green Purchasing Guidelines*, seminars, and other means. Ensuring compliance with each country’s laws and regulations and improving the management of substances of concern are fundamental requirements for suppliers. Additionally, after releasing the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, we revised the “Toyota Green Purchasing Guidelines” in January 2016, asking suppliers to promote a broad range of environmental initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and protect ecosystems in support of the Challenge. We have been working even closer with suppliers to that end. We request that our tier 1 suppliers to roll out environmental initiatives to their suppliers, and we seek to realize entire supply chain management in the pursuit of a sustainable society.
Toyota has strong bonds of trust with its dealers and distributors built on shared values for products and services, supporting a long history of collaborative initiatives in environmental activities. In Japan, we are fully implementing a CSR checklist among Toyota dealers and taking measures to enhance environmental controls to reduce CO2 emissions. In overseas regions, we strongly promote environmental management through environmental activities led by regional headquarters and distributors along with continual DERAP implementation.
In accordance with the national policies of Japan, Toyota designated June as its “Toyota Environment Month” in 1973 and has been taking measures since then to raise employees’ awareness and actions for the environment. In 1991, we changed the name to “Toyota Global Environment Month,” and we are expanding activities globally.
We ensure that all global employees are aware of Toyota Global Environment Month by distributing the President’s message on the environment through global affiliates in their local languages and making event-related notifications on monitors at various locations throughout company sites and on the intranet.
To enhance the disclosure of environmental data, Toyota effectively reports on the status of progress under the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 and the sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan in its annual Environmental Report and on websites. We also actively disseminate and disclose environmental data through events and exhibits and engage in environmental communications with a wide range of stakeholders.