Challenge 5 Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Society and Systems

Fundamental Approach

Due to global population increase along with the pressure for economic growth and convenient lifestyles, the pace of resource consumption is accelerating. If large-scale exploitation continues as it is, natural resources will be depleted, and if waste increases due to mass consumption, appropriate disposal will be unable to keep pace, resulting in risks of environmental pollution.

To prevent the environmental impact caused by End-of-life vehicles, Toyota launched the Toyota Global 100 Dismantlers*1 Project, to establish social systems for End-of-life vehicle proper treatment.

In order to realize an ideal resource-recycling based society, it is necessary to grasp the risks of resource depletion and the possibility of creating business opportunities, and initiatives are needed in four key areas: (1) use eco-friendly materials, (2) use auto parts longer, (3) develop recycling technologies, and (4) manufacture vehicles from End-of-life vehicles.

Toyota aims to realize the ultimate recycling-based society, and promotes the Toyota Global Car-to-Car Recycle Project so that we can use resources from End-of-life vehicles for manufacturing new vehicles.

Through these initiatives, we will contribute to achieving SDG 9.1 (infrastructure development), 9.4 (sustainable industrial processes), 11.6 (reduction of environmental impact of cities), 12.2 (sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources), 12.4 (management of waste), and 12.5 (reduction of waste).

*1
Dismantlers
Operates dismantling business for vehicles
Related SDGs

Vehicle Recycling Initiatives (ViReports)

Vehicle Recycling Initiatives

The booklet "Vehicle Recycling" details our vehicle recycling initiatives

Toyota effectively uses the earth's limited resources to contribute to the prosperous lives of future generations. To this end, we strive to pioneer cutting-edge initiatives in the field of resource recycling. It is our goal to contribute to the environment and to the establishment of a sustainable society.

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Vehicle Recycling Initiatives

Reduce Consumption of Dwindling Natural Resources Through Use of Renewable Resources and Recycled Materials

Reduce the Use of Petroleum-derived Plastics

Since the early 1990s, Toyota has been collecting and recycling bumpers replaced at dealers as a way to reduce the usage of petroleum-derived plastics. Some plastic parts collected from End-of-life vehicles are reused for energy as a heat source except using for used parts. Others are recycled into plastics for non-automobile use after going through a machine-automated sorting process.

Details on Trends in Damaged and Removed Bumpers Collected and Recovered at TMC can be found here (Environmental Data I) (PDF: 10MB)

Promote the Reuse of Rare Resources and Recycled Materials

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), and other electrified vehicles use significant amounts of rare resources compared to conventional gasoline vehicles. Some of these resources often carry risks such as resource depletion or uneven supply among regions. In order to promote the reuse of resources and the adoption of recycled materials, we are collaborating with partner companies to establish a framework for collecting and recycling HEV batteries and automobile motor parts, along with cemented carbide tools used in production. As of March 2019, we collected 132,000 HEV batteries in total, a cumulative 41 tons of automobile motor magnets, and a cumulative total of approximately 196 tons of cemented carbide tools that use tungsten*2 in their blades.

*2
Tungsten
Japan imports all of its demand for tungsten, which is used in the cutting edges of 80 percent of cemented carbide tools

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • TMT, a Thailand-based affiliate, opened a facility embodying the six challenges, at Ayutthaya, a World Heritage site, taking the initiative to use renewable energy and reused batteries. It also established the first 3R (Rebuild, Reuse, Recycle) scheme for End-of-life batteries outside of Japan, at its Gateway Plant.

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Society and Systems] Reduce Consumption of Dwindling Natural Resources Through Use of Renewable Resources and Recycled Materials (PDF: 10MB)

Achieve Industry-leading Levels in Easy-to-dismantle Design for Effective Resource Recycling

To promote material recycling of End-of-life vehicles, Toyota directly visits dismantling companies in Japan and overseas to investigate actual conditions and gain insight into the development of vehicle structure that makes it easy to dismantle and separate parts. We have actively adopted these designs for new models since 2003 with the launch of the Raum passenger car.

Wiring harness*3
Use of pull-tab type ground terminal for wiring harness

Wiring harness
*3
Wiring harness
A bundled assembly of wires running throughout the vehicle body for power supply and signal communication

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Incorporated easy-to-dismantle designs to ensure safe and speedy dismantling operations such as removal of wiring harnesses, into the Century, Corolla Sport, Crown, and Lexus ES and UX

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Society and Systems] Achieve Industry-leading Levels in Easy-to-dismantle Design for Effective Resource Recyclings (PDF: 10MB)

Contribute Worldwide Through Appropriate End-of-life Vehicle Treatment and Recycling Technology Developed in Japan

When End-of-life vehicles are not properly disposed or dismantled, this may not only affect regional environments, but also cause risks to the health and safety of local residents. To prevent these problems, we are promoting the Toyota Global 100 Dismantlers Project. Through this project, we aim to establish social systems for properly treating of End-of-life vehicles without imposing regional environmental impact.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Started surveys on End-of-life vehicle treatment in Asian and African regions
  • Prepared video manuals on large battery removal for PHEVs and hydrogen gas removal for FCEVs as response in developed countries
  • TMV, a Vietnam-based affiliate, set up a model End-of-life vehicle dismantling facility**
** Green Industrial Environment Company

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Society and Systems] Contribute Worldwide Through Appropriate End-of-life Vehicle Treatment and Recycling Technology Developed in Japan (PDF: 10MB)

Expand Original Recycling Systems for End-of-life Vehicles Worldwide

To realize the ultimate recycling-based society, we promote the Toyota Car-to-Car Recycle Project (TCCR) that is based on the concepts of reduce, reuse, and recycle, aiming specifically at the elimination of resource-related risks and global warming.

Image of Car-to-Car Recycling

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Revalidated systems for the collection and proper treatment of HEV batteries globally
  • Reinforced information sharing with a focus on the main regions where electrified vehicles have already been introduced and identified issues in each region

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Society and Systems] Expand Original Recycling Systems for End-of-life Vehicles Worldwide (PDF: 10MB)

Reduce Waste and Use Resources Efficiently in Production Activities

Toyota strives to reduce the volume of waste from production activities by developing and deploying new production technologies while taking continual daily measures in terms of the sources of waste (design and production method innovations), resource recycling, resulting cost reductions, and so forth. In FY2019, the total waste volume for Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) was 32.2 thousand tons (down 1.5 percent year on year), and the waste volume per unit produced was 11.2 kg (down 0.4 percent year on year). Globally, the total waste volume was 496 thousand tons (down 0.6 percent year on year), and the waste volume per unit produced was 46.2 kg (down 2.7 percent year on year).

Trends in Global Total Waste Volumes and Waste Volume per Unit Produced

Reduce Packaging and Wrapping Materials and Use Resources Efficiently in Logistics Activities

TMC is taking a broad range of initiatives to reduce the amount of packaging and wrapping materials used in logistics. These include increasing packaging efficiency in shipping containers, using returnable containers*4 to reduce the amount of unrecyclable materials used, and making packaging and wrapping materials simplified and lighter. In FY2019, the total volume of packaging and wrapping materials used by TMC amounted to 46.4 thousand tons (up 1.3 percent year on year), and packaging and wrapping material per shipment unit amounted to 6.21 kg/m3 (same as the previous year). On a global basis, Toyota continued efforts to gather and share information on best practices at each affiliate.

*4
Returnable containers
To enable used packaging materials to be returned to original shipping points for reuse
Trends in Usage of Packaging and Wrapping Materials at TMC (Japan) and Packaging and Wrapping Materials per Shipment Unit at TMC (Japan)

Learn more about Toyota's environmental activities here