Challenge 6 Challenge 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 diverse living creature habitats, 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 the entire society. 
In light of this risk, Toyota launched Harmony with Nature projects and is taking action to expand "Connecting Communities" activities in various regions of Japan and overseas in order to "enrich the lives of communities" in each region.
Toyota is also developing "Connecting with the World" environmental activities in collaboration with NGOs in Japan and overseas, as well as "Connecting to the Future" environmental education activities targeting Toyota employees and the next generation. We aim for a future where people and nature live in harmony by these three "connecting" activities.
Through these initiatives, we will contribute to achieving SDG 12.8 (sustainable lifestyle), 15.1 (conservation of terrestrial ecosystem), and 15.a (secure financial resources).

Related SDGs

Three Connecting Projects

  • Toyota Green Wave Project
    Connecting Communities
  • Toyota Today for Tomorrow Project
    Connecting with the World
  • Toyota ESD Project
    Connecting to the Future

Biodiversity Guidelines

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 communities 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 living creature 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.

Community-based 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. Having developed our activities as a "Plant in Harmony with Nature" since FY2018, we have expanded on our work to include the management of various living creature habitats.

Plant in Harmony with Nature Project Leads the Way to the Better Enviroment

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Launched Biotope Tsutsumi in order to help conserve the original local ecosystem (rare species conservation activities were evaluated, and subsequently awarded the Biotope Grand Prize)
  • Conducted ecosystem surveys at the Teiho Plant with local high school students

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

All-Toyota Green Wave Project

To oversee Toyota Green Wave Project activities, Toyota Green Wave Project Working Groups were established in May 2015, comprising 23 affiliated companies (22 affiliates participating as of 2019) to expand the Toyota Group's activities in harmony with nature, enhance the dissemination of information, and strengthen cooperation within the Group.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Affiliated companies conducted 248 activities
  • A total of 265 people participated in the fifth "Connecting" activity, including 43 people from 19 working group member companies, and carried out activities to eradicate lanceleaf tickseed
All-Toyota Green Wave Project

Initiative to Improve Recognition of Biodiversity

All-Toyota Green Wave Project

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. 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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More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Challenge of Establishing a Future Society in Harmony with Nature] Promote Expansion of Nature Conservation Activities Connecting Communities (PDF: 10MB)

All-Toyota Green Wave Project

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

We have established the Toyota Today for Tomorrow Project to bolster our long-standing Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program and afforestation projects in China and the Philippines 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 Projects with International Organizations

Toyota became the first automobile company and the first Japanese company to sign a Global Corporate Partnership agreement with WWF*1. To promote biodiversity conservation, Toyota has made annual grants of one million U.S. dollars 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 U.S. dollars and provides support for the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM (IUCN Red List)*3.

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

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Introduced Toyota's biodiversity conservation initiatives in collaboration with IUCN and environmental NGOs, at the Convention on Biological Diversity's 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14)
  • IUCN enhanced its Red List website and improved its searchability with Toyota's support
  • To support the environmental NGOs BirdLife International (BL) and Conservation International (CI), which conduct surveys and conservation activities of species listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List, Toyota donated vehicles for their field surveys
  • Understood the improved status of mountain gorilla habitats as a result of conservation activities based on scientific data in the IUCN Red List
  • WWF's Living Asian Forest Project rescued a Sumatran rhinoceros, a designated endangered species living in a high-risk area
  • Additionally, as part of this project, continued patrol of the Tesso Nilo National Park has significantly reduced illegal logging of the forest
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Mountain gorilla
Sumatran rhinoceros

Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program

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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Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program

Boost Contributions to Environmental Education Connecting to the Future―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

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 with nature 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. In 2015, to commemorate the institute's 10th anniversary, we enhanced the hands-on nature programs. The institute places emphasis on a "children's camp" that nurtures children's environmental awareness, self-reliance, and ability to take action, through shared education as a new theme, which fosters growing and learning together toward living in harmony with nature.

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Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute

Forest of Toyota

The Forest of Toyota in Toyota City is a company-owned forest near urban areas. It has been maintained based on the satoyama (area between mountain foothills and arable flat land) environment, which has long been 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.

Forest of Toyota

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Provided hands-on learning events for local elementary school children with attendance of 5,155 children
  • Held an event in which participants themselves planned and implemented a dragonfly-based environmental education program as a follow-on activity to the program featuring the living creatures of satoyama hosted in 2017
Forest of Toyota

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

Toyota Mie Miyagawa Mountain Forest

Toyota Mie Miyagawa Mountain Forest

Although a decline in domestic forestry had left much of the forest owned by Toyota in Odai Town, Taki District of Mie Prefecture unmaintained, over the last 10 years, we have been thinning the forest, providing functions that benefit the public, such as soil and water conservation. We are also conducting programs to learn about forestry and the deep relationship between forests and human beings, making full use of the characteristics of the Miyagawa region, which has a history in the timber industry. Furthermore, by introducing automobile manufacturing expertise to forest management, we are achieving efficient management.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Participants selected through screening started their projects under the Forest Challenge and Development, a project taking on the challenge of utilizing trees and forest spaces to connect forests to the next generation
Toyota Mie Miyagawa Mountain Forest

Learn more about Toyota's environmental activities here