Ensuring beautiful hometowns and a beautiful world are preserved well into the future
At Toyota, we strongly believe that there is no future for cars unless we respond to environmental issues, and we have engaged in car-manufacturing accordingly. However, a mountain of global environmental issues remain, not least among them climate change, water shortages, resource depletion, and the loss of biodiversity.
In October 2015, Toyota announced its Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050. It aims to encourage each of us to face up to these global environmental issues and participate in the challenge of creating a better world, with a view to 20 or 30 years into the future.
As we approach 2050, our aim is to develop sustainably together with society. In order to do this, we intend to reduce the environmental burden attributed to automobiles to as close to zero as possible, while also contributing positively to the earth and its societies.
Challenge of Achieving Zero
Seeking to reduce the environmental burden of cars to zero
Natural disasters cause damage not just in Japan but in countries all over the world. One of the causes of these natural disasters is global warming, and if we want to resolve this problem, we must reduce CO2 emissions. The goal of the Challenge of Achieving Zero is, as far as possible, to reduce CO2 emissions generated during driving to zero, to reduce CO2 emissions generated throughout the lifecycle of a car―from production to disposal―to zero, and to reduce CO2 emissions generated by the plants that produce the cars to zero.
For example, as part of the New Vehicle Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge, we are engaged in developing technologies for existing conventional-engine vehicles, as well as developing technologies for and promoting the widespread use of electrified vehicles. No matter how environmentally friendly a car is, it cannot contribute to reducing the environmental burden unless it is widely used. We recognize that the infrastructure, energy policies, and natural environments that cars operate in vary from country to country and from region to region. As a result, we promote the widespread use of environmentally friendly vehicles by offering a wide range of choices. These include hybrid electric vehicles, which run on both electricity and gasoline; plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which can be charged using household electrical sockets; battery electric vehicles, which run on electricity; and fuel cell electric vehicles, which use hydrogen to generate electricity.
By accelerating the initiatives outlined above, our goal is, by 2050, to reduce average CO2 emissions generated by each new vehicle by 90 percent when compared to 2010 levels.
Net Positive Impact Challenge
Seeking to contribute positively to the earth and its societies
Net Positive Impact Challenge is a group of initiatives that seek to make a positive contribution to the earth and its societies. It entails minimizing water usage at plants, ensuring that wastewater is purified before being returned to the environment, minimizing resource consumption during the automobile manufacturing process and recycling as much as possible, and protecting forests and biodiversity.
For example, as part of the Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage, at Toyota's French plant we carry out chemical and biological processing on used water, with the goal of discharging water that is cleaner than river water. The majority of the processed water is re-sent to the production department, with some of the water returned to rivers. Recycling wastewater, using rainwater, and reviewing water usage methods have enabled us to reduce our water consumption at the plant by 90 percent. In fact, Toyota research shows that, on approximately 330 days every year, we produce cars at the French plant without using a single drop of water from external sources.
With the announcement of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, we set six environmental challenges toward a 2050 goal.
An Air Purifier That Drives the Streets!?
Cars are being required to achieve better environmental performance every year and, as a result, development is progressing on cars that emit zero pollutants. The Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) runs on hydrogen and, as such, emits no pollutants. Incredibly, it is also a car that acts as an air purifier, and cleans urban air as it drives.
The Mirai generates electricity by extracting oxygen from the air and combining it with hydrogen. However, the air is cleaned by being passed through a filter before the oxygen is extracted; since PM2.5 particulates are filtered out, the Mirai has the effect of purifying the air.
If we improve this filter, it will become technologically possible to filter out nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide―and, in fact, this is one of our development goals for the next-generation Mirai.
The more an FCEV is driven, the cleaner the town's air becomes. This is the vision of the future we have in mind as we continue to embark on new challenges.
At Toyota, we are promoting the widespread use of FCEVs. At the same time, we are participating in the creation of systems that enable society as a whole to use hydrogen energy, with the goal of achieving a decarbonized society.
Safeguarding Abundant Forests, Waters, and Flora and Fauna―All-Toyota Green Wave Project
Our habitats are sustained by the many blessings of nature bestowed by biodiversity; the auto-industry, too, procures the majority of its resources from the natural world. As part of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, the 23 companies of the Toyota Group established the All-Toyota Green Wave Project in 2016. Its goal is to establish a future society in harmony with nature, by engaging in a variety of initiatives aimed at preserving forests, bodies of water, and ecosystems.
Coexisting with and Learning from Forests―"Forest of Toyota" Environmental Education Facilities
The Forest of Toyota is a company-owned forest located near the urban area of Toyota City. Here, we have created a satoyama environment (satoyama is a Japanese term applied to forests in the interface between cities and nature that are used by people), and we are engaged in the creation of a forest in which it is easy for plants and animals to inhabit. Since 1997, the forest has been open to the public; members of the public are free to walk the grounds, while we also hold participatory events via which they can experience the satoyama life and come into contact with nature. In addition, the knowledge derived from these forest rejuvenation activities is being used both for reviewing methods of satoyama maintenance and for environmental education. Through these activities, we hope that as many people as possible can experience the forest first-hand, and learn about the preciousness of life and biodiversity.