Environmental Management

Fundamental Approach

Toyota formulated the Toyota Earth Charter (established in 1992 and revised in 2000) as a policy for environmental initiatives based on the Guiding Principles at Toyota (established in 1992 and revised in 1997) to contribute to the sustainable development of society and the earth through its corporate activities. In addition, the Toyota Global Vision announced in 2011 emphasizes the importance of "Respect for the Planet" and positions the environment as one of three values*1 that Toyota provides to society. Based on this approach, Toyota formulated the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 in 2015 as its long-term vision for environmental initiatives, and in FY2017 launched the Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan (FY2017-2021). Toyota is identifying environmental risks and opportunities that can affect business operations and incorporating them into management plans to work for sustainable development in harmony with society. Under this structure, Toyota is promoting steadily, the environmental management activities globally, including legal compliance activities, collaboration with business partners, and employee education.

Through these activities, we will contribute to achieving SDG 3.9 (reduction of environmental pollution), 6.3 (improvement of water quality), 11.6 (reduction of environmental impact of cities), 12.4 (management of waste), 12.6 (adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information), and 12.8 (sustainable lifestyle).

*1
Three values
Safety, environment, and waku-doki (excitement and exhilaration that wows you)
Related SDGs
Structure of Toyota's Environmental Actions

Toyota Earth Charter

The Toyota Earth Charter outlines a basic policy, action guidelines, and organization which are the framework for Toyota's environmental initiatives.

Learn more (PDF: 10MB)

Toyota's Environmental Management Systems

The Sustainability Meeting, chaired by the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), deliberates on key issues such as corporate governance and risk management, as well as environmental risks, opportunities, and actions to be taken in response. In addition, TMC has three core Environmental Committees: the Environmental Product Design Assessment Committee, the Production Environment Committee, and the Resource Recycling Committee. These committees consider issues and responses, and all relevant divisions work together to carry out company-wide initiatives.

Promotion Structure

Main Overseas Scope (as of End of March 2019)

The Consolidated Environmental Management System (EMS) covers all consolidated subsidiaries on a financial accounting basis as well as financially non-consolidated subsidiaries if considered important from the viewpoint of environmental management. Environment Committees have been established in six regions around the world where Toyota operates business, and these committees steadily promote environmental initiatives and enhance our global responses. In addition, the environmental leaders from the six regions, TMC Environmental Affairs Division, and other relevant divisions established a meeting structure (Global Environment Meeting/Environmental Strategy Meeting) where they can all meet to discuss and share information on global issues that affect multiple regions.

Main Overseas Scope (as of End of March 2019)

Toyota Environmental Action Plan

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.

FY2019 Review of the Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan (PDF: 10MB)

Promote Strengthening of Consolidated Environmental Management

ISO 14001 certification by production affiliates

Maintain 100 percent certification by having all domestic and overseas production affiliates renew their certification.

Eco-factory Activities

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.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Carried out eco-factory activities at six plants in Mexico, the United States, China, and Malaysia
Global ECO. Awards

Global ECO. Awards

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*2 of the best kaizen practices.

*2 yokoten refers to sharing of improvement practices, know-how, non-compliance and other information within the All-Toyota Group
Global ECO. Awards

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • 6 finalists out of 17 teams selected from 6 regions around the world were invited to give their presentations in Japan

Legal Compliance Activities

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, we share 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, and no significant releases have been found.

In FY2019, Toyota was not involved in any major environmental incidents causing air or water pollution, nor was the Group subject to fines or penalties. However, there were six minor non-compliance issues among the environmental management companies (five in Japan and one overseas).

We continued to outsource proper treatment of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB). At six of our production plants, we completed groundwater pollution prevention measures in 1997. We continue to conduct pumping aeration and purification to complete purification and ensure that groundwater is purified to levels below standards. The levels of trichloroethylene at production plants are reported to the government and to local councils in the surrounding communities.

Details on Environment-related Non-compliance Incidents and Complaints at TMC and Trichloroethylene Levels at TMC can be found here (Environmental Data P and Q) (PDF: 10MB)

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Environmental Management] Promote Strengthening of Consolidated Environmental Management (PDF: 10MB)

Emissions Reductions That Contribute to Improvement of Urban Atmospheric Environments in Each Country and Region

Based on the Guiding Principles at Toyota, which call for us to dedicate our business to providing clean and safe products, we are working to develop and make widely available vehicles with outstanding environmental performance, we are working to clarify the true state of the environment by introducing atmospheric reaction analysis equipment.

Reduce VOC Emissions in Production Activities

VOCs*3 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. Specifically, we have reduced the use of paints and thinners, continuously promoting initiatives linked to painting facility refurbishment plans and day-to-day activities to reduce VOC emissions.

In FY2019, the volume of VOC emissions per area painted in TMC body painting processes (average for all lines) was 15.0 g/m2 (up 4.2 percent year on year). For TMC and its consolidated subsidiaries in Japan, VOC emissions volume was 21.5 g/m2 (same as the previous year). Also, the volume of VOC emissions per area painted in TMC bumper painting processes (average for all lines) was 176 g/m2 (down 0.4 percent year on year).

*3
Volatile Organic Compounds
Used in painting, adhesives, and other products, VOCs are volatile at room temperature under normal pressure. VOCs cause air pollution and soil contamination, raising concerns about the influence on the human body.
Trends in VOC Emissions Volume in Vehicle Body Painting Processes

Promote Environmental Activities in Cooperation with Business Partners (Suppliers)

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*4, seminars, and other means.

After announcing the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, we revised the guidelines in January 2016, and undertake an even broader range of environmental initiatives in support of the Challenge. We request that our tier 1 suppliers to roll out environmental initiatives to their suppliers, and we seek to realize entire supply chain*5 management in the pursuit of a sustainable society. Toyota released the Green Purchasing Guidelines published not only in Japan, but also at overseas purchasing sites. We will continue to request suppliers to promote initiatives in accordance with the guideline.

*4
Green Purchasing Guidelines
Prioritizing the purchase of parts, materials, equipment, and services with a low environmental footprint when manufacturing products
*5
Supply chain
The entire flow of business activities related to a product, from procurement of materials for manufacturing, to production control, logistics, and sales

TOYOTA Green Purchasing Guidelines

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • Environmental initiatives were explained at the CSR Seminar with a focus on the 2030 Milestone
  • Theme-specific research groups of the Kyohokai, which consists of more than 200 parts suppliers, commenced new activities on environmental topics
  • Continued to ask suppliers in Japan to conduct self-assessments of their operations so as to properly respond to global regulations on chemical substances, such as the REACH regulation*6
*6
Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals regulation
A European Union regulation for managing chemical substances to protect human health and the environment

Promote Environmental Activities in Cooperation with Business Partners (Dealers and Distributors)

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. Given their direct contact with customers, dealers are a critical partner in carrying out environmental initiatives. In Japan, Toyota works with the Toyota National Dealers' Advisory Council (TNDAC) to promote unified efforts among all dealers to implement voluntary activities based on the Toyota Dealer CSR Guidelines.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • TNDAC issued an updated Legal Compliance Manual (formerly the Toyota dealer CSR checklist) with explanations of key laws and regulations and checkpoints as a tool to support the voluntary compliance activities of dealers
  • Continued to implement DERAP*7 to reduce environmental risks at overseas dealer service shops
*7
Dealer Environmental Risk Audit Program
Audit program to reduce environmental risks at overseas dealer service shops

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Environmental Management] Promote Environmental Activities in Cooperation with Business Partners (PDF: 10MB)

Further Strengthen Global Employee Education and Awareness Activities

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.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

Further Strengthen Global Employee Education and Awareness Activities
  • Know
    Undertook new measures that address water and wildlife conservation issues, and promoted activities to raise awareness and understanding (created special page on the intranet, utilized educational stickers within the company, and distributed posters)
  • Learn
    Conducted environmental lectures given by external instructors, internal seminars by environmental general managers, and reimbursed test fees to employees who passed the Certification Test for Environmental Specialists (Eco Test)
  • Act
    Conducted the Environmental Campaign of Creative Suggestion System, and distributed messages about eco-driving that drew attention through surprising content
Further Strengthen Global Employee Education and Awareness Activities

Enhance Active Disclosure of Environmental Information and Communication

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.

Major Initiatives during FY2019

Enhance Active Disclosure of Environmental Information and Communication
Enhance Active Disclosure of Environmental Information and Communication
  • The Environmental Report 2018 won the Grand Prize (Minister of the Environment Prize) in the Environmental Reporting Category at the 22nd Environmental Communication Awards
  • Pages on the corporate website were reorganized according to ESG frameworks to convey information about Toyota's activities in a manner that is easier to understand
  • Produced and released three sequels of "econohito," web video content featuring employees who undertake environmental activities toward achieving the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050
  • Joint workshops with students and environmental events for children were conducted to raise environmental awareness

econohito

Enhance Active Disclosure of Environmental Information and Communication
Enhance Active Disclosure of Environmental Information and Communication

Learn more about Toyota's environmental activities here