6 challenges for earth care

By Alvin Uy Philippine Daily Inquirer June 05,2019

“Toyota challenges ourselves to achieve not just ZERO environmental impact but also a NET POSITIVE impact on Earth and Society,” Toyota Motor Asia Pacific EVP Mr. Vince Socco

The TEC2050 identified six challenges that Toyota believes are essential to achieving its sustainability goals, and the first 3 challenges target to reduce CO2 emissions to zero by focusing on electrification and adoption of green technologies and processes throughout the life-cycle and production of every vehicle built by Toyota. The next 3 challenges aim to realize a net positive impact on the environment by focusing on other key environmental risks areas such as water, waste management and the sustainable co-existence of man with nature.

Aside from the TEC2050, Toyota also announced its 2030 interim milestone targets towards achieving the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 last September. These targets currently being pursued through the Toyota Environmental Action Plan that sets the specific action plans and targets for every 5-year period and among its interim goal, Toyota targets to reduce CO2 emissions from new vehicles by 35% by 2030. By the end of the next decade, it aims to achieve an annual global sales target of 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including 1 million zero emission vehicles.

“Toyota takes sustainability seriously. It has always been and will continue to be a core commitment of our organization, at every level. In fact, we have elevated our commitment to address new environmental challenges into the next 2 to 3 decades. Toyota’s environmental philosophy was formulated in 1992 as the Toyota Earth Charter where Toyota identified environmental issues as a priority,” said Vince Socco, EVP for Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP) who was one of the key speakers in Toyota’s recently-concluded Hybrid Electric Technology Conference.

For the first environmental challenge, Toyota plans to reduce our new vehicle CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050. To achieve this, vehicle electrification is essential. But to do this, electric vehicles need to be popularized. Its initial target of putting 1.5 million electrified vehicles on the road by 2020 was achieved 3 years ahead in 2017.

In the second challenge, Toyota aims to achieve zero CO2 emissions throughout the entire life cycle of the car. For this challenge, it not only covers emissions produced in manufacturing but in every potential CO2-emitting process, starting from materials production, to the vehicle eventually being disposed and recycled during its end-of-life stage. This can be done by developing and expanding the use of materials with lower CO2 emissions, as well as reducing the quantity of materials and parts used in every single vehicle. This includes simplified vehicle designs for easy dismantling. As an example, the new Camry has 19% lower life cycle CO2 emissions than its predecessor model.

For the third challenge, Toyota plans on achieving zero CO2 emissions in all of its manufacturing plants by 2050, and reduce emissions by at least 35% from all plants by 2030. This includes equipment optimization to reduce the dependency of electrical power, and the use of waste heat energy produced from existing manufacturing processes. Other practices the use of energy efficient air-conditioning, which has significantly brought down the CO2 emissions by 652 tons per year, conversion to LED lighting systems, and installing renewable energy systems like the 8.79 megawatt solar panel system in its Plano, Texas plant, the largest non-utility company-owned solar panel installation in Texas. The system provides about one-third of the daily electric needs of the company, and reduces annual CO2 emissions by 7,198 tons.

The fourth challenge is focusing on the need to conserve water resources by using less water and practice recycling as much as it can. This means using less water to minimize its impact on the surrounding environment, and having a net positive impact on the environment by returning clean water to the local water source.

The fifth challenge is to establish a recycling based society and in its ecosystems. Globally, it will deploy end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling technologies by 2050, by setting up 30 model facilities for appropriate treatment & recycling of end of life vehicles, as well as establish battery collection & recycling systems globally. In 1970, Toyota established the world’s first end-of-life vehicle shredding company owned by a car manufacturer. Since then, Toyota has been recycling iron, plastic, aluminum parts, batteries, rare metals and magnets. In 2009, we started the world’s first HEV battery collection recycling system, and have collected 98,700 hybrid batteries as of March 2018.

The last and final challenge is to make a conscious and intentional effort to preserve and enhance co-existence with nature. The world loses about 1% of its forests annually. This requires a 3-pronged approach using afforestation, biodiversity, and education. Since 2005, Toyota has planted approximately 12 million trees around the world. In the area of bio-diversity, its concept of “from sky to mountain to river” replicates different forest communities such as biotopes of evergreen forests and wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests. In the area of education, among its efforts in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, it has been partnering with local governments in educating high school students on the importance of environment protection. In terms of collaborative initiatives, Toyota partners with NGOs to support 387 projects in 54 countries.

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