With great power comes great responsibility– and, with its international engineering and manufacturing empire spanning six continents, it would be hard to argue that Toyota didn’t have great power. That’s why it’s so nice to see the giant automaker take corporate its responsibility seriously. Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 goal of cutting global emissions from plant operations to zero globally by the year 2050 is massively optimistic, of course. To prove they’re serious, however, Toyota has made another commitment: cut its US carbon emissions 40% by 2022.
“Toyota has long been defined by its commitment to responsible environmental practices, and we’re proud to build upon that great legacy today,” said Kevin Butt, General Manager and Regional Environmental Sustainability Director for Toyota Motor North America. “We are committed to setting an example of sustainability that goes beyond vehicles to show how a company can significantly reduce the environmental impact of its operations.”
I know, I know: it sounds like PR-speak that isn’t going to change anything. Keep in mind, though, that Toyota’s commitment to cleaning up the air we breathe is real enough that the company made its hybrid power train patents public back in April. That move should make it easier for other companies to learn from the hybrid-masters that brought us the Prius, first, and a whole slew of hybridized “regular cars” after. I mean, Fiat/Chrysler could probably learn a thing or two from Toyota, at least.
Take a look at the official press release that accompanied the infographic, below, then let us know whether you think Toyota is really committed to making things better or just really committed to generating positive PR in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Toyota to Reduce Emissions from North American Operations by up to Forty Percent
PLANO, Texas — Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is committing to aggressively reduce its carbon output in the United States by entering into Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs). It will use them to reduce emissions from its North American operations by up to forty percent over the next 3 years.
The move represents another major step towards Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 goal of cutting global emissions from plant operations to zero globally by the year 2050.
Under the VPPAs, which the company expects to commence later this year, TMNA will contract with renewable energy providers to generate wind and solar power that will be provided directly to regional electric grids. The supply of renewable power is expected to reduce use of fossil fuels while improving the sustainability of the electric grid in the area.
By powering its operations from the enhanced grid and applying Renewable Energy Credits earned by funding the generation of renewable electricity, Toyota expects to substantially offset emissions from its facilities in North America.
“Toyota has long been defined by its commitment to responsible environmental practices, and we’re proud to build upon that great legacy today,” said Kevin Butt, General Manager and Regional Environmental Sustainability Director for Toyota Motor North America. “We are committed to setting an example of sustainability that goes beyond vehicles to show how a company can significantly reduce the environmental impact of its operations. By cutting our U.S. emissions by forty percent, we will be that much closer to our goal of having a net positive impact on the environment by the middle of this century.”
Toyota’s VPPA program is the result of more than six years of research into how best to reduce and offset emissions from the company’s operations, working in partnership with MIT, the National Renewable Energy Lab, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and others. It is part of a wider effort across the company to reduce the environmental impact of enterprise operations as it also works to limit vehicle emissions.
This endeavor supports Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050. Launched in 2015, the Challenge sets out six objectives for the company’s global operations, including:
- A ninety percent reduction in global average CO2 emissions from new vehicles vs. 2010 levels;
- The complete elimination of CO2 emissions from the entire vehicle life cycle; zero emissions at all manufacturing plants worldwide;
- Elimination of CO2 emissions from all suppliers and logistics streams from overall operations;
- Minimizing water usage and implementing water discharge management protocols;
- Promoting global deployment of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling, and;
- Connecting and promoting nature conservation activities outside of the Toyota Group in the communities where we operate.
Source | Images: Toyota.