Toyota Releases 2011 North America Environmental Report

Toyota details the progress of its 5-year Environmental Action Plan in its 2011 North America Environmental Report, released today.

The company says it reached or exceeded 80% of the goals of its second Environmental Action Plan, which ran from 2006-2011, and committed it to increasing sustainable operations across North America.

In terms of its vehicles, Toyota is launching an expanded family of four Prius vehicles, has a partnership with Tesla Motors to produce an electric version of the RAV4 crossover SUV, and opened the first pipeline-fed hydrogen filling station in the U.S.

The Prius continues to be the world’s best selling fuel-efficient vehicle, with more than 3 million vehicles sold worldwide. Since its introduction in the U.S. in 2000, buyers have saved $2.19 billion in fuel costs, 881 million gallons of gas and 12.4 million tons of CO2 emissions, compared to conventional cars.

Prius v, the second of an expanded family of four Prius vehicles, launched in 2011, and next year Toyota will add the Prius C and the Prius Plug-in, and the electric RAV4 SUV.

Toyota also points to significant improvements in fuel economy across its fleet – 12% in US cars and 10% in US trucks. But in Canada, fuel economy increased a mere 2% in cars and 9% in trucks.

25 Toyota buildings and dealerships (including Lexus) are LEED-certified. All North American factories have reached near zero-landfill status (for three years) thanks to a 35% decrease in the amount of nonsaleable waste per vehicle produced and recycling 94% of all waste.

Toyota reduced greenhouse gas emissions 6% at US plants per vehicle produced and lowered Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions 10%. Yet, it’s energy consumed per vehicle rose 10% as did water consumption per vehicle (18%). 7 models have biobased plastics.

During these years, the company notes, it had to deal with massive recalls and production slow-downs due to the Japanese nuclear disaster.

"We used downtime to train employees and challenged them to find opportunities for improving our performance and sharing their knowledge with others. As a result, we met or exceeded many of the targets in our plan and, where targets were missed, still made progress reducing our impact."

Toyota’s TogetherGreen philanthropic program with the National Audubon Society supports conservation projects across the US. Over 700 employees donated over 700,000 hours of their time.

The company recently announced it would work with Ford to develop a new hybrid drive system for light trucks and SUVs and with Microsoft to build a telematics software platform for upcoming electric and plug-in vehicles.

In an analysis of automakers’ progress on sustainability, social investment firm Calvert cited Toyota as an example of industry best practice on environmental issues. Although Toyota is mostly known for its industry leading Prius hybrid, it also "provides extensive public disclosure of its environmental policies and practices." 

And the Carbon Disclosure Project gave it top ranking in the industry for climate-related disclosure.

Here’s the report:

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