Toyota's Guiding Principles put our communities and the environment at the heart of what we do. We seek sustainable growth that is in harmony with the environment and that strengthens the communities in which we live and work.
This chapter describes our environmental philanthropy, education and research support, and how we communicate our environmental plans and activities to our stakeholders.
Toyota's corporate environmental philanthropy promotes stewardship, education and research, all of which are vital to sustainable development. We partner with nonprofit and community organizations, schools, universities and other businesses to support programs with long-term, sustainable results. (Target 15.1) Our contributions take many forms, including vehicle donations, grants, scholarships, and volunteer time. In Canada, we met our commitment this past year to contribute more than 25 percent of our philanthropy to environmental programs. (Target 15.2)
We aim to protect, preserve and improve the natural environment, and establish systems by which people in the community will carry this work forward to future generations. We continue to partner with the following organizations through conservation funding and volunteerism.
National Audubon Society and TogetherGreen™
In cooperation with the National Audubon Society, Toyota launched the TogetherGreen program to foster conservation innovation, leadership and volunteerism. Through a five year, $20 million grant, TogetherGreen funding is allocated across three major components: annual Innovation Grants awarded to over 40 projects that have innovative conservation impact; 40 Fellows selected every year to receive training and lead their own local community project; and hundreds of TogetherGreen Volunteer Days to encourage local communities and Toyota employees to participate in conservation activities. To date, TogetherGreen has engaged 72,400 participants, including Toyota employees, in over 275,000 hours of habitat, water and energy conservation efforts across the U.S.
A few of the Innovation Grants in the past year included:
- Engaging Houston residents in restoring native habitat on Texas' hurricane-ravaged Bolivar Peninsula;
- Partnering with The Nature Conservancy in New York City to offer conservation internships to inner city teens;
- Inspiring Arizona home and business owners to install renewable energy systems;
- Transforming land neighboring a wastewater treatment plant into a wildlife park in Idaho;
- Partnering with local high schools to put Los Angeles teens on the front line of coastal sage scrub restoration; and
- Launching a program with Pennsylvania Senior Corps to appoint aging Americans as volunteer citizen scientists.
In November 2009, Toyota announced the second round of TogetherGreen Fellows. The 40 recipients include professors, Ph.D. candidates, ecologists, an artist, professional conservation practitioners, and community organization members. These Fellows will help engage thousands of people to protect habitat, wildlife and water, and save energy in 20 states and 37 cities.
During TogetherGreen Volunteer Days held over the past year, thousands of Audubon and Toyota employees joined countless other volunteers and participants to donate their time and energy to conduct restoration projects, park and beach cleanups, tree planting and wildlife monitoring and inventorying.
TogetherGreen also inspires children through Pennies for the Planet, aimed at supporting critical conservation projects. In 2009, children collected 2,609,100 pennies for three projects: Save Puffins, bringing colorful seabirds back to an island off coastal Maine; Protect an Ancient Swamp Forest, preserving a unique area in South Carolina; and Save Sagebrush Habitat, protecting a vast sagebrush habitat in Wyoming.
For more information please visit www.togethergreen.org.
Toyota continues to support conservation initiatives in urban settings, including MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership to plant one million trees in New York City by 2017. Since the launch in October 2007, over 370,000 trees have been planted with benefits such as reduced storm water runoff, flooding, and erosion resulting in cleaner water; lower summer air temperatures and, therefore, lower energy costs; and provide climate change mitigation.
Energy Conservation Partnerships With Local Government
Two years ago, our assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, created an Energy Conservation Partnership with the Scott County government. The goal of the program is to create an energy management system, highlighting cost and environmental benefits. Toyota team members volunteered their time to assist in conducting assessments, identifying energy reduction activities, and implementing projects to achieve environmental benefits.
After performing an assessment of the Scott County Courthouse's energy use and management practices, Toyota's team members provided recommendations for improvements. The courthouse opted to implement a lighting retrofit and upgrade its boiler. To date, the lighting retrofit has resulted in a 36.5 percent reduction in energy usage and $10,134 in savings, while the new boiler resulted in a 72.1 percent reduction in natural gas usage and $21,842 in savings for the county.
Launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, Tree Campus USA recognizes colleges and universities that commit to practicing five sustainability standards on their campuses. To date, 74 distinguished universities have received the official Tree Campus USA designation, including the University of Michigan, University of Texas, UCLA, Duke, Cornell, and Virginia Tech.
For more information please visit www.arbordaynow.org.
Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds Program
Now in its eleventh year, the continuing partnership between Toyota Canada Inc. and Evergreen supports the transformation of barren Canadian school grounds into inviting play spaces and natural learning environments. Since the start of the program, Toyota and 190 of its dealerships in Canada have contributed approximately CAN$7.5 million to help support Evergreen projects across the country.
In the 2009/10 school year, the program awarded over CAN$260,000 in grants to 158 schools and day care centers and to date has directly engaged over 814,000 children across the country. The funds provide access to an online native plant database and project registry; grants ranging from CAN$500 to $3,500 to assist in acquiring native plants, heritage vegetables and berries; and expert assistance through Evergreen and its Learning Grounds Associates.
For more information please visit www.evergreen.ca/en/lg/lg.html.
National Public Lands Day
In partnership with the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), Toyota has sponsored National Public Lands Day (NPLD) since 1999. This past year, more than 3,100 Toyota employees and 150,000 volunteers helped clean-up and restore public lands at 37 different sites in 20 states and U.S. territories. The activities included helping to care for parks, forests, rivers, beaches, shorelines, and other areas.
For more information, please visit www.publiclandsday.org.
In FY2010, Toyota encouraged even more associates to get involved in NPLD and other volunteer activities. At our manufacturing, sales and logistics, and corporate locations, we encourage volunteerism and service to the local community through employee volunteer recognition and awarding grants to non-profit organizations chosen by our employee volunteers. For example, under the "Team Toyota Volunteer" program, non-profit organizations where our manufacturing employees volunteer a minimum of 50 hours are eligible for a grant, as well as the "Get in Gear Volunteer" program for our sales and logistics employee volunteers.
We aim to provide greater opportunity for students and teachers at all levels by encouraging environmental literacy. A number of our environmental education programs are described here.
Toyota provides more than $9.2 million in funding to Toyota TAPESTRY Grants, the nation's largest science teacher grant program for K-12 grade teachers. During the past 20 years, 1,147 teams of teachers have received funding for their innovation in teaching environmental science, physical science, and integrating science and literacy into their curriculum. In 2009, Toyota TAPESTRY granted more than $550,000 for enhancing creative science education. Seventy-nine teachers were selected from over 500 applicants. Fifty teachers were awarded grants of up to $10,000 each and an additional 29 teachers received grants of up to $2,500 each.
Some recipients have used the program as a platform to expand science-based projects beyond their classrooms and impact their communities. Jim Calaway of Lawton, Oklahoma, initially received a grant for his archaeology project, "The Lost Wichita Expedition," which resulted in the discovery of 400 artifacts; student and parent enrollment in the Southwest Anthropological Society and the Oklahoma Anthropological Society; students pursuing careers in archaeology; several teaching awards, including the Presidential Award; additional grants to expand the project to other schools; and the beginning of a successful science project and grant track record. Mr. Calaway's personal total of grants, programs, projects, and in-kind money is over $1.5 million.
For more information please visit www.toyotatapestry.com.
Lexus Eco Challenge
The Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational program and contest held in partnership with Scholastic, seeks to inspire and empower middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. Since its launch in 2007, the program has awarded more than $2.5 million in grants and scholarships and engaged nearly 16,000 participants.
This year's winners emerged from 265 registered teams representing 1,775 middle and high school students nationwide. Initial challenges addressed land, water, air or climate issues on a local level. Thirty-one teams qualified for the Final Challenge, where teams were required to inspire environmental action globally. The "McAuley Ecomacs: Operation Haiti" team from Mother McAuley High School in Chicago, Illinois built a solar-powered biodiesel production system for a village in Haiti. They also worked with representatives from a school in Haiti to plant a jatropha farm to grow seeds that generate oil for the biodiesel system.
For more information please visit www.scholastic.com/lexus.
Toyota International Teachers Program (TITP)
TITP, a study tour for secondary education teachers focused on promoting environmental conservation and global understanding, was established in 1998. Over 600 teachers have been sent abroad to places such as Japan, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands, supported by a $1.3 million annual grant from Toyota.
In April and May 2009, 25 teachers were selected from nearly 500 applicants for a trip to Costa Rica to learn about sustainable practices in the country. They worked with area experts on sustainable development, agronomy, ecotourism and other conservation practices. For the first time, educators traveled to Monteverde, widely considered the quintessence of Costa Rica's conservation movement, to meet with researchers, visit local schools, engage in service projects and explore the role of environmental education in spreading environmental awareness.
For more information please visit www.toyota4education.com.
Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program
Since 2003, 120 exceptional Canadian students have received more than $600,000 through the Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program. Established to reward and encourage environmental commitment and action, the program awards $5,000 to be applied to each winner's first year of post-secondary full-time studies in Canada. On Earth Day 2010, 20 Canadian high school and Cégep (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel) students were recognized for their dedication to environmental stewardship, as well as academic excellence.
In June, Andrew Wong of Burlington, Ontario, was named the 2010 Toyota Earth Day Scholarship National Winner, selected from the 20 regional finalists. Andrew's accomplishments include rallying the restoration of his school's dilapidated greenhouse, establishing the Greenhouse Horticultural Society, and growing and selling geraniums annually, raising money to replace damaged greenhouse components. He also serves as the President of the Environment Team and Biology Club; spearheaded the development of his high school's new recycling program; volunteers with the Royal Botanical Gardens Bay Area Restoration Council; and authors the environmental blog "Million Green Lights" (www.milliongreenlights.blogspot.com).
For more information please visit www.earthday.ca/scholarship.
National 4-H Council's 4-H2O Water Conservation Program
Since 2008, Toyota has sponsored the National 4-H Council's 4-H2O Program. The Toyota grant supported the creation of environmental curriculum on water conservation, 4-H2Online, an interactive online learning experience that engages youth in sharing their experiences with water conservation, and the expansion of the 4-H2O Community Projects. To date, community projects have been implemented in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas, West Virginia, and Indiana, as well as in New York City.
These community programs address local water quality, water conservation and watershed issues. Through these projects, youth learn to protect and conserve freshwater resources by participating in activities such as water quality testing, watershed cleanup events and constructing rain gardens, while also strengthening math and science skills. In its first year, 4-H2O Community Projects saved 138 million gallons of water. Toyota's 4-H2O Community Projects engaged more than 27,000 youth participants and another 91,000 community members through local events and outreach.
National Park Environmental Education Grants
Toyota announced a three-year $5 million National Parks grant program in 2008. The Toyota Leadership in Environmental Awareness for our Future (LEAF) grant was designed to enhance specific environmental educational programs to create the next generation of stewards for the environment. The grant program provides funding to five of the most visited national parks in the U.S., including the Everglades, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and others through the National Park Foundation.
One of the Toyota grants, through the South Florida National Parks Trust, enabled park staff and community partners at Everglades National Park to hold two camping sessions for families that had never visited the park nor gone camping. These camping sessions were held over two weekends during the winter season of 2010. The purpose of the program was to introduce local community members to the park and enhance their appreciation of the Everglades and the outdoors.
Environmental Field Trip Grants
Every year, our assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky hosts field trips for students to see how our facility runs and to learn about our environmental projects. The plant hosts an average of 30,000 - 40,000 visitors annually, and approximately one-fourth are students. While visiting the facility, students tour the Environmental Education Center and Nature Trail where they learn about the region's local ecology and what our plant is doing to protect it.
A transportation reimbursement fund was created in 2008 to help schools offset the cost of a trip to our plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. Awards are based on financial need and a school's interest in implementing or improving an environmental education program. Funds are made possible by profits generated at the plant's Visitor Center gift store. Nineteen schools from Kentucky have received grants as of the end of 2009.
While at the site, students can also visit the Environmental Education Center and Nature Trail where they learn about environmental stewardship, including segregating waste and the benefits of recycling, rather than disposing of waste.
Toyota works to support research projects that promote sustainable development, including safe and reliable global energy systems to support mobility-friendly roads and cities. In particular, we work with academia and other companies on technologies that manage and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. (Target 15.3)
Southern Forests for the Future
Southern forests currently cover more than 200 million acres of land and are the most biologically diverse temperate forests in the world, providing timber, paper, watershed protection, carbon storage, and recreation opportunities. In 2009, Toyota awarded $1.49 million to support the World Resources Institute's (WRI) "Southern Forests for the Future." The project aims to raise awareness of the threats facing southern U.S. forests and increase the amount of forest conserved or managed in a sustainable manner. WRI will also conduct research to identify and pilot test a portfolio of incentives that could encourage private landowners to retain their forests and sustain them.
In addition to funding, Toyota has provided technical expertise and human resources to support WRI's efforts to create time series maps that reveal trends and changes in southern forests. These maps are accessible through a groundbreaking Web portal that allows school children, universities, interest groups, and the general public to learn more about these endangered areas.
This annual environmental report communicates Toyota's environmental plans, activities, and performance (Target 16.1) and is available as an interactive publication at www.toyota.com/environmentreport.
Toyota recognizes that the most challenging issues require a broad set of stakeholders to discuss options and develop workable solutions. For this reason, we are facilitating international meetings with thought leaders and other stakeholders to address complex issues such as sustainable mobility.
Meeting of the Minds
In June 2009, Toyota once again presented Meeting of the Minds. The summit featured two and a half days of intensive exchange for leaders working to create more sustainable cities using smarter design tools, sounder environmental practices, and cleaner energy systems. The event was hosted by JPMorgan Chase at their headquarters in New York City. More than 100 leaders from more than 15 countries joined counterparts from public, private and independent sectors from across the New York region to discuss practical urban innovations for the future. Toyota has been the lead sponsor of this exchange of ideas and innovation since its inception in 2007.
For more information please visit www.meetingoftheminds2010.org.
Sustainable Mobility Seminars
In April 2010 in La Jolla, California, we held a Sustainable Mobility Seminar featuring presentations and panel discussions from global experts in energy, science and economics, exploring the future of mobility. This includes exploring new energy sources, new partnerships and new ways of doing business. The seminar for business, automotive and environmental media and analysts also offered attendees the first opportunity to drive the 2010 Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHV) vehicle.
For more information please visit www.toyota.com/esq.
Governors' Global Climate Summit
In October 2009, we sponsored the Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles, California. The summit included governors and mayors from around the world, as well as industry leaders including Toyota. The aim of the summit was to involve state and local leaders in collective action to solve global climate change issues. Representatives from Toyota made presentations on advanced vehicle technologies. Outcomes from the summit were conveyed by Governor Schwarzenegger and others to representatives at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009.