> Strengthening Communities
At Toyota, we believe an auto company can also be a vehicle for change. That's why we support programs focused on environmental initiatives that help strengthen diverse communities across North America.
Our support is focused in two key areas: environmental stewardship—helping to conserve resources and protect nature, and environmental education.
Our support in these key areas stems from Toyota's Guiding Principles and Earth Charter, which encourage us to contribute to the development of local communities by building close and cooperative relationships. The partnerships we develop with universities, nonprofits and community organizations are an integral part of our commitment to the environment. We help create programs that support our corporate values of respect for people and growth in harmony with nature.
Our corporate values are grounded in the Toyota
Way. Practicing the Toyota Way helps us build
more than quality vehicles; it also help us develop
strong, lasting partnerships. The concept of
The Japanese word hansei, translated loosely as reflection, is what happens when one of our employees stops to examine a completed project. Hansei is both an intellectual and emotional introspection. The employee must recognize the gap between the current situation and the ideal, take responsibility for finding solutions, and commit to a course of action. When a project finishes at Toyota, we use hansei to evaluate what went well and what did not. We then methodically try to preserve what went well and create countermeasures for what did not. These lessons are incorporated into the standard process so that when we repeat it, we improve over the last time. Finally, we share these insights with our colleagues so that they can learn as well, in a process we call yokoten.hansei, or reflection, is important to the success of our philanthropic programs. Hansei teaches us to examine the programs we support closely to determine where the need is greatest, which initiatives were successful and which could be improved. We give our partners our expertise and our time to make every relationship the best it can be.
Toyota has contributed millions of dollars, countless vehicles and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to help conserve and protect the environment in North America. The impact of our programs has local, national and even international reach. We describe a number of our partnerships below.
Signature Partnership: National Audubon Society
In 2008, Toyota and the National Audubon Society launched TogetherGreen™, a program funded by a $20 million grant from Toyota. The TogetherGreen program trains Fellows to be the environmental leaders of tomorrow, awards Innovation Grants to fund conservation projects across the United States, and supports Volunteer Days to offer individuals an opportunity to give back to their communities.
TogetherGreen has fostered diverse partnerships involving organizations, communities and people from all walks of life. To date, TogetherGreen has funded more than 1,500 partnerships between organizations such as public and private schools and universities, corporations, foundations, Native American Tribes, community service and faith-based organizations, and local, state and national parks and agencies. The program has also trained 400 conservation leaders—people from varied backgrounds such as educators, scientists, military veterans and artists, to name a few—who in turn have mobilized more than 310,000 people to reduce energy use, protect wildlife habitat and improve water quality in every state in America.
Since 2008, nearly 900 volunteer events have taken place across the country involving more than 36,000 volunteers, including Toyota employees in New York, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Texas and California. TogetherGreen volunteers have given over 333,000 hours to plant more than 135,000 trees and shrubs and improve or restore almost 13,000 acres. The value of the volunteer hours alone is estimated to be $6.9 million.
Many of the projects funded through TogetherGreen are featured in a new campaign called "Exit the Highway." Toyota and the National Audubon Society teamed up this past summer to ask Americans to "Exit the Highway" and drive the scenic route to discover natural wonders. The campaign highlighted nearly 100 nature destinations in more than 60 cities and encouraged people to visit Audubon centers, TogetherGreen conservation projects, Toyota's plants in Kentucky and Texas, and favorite nature spots recommended by Toyota's own dealers, executives and engineers. For every pledge to Exit the Highway and for every photo of a nature stop shared online, participants were entered to win a Toyota Prius v. Over 48,000 people entered; the winner of the Prius v was Tony Riddle from Cincinnati, Ohio.
In November of 2011, Toyota received the Keesee Award for its support of the TogetherGreen program. Audubon New York established the Keesee Award in 2001 to honor individuals whose contributions, talent and commitment to the environment have advanced conservation and environmental education. For more information on TogetherGreen, please visit www.togethergreen.org.
Innovation Grant Supports Lights Out Minneapolis
Over 350 species of birds travel along the so-called "Mississippi Flyway," which meanders through some of the most beautiful wild lands and farmland in the United States. Hundreds of millions of birds are killed when they fly into windows in the U.S. each year. Audubon Minnesota has documented mortality in over 100 species along the Mississippi Flyway alone. Using this research, they have created a plan to combat unnecessary bird fatalities.
One simple solution is to turn off building lights at night. With their TogetherGreen Innovation Grants, Audubon Minnesota has worked with building owners and the government to convince building managers to turn off their lights at night. Currently, 59 of the brightest buildings on the Minneapolis and St. Paul skylines have "signed-on" to Lights Out and are turning off their lights after midnight during both spring and fall migration. As a result of Lights Out Minneapolis, new legislation was passed requiring all state-owned and leased buildings in the state of Minnesota to turn off their lights at night.
To further expand their message, Audubon Minnesota is also targeting an audience of over 400 building owners, managers, designers and architects about the issue, using Bird-Safe Building Guidelines. New York City Audubon and the City of Toronto are partners in helping to replicate these design guidelines in their cities.
Togerthergreen Fellow Danni Washington
Daniell "Danni" Washington, a graduate of the University of Miami, founded the Big Blue & You Foundation in 2009 to educate and empower youth to become stewards of this planet through service learning, visual arts and media. In 2010, Danni became Director of the One Water Workshop, a five-day filmmaking workshop created by the Miami World Cinema Center (the first nonprofit film studio), where high school students create public service announcements about water conservation issues.
As a TogetherGreen Fellow, Danni plans to expand the Big Blue & You Foundation and the One Water Workshop deeper into Miami's urban community to reach at-risk high school students. Selected at-risk high school students will have the opportunity to participate in this five-day intensive training program that completely immerses students in the process of video pre-production, production and post-production. Students will come away with finished public service announcements about Florida aquatic resources, and they will serve as leaders for a school-wide service project with the Reclamation Project, restoring mangrove, fresh water and tropical hardwood hammock areas in Miami-Dade County. In addition, Danni plans to launch an innovative online video series featuring local youth who are passionate about marine life to encourage the community to take simple steps to protect the oceans.
By connecting inner city youth to the beauty and necessity of Florida's aquatic resources, she believes it will increase the chances of improving local water quality in South Florida, which will ultimately protect the biodiversity that makes Florida so unique. This 24-year old marine biologist, world traveler and environmental advocate will continue to focus her energy on using any creative medium to encourage today's young generation to love our natural environment, ultimately ensuring a bright and sustainable future.
"It is tremendously empowering to have the support of Toyota and Audubon Society as a TogetherGreen Fellow," says Danni Washington. "Just knowing that these global entities are willing to invest in the efforts of grassroots environmental leaders encourages me to work harder and inspire more Miami youth to protect our water resources."
TheGrio.com, a video-centric news community, selected Danni Washington as one of The Grio's 100, a list of 100 people making history today and having a positive impact on the African-American community. Danni was one of 10 people chosen in the Science and Environment field for her achievements, including her TogetherGreen fellowship.
Arbor Day Foundation
In 2008, Toyota and the Arbor Day Foundation launched Tree Campus USA, a program that recognizes college campuses that commit to five environmental standards to promote tree care and community outreach. So far, 116 distinguished schools have received the Tree Campus USA designation.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. are working in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to launch an aggressive campaign to encourage sustainability and tree planting at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country. Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha are teaming up to help collegiate members become environmental leaders on their respective campuses and ultimately achieve Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. The campaign entails planting trees on seven campuses: Kentucky State University, Wilberforce University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, the University of South Florida, Texas Southern University and Hampton University. Toyota will support five of these tree-planting events, in addition to the 10 events already held each year on Tree Campus schools.
During 2011, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota helped campuses throughout the country plant 30,000 trees. Tree Campus USA colleges and universities have invested more than $22 million in campus forest management.
Evergreen Learning Grounds
Toyota in Canada and its dealerships have partnered with Evergreen for over a decade, working together to transform Canadian school grounds into natural learning environments. In mid- 2012, Toyota and Evergreen celebrated an important milestone: The Evergreen Learning Grounds program reached its one millionth Canadian child.
The Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program offers students a close, hands-on relationship with the natural world while educating them about the importance of restoring, protecting and celebrating it. In the process, students transform their traditional school grounds—often a combination of asphalt and turf—into natural learning spaces featuring trees, wildflowers and shaded areas.
The Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds Program offers schools access to landscape design expertise and a resource library featuring how-to guides and information on native plants. It also provides interactive workshops for teachers and others to show them how they can weave the natural space into their curriculum.
Since the program's inception, almost 6.7 million people have benefitted from a Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds project. Nearly 80 percent of Toyota dealers across Canada are partnered with schools in their local communities. Frenchman's Bay Public School is one of six schools in the Durham Region to benefit from the program in the 2011/2012 school year. Grade four students play and learn in three naturalized areas, including a shady grove and two outdoor classrooms built with two-year funding support from the local dealership, Pickering Toyota.
Household Hazardous Waste Collections
Several of Toyota's North American locations host household hazardous and electronic waste collections for employees and surrounding communities as part of Earth Day celebrations. These collections ensure proper recycling or disposal for household items such as appliances, cell phones, paint, batteries, pesticides, automotive fluids, furniture stains and bathroom cleaners. Some sites have added clothing and toys to their collection days and donate these to Goodwill. The following Toyota locations hosted a collection event in 2012:
- Plant in Georgetown, Kentucky
- Plant in Princeton, Indiana
- Plant in Huntsville, Alabama
- Plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario
- Canadian sales headquarters in Toronto, Ontario
- U.S. sales headquarters in Torrance, California
- Parts distribution center in Torrance, California
- Parts center in Ontario, California
- Vehicle distribution center in Long Beach, California
Together, we collected approximately 140,000 pounds of material during these events either for donation or for proper recycling and disposal. Our Georgetown, Kentucky, plant has been hosting "SupeRecycling Day" since 1994, and has collected and recycled nearly 300 tons of electronic and household hazardous waste.
These events demonstrate how Toyota extends its commitment to waste reduction beyond its production activities. "Providing this service is a way for Toyota to show its appreciation to the community," Georgetown plant President Wil James said. "We all have to do our part. And when we do, we make a difference well beyond our own backyard."
National Public Lands Day
For the 14th year, Toyota sponsored National Public Lands Day (NPLD) in partnership with the National Environmental and Education Foundation (NEEF). This national program, held annually in September, is the largest hands-on volunteer event to improve and enhance public lands.
In addition to providing sponsorship, Toyota encourages employees to get involved in NPLD activities by volunteering in their local parks, forests, rivers, beaches, shorelines and other public lands. During NPLD 2011, more than 3,100 Toyota employees volunteered at 40 different sites in 20 states and U.S. territories.
In fact, more than 400 Toyota team members from our new plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, celebrated NPLD in 2011 by working together to clean and protect five sites. At Natchez Trace Parkway, volunteers cleaned the area and its buildings and removed invasive weeds to preserve native plants. At Carver Elementary School, Toyota volunteers weeded and mulched the school's rock garden, painted railings and removed brush, while at Tupelo High School debris from the school's grounds was removed. At Oren Dunn Museum, volunteers washed antique fire trucks and added siding to a barn.
During NPLD 2011, more than 170,000 volunteers maintained 1,500 miles of existing trails, beautified stream beds, removed trash and invasive plants, and planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and native plants. These projects contributed an estimated $17 million in improvements to federal, state and local public lands. For more information, please visit www.PublicLandsDay.org.
In addition to sponsoring NPLD, Toyota will contribute $3 million over the next three years to NEEF for the "Every Day Grants" program to improve the capacity of local organizations and "friends groups" that support public lands everyday. The grant comes at a time when public lands are in critical need of financial and volunteer support.
NEEF and Toyota's support for public lands serves as an excellent example for public-private partnerships, which are key to lasting conservation solutions for our nation. Such partnerships also support the goals of America's Great Outdoors initiative, a grassroots approach to protecting lands and waters and connecting all Americans to their natural and cultural heritage.
"Thousands of local nonprofit organizations are answering the call to help their public lands maintain grounds and trails, and generally keep up with growing interest in their use locally and nationally," said Diane Wood, president of NEEF. "But many groups lack the necessary resources to be as effective as they possibly can. Toyota's gift unleashes the power of these groups to serve their local parks and lands by increasing their capacity to establish lasting organizations, recruit volunteers and involve their communities."
Founded in 1999 by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and several veteran Waterkeeper Organizations, Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement of on-thewater advocates who patrol and protect over 100,000 miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. In 2011, Toyota provided a $200,000 grant to support the SPLASH Event Series. SPLASH is a national recreational event series that raises awareness of the importance of waterways.
The SPLASH Series takes place on five waterways around the United States, and each of the SPLASH events raises funds to support Waterkeeper Alliance and its local Waterkeeper organizations by engaging local citizens and clean-water enthusiasts in water-based activities like swimming, paddling and boating. The first season of SPLASH events kicked off with the Hackensack River Paddle in October of 2011 in Hackensack, New Jersey. Events have also been held in Santa Monica, California; Miami, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; and Washington, D.C.
Since 2009, Toyota has supported the Wyland Foundation, a nonprofit founded by renowned marine artist Wyland that helps children and families across the United States recognize the importance of healthy oceans and waterways. This year, Toyota and the Wyland Foundation celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act by launching the first National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. With support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a number of other organizations, the campaign challenges mayors nationwide to inspire their residents to conserve natural resources by taking a free, online pledge to save water during Earth Month.
Nearly 20,000 people from 1,000 cities in all 50 states made online pledges to save a total of 4.7 billion gallons of water over the next year, with a potential cost savings of $11.6 million. Residents further pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by 1.1 million bottles and eliminate 60,000 pounds of waste from entering watersheds.
Laguna Beach, California, resident Nika Shalala was the grand prize winner of the 2012 National Mayor's Challenge. Shalala became eligible for the grand prize drawing after Laguna Beach was named among the 12 winning cities for the Mayor's Challenge. As the grand prize winner, Shalala received a new Toyota Prius c. "We congratulate Nika for being this year's grand prize winner," said artist and environmentalist Wyland, who spearheaded the initiative. "With great support from partners like Toyota, we are able to expand the Mayor's Challenge nationally this year to generate awareness about the importance of conservation for protecting our environment, both for today and the future."
In addition to the grand prize of a Toyota Prius c, participants in the winning cities were eligible for prizes that included custom-designed sprinkler systems from Rain Bird, EcoFlow® Shower Heads from WaterPik, water-saving toilets from STERLING Plumbing, and 1,000 gift cards for Lowe's® Home Improvement Stores. Prizes worth more than $50,000 were awarded.
2012 also marked the second anniversary of Toyota and Wyland's Earth Month Heroes, a Southern California program that recognizes 30 exemplary citizens who find ground-breaking ways to work toward sustaining a healthy planet. The Wyland Foundation, Toyota and regional broadcast partner KCBS/KCAL made donations of $250 on behalf of the Earth Month Heroes to deserving organizations in Southern California, with a $1,000 grand prize donation to Plug-in America®.
Lexus Eco Challenge
Lexus, in partnership with Scholastic, sponsors the annual Lexus Eco Challenge. Since the program was created, the Lexus Eco Challenge has awarded $4 million in scholarships and grants to empower middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. The program entered its sixth year in 2012; more than 25,000 students have participated to date, learning how they can make a difference in the world around them.
In addition to the ongoing contest, the Lexus Eco Challenge provides educational materials designed by Scholastic that integrate creative lesson plans into the classrooms to help teach students about the environment. For each challenge, the website (www.scholastic.com/lexus) has lesson plans and teacher instructions including questions to help guide a discussion about the current challenge topic, facts about the topic, and guidelines for a specific classroom project.
In 2011, "The Green Musketeers" from Jericho High School in Jericho, New York, and the "One-Towel Wonders" from SCAPA Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky, were the Grand Prize winners. "The Green Musketeers" created their own filtration system with the goal of patenting it, selling it and using profits toward developing systems in third-world countries. The "One-Towel Wonders" demonstrated how a simple idea—using one towel per person, per week—would benefit the environment. For their efforts, each grand prize winner received $30,000, of which the school received a grant for $7,000, the teacher advisor got a $3,000 grant, and the students shared $20,000 in scholarships.
The eight First Place teams each won $15,000 with $3,000 for the school, $2,000 for the teacher advisor and $10,000 in scholarships for the students. The winning teams were:
- "Team Aqua," Arboga Elementary School, Arboga, California Raised money and awareness around the world for water conservation programs.
- "Carbonators," Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta, California Used ArcGIS to analyze smog levels around the world and how smog impacts health.
- "The Trophic," Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Miami, Florida Focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions through programs to benefit the land, air and water in their community.
- "WEACT," Leilehua High School, Wahiawa, Hawaii Launched an environmental awareness program in the community to culminate in the construction of a mural.
- "Purpledinowolficorns," Tates Creek Middle School, Lexington, Kentucky Developed a proposal to the mayor about involving the community to improve the city.
- "WMS Carbon Busters," Whitehall Middle School, Whitehall, Michigan Encouraged the school, community and state to pass on bottled water and drink tap water.
- "Environmental Discovery Project," West Geauga High School, Chesterland, Ohio Contacted international communities to encourage composting.
- "HMS Hawks," Hanahan Middle School, Hanahan, South Carolina Raised awareness of the benefits of eating locally grown produce.
"The Lexus Eco Challenge is an integral part of the environmental studies curriculum at SCAPA," said Ashlie Beals, teacher advisor for the "One-Towel Wonders." "For the past five years, all of my eighth grade students have worked in teams to create and implement innovative campaigns to encourage others to make one small change that can have a large positive impact on our environment. During the challenge, students sharpen their oral and written communication skills, utilize many forms of technology and work together actively and enthusiastically to solve real-life problems. My younger students eagerly look forward to their chance to participate in the challenge when they are in eighth grade. I can't thank Lexus and Scholastic enough for offering this tremendous opportunity to my students."
Toyota International Teacher Program
The Toyota International Teacher Program is a fully-funded professional development program for U.S. secondary school teachers of all subjects. Administered by the Institute of International Education and fully funded by Toyota, the program is in its 13th year. Teachers participate in a two-week overseas study tour, during which they investigate environmental and educational themes through site visits, lectures, service projects and collaborative projects with local teachers. To date, more than 685 educators representing 47 states and the District of Columbia have completed study tours to the Galápagos Islands, Costa Rica, Japan and South Africa. Please see www.iie.org/toyota for more information.
The program supports and strengthens teachers' knowledge of environmental issues and their understanding of global conservation issues. Upon returning to their classrooms, teachers apply what they have learned to create interdisciplinary, solution-focused educational approaches. The teachers also participate in professional conferences, seminars and community workshops to share what they have learned. It is estimated that more than 650,000 students have benefited from these travel programs and expanded curriculums.
In November 2011, educators traveled to Costa Rica for the fifth time. During their travels to San Jose, Guacimo, Sarapiqui and La Fortuna, they participated in activities highlighting the relationship between Costa Rican history, culture and the environment. They toured sustainable agriculture projects at Earth University and engaged in service projects at La Selva Biological Station, one of the most studied tropical rain forests in the world. Area experts educated participating teachers on local development, agronomy and conservation practices. Other activities included studying research methods at Earth University and visiting rural Costa Rican primary and secondary schools to observe classes and interact with teachers and students. All activities were aimed at exploring the role of environmental education in spreading environmental awareness.
Through the Toyota International Teacher Program, teachers are helping local communities find solutions to global problems, and their students are being exposed to a global experience that enhances their understanding of environmental issues in their own communities and around the world.
Spotlight: Titp Alumnus Comes Full Circle
During the trip to Costa Rica in 2011, educators were accompanied by 2009 Toyota International Teacher Program alumnus, Jason Shields. As an on-site Discussion Leader, Jason provided support and mentorship, and facilitated group debriefs to stimulate creative thinking among the participants.
"As a Discussion Leader, I had the opportunity to share and expand on the action plan that I developed from my first trip, and to inspire others to develop action plans that would change their classroom, school and community," said Jason. "It was truly an honor and a privilege to be part of Toyota's unique teacher professional development program for a second time."
Jason teaches math and engineering at Kings High School in South Lebanon, Ohio. His goal is to help produce the next generation of green engineers and inventors by placing his students at the forefront of green technologies and sustainable engineering. Upon his return from the program in 2009, he gathered a team of eight students to participate in the Lemelson MIT InvenTeams competition. His team was selected as one of 14 teams across the nation to receive a $10,000 grant for their idea to create backpack hydro-electric generators for people in developing countries.
Jason has created a new engineering program at Kings High School. His students are acting as small engineering firms. They are developing solutions to problems using funding from budgets approved by the school board. As a result of his students' projects, the school district installed water refilling stations around the school, saving tens of thousands of plastic water bottles from ending up in landfills. His students also developed a Java™ program that transfers electric, water and gas meter data to the district's online ENERGY STAR® Portfolio to help the district monitor and conserve resources.
"The Toyota International Teacher Program has been instrumental to me during the creation of my new engineering program at Kings High School," said Jason. "Both of my trips to Costa Rica have offered a true paradigm shift resulting in the development of new lessons and projects for my school and community." Jason's students will be piloting a new program, inspired by the Dean of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, to complete their freshman year as engineering majors while still in high school. The students will earn transcript credit for engineering, math, English and physics while at Kings High school, allowing them to earn their entire engineering masters degree and coop experience within four years after high school.
Local Community Engagement
Toyota partners with numerous local community organizations where we live and work. These partnerships allow our employees to volunteer in their communities and share their knowledge and expertise.
Toyota is proud of the volunteering and philanthropy of its employees across North America. Our employees take what they learn about energy saving, water conservation and recycling, and apply these practices at home and in their communities. Our employees embody our Action Guidelines, which direct us to always be concerned about the environment and to actively participate in our communities.
Here are just a few examples of how we engage with our local communities:
- In honor of United Nations' World Water Day, the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association announced Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana was one of two North American recipients of the third annual Water Champion awards. Initiated in 2009, the Water Champions awards recognize program participants for outstanding achievement in boosting awareness of water quality issues through involvement in the World Water Monitoring Challenge™ (WWMC). Winners were chosen by a subcommittee of the WWMC regional panel of judges, comprised of water industry professionals from around the world. Toyota partners with Gibson, Vanderburgh and Warrick county schools to share the WWMC program with sixth-grade science students and annually involves more than 2,200 students in the program. More than 10,500 area students have participated in the program since 2004. Program participants sample about 100 different lakes, rivers and streams across southwestern Indiana. Monitoring data then is uploaded into the WWMC database.
- Toyota's research and development center in Michigan has been partnering with Habitat for Humanity for the past four years. In 2011, 144 volunteers gave 1,152 hours of their time to provide a hardworking and deserving family the opportunity to own a home. They worked on a bungalow-style home in Ypsilanti to install new siding, windows, doors, drywall, cabinetry and flooring. The house was renovated to achieve an ENERGY STAR® five star rating, which will save the new homeowners thousands of dollars in energy and water costs. On average, Toyota's renovations have been 40 percent more energy-efficient than a brand new home, which keeps an estimated 4,500 pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere annually. Toyota's partnership with Habitat for Humanity is also active in Canada, where two teams of volunteers worked on homes in Toronto built to R-2000 standards. R-2000 is a voluntary performance standard for energy efficiency, indoor air quality and environmental responsibility administered by Natural Resources Canada.
- During Earth Week, 25 employees from Toyota's Canadian sales headquarters ventured into their local communities for "20 Minute Makeovers" of a nearby ditch, a ravine and a playground. They collected 44 bags of trash.
- Hundreds of young people from across West Virginia attended the 49th annual state Youth Environmental Day on May 19, 2012 at North Bend State Park. The popular event is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and several corporations including Toyota of West Virginia. Youth group members received awards from George Vickers, an Environmental Specialist at Toyota's West Virginia plant, for their participation in community environmental projects, including litter cleanups, recycling drives, school landscaping projects, tree planting, backyard composting, wildlife management, watershed protection and much more. George was involved in the selection process for the Rick Vecellio Memorial Conservation Scholarship and was honored to present the recipient with the award during the North Bend ceremony.
- The Keep Jackson Beautiful Commission presented Bodine Aluminum in Jackson, Tennessee, with the Environmental Stewardship Award for Industry during the 2012 Mayor's Civic Pride celebration. The Mayor's Civic Pride Awards were established in 1990 as an effort to congratulate and publicly acknowledge businesses and individuals making a positive contribution to the environment. Bodine was recognized for picking up debris in the Cypress Grove Park after the 100-year flood and assisting in the cleanup and creation of the children's section of Liberty Garden's Memorial Park. Bodine was also the first industry in Madison County to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway Program. The first cleanup in April 2012 resulted in the collection of over 800 pounds of debris. The Environmental Stewardship Award follows the recognition in 2011 by the City of Jackson and the Jackson Recreation and Parks Department for the example Bodine sets as a corporate citizen within the Jackson-Madison County community.
- In April 2012, 75 second-grade students from Northern Elementary, a local Scott County school, visited the Environmental Education Center | Nature Trail at Toyota's Kentucky plant for a special Environmental Field Day. Students from the school participated in activities led by guest organizations, including Louisville Zoo, Kentucky Fish & Wildlife, and the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, among others. Also in attendance was "Trip-R," Toyota's environmental mascot who helped students with waste segregation at lunchtime. Trip-R, short for Triple-R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), visited the students at the school earlier in the week to teach about recycling. All students were provided with T-shirts, recycled notebooks and reusable water bottles, which each student packed for their field trip to the plant, reducing the need for disposable drink containers. Team members from the plant's Community Relations and Environmental departments were on hand to support the event.
Spotlight: Employees from Toyota's Cambridge Plant Give Back
Toyota's Cambridge plant celebrated its 25th year in 2011. Approximately 6,500 team members assemble the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and the Lexus RX 350. Team members at Toyota's manufacturing plant in Cambridge, Ontario, volunteer their time and expertise to help their community in a number of ways:
- A small patch of green at the Cambridge plant is known as the Giving Garden. The garden began in 2009 under the direction of Japanese master gardener Kaz Matsubayashi. With his guidance, and using traditional Japanese techniques, a handful of team members from the plant coaxed vegetables to grow. In 2011, 80 team members worked in the garden and produced 360 kilograms (740 pounds) of vegetables including potatoes, beets, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and onions. The harvest went to St. John's Kitchen to be used in meals served at the downtown Kitchener Homeless Shelter, and to women's shelters in Kitchener and Cambridge. The shelters also provide instructional cooking, canning and freezing sessions based on the vegetables donated.
- In May 2011, our plants experienced a production slow-down as a result of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan and the resulting parts shortage. We took this opportunity to launch the Community Support Program. Over 1,000 team members volunteered to support the community by painting, tree planting and cleaning. Groups of team members enthusiastically tackled projects like planting over 3,000 trees for the Grand River Conservation Authority in Cambridge. A group also went to Shade's Mills Conservation Area in Cambridge for a day to paint the exterior of the Toyota Nature Center, along with other structures by the Ball Diamond, the beach and shelters along the trails.
- Our Cambridge volunteers contributed to beautification of their community during their fifth Adopt-A-Road event. The plant adopted the three-kilometer stretch of Fountain Street in front of the plant in 2009. Volunteers have been conducting bi-annual cleanup events ever since. The crew has more than doubled since the first event. This has allowed the ambitious group to expand their efforts to a wider area surrounding the Cambridge facilities to "sweep-it-clean."
- Coffee cups in the Cambridge plant cafeteria are made of compostable material; however, the lids for these cups are not. This means the lids should not be placed in the compost receptacle with the coffee cups; instead, they should be placed in a separate recycling bin. The plant decided to offer to make quarterly donations to registered children's charities to reward team members for spending the extra time to separate the cup and the lid and place them into the correct receptacles. This program has had great success. Organizations receiving the quarterly "Lids for Kids" donations of $2,500 have included Camp Discovery (for children with diabetes), the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank for their "Penny Harvest" program, and Strong Start, an organization in Waterloo Region that helps young children learn to read.
This is just a sampling of the activities that team members at our Cambridge plant engage in every year. Thanks to their volunteer work and their commitment to kaizen, or continuous improvement, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers 2012 by the editors of the "Canada's Top 100 Employers" project. This special designation recognizes employers that are leaders in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations.
"The wide diversity of activities exemplifies the major contributions our team members make to the community by sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm," said Fred Volf, Vice President of Manufacturing and Environmental Director at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada. "This engagement fosters environmental awareness not just here, but also in the local community." Last year, more than 180 charitable groups and organizations received financial and volunteer support from our Cambridge plant. The support we show for our community gives voice to who we are as a global enterprise, the values we embody, and the good that we are striving to accomplish.