Why Biodiversity is an Important Issue

Biological diversity – or BIODIVERSITY – refers to the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms that inhabit the planet and how they work together in an ecosystem to maintain balance and support life.


Humans can’t exist without biodiversity. Bees, butterflies and many other species are responsible for the food we eat, and their habitats provide us with fresh water, shelter and raw materials. Ecosystems provide over half of global GDP and encompass diverse cultural, spiritual and economic values.


But human activity is putting pressure on biodiversity and accelerating biodiversity loss. A report issued by the United Nations (UN) in 2019 estimates that up to 1 million plant and animal species – out of a known 8 million – are threatened with extinction.


The current rate of habitat and species decline is unprecedented and threatens the foundations of economies, food security, health and livelihoods. Businesses are expected to play a significant role in achieving the bold and transformative steps urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is committed to doing our part to operate in harmony with nature. That’s why TMNA joined more than 1,000 companies in signing up to Business for Nature’s Call to Action, calling on governments to adopt ambitious policies to reverse nature loss in this decade, and why we named "Biodiversity" as one of our four environmental sustainability focus areas.

TMNA's Biodiversity Position

Human activity is putting pressure on biodiversity and accelerating biodiversity loss. This on its own is a global challenge, but biodiversity is also inextricably linked to climate change – we can't solve the climate crisis without recognizing the significant role nature plays in capturing and storing CO₂ from the atmosphere through ecosystem services, on land and in the oceans.


We believe business has a role to play in reversing nature loss and protecting biodiversity. Across North America, we are focusing on:


• No net loss of biodiversity


• Respect for legally designated protected areas


• Avoidance of negative impacts on threatened or protected species


Our focused approach to this involves working with stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, dealers, communities and nonprofit organizations, on biodiversity projects on our sites and in our communities. 

Our Biodiversity Strategy

In North America, our biodiversity strategy includes partnering with nonprofit organizations and local communities to achieve positive and wide-reaching conservation results on our sites and in our communities. Our projects focus on: 


Supporting Native Species

Our species protection efforts focus on supporting native species – those that are indigenous to our locations – and eradicating invasive species. Our team members are engaged in developing habitat to support pollinator species such as butterflies, birds, bees and bats. Populations of migratory monarchs have declined over the last decade, and our pollinator gardens spanning over 300 acres support the migratory monarch as well as other pollinator species. We are also working on indicator species projects at 15 sites to support native species as part of our habitat management efforts.


Restoring Habitat

Since 1999, Toyota has been partnering with Wildlife Habitat Council® (WHC) to restore habitats on our properties. WHC is a nonprofit organization whose services and initiatives empower companies to advance biodiversity and employee engagement. WHC’s voluntary standard, Conservation Certification, recognizes meaningful wildlife conservation and education programs on corporate lands. Toyota has programs at 14 sites with Conservation Certification. Several of these sites have set aside acreage and have installed walking trails to allow team members and the public to enjoy these protected areas. Other certification activities include tree and pollinator garden planting, installing and monitoring bird nesting boxes, and working with local schools to teach students about the importance of biodiversity.

SDG 12

Our biodiversity efforts support Goal #15 on Life on Land, one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Find Out More
Closeup image of pollinator plants

Toyota's Blossoming Commitment

Bees, butterflies & other vital pollinators support biodiversity which is why our goal is to enhance pollinator habitat.

Read Our Plans to Enhance Pollinator Habitat


We recognize the importance of biodiversity to the lives of our team members, customers and society in general. Our biodiversity strategy is crafted to leverage the expertise of specialists to help us safeguard species and restore habitats where feasible, and broaden the scope of our initiatives in communities to achieve greater conservation results.


For more than 25 years, Toyota has been partnering with the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to protect and restore habitats across North America. NEEF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant and connected to the daily lives of all Americans. For information on the events and grants funded by TMNA, read the feature story here.

Don’t stop now, head over to the Toyota Choose Your Change page and see even more smart things you can do to make a positive environmental impact at work, home and play.