Why is carbon an important issue?


Carbon is the term we use at Toyota to refer to carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, the main greenhouse gas (GHG) linked to climate change.


GHG emissions are caused by activities that generate energy, such as the combustion of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to make electricity, and gasoline and diesel to power cars and trucks. These emissions are increasing, driven largely by economic and population growth. GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere trap the sun's heat, causing the planet's average temperature to rise and leading to large-scale shifts in weather patterns.


Global warming and its effects — referred to as climate change — are being felt in every region around the world in the form of more severe and frequent floods, hurricanes, wildfires and droughts. According to the latest climate change report issued by the United Nations (UN), limiting human-induced global warming requires reaching at least net zero CO₂ emissions, along with strong reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions.


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. That's why Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) named "Carbon" as one of our four environmental sustainability focus areas.

TMNA's Carbon Position

Transportation is responsible for one quarter of the world's GHG emissions and as an automotive company, TMNA is committed to doing our part to help the world transition to a low carbon economy. TMNA acknowledges climate change as a priority management issue and supports the goals of the Paris Agreement, a pact adopted by 196 countries that commits to reducing GHG emissions in order to keep warming well below 2° Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5° Celsius.

What are we doing to eliminate carbon?

Here in North America, our carbon strategy addresses multiple aspects of the vehicle life cycle to find ways to reduce – and eventually eliminate – CO₂ emissions. Our projects focus on:


Reducing CO₂ Emissions from New Vehicles

Globally, Toyota aims to reduce CO₂ emissions from new vehicles by 90% by 2050 (from a 2010 baseline).


Zero emissions from our vehicles is the ultimate goal and we believe the path to getting there is with a portfolio approach – fuel cell vehicles, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles. Offering a range of low emission vehicles means we should be able to reduce as much CO2 as possible as soon as possible, which in North America means offering more plug-in hybrids and hybrids until the alternative fueling infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell and all-electric vehicles expands. 


Eliminating CO₂ Emissions from Our Operations

By 2035, Toyota aims to make its manufacturing plants carbon neutral and by 2050, we aim to eliminate CO₂ emissions from our value chain. We're investing in on- and off-site solar and wind projects to lower our carbon footprint.


TMNA is a member of the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance (CEBA), a membership association for large-scale energy buyers seeking to procure renewable energy across the U.S. CEBA’s goals are to catalyze 60 gigawatts of new renewable energy projects by 2025 and to unlock the energy market for all large-scale energy buyers by creating viable pathways to procurement. 


Eliminating CO₂ Emissions from Logistics, Suppliers, and Dealers

Our logistics, supplier and dealer activities result in upstream and downstream transportation emissions. We collaborate with these business partners to find ways to reduce the carbon footprints of the vehicles we produce.


Logistics:  Logistics suppliers make up a significant portion of TMNA’s supply chain CO₂ emissions. Our logistics network consists of trucking, rail, air and marine carriers, all working in sync to ensure smooth shipping and delivery of vehicles, parts and accessories across North America, from the supplier to the plant, to Toyota’s distribution centers, and ultimately to dealerships and customers.


In North America, the majority of TMNA’s freight transport emissions are generated by third-party logistics suppliers. To help mitigate transport-related GHG emissions, TMNA’s internal logistics division works with logistics suppliers to develop GHG reduction strategies. For example, Toyota’s production control logistics group – which procures the parts and materials used to manufacture our vehicles – is working on a strategy to reduce GHG emissions from two primary sources: over-the-road transportation (OTR) and cross dock yard operations. The group’s focus is converting diesel-powered OTR equipment to alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, and trialing alternative power systems at cross docks, such as electric shunt trucks.


Suppliers: In 2022, we published updated Green Supplier Requirements. As part of these updated requirements, suppliers are joining us in our efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions across the vehicle life cycle and are expected to commit to an annual 3% CO₂ reduction target.


Dealers:  There are approximately 1,900 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the United States, Canada and Mexico, all independently owned franchises. The Toyota and Lexus brands work with their dealerships and provide guidance on implementing sustainable strategies during construction and renovation projects to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification. Through efforts like the Toyota Image II facility initiative and Lexus Vision USA, dealerships incorporate features that contribute to CO₂ reductions, such as LED lighting, windows that allow for natural light, and solar arrays.


Our carbon reduction efforts support Goal #7 on Affordable and Clean Energy and Goal #13 on Climate Action, two of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Find Out More

Toyota Port Facility Nears Carbon Neutrality

Toyota is completing a renovation of the TLS port facility that completely reimagines how the facility impacts people and planet. Using LEED® standards as a guide, the renovation includes projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and air quality in a disadvantaged community. 

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As part of our 2050 challenge to achieve carbon neutrality across our value chain, Toyota supports our business partners in their journey to eliminate CO₂ emissions.


Green Supplier Requirements

We updated our Green Supplier Requirements in 2022. As part of these updated requirements, suppliers are joining us in our efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions across the vehicle life cycle and are expected to commit to a target to reduce CO₂ emissions 3% per year. We are piloting a third-party software platform for suppliers to use to report energy and emissions data that will allow us to track their progress. Through our collaboration, we are better positioned to reduce our carbon footprint significantly and achieve the aim of eliminating CO₂ emissions from our supply chain by 2050.


Dealership Environmental Excellence Program

Toyota’s Dealership Environmental Excellence Program (DEEP) provides guidance and incentives to Toyota dealerships and recognizes them for positive environmental performance. The program targets continuous operational improvement in six categories: energy use, water consumption, waste, indoor environment, community outreach, and connecting with nature. Participating dealerships can earn up to five stars in each category for tracking environmental performance data, achieving minimum performance benchmarks, implementing improvement projects and aligning with the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050. Sixteen dealers are already active in DEEP and six have committed to using more renewable energy.