Water is one of Toyota Motor North America’s four environmental sustainability focus areas. Our actions today to protect this precious resource create lasting value and build a better tomorrow for us and for the planet.
Why Water is an Important Issue
Water is at the heart of every aspect of human development. We need water to nourish us, sustain the natural world, produce food and energy, and propel economic growth.
But water scarcity is a growing problem that impacts people around the world. Globally, 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries and 21 of the world’s 37 largest groundwater reservoirs are being depleted faster than they can be refilled. By 2030, scientists predict a 40% shortfall in the available global water supply. Lake Mead and Lake Powell – two of the largest reservoirs in the U.S. – are at their lowest levels ever, threatening water and power shortages for millions of people in the American west.
Water quality is also a growing concern, with over 80% of wastewater flowing back into the environment without being treated or reused. In the U.S., forever chemicals (PFAS) are present in over 100 waterways across 29 states and the District of Columbia.
Rising demand for water and deteriorating water quality threaten the safety and health of people and impact the balance of nature. 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 ensure sustainable water use. That’s why we named "Water" as one of our four environmental sustainability focus areas.
TMNA’s Commitment to Water as a Shared Resource
TMNA is committed to engaging in and supporting efforts that reduce and recycle water used in our facilities, protect water bodies, invest in education and awareness, and share best practices with others. As the availability of clean water becomes more and more important to Toyota communities across the region, we will continue to follow the principles set forth by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard.
Our Water Strategy
In North America, we are moving beyond an onsite water management approach to one of site and watershed water stewardship. To us, water stewardship means using water in a way that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, and is achieved through working with stakeholders on site- and watershed-based actions. Our projects focus on:
Team members are always on the lookout for ways to improve water efficiency in direct operations and use recycled/reused water when applicable. The more water we recycle and reuse, the less we have to bring in from fresh water sources. This is especially important in areas of water stress, where water isn't always readily available. We've installed reverse osmosis systems and membrane bio reactors and implemented a variety of projects to get more out of every drop.
Protecting water quality is a key component of our approach to water stewardship. Some of our sites discharge wastewater, which we monitor and treat to meet local, state and federal regulations and to avoid negatively impacting water bodies.
We engage with communities, NGOs and strategic partners to conserve, restore and protect water and water-related ecosystems. Our outreach activities are a vital part of our commitment to collective action to solve local water challenges.
Toyota’s approach to water stewardship supports Goal #6 on Clean Water and Sanitation for All, one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Toyota recognizes the importance of water and it is one of our four environmental sustainability focus areas. Our water strategy emphasizes water stewardship and supports the UN Sustainable Development Goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation for All.
Team members are always on the lookout for ways to save water. The more water we recycle and reuse, the less we have to bring in from fresh water sources. This is especially important in areas of water stress, where water isn't always readily available.
TMMBC is the first Toyota plant in North America to use a membrane bio reactor (MBR). The MBR and RO system helps ensure the plant will have sufficient water to operate, even though water availability is limited in the area.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been engaging in new research to explore how oxbow lakes can help restore the rich biological diversity in southwest Indiana and the role of oxbow lakes in its freshwater conservation strategies. Support from Toyota Indiana has allowed TNC to delve into this more deeply.
We support community efforts to educate individuals and families about water conservation and the importance of protecting water quality. These activities help scale up conservation efforts and make positive outcomes more impactful.
Helping Restore Water Flows in the Colorado River Delta
The State of Baja California in Mexico exports around 150 million cubic meters of water (40,000 million gallons) each year from the Colorado River to the cities of Tecate and Tijuana, and in recent years to Rosarito and Ensenada. The agricultural sector consumes the majority of this water, reducing water available for people and nature in the Colorado River Delta.
To address these challenges, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works with local partners, cities and the agricultural sector, aiming to secure sufficient and reliable water supplies for people and nature. TNC seeks to permanently protect over 16,100 acres of wetlands along the Hardy River, the lower Colorado River and the Colorado River Estuary.
TMNA provided $100,000 to TNC in FY2023 to support activities to acquire, secure and monitor the delivery of water volume for environmental restoration in the Colorado River Delta. Water volume is secured from water savings in the Mexicali Valley agricultural sector from water shepherding, crop switching or irrigation technification.
With Toyota’s support, TNC succeeded in securing water to help restore flow into the Hardy River. In July 2022, TNC delivered 132 million gallons, which doubled the flow of the river for a few weeks.
What You Can Do
Everyone can do their part to conserve water and protect water-related ecosystems.
Organize or participate in a cleanup project for rivers and oceans.
Use Less Water
Use less water by taking short showers instead of baths.
Make a donation to an organization that supports water sanitation in lower income countries. Any donation, big or small, can make a difference.