Here in North America, our water strategy emphasizes sustainable water management. Our projects focus on conserving water, protecting water resources and raising community awareness about the importance of water conservation.
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. We've installed reverse osmosis systems and membrane bio reactors and implemented a variety of projects to get as much out of every drop as we can. At the assembly plant in Indiana, new microfiltration modules have been installed that save an estimated 54.3 million gallons of fresh water per year. That’s equal to the amount needed to supply driving water to the entire state of Indiana for one month!
Toyota's assembly plant in Baja California, Mexico, is one of a handful of Toyota sites around the world identified by the company as being at high risk for water availability. The plant uses a membrane bio reactor to remove solids from water that has already been used in the manufacturing process. This filtered water is then run through a reverse osmosis system to eliminate any dissolved solids. The plant is able to reuse water over and over again, which saves an estimated 23 million gallons of water annually.
Protecting water quality is a key component of Toyota's approach to water stewardship. Some of our sites discharge wastewater, which we monitor and treat to meet local, state and federal regulations. In fact, Toyota requires all manufacturing sites to operate below wastewater discharge permit limits by an average of 20 percent.
At Toyota's port facility in Portland, Oregon, water stewardship is top-of-mind. From flushing toilets to washing vehicles and managing storm water, team members look for ways to conserve and protect this precious resource. For example, a 4-acre bioswale helps to filter water that flows into the Willamette River, which helps improve the river's quality and helps protect the wide variety of species living in and near the river.
Toyota supports community efforts to educate individuals and families about water conservation and the importance of protecting water resources. These activities help scale up conservation efforts and make positive outcomes more impactful.
Since 2012, Toyota and the Wyland Foundation have presented the annual National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. The campaign encourages residents across the U.S. to make small changes in their lives to better manage water resources and improve the health of our oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Each year, hundreds of thousands of participants make pledges that have the potential to save billions of gallons of water. In the 10 years of the campaign, participants have made a total of 4 million pledges to save 19.3 billion gallons of water.
Each five-year action plan puts us further along the path to achieving the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 (Challenge 2050). Challenge 2050 is a set of six challenges that seek to go beyond eliminating environmental impacts to creating net positive value for the planet and society. The six challenges are the most demanding and most inspiring environmental commitments Toyota has ever made.
The WATER CONSERVATION CHALLENGE calls on Toyota affiliates around the world to conserve water and protect water resources. For more information about Toyota’s 2050 water strategy for North America, see "Water: Toyota Motor North America Position Statement."