In North America, Toyota's biodiversity strategy includes working with nonprofit organizations and local communities to achieve positive and wide-reaching conservation results. Our projects focus on protecting species, restoring habitats, and expanding our reach beyond our facility boundaries.
At sites across North America, Toyota’s team members are protecting species by:
Supporting native species such as pollinators. Pollinator species – including butterflies, birds, bees and bats – move pollen from the male to the female part of a flower to fertilize the plant. Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 agricultural crops. Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.
Removing invasive species. Invasive species are non-native and can spread from the point of introduction, become abundant and cause harm by competing with native species for resources. That’s why removing invasive species is an important element of habitat management at all our sites. It's also why we support invasive species removal on public lands.
In 2019, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and Toyota selected the National Capital Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (NCR-PRISM) as the recipient of the first Biodiversity Conservation Grant of $200,000. PRISM is restoring native biodiversity and protecting critical habitats by managing invasive species across 1,500 square miles of forested lands in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
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 15 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 planting pollinator gardens, installing and monitoring bird nesting boxes, and working with local schools to teach students about the importance of biodiversity.
At our assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario (Canada), we supported conservation and education efforts by gifting the Woodstock Wetland Trail to the community to mark the 30th anniversary of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada. The trail is located in the most biodiverse zone in Canada.
For more than 25 years, Toyota has been partnering with the 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. NEEF, with major support from Toyota, administers the Biodiversity Conservation Grant program, which is designed to support biodiversity conservation projects on America’s public lands. The first grant of $200,000 was awarded in 2019 to the National Capital Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (NCR-PRISM). The projects supported through this grant are scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2022. So far, 480,580 invasive species have been removed; 2,516 native trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted; and 2,131 community volunteers have logged 8,524 volunteer hours.
The second round of grants worth $225,000 were awarded in 2021 to four organizations that will support biodiversity conservation projects on public lands within the California Floristic Province. This area spans approximately 113,438 square miles and is designated a biodiversity hotspot. Biodiversity hotspots are home to the highest diversity of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.
For more than 20 years, Toyota has been the national corporate sponsor of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), hosted by NEEF. Held every September, NPLD is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the U.S. Volunteers remove invasive species, plant native trees and shrubs, and conduct trail maintenance and general cleanup. Over the years, more than 50,000 Toyota team members have contributed more than 193,000 volunteer hours restoring and conserving habitat at more than 600 NPLD sites.
Toyota has been developing five-year environmental action plans for 30 years. These plans help us manage our impacts and hold us accountable for our performance.
Here in North America, we recently announced our new five-year environmental action plan for fiscal years 2022 to 2026. This plan is our seventh and runs from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2026. Our first report on progress against these targets will be published in 2022.
Our new BIODIVERSITY target is to:
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 HARMONY WITH NATURE CHALLENGE calls on Toyota affiliates around the world to do our part to protect species, habitats and ecosystems. For more information about Toyota’s 2050 biodiversity strategy for North America, see "Biodiversity: Toyota Motor North America Position Statement."