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 communities around the world in the form of more severe and frequent floods, hurricanes, wildfires and droughts.
Addressing carbon challenges is critical to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity that establishes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Three of these goals in particular confront climate change: SDG #7: Affordable and Clean Energy for All aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy; SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; and SDG #13: Climate Action advises urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
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 and achieve the SDGs. Transportation is responsible for nearly one quarter of the world's GHG emissions and as an automotive company, Toyota is committed to doing our part to help the world transition to a low carbon economy. Toyota acknowledges climate change as a priority management issue and supports the goals of the Paris Agreement, a pact agreed to by 196 countries that commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep warming well below 2° Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5° Celsius. That's why Toyota named "Carbon" as one of our four focus areas in North America and why, globally, it is the focus of Challenges 1, 2 and 3 of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.
What are we doing to better manage CARBON?
Here in North America, our carbon strategy addresses multiple aspects of the vehicle life cycle to find ways to reduce CO2 emissions. Our projects focus on finding ways to reduce emissions from driving vehicles, eliminate emissions from the daily activities of our suppliers and dealers, and eliminate CO2 emissions from our own operations.
Reducing CO2 Emissions from New Vehicles
Globally, Toyota has a goal to reduce CO2 emissions from new vehicles by 90 percent by 2050 (from a 2010 baseline). To achieve this goal, Toyota is pursuing multiple pathways to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and GHG emissions and is committed to utilizing various forms of electrification, including hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell technology. Toyota and Lexus currently have 18 electrified vehicle models on the market in North America, where cumulative Toyota and Lexus electrified vehicle sales are more than 4.1 million vehicles (since 2000).
Eliminating CO2 Emissions from Suppliers and Dealers
We work at every stage of the vehicle life cycle to reduce GHG emissions. Our supply chain is responsible for upstream GHG emissions, while dealers are responsible for downstream.
Suppliers: In North America, the majority of TMNA's freight transport emissions are generated by third-party trucking, rail and marine carriers. Freight transport is a significant — and growing — contributor to GHG emissions. To help mitigate transport-related GHG emissions, TMNA's internal logistics division works with third-party partners to develop GHG reduction strategies.
Dealers: Energy is the third highest overhead expenditure for U.S. auto dealerships. That's why Toyota and Lexus provide guidance to dealerships on implementing energy efficiency strategies. We also help our dealers to source renewable energy and have partnered with SunPower® to offer support for navigating through the process of installing solar panel arrays. Solar arrays can drastically reduce a dealership's electric bills, and they generate clean energy onsite.
Shottenkirk Desert Lexus in Cathedral City, California, installed a 252 kW rooftop solar system that is expected to generate 65 percent of the dealership’s annual electricity needs.
Eliminating CO2 Emissions from Our Operations
Globally, Toyota has a goal to eliminate CO2 emissions from our operations. Here in North America, we're investing in on-site solar arrays and working on virtual power purchase agreements that are expected to reduce our North American GHG emissions from electricity use by up to 40 percent.
Toyota installed an 8.79-megawatt rooftop solar array at our corporate headquarters campus in Plano, Texas. In total, the system is expected to provide approximately one-third of the annual power needs of the campus. Coupled with the purchase of renewable energy credits, the campus operates on 100 percent green power.
What do we plan to do next?
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 carbon targets are 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 chllenges 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.
Goals #1, 2 and 3 on CARBON call on Toyota affiliates around the world to support a low carbon future by eliminating CO2 emissions from our activities as well as by helping others do the same. For more information about our 2050 materials strategy for North America, see "Carbon: Toyota Motor North America Position Statement."