NET POSITIVE IMPACT
Outreach with our stakeholders, such as “Dealers”, “Suppliers”, “Communities & Nonprofits”, is a crucial component of our environmental sustainability strategy. Through outreach, we create mechanisms for building on the successes of our environmental programs and scaling up the outcomes. We can act locally and make a difference globally.
We acknowledge that a stronger commitment to partnership and collaboration is needed to address the world‘s environmental challenges successfully. Across our diverse set of partnerships, we are taking steps to build a path to achieving the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 and a net positive impact. Through the power of collaboration, we hope to create lasting positive outcomes on a macro scale that will help us build a more sustainable future.
In addition to our community and nonprofit partnerships described below, Toyota Motor North America is also a member of two U.S. EPA partnerships: SmartWay Transport Partnership and Suppliers Partnership for the Environment.
COMMUNITIES & NONPROFITS
TMNA supports local and national community projects that align with our core focus areas of Carbon, Water, Materials and Biodiversity. By concentrating our support on organizations that address challenges in these four areas, we are building on our environmental commitment beyond minimizing negative impacts and helping to promote positive environmental change across the North American region. We share our know-how and collaborate so that we can build more than great cars – we are building a better tomorrow by harnessing the power of collective action.
TMNA team members participate on the Boards of Directors or Executive Committees of several nonprofit organizations, such as Yellowstone Forever, Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Foundation, “National Environmental Education Foundation”, “Wildlife Habitat Council” and Environmental Media Association. TMNA is also a member of the National Council of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an advisory group to WWF‘s Board of Directors in the U.S.
For the fourth consecutive year, team members from Toyota Canada‘s head office participated in the WWF CN Tower Climb for Nature. The CN Tower Climb challenges participants to climb the 1,776 stairs of Toronto‘s tallest tower. In 2019, Toyota‘s team of 33 raised more than CAN$5,000 to support nature and wildlife in Canada and across the globe
ECS YOUNG INVESTIGATOR FELLOWSHIP
The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship is a partnership between the Electrochemical Society (ECS) and Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor North America R&D. The fellowship encourages young professors and scholars to pursue research in green energy technology that may promote the development of next-generation vehicles capable of utilizing alternative fuels.
Electrochemical research has already informed the development and improvement of innovative batteries, electrocatalysts, photovoltaics and fuel cells. Through this fellowship, ECS and Toyota hope to see further innovative and unconventional technologies borne from electrochemical research.
The selected fellows receive restricted grants of $50,000 to conduct the research outlined in their proposals within one year. They also receive a one-year complimentary ECS membership as well as the opportunity to present and/or publish their research with ECS.
Each year, fellows deliver presentations to Toyota, discussing the overall scope of the research before participating in breakout sessions, where the winners meet with specific research groups that are more directly connected to their topical areas. During these sessions, the fellows learn about some of the research being developed at Toyota, connecting fundamental work to applied research.
The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Selection Committee chose five recipients to receive the 2019-2020 fellowship awards for projects in green energy technology:
- Professor Jennifer L. Shaefer, University of Notre Dame
- Professor Neil Dasgupta, University of Michigan
- Professor Kelsey Hatzell, Vanderbilt University
- Professor Nemanja Danilovic, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Dr. Zhenhua Zeng, Purdue University
Now in its fifth year, the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship is an annual program; the 2020-2021 request for proposals was issued in the fall of 2019.
LEXUS ECO CHALLENGE
More than 2,300 students in grades 6–12 participated in the 12th annual Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational contest that empowers students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. Each year, a total of $500,000 in scholarships and grants is awarded to the winning student teams, their teachers and schools.
Through the first two phases of the Lexus Eco Challenge, 32 middle and high school teams were selected as finalists. Each finalist earned a $10,000 prize to be shared among the team, teacher and school, and was invited to embark on the final challenge to reach beyond their local community to inspire environmental action. The teams communicated their innovative ideas to a wide audience in the last round, broadening the reach of their work to people outside their communities.
Lexus and Scholastic, the global children‘s publishing, education and media company, reviewed the finalists’ innovative submissions and selected one middle and one high school team as the 2018–19 Lexus Eco Challenge Grand Prize winners. The Grand Prize–winning teams each received an additional $30,000, divided into a $7,000 grant for the school, a $3,000 grant for the team’s teacher advisor, and $20,000 in scholarships for the students to share. Eight First Place–winning teams were awarded an additional $15,000 in grants each.
This year‘s high school Grand Prize–winning team was the Aquapals from Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, New York. The Aquapals and teacher advisors Tricia Muraco and Maribel Pregnall focused on utilizing aquaponic farming techniques to reduce polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). From their research, the students generated a 35-page manual for aquaponic farming, which they shared with local students and legislators to encourage change within the Hudson River Valley. After establishing five aquaponic systems and presenting to over 1,000 students close to home, they turned their attention abroad, collaborating with 14 farmers in eight countries.
The Grand Prize–winning middle school team was Food Miles Matter from North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Florida. With the help of teacher advisor Hope Kennedy, the team tackled the problem of greenhouse gas emissions generated by interstate produce transport. Looking to eliminate “food miles” generated by trucked produce from the diets of their classmates, the team partnered with their school cafeteria staff to identify and grow fresh produce in the school garden, just feet from where it would be eaten.
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Toyota has been partnering with the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) for 25 years. NEEF partners with local organizations across the nation to connect people of all ages and abilities with public lands for recreation, hands-on learning and community-building.
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
For the 20th consecutive year, Toyota was 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. It is a celebration of the work, play and learning that takes place on public lands every day and offers everyone an opportunity to help maintain these special places.
For NPLD 2018, Toyota had 50 projects planned across 20 states and Puerto Rico, and expected more than 3,000 team members to volunteer. Additionally, Toyota provided the support for nearly 2,000 additional community projects across the nation.
RESTORATION & RESILIENCE GRANTS
Extreme weather events have been grabbing headlines with increasing frequency. Whether a hurricane, tornado or flood, communities face the challenge of recovering from the damage and preparing for potential repeats. Nonprofit organizations are taking a larger role in helping communities rebound, and restoring their access and enjoyment of local public lands is an important component. To support these efforts, NEEF, with sole funding support from Toyota Motor North America, awarded $200,000 in Restoration & Resilience Grants in 2018 to support the work of nonprofit organizations on public lands impacted by natural disasters.
“These grants are part of a sustained effort, which kicked off on National Public Lands Day, to restore and fortify public lands affected by natural disasters and extreme weather,” said Meri-Margaret Deoudes, CEO and president of NEEF.
he grants range from $14,000 to $20,000 per site, and projects are required to mobilize local volunteers and educate them on the impact of their actions on the long-term sustainability of the lands.
“Focusing on the resiliency and sustainability of public lands not only benefits those lands but also the surrounding communities,” said Kevin Butt, regional director, Toyota Environmental Sustainability. “For 25 years, we have partnered with NEEF to build capacity and scale up efforts of nonprofits conducting this important environmental work throughout the U.S.”
Grantees are required to provide interim reports during the grant period. As of the middle of 2019, the 10 nonprofit grant recipients reported the following progress:
- 301 acres of land restored or enhanced
- 18,920 square feet of invasive species removed
- 6,960 pounds of trash collected
- 25 miles of trail restored or maintained
- 300 native trees planted
Grants were given to the following groups:
- The Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust in Kountze, Texas, received funds to remove large debris and trash left by Hurricane Harvey from the bayou that runs through the Big Thicket National Preserve.
- The Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation in Jacksonville, Florida, will use the funds to hold service learning projects throughout the Timucuan State and National Parks of Jacksonville focusing on how healthy salt marshes and coastal ecosystems can mitigate impacts of future hurricanes.
- The Fundación Amigos de El Yunque in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will use the funds to restore the El Toro Trail, one of only two trails in the El Yunque National Forest that has been re-opened to the public since the destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
- The Student Conservation Association will put the funding towards a collaborative project with the Houston Independent School District‘s Furr Institute for Innovative Thinking to work with students to identify, map and eradicate invasive species that have propagated in the Herman Brown Park in Houston, Texas, since Hurricane Harvey.
- The Northwest Youth Corps in Eugene, Oregon, will use funding to expand volunteer efforts to improve nearly 15 miles of trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mt. Hood National Forest, damaged by last year‘s massive Eagle Creek Fire.
- The Mountain Studies Institute in Silverton, Coloradoi, will use the award to create a resilience action plan, conduct community outreach and organize volunteer activities for the Hermosa Creek and Animas River areas near Durango, Colorado, which are recovering from the 416 Fire.
- The Land Trust of North Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama, will use funding to restore 2.3 miles of the Bluff Line Trail on the Monte Sano Nature Preserve, one of the largest urban nature preserves in the US.
- The Arizona Trail Association in Phoenix, Arizona, will put funds towards fabricating and installing a 2,500 gallon water catchment system on one of the driest sections of the Arizona Trail near Pinal County, improving local access to public lands and water reliability.
TORNADOES AND FLOODS
- The Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc. in Golconda, Illinois, will put funds towards a public awareness campaign on the impact of invasive species and the decline of pollinator habitat after a tornado swept through the northwest portion of the Shawnee National Forest in Herod, Illinois.
- The Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) in Asheville, North Carolina, will use the funding to support specialized recovery efforts in the Cohutta Wilderness area, a remote, rugged section of the Chattahoochee National Forest, in Sucres, Georgia, after severe flood damage.
NATIONAL MAYOR‘S CHALLENGE FOR WATER CONSERVATION
In 2019, residents from cities across the United States took part in the eighth annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation by committing to save over 3 billion gallons of water over the next year. Residents around the nation made 740,143 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams.
The month-long campaign, held in April, was presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S. EPA; National League of Cities; The Toro Company; Earth Friendly Products – maker of ECOS; Ecosystems, LLC; and Conserva Irrigation. The challenge addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water.
Mayors from 35 states vied to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water wise.” The cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign were Rexburg, Idaho; Palm Coast, Florida; Athens, Georgia; Tucson, Arizona; and Columbus, Ohio.
In addition to reducing overall water waste, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce the use of 8.6 million single-use plastic water bottles and eliminate 179,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 80 million fewer pounds of waste going to landfills. Potential savings of 22.6 million gallons of oil, 12.9 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 196 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, and $39.6 million in consumer cost savings rounded out the final pledge results.