We find ways to conserve, especially in our manufacturing processes. Each year, we use fewer and fewer gallons to produce a vehicle, which is really important in water- stressed areas, such as California, Texas and Mexico.

“Water” is one of Toyota‘s four focus areas in North America. Our approach to water stewardship addresses Challenge 4 of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 and emphasizes conserving water and raising awareness in our communities about water issues. Every living thing needs water to survive. Our actions today to protect this precious resource create lasting value and build a better tomorrow for us and the planet.


Between fiscal years 2017 and 2021, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) will:

Challenge 4 (Conserve Water): Prioritize and implement water stewardship plans for facilities in water-stressed areas (on track)

TMNA‘s water stewardship strategy focuses on facilities located in areas of water risk. We define water risk according to AqueductTM, a tool developed by the World Resources Institute to help companies, investors, governments and communities better understand where and how water risks are emerging around the world. The centerpiece of Aqueduct is the Water Risk Atlas, which combines 12 indicators in three categories (physical risk quantity, physical risk quality, and regulatory and reputational risk) to create an overall map of where and how water risks may be prevalent.

We have mapped all our North American locations (manufacturing plants, offices and parts and vehicle distribution centers). The Atlas shows 16 of Toyota‘s North American locations in areas of “high” overall water risk (Level 4) and 25 in areas of “medium to high” risk (Level 3). Currently, we do not have any sites in areas of “extremely high” risk (Level 5).

In fiscal year 2019, 3 percent of the water Toyota withdrew in North America was at sites in areas of high water risk (Level 4), as defined by the Water Risk Atlas. We continue to work on developing water stewardship plans at our highest risk sites. These plans will address water conservation (including potentially absolute water reduction targets), water quality, and outreach activities with suppliers and local communities.

Toyota‘s Overall Water Risk in North America
Overall Water Risk Map

This map was generated using data from WRI‘s Aqueduct™ Water Risk Atlas. The Atlas creates an overall map of where and how water risks may be prevalent. We mapped all our North American locations. We show on the map the sites in two risk categories: “high” (Level 4) and “medium to high” (Level 3). We do not have any sites in the “extremely high” (Level 5) category. Circles with numbers inside indicate multiple facilities of that type; the map is too small to show each site in that area.

Conserving Water

During fiscal year 2019:

  • Toyota withdrew almost 1.81 billion gallons of water at more than 100 North American facilities, including assembly and unit plants, parts and vehicle distribution centers, R&D sites and offices. Only 3 percent of water withdrawal occurred in an area of high water stress, identified as level four in the Water Risk Atlas. We do not currently have any sites located in an area of “extremely high risk” (level 5).

  • More than 94 percent of this water came from municipal sources (both fresh and recycled water from utilities); other sources included surface water bodies, groundwater and rainwater.
  • We estimate 1.1 billion gallons were discharged, either to surface waters or to municipal utilities.
  • Consumption (defined as withdrawal minus discharge, or the water that was not returned to either a municipal utility or surface or ground water) was 671 million gallons.
  • Our North American manufacturing plants recycled or reused 565 million gallons, which is 31 percent of our total withdrawal. Recycled and reused water includes recycled wastewater and water recycled (instead of rejected) through a reverse osmosis system.
  • Water intensity – gallons of water withdrawn per vehicle produced – was 982 gallons. Water withdrawn includes water used at both production and non-production sites.

Examples of water conservation activities included the following:

  • Toyota‘s research and development facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, began collecting storm water in a retention pond to use for irrigation. Before installing the pond, all irrigation water was drawn from a groundwater well. Now, up to 6.6 million gallons from the retention pond may be used for irrigation in the summer months.
  • Our aluminum casting plant in Jackson, Tennessee, is replacing nearly 85,000 gallons per year of municipal water with rainwater. Rainwater is captured from the outdoor holding tank farm, fed through a bag filter, then routed to the plant’s cooling water holding tank. The captured rainwater is ultimately used to cool the die cast machines and quench parts.
  • At the vehicle assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, team members now turn off the reverse osmosis system when it‘s not being used. This saves about 30 gallons of water per vehicle, or about 15 million gallons annually.

In addition to efforts to use less water, water quality monitoring is another key component of Toyota’s approach to water stewardship. Some of our sites discharge wastewater that we monitor and treat to meet local, state and federal regulations and to ensure we don’t negatively impact water bodies. In fact, Toyota, as part of our enhanced environmental management system, requires all manufacturing sites to operate below discharge permit limits by an average of 20 percent. There were no unplanned discharges of wastewater tha adversely affected water bodies during fiscal year 2019, and no water bodies were adversely affected by Toyota’s wastewater discharges.

See “Water” on the Performance page for water performance data.

Supporting Community Efforts

Water Sampling Experiment

Team members from Toyota‘s assembly plant in Mississippi volunteer at an afterschool program that focuses on life-skills education for students ages 13 to 18. Team members worked on a water sampling experiment to raise awareness about the importance of conserving water and protecting water resources.

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.

  • For the eighth consecutive year, the Wyland Foundation and Toyota presented the National Mayor‘s Challenge for Water Conservation. The campaign generated hundreds of thousands of pledges from people across the U.S., who committed to saving 3 billion gallons of water over the next year. See the full story: “National Environmental Education Foundation”.

  • Through its inaugural Drive4Five Campaign, Toyota awarded an impact grant to the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) to offer environmental science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming through place-based, hands-on learning. Over 1,500 high school students from 15 schools across southeast Michigan will participate in the STEM program and river water cleanup in the 2019-2020 school year. Students will learn freshwater science, including how to test for water quality indicators in their home streams, applying lessons from math, biology, ecology and chemistry. The program will also offer students opportunities to snorkel in the river to collect scientific data alongside professionals. Ultimately, this program will help students understand the importance of river health and what they can do to improve and protect it.
  • Team members from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi (TMMMS) regularly volunteer their time to conduct water sampling experiments and teach area students about water stewardship. For example, at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, a Toyota mentoring team worked with 25 Pontotoc County students in grades 7-12 on a water experiment as part of Project H.O.P.E., an afterschool program. Team members brought water quality testing equipment while the students donned gloves and safety glasses and made observations about the quality of different water samples.

  • Team members from TMMMS also worked with fourth graders from Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties on a water experiment in May of 2019 as part of 4-H‘s Science, Engineering and Technology Day at Tombigbee State Park. Team members explained how water is recycled at the Toyota assembly plant in Blue Springs and how metals from car painting activities are removed from the wastewater. The water experiment raises awareness about the importance of conserving water and protecting water resources. This program, which is fully funded by TMMMS, is the product of an ongoing partnership between Mississippi State University, Toyota and 4-H to enhance water conservation efforts across the state.