Toyota's principal business partners are suppliers and dealerships. We work with both of these groups in North America to encourage them to support our environmental values and goals.

When engaging with our business partners, we use the same principles from the Toyota Way that guide our own actions. We practice REFLECTION
The Japanese word hansei, translated loosely as reflection, is what happens when one of our employees stops to examine a completed project. Hansei is both an intellectual and emotional introspection. The employee must recognize the gap between the current situation and the ideal, take responsibility for finding solutions, and commit to a course of action. When a project finishes at Toyota, we use hansei to evaluate what went well and what did not. We then methodically try to preserve what went well and create countermeasures for what did not. These lessons are incorporated into the standard process so that when we repeat it, we improve over the last time. Finally, we share these insights with our colleagues so that they can learn as well, in a process we call yokoten.
and promote the process of setting targets and conducting treasure hunts to find kaizens, or continuous improvement opportunities. Together, we are able to reduce the environmental impacts of building and selling our vehicles.


Toyota recognizes that environmental impacts extend into our supply chain. We have a vast network of suppliers providing us with everything from parts and accessories, to waste management and cafeteria services and office supplies. We work closely with our suppliers to share our knowledge and experience to help them improve their environmental performance.

We facilitate "treasure hunts" with interested suppliers to help them identify ways to reduce their energy use. The concept of hansei, or reflection, plays a major role in the success of these activities. Part of the treasure hunting process is to first reflect on current energy performance and to judge the successes and failures of past projects. Hansei leads to a more focused investigation of potential energy-saving opportunities.

Participating suppliers agree to host and allow other suppliers to enter their facility for the treasure hunts, which are conducted from Sunday to Monday to ensure participants see the plant in its rest, start up and production modes. Treasure hunt participants receive training, access to Toyota's energy tools and support from the engineering team on investigating and designing energy reduction projects.


Toyota has shared its energy treasure hunt process with 180 Tier 1 (direct) suppliers to date. Since the program began in 2008, annual savings of over 43 million kilowatt-hours—equivalent to 14,600 metric tons of CO2 per year—have been identified during 40 supplier treasure hunts. The Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturer's Association (BAMA) has commended Toyota for its leadership and strongly encourages its members to participate as both hosts and attendees in all Toyota-led treasure hunts.

Partnership: Toyota and Sodexo Promote Local Food Choices

Toyota partners with Sodexo, a leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in North America, at two cafeterias at its Torrance, California, campus. Sodexo is supporting local farmers while helping Toyota associates (as our sales and logistics employees are called) eat better and learn about health and wellness through "Meatless Mondays" and "Meet the Farmer" events.

Meatless Mondays encourage associates to cut out meat one day per week and instead try a plant-based diet. Signs highlight the day's vegetarian options from each of the various serving stations. Meat dishes are still offered, but it is the vegetarian items that receive heavy promotion. By serving options such as garden burgers, eggplant and tofu, and grilled vegetable and hummus sandwiches, Sodexo seeks to educate customers about the benefits of eating healthier, including weight management, lowering cholesterol and getting more antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. The number of Toyota associates going meatless on Mondays has increased vegetarian purchases by over 15 percent.

Twice per month, Sodexo hosts "Meet the Farmer" events as a way of supporting local farms. A "local" farm is located within 200 miles. So far, 20 local farmers have been featured in Toyota's Torrance cafeterias. Sodexo creates informational posters to describe the farm, its crops and its farming methods. Rising C Ranch, for example, is a family-owned farm with more than 130 acres of specialty citrus crops. The fruit is produced using sustainable methods and is harvested at the peak of flavor so that customers can enjoy the citrus at its best.

Produce from local farmers is available at a farmers' market, where Sodexo chefs buy produce to serve in Toyota's Torrance cafeterias. The chefs coordinate the menus according to what's available at the farmers' market. In addition, Sodexo, in collaboration with its sourcing partner, Freshpoint, is helping to bring an increasing amount of local, seasonal and sustainable food to Toyota associates. Thanks to these efforts, Toyota associates have a number of healthy and fresh food choices every day.


There are approximately 1,850 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the United States, Canada and Mexico. These dealerships are all independently owned franchises. Since they are our face to the customer, it is important we share our know-how and environmental values with our dealerships and support their efforts to be environmentally responsible.

We work closely with our dealerships to promote green building practices, since buildings—both residential and commercial—have a large environmental footprint. Buildings are responsible for about one-third of the energy consumed in the United States and Canada. Green buildings can reduce energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions by 25-60 percent, water use by 30-95 percent, and solid waste by 50-95 percent, and they have been shown to improve employee health and productivity.

Both our Toyota and Lexus divisions have programs to work with dealers on new construction and remodeling projects that encourage sustainable building practices and the use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system. LEED is a point-based system that promotes a whole-building approach to sustainable construction and remodeling. LEED certification is based on meeting stringent evaluations in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor air quality.

We have been working on LEED projects with our dealers for several years now. After each project, we reflect on what worked and what didn't and on what could be improved going forward. This process, known as hansei, ensures our learning informs the next generation of dealers seeking LEED certification.

A study performed on LEED-certified Toyota dealerships shows the average dealer who completes the LEED process is saving 26 percent on their energy costs per square foot per year. The often rapid return on investment for environmentally sustainable materials, energy-efficient lighting fixtures and other LEED elements confirms the economic benefit of building green.

In addition to supporting our dealerships with green building and LEED certification, we continue to educate our dealers about complying with applicable environmental regulations and standards. We maintain the C.L.E.A.N. Dealer website (Community Leadership Environmental Assistance Network), which includes environmental, health and safety resources as well as hazardous materials information. We also continue to require HazMatU, an industry dealer training program on hazardous materials transportation, for our Toyota and Lexus dealerships. And, we continue to offer the Toyota Recycling and Environmental Awareness (TREA) program, an online voluntary nonhazardous waste recycling program for U.S. dealers.


We are leading the industry with the number of dealerships that are certified to LEED. We have assisted 26 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the United States and Canada with LEED certification: 20 Toyota dealerships and four Lexus dealerships in the U.S., and two Toyota dealerships in Canada. Twelve more dealerships have completed construction and are waiting for their ratings to be decided. Many more are under construction or in the design and permitting phase and have registered their intent to pursue LEED with the U.S. or Canadian Green Building Councils. In the United States, Toyota dealerships have a combined 1.4 million square feet of LEED-certified building space.

"Toyota and Lexus dealers have truly seized the opportunity to 'green' their businesses," said Ernest Bastien, Vice President of Retail Market Development at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., "and by doing so are demonstrating environmental leadership in their communities. Dealers are also quickly recouping their initial investments and realizing the long-term financial benefits of building more efficient dealerships."

We also have a number of dealerships, such as Jim Hudson Lexus of Columbia, South Carolina, that chose not to pursue LEED but still employ a number of sustainable strategies during new construction, expansion and remodeling projects.

North American Toyota and Lexus Dealerships with LEED Certifications

Spotlight: Stouffville Toyota

Stouffville Toyota in Stouffville, Ontario, is the second Toyota dealership in Canada to earn LEED certification from the Canadian Green Building Council. Stouffville earned the highest LEED point total of any Canadian automotive dealership. The dealership, situated in the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, incorporated several special design initiatives to achieve LEED Gold, including:

Water Savings
  • Cisterns have been installed to collect rainwater that flows into plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems.
Energy Efficiency
  • A sophisticated photovoltaic system that traces the sun throughout the day maximizes on-site solar power.
  • Over 85 percent of occupied areas (including service bays) are exposed to natural light to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • In-floor radiant heating was installed throughout the building.
Indoor Air Quality
  • In addition to leading-edge air quality management programs, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) adhesives, sealants, paint, carpet, wood and laminates were used in construction.
  • During construction, about 75 percent of all waste was diverted from landfills and sent for recycling, and more than 25 percent of building materials were composed of recycled content.
  • To reduce pollution from long-distance shipping, 38 percent of building materials came from the region.
  • About half of all wood products were harvested from forests managed by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Sustainable Development
  • Preferred parking is available for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, while bicycle storage and change rooms are provided to encourage "people-powered" transportation.

These strategies resulted in a 71 percent reduction in overall energy use compared to standard energy codes, and an 83 percent reduction in water consumption.

In keeping with Stouffville Toyota's mission to use its facility to foster environmental awareness and education in the local community, the Gold certification was commemorated by bringing about 100 elementary school students to the dealership to celebrate Earth Day in 2012. The students, who attend Summitview Public School and Roy H. Crosby Public School, were joined at the event by Wayne Emmerson, Mayor of Whitchurch Stouffville.

The children were offered a tour of the building, including its 9,300-square-foot showroom and 14 service bays. They also had the treat of getting inside a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and interacting with the Toyota rally racers who had recently returned from Monte Carlo after placing 21st in the world's most prestigious green rally.

Spotlight: Lexus of Henderson

The Lexus of Henderson dealership in Henderson, Nevada, is the third Lexus dealership to achieve LEED Gold certification. Sustainable strategies for LEED Certification include:

Water Reduction
  • Water-efficient flush and flow plumbing fixtures were installed.
  • Drip irrigation for native and adapted plants was installed.
Energy Efficiency
  • Energy-efficient lighting and day lighting were utilized to reduce lighting loads and improve working conditions for the occupants.
  • The building roof and hardscape are designed to minimize contribution to the heat island effect, thereby reducing the energy required to cool the building.
Indoor Air Quality
  • Low emitting VOC finishes and materials were used throughout the dealership.
  • Products and materials with high levels of recycled content were used throughout the dealership.
  • Wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council was selected for millwork and furniture.
  • Over 85 percent of construction waste was recycled.

These strategies resulted in energy use savings of 38 percent and fixture water reduction of 42 percent. This facility also has a Build-out Manual so that future expansion and construction will meet the LEED requirements for materials, indoor air quality, water use and energy efficiency.