Toyota has 14 manufacturing locations across North America where team members produce 13 vehicles: the Lexus RX 350 and the Toyota Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4,
RAV4 EV, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra and Venza.

We also have 41 sales and logistics locations across North America, including sales offices, port facilities on both coasts, and vehicle and parts distribution centers that serve both the manufacturing plants and our network of 1,850 dealerships.

In the process of manufacturing and transporting over one million vehicles each year in North America, Toyota uses raw materials, energy and water; we manage large tracts of land where our manufacturing facilities are located; and we occupy offices in a number of different cities. All of these activities result in impacts to the environment.

To find ways to minimize these impacts, we teach our team members and associates how to practice the pillars and principles of the Toyota Way. In this report, we highlight examples of the practice of yokoten - sharing lessons learned - across the organization. In water, for example, the transfer and adoption of brackish reverse osmosis systems to four of our assembly plants is saving us 61 million gallons of water per year.

Throughout this report we also highlight examples of our waste elimination activities. “Waste” includes trash, air emissions and wastewater, as well as the inefficient use of energy or water.

Waste, or muda, is one of the three elements of “work.” The other elements are value-added work (what the customer perceives as value) and incidental work (work that doesn’t add direct value but is required to be performed, such as budgeting for projects).

There are seven mudas, or wastes, at Toyota:

  • Waiting - for example, waiting for meetings to start; waiting for materials or tools
  • Motion - for example, chasing information; repetitive motion from poor ergonomic design
  • Rework - for example, work that is missing information; scrap
  • Conveyance - for example, unnecessary processing of information; unplanned premium freight
  • Over-processing - for example, unnecessary steps; equipment with an unbalanced flow
  • Inventory - for example, excessive backlog of work to be processed; making what we can instead of what customers need
  • Over-production - for example, too many reviews and approvals; making parts to keep machines running

Each time we implement a kaizen or practice yokoten, we are eliminating muda and reducing our impact on the environment. Our story about reducing parts shipments expedited by air, for example, addresses conveyance waste; the result is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Our story about reducing the volume of sealer waste in the paint shop of our Cambridge assembly plant addresses over-processing waste; the result is the elimination of a hazardous waste stream. These stories and more can be found below.


The primary area of concern for air emissions is smog (for information on greenhouse gas emissions, see Carbon/Greenhouse Gas Emissions). Smog is formed as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react with sunlight. Smog has been linked to a number of health issues and is particularly prevalent in dense urban areas with heavy traffic, industrial activity and sunny, warm climates.

Toyota’s painting operations generate the majority of our VOC emissions. We have a North American Manufacturing VOC Working Group studying aspects of the vehicle body painting process to find ways to reduce VOC emissions. Group members review painting operations as a whole, as well as the components of the process, to find big and small opportunities for improvement, or kaizen. We benefit from sharing and transfer of knowledge and lessons learned, or yokoten, from one plant to the next.


Target: Reduce VOCs from the body paint process at manufacturing plants to 13.8 g/m2 in FY2013 (achieved)

There are many factors to consider when setting VOC targets, including fluctuations in production volumes, model change activity and the introduction of different painting methods. Although we have been successful in meeting our annual VOC targets, we are working hard to assure that our annual results are consistent and that we can continue to find ways to reduce our emissions.

Toyota’s North American plants measure grams of VOCs emitted per square meter of vehicle surface area coated (g/m2). Our target in fiscal year 2013 was to reduce VOC emissions from our 2012 target level of 13.9 g/m2, to an average 13.8 g/m2 for all North American plants. We not only achieved this target but exceeded it, reducing average VOC emissions to 13.0 g/m2.

Team members at the plants have made continuous improvements to equipment work practices (e.g., purging lines, cleaning equipment and reducing overspray) to reduce chemical usage and resulting VOC emissions. Team members at the manufacturing headquarters facilities in the U.S. and Japan have improved designs to equipment such as paint cartridge robots. Using cartridge robots has reduced the amount of paint wasted from purging and cleaning out the lines for color changes, and allows more precise painting, which reduces overspray. Recently, Toyota has been moving paint applicators (spray guns) closer to the vehicle to further reduce overspray, which also reduces overall paint usage.

Over the last decade we have reduced VOC emissions by 63 percent, from 35.0 to 13.0 g/m2. This achievement is the result of the combined efforts of Toyota team members at the plants and at the headquarters facilities in Japan and the United States.

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Biodiversity refers to the variety of animal and plant life on Earth. The diversity of living organisms, and the habitats in which they live, are crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the resources and benefits they provide - fresh water, fertile soils, medicines, shelter and recreation, to name a few examples. Because the well-being of species living within an ecosystem are so interlinked, human activities can have great influence - both positive and negative - on biodiversity.

Since the company’s founding, Toyota has believed in the pursuit of growth that is in harmony with nature. We strive to understand our surroundings and put practices in place not only to minimize our environmental impacts, but also to protect and restore habitats. Our approach to protecting biodiversity centers on the habitats within the 21,000 acres of land owned by our North American manufacturing and R&D facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Figure 17

One unlikely habitat is the wall on one of our buildings on Cherry Blossom Way in Georgetown, Kentucky. Every spring, wandering swarms of honeybees would appear on or near one of the buildings at our Georgetown assembly plant, prompting safety concerns. At first, we thought we only had two options: ask a local beekeeper to capture the bees, or extermination. We didn’t like the extermination option, because pollinator populations are in decline nationally, and we have even noticed fewer and fewer honeybees pollinating our garden plants. So our desire to protect pollinators and the honeybees’ need for a home led to Cherry Blossom Honey. Each spring, we now establish hives on our site by placing the swarms of honeybees in a new home. This has increased our garden yields, eliminated all safety concerns, and created delicious local honey for team members to enjoy. This is a small but important example of how we value biodiversity and how we confront challenges with determination and innovative thinking.


Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) opened in Princeton in 1996 and today assembles the Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle, the Sienna minivan, and the Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle. Starting in 2013, the Princeton plant also began production on the Highlander Hybrid. With over 4,500 team members assembling 290,000 vehicles each year, Toyota has created a place where doing more than just the minimum is a given. In addition to having top levels of environmental performance in its operations, the plant has become a steward of the land: The plant has had thousands of trees planted on the site and has plans to forest almost 230 acres with native Indiana hardwoods.

The idea for using the plant’s acreage to grow trees began 16 years ago, when the plant’s president, Seizo Okamoto, had a vision of a nature trail featuring species native to Indiana, adjacent to Toyota’s child development center. With the help of a local landscape architect, 10,000 saplings of 17 species were planted along five different sections along a one-mile loop.

Over the years, the trees along the nature trail have matured, and the idea of featuring native tree species grew into an afforestation plan. As one of Toyota’s Model Sustainable Plants, the Indiana assembly plant has spent the last five years implementing an afforestation program, converting mowed grass fields into a forest. Tree planting activities are taking place in phases, with a goal of planting over 125,000 trees by the end of 2014.

The new forest areas are creating habitat for native animals to live and prosper, such as White-tailed Deer and Red-tailed Hawks. Neal Bogan, a naturalist with the Wesselman Nature Society, helped perform a species survey of the reforested area. “Toyota’s reforesting efforts are helping wildlife. I saw several locally rare species of migratory birds on the property, some I believe to be nesting there. These include Bell’s vireo, woodcock, common yellowthroat, and bobwhite. They also have attracted several large mammal species including deer, coyote and rabbits,” said Neal. “The species found here could use the area as a starting to point to move out into the surrounding properties and possibly repopulate some of the surrounding area.”

All of our tree seedlings are locally grown from a nursery run by the state’s Department of Natural Resources, which provided valuable advice to us during this project. In addition to the Department of Natural Resources, the Princeton plant also worked with Purdue University and a certified forestry company at the start of the project.

Trees were planted using mechanical equipment, a fast and efficient way to get so many seedlings in the ground. But one of the main objectives of this project was to engage team members, so team members and their families were invited to hand plant on two acres. They planted 1,000 trees in just a few hours.

“The afforestation project is just one of the legacies left by TMMI’s first president, Seizo Okamoto - and one we are honored to continue today,” said TMMI President Norm Bafunno. “The goal of sustainable growth that is in harmony with the environment is part of our Global Vision. TMMI is proud to support and enhance the communities where we live and work through environmental stewardship of our land, community service, and the environmental education programs we offer to our local school children each year.”

So far, over 90,000 native tree species have been planted on 160 acres. Phase four of the five-phase plan took place in the spring of 2013; phase five is planned for 2014.

Figure 18


Our partnership with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) began at our Georgetown plant. In 2008, it became the first Toyota plant to obtain certification to the Wildlife Habitat Council’s “Wildlife at Work” and “Corporate Lands for Learning” programs. Since then, more facilities have become involved in these programs as we practice yokoten (sharing our learning). Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada has been certified, and our assembly plant in Indiana, as well as our North American manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky, submitted applications for certification during the summer of 2013.

The Wildlife Habitat Council’s Corporate Wildlife Habitat Certification/International Accreditation Program recognizes commendable wildlife habitat management and environmental education programs at individual sites. Certification criteria are stringent. Sites must demonstrate programs have been active for at least one year, and have a management plan listing goals, objectives and prescriptions as well as complete documentation of all programs. The Certification Review Committee, a panel of WHC wildlife biologists and staff, reviews the materials for certification eligibility and recognizes deserving projects under an appropriate category.

The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit group of corporations, conservation organizations and individuals dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. WHC works with corporations and other landowners to create tailored voluntary wildlife habitat enhancement and conservation education programs on corporate facilities and in the communities where they operate.

We are focusing on three common biodiversity themes for our North American manufacturing plants: native habitat restoration, native landscaping and pollinator protection. With our plants working toward a common goal of preserving and protecting the environment, our efforts will have the greatest impact.


Toyota is concerned about the possible impacts of climate change and is committed globally to fostering a “low-carbon society.” Energy use is our main source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We work hard to reduce our energy use at our facilities and in our logistics; we are also looking into renewable energy as a means of reducing our carbon footprint.

We measure our energy consumption and GHG emissions on a per vehicle basis. We strive for efficiency, because the more efficient we can be, the less we waste. Efficiency and waste reduction activities are highlighted throughout this report. In the following sections, we describe our efforts to use energy more efficiently, reduce GHG emissions and save money.

Energy Consumption

According to the Institute of Energy Research, 78 percent of the energy consumed in North America is generated from burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. These resources are non-renewable, meaning they cannot be naturally replenished for consumption.

Mining, drilling and burning fossil fuels to generate power result in negative impacts to air, water and land. These impacts, combined with the rising cost of energy, make energy efficiency a high priority for companies in all industry sectors.

In North America, Toyota consumes over one billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. Much of this electricity is consumed by our 14 manufacturing plants. To manage both the environmental impacts of our energy consumption and the cost, we focus on energy efficiency first. By identifying kaizen opportunities, then using the concept of yokoten to transfer lessons learned from one facility to another, we are reducing inefficiencies and eliminating wasteful practices.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA) with its ninth consecutive ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy management. Toyota’s nine Sustained Excellence Awards are the most among any automaker assembling vehicles in the United States.

Since 2002, energy use has been reduced by 22 percent per vehicle produced, and the cumulative cost savings at Toyota’s 14 North American vehicle, engine and parts plants have totaled more than $410 million. The total energy saved would power 30,000 average households for 10 years.

“The award gives us greater motivation to identify ways to minimize our impact on the environment while helping our bottom line,” said Robin Haugen, General Manager of TEMA Production Engineering - Plant and Environmental Engineering. “Our team members’ commitment to reducing energy consumption across our operations demonstrates that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen.”

In addition to the Sustained Excellence award, several Toyota facilities were certified with the Energy Star label, including our plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Texas, our North American Parts Center warehouse in Kentucky, and two office complexes in California: Toyota Plaza and Gramercy Plaza. For a facility to earn an Energy Star label, it must perform in the top 25 percent based on the Energy Performance Indicator (EPI). The EPI was originally developed for assembly plants, defined as welding, painting and assembly operations in the same location, by the Auto Focus Group, of which Toyota was a founding member. The EPI for assembly plants normalizes energy consumption for vehicle size and location to show how efficiently a specific plant is performing. The Energy Star label may be awarded to manufacturing plants and commercial buildings.

The ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry is designed to recognize individual industrial sites. Any manufacturing site whose company is an ENERGY STAR partner is eligible to enroll. Sites take the challenge by committing to improve their energy efficiency by 10 percent over five years. The following plants are currently taking the challenge:

  • Bodine Aluminum in Troy, Missouri
  • Bodine Aluminum in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Bodine Aluminum in Jackson, Tennessee
  • Canadian Autoparts Toyota, Inc. in Delta, British Columbia
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California in Mexico
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama in Huntsville
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada in Cambridge, Ontario
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada in Woodstock, Ontario
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana in Princeton
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in Georgetown
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas in San Antonio
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia in Buffalo


2013 Target: Reduce energy consumption at manufacturing plants to 7.12 MMBtus per vehicle (achieved)

Toyota’s North American manufacturing facilities had an annual target for fiscal year 2013 to improve energy intensity to 7.12 MMBtus per vehicle produced. We use MMBtus for this target as a way to combine several energy sources, including electricity and natural gas, into a single metric. We achieved this target and reached 6.72 MMBtus per vehicle, in part thanks to the identification of three major energy reduction opportunities in our paint shops: adiabatic humidification, oven air flow reduction, and pre-heating regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) combustion air. Combined, these reduction opportunities total almost 1.2 million MMBtus, equivalent to 349 million kilowatt-hours and almost 11 percent of total energy consumption from our manufacturing plants. We have already begun implementing these reduction opportunities at some of our plants, and plan to have them implemented in all North American assembly plants by the end of fiscal year 2015.

Figure 19

Figure 20

Specific examples of kaizens completed over the last year include:

  • Bodine Aluminum (Troy, Missouri): Replaced a 20-year old oxidizer (used to control emissions of volatile organic compounds) with a new, more energy-efficient oxidizer, improving energy efficiency by nearly 14 percent and saving $75,000 annually.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada: The Woodstock plant installed a cooling system using outside air to chill water during the cold season, reducing energy use by nearly two percent and saving more than $100,000 annually. The Cambridge plant installed linkage-less boiler burner controls, improving boiler efficiency by more than 15 percent and saving more than $112,000 annually.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana: Installed an adiabatic humidification system in the paint booth, improving energy efficiency by 35 percent and saving more than $1.1 million annually. The plant also reduced paint booth downdrafts by an average of 15 percent in all automatic zones, saving more than $600,000 annually with zero investment.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky: Installed an adiabatic humidification system in the paint and plastics shops that cut steam consumption by more than 65 percent and total energy use by 12 percent, resulting in savings of more than $1.4 million annually.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi: As Toyota’s Model Sustainable Plant for the North American region, Mississippi has used innovative design and successful practices from other Toyota facilities to become the most energy-efficient Toyota plant in the region. For example, the paint shop utilizes a three-wet system that eliminates the need for a paint oven, saving over 6,000 MMBtus in energy annually.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas: Installed modified burner controls on a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO), improving energy efficiency by more than 16 percent and saving $25,000 annually. An RTO destroys VOC emissions from the paint shop.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia: Installed a compressed air metering system to improve system control. This improvement cut energy use by four percent, resulting in savings of more than $300,000 annually.

In addition to energy reductions at our manufacturing facilities, we also continue to find reduction opportunities at our sales and distribution locations. In fiscal year 2013, we upgraded from metal halide to T-8 lamps at the Vancouver and Toronto parts distribution centers, and to T-5 lamps with motion and daylight sensors at the Los Angeles parts distribution center. The Los Angeles project was the final distribution center in the United States to complete a lighting upgrade.


In 2011, Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources invited leading companies to join its “Environmental Leadership Program for Competitiveness,” a nationwide effort to encourage companies to reduce their environmental footprint. Toyota’s plant in Tecate was selected to be a regional group leader in Baja California and has been working with 14 companies to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and water use. This is an innovative way to practice yokoten of ideas across companies, share lessons learned and encourage companies to work together for the benefit of environmental protection.

Under Toyota’s leadership, the 14 Baja California companies identified projects with the following results:

  • Energy savings of 1.6 million kilowatt-hours per year.
  • Avoided emissions of over 1,000 tons of CO2 per year.
  • Water savings of 32,000 cubic meters (8.5 million gallons) per year.

The companies were able to recover their investments within only seven months.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases (along with water vapor) trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and cause the greenhouse effect. This is a natural occurrence that normally helps regulate the temperature of our planet. However, over the last 20 years, scientists have raised concerns about human activities causing levels of greenhouse gases to increase at a faster rate than at any other time in human history. The debate is ongoing and predictions vary, but an increase in the greenhouse effect could cause global temperatures to rise, leading to long-term impacts to the environment and human health.

Toyota is concerned about the possible impacts of climate change and is committed globally to fostering a “low-carbon society.” Energy use at Toyota’s assembly plants is our main source of direct GHG emissions. Our plants carefully manage energy use and have found innovative ways to reduce consumption and corresponding GHG emissions. We are also looking into renewable energy as a means of reducing our carbon footprint.


2013 Target: Reduce GHG emissions at manufacturing plants to 0.78 metric tons CO2 per vehicle (achieved)

Our fiscal year 2013 target was to reduce GHG emissions from energy consumption at our North American manufacturing plants from fiscal year 2012 levels to 0.78 metric tons CO2 per vehicle produced. This target is in line with our energy consumption target. We not only achieved this target but exceeded it, reducing emissions to 0.61 metric tons CO2 per vehicle in 2013.

Many of the kaizens discussed in the Energy Consumption section contributed to our success. Energy management activities either implemented or in the implementation phase are predicted to further reduce Toyota’s manufacturing CO2 footprint by more than 380,000 tons per year.

Figure 21

Three of Toyota’s North American manufacturing plants were required to report GHG emissions data under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. Individual plant data for our plants in Kentucky, Texas and Indiana are available on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website through its online data publication tool.

We are also disclosing GHG emissions from Toyota’s North American companies as a consolidated inventory. Toyota’s North American GHG inventory measures GHG emissions from the consumption of electricity and natural gas at plants, logistics sites and owned and leased office space, as well as from fuel consumption by in-house trucking operations and third-party carriers, employee commuting and business travel. The methodology used to calculate emissions is based on The GHG Protocol® developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The process of preparing this consolidated inventory has helped us better understand where GHG emissions occur and has facilitated information sharing across Toyota’s North American companies.

Figrue 22


Fuel consumption from the transport of Toyota assembly parts, service parts, and vehicles is a significant source of GHG emissions. Our logistics operation is committed to improving fuel efficiency and reducing transportation-related GHG emissions. One way they demonstrate this commitment is through the U.S. EPA SmartWay® program. Our in-house trucking carrier for completed vehicles (Toyota Transport) has renewed its membership in SmartWay as a carrier, and our division managing third-party trucking and rail carriers is a shipper member. Launched in 2004, SmartWay seeks to reduce transportation-related emissions by creating incentives to improve supply chain fuel efficiency.

As part of our efforts to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, we upgraded 90 trucks in our vehicle transport fleet with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. After the exhaust leaves the diesel particulate filter, diesel exhaust fluid is injected into an SCR catalyst. The resulting chemical reaction reduces emissions of nitrous oxides. We are already seeing a 10 percent reduction in GHG emissions per ton-mile traveled (a ton-mile is one ton of freight transported one mile and is a common unit of measure for logistics).

North American Parts Operations (NAPO) also made great strides over the past year in reducing GHG emissions. Previously, the 11 parts distribution centers in the United States filled 95 percent of dealer orders off the shelf of the nearest warehouse. The remaining five percent would ship to the dealer from other locations, often by next day or second day air freight service. NAPO challenged the organization to reduce the number of shipments expedited by air, without increasing lead time to the dealer.

NAPO associates responded to the challenge by collaborating across the supply chain. They stabilized lead times, moving inventory and synchronizing operations to allow more expedited orders to be delivered by truck, with the same speed as shipments made by plane.

The effort paid off. Last year, NAPO leveraged its supply chain to fill 50,000 orders that otherwise would have been filled using air shipments. Reducing the amount of orders shipped by air reduced CO2 emissions by 3,000 metric tons. This is the equivalent of taking 15 trucks off the highways. It’s also a win-win-win: good for the customer, good for the environment, and good for business.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy comes from naturally occurring sources that are not depleted as a result of consumption, such as sunlight, wind, biomass and geothermal. Renewable energy replaces conventional fuels primarily in electricity generation and transportation fuels. There is strong public support for promoting renewable sources such as solar power and wind power. Climate change concerns, coupled with rising oil prices and government support are driving renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization.

Toyota has been expanding the use of renewable energy as a means of reducing our carbon footprint and our reliance on non-renewable energy sources. We are evaluating applications of solar, geothermal and stationary hydrogen fuel cells, as well as the purchase of green power either directly from a utility company or through renewable energy credits.

SPOTLIGHT: Investments in Renewable Energy Reduce CO2 Emissions

Toyota currently has 5,478 kilowatts of renewable energy capacity across North America. We began investing in renewable energy in 2002, when we installed our first photovoltaic (PV) system at our South Campus sales headquarters building in Torrance, California. Since then, we have installed several more PV systems at logistics sites and manufacturing plants, as well as a stationary fuel cell at our sales headquarters in California. We are also experimenting with other types of renewable and alternative energy, such as geothermal systems and landfill gas.

Figure 23

Three of our newest projects are described below. We are excited, not just because they improve our environmental footprint, but also because they provide an opportunity to learn about new technologies and then share that knowledge with our employees and our communities.


As Toyota’s Model Sustainable Assembly Plant for the North American region, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi has used innovative design and lessons learned from other Toyota facilities to become the most energy-efficient Toyota plant in the region. This plant was built with efficiency in mind, and it’s no wonder that its 2,000 team members assemble one of Toyota’s more fuel-efficient vehicles, the Corolla.

Toyota’s Blue Springs plant opened a new chapter on renewable energy in 2013. Dozens of community members and citizens joined the plant, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and New Albany Light, Gas & Water (NALGW) at a ceremony to celebrate Earth Day by “powering on” Toyota’s new 50 kilowatt solar array. Toyota’s solar array is the fourth largest in the state of Mississippi and will generate 50 kilowatts of peak energy for the region, enough to power approximately seven average households for an entire year.

“We are thankful to Toyota for leading by example in its utilization of solar energy. Results will be good for the environment, good for Mississippi, and good for the company’s bottom line,” said Trudy Fisher, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environment. “Thank you, Toyota, for your continued investment in the State of Mississippi and for your most recent living lessons of the rewards of kaizen.”

The array will optimize performance by tracking the sun’s movement from sunrise to sunset, and will lay flat at night in “sleep mode.” The power generated by the solar array will be redirected back to NALGW, which ultimately transfers back into the grid for public use.

Renewable energy is not new to the Blue Springs plant. Over the past few years, team members have experimented with solar lighting in the visitor parking lot and a geothermal well field. As ideas are tested and proved out, they will be transferred, or shared through yokoten, to other sites.


In June 2013, solar panels made by Kyocera Solar, Inc. were installed on a new photovoltaic (PV) carport at Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC). The new carport canopy, which covers a section of the parking area, will harness the sun’s energy to power a portion of facility operations and reduce carbon emissions by more than 28 tons each year. Designed and installed by Todo Solar MX, the system features 24 kilowatts of Kyocera solar modules and an SMA Sunny Boy power inverter to generate up to 121 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity each day - equivalent to the daily energy requirements of about 15 typical Tijuana-area homes.

“Toyota’s commitment to the environment is a way of life, both within our operations and in our products - as exemplified by award-winning vehicles like the Toyota Tundra pickup and Prius hybrid sedan,” said Joe Da Rosa, president of TMMBC. “We are pleased to partner with Kyocera to install this solar carport as a visible reminder of our efforts to create a healthier environment for future generations.”

Kyocera and Toyota have a history of collaboration on projects to benefit the environment. Kyocera’s solar cells also are integrated into a solar-powered ventilation system available as an option on select Toyota Prius hybrid automobiles.

“Kyocera is delighted to assist Toyota in achieving its renewable energy goals,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar. “We are especially pleased to support applications like the Toyota manufacturing plant in Baja California and the globally renowned Toyota Prius.”


Even though it will be a few years before Toyota sells hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in North America, we are already using fuel cell technology. Toyota’s U.S. sales headquarters installed a 1.11 megawatt stationary hydrogen fuel cell in late 2012 to generate electricity and reduce utility costs. The fuel cell supplies approximately half of the electricity for six headquarters buildings during peak summer demand.

The fuel cell uses Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology, the same technology used in Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle (FCV). PEM fuel cells are used in Toyota vehicles because they can be turned on and off quickly. Using similar technology to responsively provide electricity to our sales campus during peak demand periods demonstrates another reliable use of this technology.

This is the largest PEM fuel cell in the world and is the first application of its kind. “It is an innovative stationary application for fuel cells,” said Mark Yamauchi, Real Estate and Facilities Sustainability Strategy Manager at Toyota Motor Sales. “Most other fuel cell technologies need to run continuously to generate baseload power. This project is unique in that we are leveraging the characteristics of the PEM technology to load-follow.”

The clean energy fuel cell system on average provides enough power for about 765 homes, twice the capacity of Toyota’s existing solar panel system on campus. It is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.3 million pounds during summer peak period operating hours.

The fuel cell uses hydrogen produced off-site from natural gas - from the same hydrogen pipeline supplying the hydrogen filling station adjacent to our U.S. sales headquarters campus, which we use for our fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen within the dedicated pipeline is provided by Air Products and created from natural gas reformation. To mitigate emissions from the reformation process, hydrogen used on Toyota’s campus is offset with the purchase of landfill-generated renewable bio-gas.

Figure 24


“Green building” refers to sustainable practices throughout a building’s life cycle, from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, demolition and disposal. The objective of green building practices is to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and nature by protecting occupant health, reducing waste and pollution, and efficiently using energy, water and other resources.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the buildings in which we work, shop, play and educate our children in the United States use about $200 billion worth of electricity and natural gas each year. EPA estimates that if the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S. improved 10 percent, Americans would save about $20 billion and reduce greenhouse gases equal to the emissions from about 30 million vehicles. In fact, the energy used by commercial and industrial buildings in the United States is responsible for nearly 30 percent of our national emissions of greenhouse gases.

Toyota has over 30,000 employees working in office space, distribution centers and manufacturing plants across North America. Green building principles help us design, build, renovate and manage these spaces in a more sustainable manner.

Toyota’s sales and logistics division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), has been a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) since 2002. The USGBC provides education around green building and administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) program, a point-based program promoting a whole-building approach to sustainable construction, remodeling and operations. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building is designed, built and operated using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Through this membership and through other avenues, we have provided advice on sustainable facilities development and operations to a number of organizations, including Yellowstone National Park, surrounding communities, nonprofit organizations and other corporations.

While we do not apply for LEED certification in all cases, we do use integrated design principles and incorporate sustainable elements in each building design phase. We learn from each project as we reflect on what worked and what could have been improved. Yokoten ensures we standardize successful practices and share them across the organization.


A total of 11 Toyota and Lexus facilities have achieved LEED certification. Ranging from office space to vehicle distribution centers, these facilities represent Toyota’s continued efforts to improve the design and efficiency of all operations.

Our U.S. sales headquarters South Campus in Torrance, California, was Toyota’s first LEED-certified building. South Campus had its grand opening in 2003 and is certified LEED Gold.

Since 2003, over 5.4 million kilowatt-hours of grid power use have been avoided through the use of our rooftop photovoltaic system. This facility formed the basis for our expertise on green building and is frequently toured by business partners and community members wanting to learn more about green building principles.

We have two buildings registered for pending LEED certification with the U.S. Green Building Council: our Chicago Training Center and the Lexus Eastern Area Office in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Figure 25


“Materials” refers to everything that goes into making a vehicle, from raw materials such as steel, to chemicals and substances such as paint, plastics and textiles. Not every bit of these materials, however, actually makes it into the vehicle; some of it becomes waste. By becoming more efficient, we gradually reduce the amount of material that becomes waste.

Chemical Management

Many different types of materials and substances are used in the manufacturing of an automobile. These include chemicals in paint, interior plastics, trims, adhesives and textiles. Our engineers incorporate chemical management at the vehicle design stage, where we have the most influence over the chemical content of our products. As a result, Toyota minimizes the impacts to the environment from the use of chemicals in our operations and at the end of a vehicle’s life.

Toyota uses the International Material Data System (IMDS) as the primary tool for tracking the chemical composition of parts and accessories. Suppliers are required to enter into IMDS detailed information about the chemical composition of parts and accessories. Through this system, Toyota tracks the use of chemicals on the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL), a list developed and maintained by a global automotive stakeholder committee, which Toyota is chairing this year.

Use of IMDS is particularly crucial for ensuring compliance with international recyclability and chemical management laws (such as those in China, Korea, Europe and Japan). Therefore, we adopted IMDS in North America to facilitate tracking and verification of compliance with these laws for vehicles assembled here and exported to international markets. For example, Toyota is exporting the Avalon, Camry, Sienna and Venza from North America to South Korea; using IMDS ensures these vehicles meet South Korea’s recyclability laws.

We have completed data collection under IMDS for four vehicles in North America: Camry, Sienna, Venza and Avalon. We are in the process of collecting IMDS data for the nine remaining vehicles we produce in North America. The use of IMDS facilitates the effective management of all types of chemicals, including those of concern but not specifically restricted in international recyclability laws. Our recent experience with using IMDS in North America is helping us better understand its benefit for overall chemical management.


Our strategy around managing substances of concern (SOCs) initially focused on four heavy metals known to cause environmental and health effects: hexavalent chrome, mercury, lead and cadmium. In 2004, Toyota made a voluntary commitment in North America to minimize these four heavy metals found in parts and accessories to the de minimis levels specified in the European Union’s “Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles” - even though vehicles were not being exported to Europe. After working closely with our suppliers, parts and accessories in North America have not contained hexavalent chrome, mercury, lead or cadmium above levels outlined in the European Union’s Directive since 2007.

Our SOC strategy has expanded in recent years to include copper in brake pads, the flame retardant decaBDE, and volatile organic compounds in the vehicle cabin. Copper in brake pads is to be reduced by 2021 to the required de minimis levels, in alignment with recent legislation in Washington state. The legislation was created due to concerns about copper found in runoff water. We are working with suppliers on finding a suitable alternative.

Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) is a flame retardant used in many products, including vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and chemical suppliers reached a voluntary agreement to phase out production of decaBDE by December 31, 2013. We worked with suppliers to develop a replacement for decaBDE that meets the federal motor vehicle safety standard FMVSS302 on flammability of interior materials; decaBDE was phased out January 1, 2013.


Materials in the vehicle interior, such as plastics, leather, textiles, glues, sealants and additives, can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) even after manufacturing. This is commonly recognized as the “new car smell.” We work with our suppliers to develop alternatives that emit lower levels of VOCs in the vehicle cabin. We have developed new tape systems to reduce toluene emissions. More recently, we have been working with our suppliers on reducing formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, which form during leather retanning and finishing.

The Prius, Prius Plug–in Hybrid, Prius c, Prius v and Camry Hybrid offer available SofTex-trimmed heated front seats. SofTex material weighs about half as much as genuine leather, and its manufacturing process generates 99 percent fewer VOCs than that of conventional synthetic leather.

Toyota’s Materials Engineering Department has been studying low VOC paints in the cured form for interior components. We generally use waterborne paints due to their lower VOC content, but studies have shown some waterborne paints contain residual amounts of VOCs, such as aldehydes in the cured form. We identified several paints with a negligible contribution to the overall VOCs of plastic parts. Those paints are already in use by Toyota for interior parts, and we plan to increase their use in the future.

Auto manufacturers are working toward one global standard to test emissions of VOCs in vehicle cabins at the component level. In the meantime, a voluntary standard for the full vehicle cabin exists from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). For the 2013 model year, the North American-produced Toyota Sienna, Avalon, Corolla, Venza, Highlander, Camry, RAV4 EV, and Lexus RX 350 conform to this standard. In addition, the 2014 Toyota Tundra (launched in the fall of 2013) also conforms to this standard.

South Korea and China have recently established VOC requirements for passenger vehicles. Toyota has taken steps to ensure the vehicles being exported to those countries, including Venza, Camry, Sienna and Avalon, meet their requirements.


We use renewable, recycled and recyclable materials where practical. Over the course of a vehicle’s life cycle, these materials have a smaller greenhouse gas footprint and generate less waste than their alternatives.

Over the last several years, Toyota has evaluated numerous materials made from renewable resources to assess their performance, appearance, safety and mass production capability. In addition, the automotive industry is working on finding recyclable and renewable alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics, which reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

Toyota is working with SAE’s International Green Technology Systems Group on characterizing bio-based materials. This is part of a larger effort by SAE to serve as a guiding body for consensus standards development for environmental sustainability issues in the automotive sector. We have been using bio-based plastics - plastics derived either wholly or in part from plant materials - in numerous parts and components for over a decade. For example, we use bio-based plastics in the seat cushions in the Toyota Prius, Corolla, Matrix and RAV4, and in the Lexus RX 350 and CT 200h. We will continue to use these materials where appropriate.


Waste refers to everything from office trash, to cafeteria scraps and industrial waste. Minimizing waste and conserving natural resources are fundamental to Toyota’s goal of producing vehicles efficiently. Toyota team members and business partners focus on reducing waste using the practices we all know: reduce, reuse and recycle.

These practices help us avoid generating waste in the first place and find the best solution for processing the waste we do generate. We work with our business partners to find ways to reuse or recycle what we can; we compost cafeteria waste in some locations; our waste is used as fuel in waste-to-energy facilities; and we divert as much as we can from going to landfill. We even recycle the vinyl from our billboards into reusable totes, trip planners and other products for the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.


Toyota and Lexus Financial Services kicked off its second annual “GoGreen” campaign, encouraging customers to sign up for paperless billing statements. Between January 15th and March 31st of 2013, for every customer signed up to “GoGreen,” Toyota Financial Services donated $5 (up to $200,000) to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

It didn’t take long to reach the $200,000 mark. Over 600,000 customers have signed up for paperless billing, saving almost 224,000 pounds of paper annually. “Our ‘GoGreen’ campaign has been a great success,” says Karen Ideno, Vice President of Product and Marketing. “We started this program less than a year after launching paperless billing, and a record number of customers have already signed up for the program.”


In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Toyota’s U.S. sales and logistics division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., with a WasteWise Large Business Partner of the Year - Honorable Mention for our efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling.

This is our third consecutive WasteWise award. In 2011 we were the Large Business Partner of the Year, and in 2010 we received the Waste Reduction in the Workplace Gold Achievement Honorable Mention.

The WasteWise awards are the result of a team effort - all 23 U.S. sales and logistics operational sites participate in the program. This achievement is due in large part to our recycling efforts in packaging; see our story on the use of returnable containers here.


Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) established the Global ECO Awards in 2011 to recognize the environmental achievements of Toyota manufacturing centers around the world. Each manufacturing facility selects kaizens implemented in the last fiscal year, and the best are submitted to TMC - Toyota North America’s parent company in Japan - for consideration. TMC selects six kaizens from the entire global pool to receive a Gold Award. Winners of the Gold Award travel to Japan to present their kaizens at the Annual Global Environmental Meeting.

Toyota’s North American manufacturing headquarters selected three kaizens to represent the region in 2012. One of the three kaizens - a sealer reclaim project implemented in the Lexus paint shop at our Cambridge, Ontario, plant - was selected for a Gold Award. The plant builds approximately 85,000 Lexus RX 350 sport utility vehicles each year. In the paint shop, all of the sealer used was virgin sealer, and all of the excess sealer was required by law to be managed as hazardous waste if disposed. The plant wanted to find a way to reduce the volume of excess virgin sealer ending up as waste, without impacting the quality of the paint finish.

Sealer systems are in continual circulation, so team members had to develop a system to capture excess sealer and reapply it to the vehicle. Team members installed a reclaim pump system with a valve to open and close, allowing them to control when the reclaimed sealer is used. The reclaimed sealer is only applied on non-visible seams in the inner shell of the vehicle.

The Cambridge plant installed a sealer reclaim system in 2012, and it has had great success. This system reduced sealer waste by 97 percent and eliminated 72 barrels of hazardous waste per year - more than 22,000 kilograms (48,500 pounds). Yokoten is already being applied on this kaizen: Five North American plants have evaluated this project for possible implementation, and our plant in Indiana has already begun planning for installation. This kaizen was implemented with low cost (the payback period was less than two months) using in-house resources. It is the only known automated system in Toyota reusing sealer on robot lines.

Figure 27


2013 Target: Reduce non-saleable waste from manufacturing plants to 17.50 kilograms per vehicle (missed)

Non-saleable waste is waste we pay to dispose or recycle (such as by incineration, landfill or conversion to energy). Since 2008, we have reduced non-saleable waste by 17 percent.

We set a target for fiscal year 2013 to reduce this type of waste at our manufacturing plants to 17.50 kilograms per vehicle. We reduced this waste from 2012 levels, but missed the target, mainly due to an increase in the amount of wastewater shipped off site for treatment. Two of our plants experienced issues with their wastewater treatment systems; countermeasures are being implemented and we are already seeing positive results.

Many of our waste streams are recycled, including virtually 99 percent of all scrap steel generated by Toyota plants. Toyota’s Kentucky plant uses an intricate system to turn scrap steel from the stamping process into reusable product. Scrap steel - in the form of approximately 600-pound cubes - is returned to the mill and is eventually put back into the production process as steel coils. In addition, when doors are made in the stamping process, there is steel from the window area left over. We send these squares of top quality steel to sub-suppliers, who in turn use our steel as their raw material. From this steel, the suppliers make internal structural pieces for the vehicles made at the Kentucky plant.

Figure 28


2013 Target: Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill (achieved by 10 of 14 plants)

Toyota’s North American manufacturing plants have an annual target to achieve “zero waste to landfill,” meaning they send no waste directly to landfill. Some waste may be sent to incineration and waste-to-energy facilities; those facilities may send the resulting ash to landfills if no beneficial use can be found. In fiscal year 2013, 10 plants achieved this target. We are working with the other plants to find suitable alternatives to landfill.

Our “zero waste to landfill” metric is driven by the Toyota Production System, where the elimination of muda, or waste, in all aspects of business is a main objective. Our parent company in Japan has challenged plants worldwide to send zero waste to landfill. While this has not resulted in the elimination of all waste, it has required significant focus on all three “R’s”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Countless kaizens help us get closer to the elimination of all waste. Coupling our goals of “zero waste to landfill” and reduction of non-saleable waste pushes us to steadily move away from landfill, incineration and even low-value recycling, and move toward waste reduction, reuse and high-value recycling.

“Zero waste to landfill” is a goal across all of our operations, not just in manufacturing. At our Canadian sales offices, 96 percent of their waste was diverted from landfill in calendar year 2012. This was achieved by recycling, reusing and composting, and no waste was incinerated.

Our 23 U.S. sales and logistics facilities achieved a combined 90 percent recycle rate in fiscal year 2013. Ten of these locations are zero waste to landfill facilities. Last year, the parts and vehicle distribution centers diverted 98 percent of their waste from landfill and incineration, and recycled over 17 million pounds of material. Noteworthy accomplishments this past year include the following:

  • During the rejuvenation of Toyota’s Los Angeles vehicle distribution center, 60 percent of the 3.4 million pounds of steel from security cages, bin shelving, pallet racks and bulk modules was reused, and the remainder was recycled.
  • Styrofoam cups have been eliminated in the cafeterias at our California sales headquarters campus.
  • Grease from the cafeterias at our California sales headquarters campus is being recycled into biodiesel.
  • Our vehicle distribution center in San Antonio, Texas, found an opportunity to reduce scrap metal waste by returning component parts to the production cycle. On the Toyota Tundra, for example, when a customer requests an upgrade from regular exhaust pipes to dual exhaust pipes, the regular exhaust pipes are sent back to the assembly plant for reuse.


Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) was established in 1996. Located in Princeton, this plant assembles the Sequoia, Sienna, Highlander and Highlander Hybrid. In 2003 TMMI took on a significant challenge: become a “zero waste-to-landfill” facility. Zero is defined as zero: 100 percent of the plant’s direct waste would have to be reduced, reused, recycled, or otherwise incinerated.

Kevin Miles has been leading the plant’s waste minimization efforts since 2003. One of the first waste streams he tackled was the wastewater treatment plant sludge. Ferric sulfate was being applied to the sludge to remove metals, namely nickel. By changing the treatment chemical to a natural non-hazardous mineral, the sludge went from an iron-rich sludge that no one could use, to a calcium-rich sludge that is a perfect replacement for cement in cement kilns. This waste is now put to beneficial reuse.

Combined, the sludge from the wastewater treatment plant and the paint shop once accounted for up to 70 percent of the plant’s waste to landfill every month. “We have had to think outside the box to achieve zero waste to landfill,” said Kevin. “We have done some innovative things, like making pulp from our paper waste to sell to a paper recycling facility. This goal has made us smarter about how we manage our materials and how we think about waste.”

TMMI has been a zero waste to landfill facility since 2010.


Toyota’s North American Parts Operation uses over 65,000 reusable metal shipping containers in place of cardboard and wood pallets to move over 109 million service and accessory parts between parts distribution centers, dealers and suppliers. The returnable containers are also used increasingly for shipments to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Close to 150 of our North American suppliers use returnable containers.

During fiscal year 2013, we added 25 suppliers to our returnable container program and saved almost 53 million pounds of wood and 25 million pounds of cardboard.

Figure 29


There is growing concern about the availability of sufficient fresh water to meet people’s needs in the coming decades. In North America, we are concerned with the declining quality of fresh water sources and scarcity during droughts.

Water issues concern a growing number of communities, and many of our North American manufacturing sites have experienced water-related stresses firsthand. For example, at our Georgetown, Kentucky, assembly plant, drought conditions have led to restrictions on water use.

Toyota globally considers water to be a high-priority environmental issue. Effective water management requires consideration of many factors, such as the volume of water used, discharged, recycled and reused, the quality of the water we discharge, and stormwater management. To help us manage these issues, we formed a North American Water Group to develop a water strategy and set targets.

Our water management strategy addresses each level in the water conservation pyramid - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce is the foundation, providing the most opportunities for improvement at the lowest cost. It is the fundamental first step in water management. The middle level, Reuse, maximizes the value of the water used. At the top of pyramid is Recycling, the most costly and difficult to implement. Innovation is needed to make recycling a more viable option than it currently is.


Stormwater is rainwater and melted snow that runs off streets, parking lots and other impervious surfaces. Stormwater either flows into streams and rivers, or is absorbed into the ground, filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers. Impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches, and eventually makes its way into rivers, lakes and oceans. If unattended, there is potential for debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants to accumulate and contaminate streams and rivers.

Toyota is concerned about the impact of our operations on local water bodies. Because stormwater can potentially contaminate local streams, we start managing stormwater even before our facilities are built. For example, as our plants are designed, we evaluate how water will flow across the property and establish practices to minimize the risk of contamination and ensure compliance with federal, state and local stormwater regulations.

At our vehicle logistics center co-located with our plant in San Antonio, Texas, the outdoor storage of scrap metal and replacement railcar axle assemblies was identified as having the potential to contaminate stormwater runoff. A retractable cover was added to the scrap metal bin and the ends of the axle assemblies were wrapped to prevent rainwater from making contact. These small, inexpensive measures are relatively easy to implement but go a long way toward reducing the risk of contaminated runoff.


Many of our plants were built decades ago, and periodically we need to re-examine our management practices to ensure we are still minimizing risk. During the course of 2011 and 2012, we conducted a stormwater risk assessment at all 14 North American manufacturing plants plus three research and development centers. At each location, engineers from our manufacturing headquarters were joined by a member of the site’s facilities group and a member of the environmental department. Together, they reviewed stormwater permits and site drawings to understand how water flows through the site and where water leaves the site.

The risk assessment team performed three activities as part of a genchi genbutsu, or “go and see and find the facts to analyze the root causes:” a roof walk, a perimeter walk and a site drive. During the roof walk, the team evaluated rooftop equipment such as exhaust fans, HVAC units and roof-mounted cooling towers; if this equipment leaks on the roof, run-off has the potential to reach roof drains and eventually make its way to stormwater retention ponds. The team then walked the building perimeter to evaluate equipment, tanks and containment areas. During the site drive, the team examined areas where water leaves the site, in particular sluice gates at stormwater retention ponds. These activities helped the team understand where and how contamination of stormwater could occur.

The team applied concepts of the Toyota Way throughout the assessment to examine the current situation and identify the problem. The assessment led to the creation of a draft Stormwater Master Maintenance Plan, as well as several kaizens to internal standards, including those for covering scrap metal boxes, inspecting roof equipment, managing valved trench containment, and training for non-standard conditions. Our North American manufacturing plants implemented the following kaizens in fiscal year 2013:

  • Our plant in British Columbia installed a steel liner under a metal chip storage area to further contain the chips and any oil that might be present.
  • Our plants in Mississippi and West Virginia modified drainage patterns around ponds to reduce erosion and the potential for suspended solids leaving the site.
  • Our plant in Tecate (Mexico) installed piping to allow stormwater collected in the gasoline tank’s secondary containment area to be treated at the on-site wastewater treatment plant.
  • Our plant in Indiana added secondary containment around cafeteria grease containers and piloted the use of portable plastic containment systems under roll-off boxes stored in yards.
  • Our plant in St. Louis, Missouri, added spill kits and point-of-use placarding at truck docks.
  • Our plant in Troy, Missouri, integrated stormwater system checks into their existing facility maintenance scheduling program.

These kaizens were included with a comprehensive list of Stormwater Successful Practices being transferred through yokoten to all of the plants and research and development facilities.


2013 Target: Reduce water usage of 0.91 kilogallons per vehicle at Toyota’s North American manufacturing plants (achieved)

Toyota’s assembly plants are our biggest users of water. Our sales and logistics sites use water primarily for landscaping and sanitation; these volumes are minimal compared to the volume of water used for cooling and painting at our assembly plants.

Toyota’s manufacturing plants had a fiscal year 2013 target to reduce water usage from our 2012 target level of 0.92 kilogallons/vehicle, to 0.91 kilogallons per vehicle. We achieved this target and reduced water usage by three percent, to 0.87 kilogallons per vehicle.

Figure 30


At Toyota, we are saving over 61 million gallons of water each year by implementing reverse osmosis concentrate recovery systems. That’s the equivalent of about 97 Olympic-size swimming pools, 61 million gallons that we don’t have to withdraw from an aquifer or buy from a utility. These systems are being shared and transferred through yokoten from one plant to the next, and each time, it gets better and better. They are in place at our plants in Cambridge, Ontario; Princeton, Indiana; Georgetown, Kentucky; and Tecate, Mexico.

Figure 31


Last year we reported on the reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate recovery system installed at our assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario. This system is saving 13 million gallons (50,000 cubic meters) of water per year. The Cambridge plant builds about 260,000 Corollas, Matrix’s and Lexus RX 350’s annually. A similar system is planned for the Woodstock plant in fiscal year 2014. For more information on the RO system at our Cambridge assembly plant, please see the spotlight story on water savings in the 2012 North American Environmental Report (please visit Eco-Efficient Operations/Water, then scroll down a little to Spotlight: Water Savings at our Plant in Cambridge, Ontario).


The State of Indiana, together with Louisiana, accounts for 32 percent of the total fresh surface-water withdrawals in the United States. While water scarcity in the state is not an issue today, Toyota is planning for the future and doing its part to be a responsible water user.

The reverse osmosis concentrate recovery system implemented in Princeton, Indiana, was transferred and adapted - through yokoten - from our plant in Cambridge. Each plant is a little different, so team members in Indiana made some kaizens - such as eliminating the need to batch water and reducing the number of pumps - to make the system work for them. The Princeton plant launched the RO concentrate recovery system in late fall 2012 and has achieved impressive results: The plant is saving 15 million gallons per year and reducing per vehicle water use by about 50 gallons, for a savings of over $90,000 per year. This is enough water to supply 137 average U.S. households annually. The plant assembles approximately 290,000 Sequoias, Siennas and Highlanders annually.


Toyota’s assembly plant in Georgetown is our largest water consumer in North America. The assembly plant uses roughly one million gallons of water each day it operates. The plant assembles approximately 500,000 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Venza, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid vehicles annually, as well as 4-cylinder and V6 engines and powertrain parts. The plant also provides a number of components to other locations.

About 25 percent of the water coming into the plant from Kentucky American Water was rejected by the RO filtration system and was being sent to the Georgetown sewer system. Team members at the plant wanted to use more of this water, so they installed a brackish reverse osmosis system. Now only about 10 percent of the water coming into the plant ends up down the drain. The new system is expected to save 17 million gallons and more than $70,000 annually. The new system paid for itself in just seven months.

“It’s a better way to truly reduce water use,” said Bill Thiry, Assistant Manager of Utilities Engineering and Energy Management. “Now we’re recycling water - we’ve reached the top of the water conservation pyramid.”


Our plant in Tecate, Mexico, is located in an area identified by the Global Water Tool© developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as “scarce” on its mean relative annual water stress index. This means we pay close attention to the amount of water we withdraw and use here, and make every effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.

We completed a reverse osmosis concentrate recovery project at our Tecate plant that is recycling 700,000 gallons of water per month. This project takes reverse osmosis (RO) reject water and redirects it from the wastewater plant to another RO machine set up for brackish water.

We have also installed an ultrafilter to turn the plant’s biological treatment system into a membrane bioreactor. This will enable recycling of 50 gallons per minute of wastewater, which further reduces water use at the plant by eight million gallons per year.

Total water recycled at this location could approach over 16 million gallons per year. We are using this project as a pilot for possible yokoten to other North American plants.

Figure 32