“Stop Global Warming,” by Lynn Sun is just one of the U.S. winners of Toyota’s 2017 Dream Car Art Contest.

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“OUTREACH” is a core element of Toyota’s approach to our four main focus areas in North America. We conduct outreach activities related to Carbon, Water, Materials and Biodiversity as a way of creating a net positive impact. By collaborating with various stakeholders, our actions harness the power of partnerships to advance us beyond building better cars – we are building connections that are helping to shape a more sustainable future.


Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has identified four interrelated environmental issues as our core focus areas: Carbon, Water, Materials and Biodiversity. These focus areas align with Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, which consists of six goals that seek to create a net positive impact on the planet.

This report provides information on our efforts to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive outcomes in each of our four focus areas. But if we really want to make a difference — and we do — we can’t just act alone. We must engage with our stakeholders to work toward common objectives.

TMNA’s stakeholders include customers, team members, dealers, suppliers, communities, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, academia and other partners (including other companies and trade associations). Outreach with these groups 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. Through our diverse set of partnerships, we are taking steps to build a path to achieving 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.


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.

We describe a number of our programs in the sections below. For additional examples, follow these links to learn how we have partnered with the following organizations:

TMNA team members are members of the Boards of Directors of a number of nonprofit organizations, such as Yellowstone Forever, Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Foundation, National Environmental Education Foundation, Environmental Media Association and U.S. Zero Waste Business Council.

Toyota is also a member of the National Council of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an advisory group to WWF’s Board. Toyota participates in the following WWF programs:

18 / The Power of Collective Action

Toyota supports community projects that focus on the same issues we do: carbon, water, materials, and biodiversity. By concentrating our support on these issues, we are harnessing the power of collective action to shape a better tomorrow.

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Dream Car Art Contest

The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is a worldwide contest presented annually, designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility. Winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in participating countries are chosen from three age categories (under 8 years old; 8-11 years old; and 12-15 years old), with judging based on three criteria: artistry, uniqueness and execution of concept. The first international contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.

Nine U.S. Winners and nine Canadian Winners were selected by panels of judges. Their artwork advanced to represent the U.S. and Canada in competing against entrants from over 80 countries. In August 2017, the top 30 World Winners won an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan, and participated in an awards ceremony, which included a tour of a Toyota manufacturing plant.

“As a collector, when I view art, in addition to noticing artistic quality and techniques, I am often drawn to the emotions conveyed by the artist, which stir my own feelings,” said actor, art collector and U.S. contest judge Cheech Marin. “With artwork themes ranging from global warming to world hunger, it’s evident that these kids are keenly aware of what’s happening around them everywhere today.”

“The ingenuity and creativity of the kids submitting ideas was mind-boggling!” exclaimed Jill Amery, author of the “Urban Mommies” blog and Canadian contest judge. “Seeing ideas of social responsibility and respect for the planet come to life through innovations applied by these kids to their dream vehicles was truly inspiring.”

“After six years of hosting the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in the United States, I’m still amazed by these kids,” said Mike Groff, president and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. “It’s so inspiring to see children from diverse backgrounds construct such an array of beautiful works of art. These young artists put an incredible amount of thought, creativity and talent into their visions of what the car of the future will look like. They make me optimistic about the future – and how we can change the world for the better.”

Lynn Sun, age 8 from Livingston, New Jersey

Lynn Sun, age 8 from Livingston, New Jersey, dreams of a car called “Stop Global Warming.” Lynn was one of the U.S. winners of Toyota’s 2017 Dream Car Art contest.

Sherry Chen, age 11 from British Columbia, Canada

Sherry Chen, age 11 from British Columbia, Canada, dreams of a car called “Plastic Reducer” that collects plastic waste and turns it into functional objects. Sherry was one of the Canadian winners of Toyota’s 2017 Dream Car Art Contest.

EarthEcho Water Challenge

Each year during Earth Week, Toyota’s assembly plant in Princeton, Indiana, sponsors a poster contest for fifth-grade students in Gibson, Vanderburgh, Posey and Warrick counties. Students are asked to design a poster focusing on why we need clean water and how to protect the earth’s water resources.

The winner of the 2017 Earth Day Poster Contest was Hannah Rhea, a fifth-grader from Marrs Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Her design was chosen from over 2,300 student entries. All participating classes received a pizza party just for entering the contest.

Each year, the winning design is put on a T-shirt given to all sixth-grade students who participate in the EarthEcho Water Challenge (formerly World Water Monitoring Challenge), an international program that runs annually from March 22 (the United Nations World Water Day) through December and equips anyone to protect the water resources we depend on every day.

The EarthEcho Water Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local waterbodies. EarthEcho International is a nonprofit organization founded on the belief that youth have the power to change our planet. Established by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., and grandfather and legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, their mission is to inspire young people worldwide to act now for a sustainable future.

In November 2016, Toyota once again worked with 500 sixth-graders from 20 classes to sample about 40 different lakes, rivers and streams across southwestern Indiana. Toyota Indiana has supported the EarthEcho Water Challenge since 2005 and in that time, has worked with more than 18,500 students.

Paul Delor, environmental specialist at Toyota’s Indiana assembly plant

Paul Delor, environmental specialist at Toyota’s Indiana assembly plant, stands with one of the sixth-grade classes from Marrs Elementary School in Mt. Vernon that participated in the EarthEcho Water Challenge. In November 2016, Toyota worked with 500 sixth-graders from 20 classes to sample about 40 different lakes, rivers and streams across southwestern Indiana.

The winning design of Toyota’s 2017 Earth Day Poster Contest

The winning design of Toyota’s 2017 Earth Day Poster Contest was drawn by Hannah Rhea, a fifth-grader from Marrs Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Her design was chosen from over 2,300 student entries and was put on T-shirts worn by the sixth-graders participating in the EarthEcho Water Challenge.

ECS Fellowship for Projects in Green Energy Technology

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Selection Committee has chosen three winners who will receive $50,000 fellowship awards each for projects in green energy technology. The awardees are Dr. Ahmet Kusoglu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Professor Julie Renner, Case Western Reserve University; and Professor Shuhui Sun, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS).

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship, a partnership between the Electrochemical Society (ECS) and Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor North America, is in its third year. A diverse applicant pool of young professors and scholars pursuing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology responded to ECS’s request for proposals.

“This fellowship gives the Society’s young investigators visibility and the freedom to explore uncharted areas,” said ECS Executive Director Roque Calvo. “Toyota’s continuing support is helping our scientists and engineers create a practical pathway to a renewable energy future.”

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship aims to encourage 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.

“We are excited to add three energetic and creative scholars to the ECS-Toyota Fellowship family, including our first winners from Canada and from the West Coast,” said Fellowship Chair and Senior Manager of Toyota’s North American Research Strategy Office, Paul Fanson. “This year’s topics run the gambit, from ideas that may impact the current design of fuel cell membranes to materials and design strategies for next-generation electrocatalysts and electrolyzers. What all three winners have in common is their desire to make the world a better place through outside-the-box thinking, which is a mindset that they share with Toyota.”

The selected fellows will receive restricted grants of a minimum of $50,000 to conduct the research outlined in their proposals within one year. They will also receive a one-year complimentary ECS membership as well as the opportunity to present and/or publish their research with ECS.

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship is an annual program; the 2018-2019 request for proposals was released in the fall of 2017.

Household Waste & E-Waste Collections

Since 1994, Toyota has helped team members and surrounding communities recycle and properly dispose of household waste. During designated collection days, team members and local residents can drop off electronic waste, appliances, paint and other household items that are difficult to recycle or dispose. Team members also collect items such as clothing and eye glasses that can be donated to those in need.

Four sites have been hosting these events for a number of years and together, they have invested close to $1 million over the years to ensure more than1,868,000 pounds of material are recycled or properly disposed. Here are results from their most recent events:

  • Toyota’s assembly plant in Princeton, Indiana, hosted household waste and recycling days for team members and Gibson County residents in October 2016 and April 2017 and collected 104,423 pounds of waste that was originally destined for landfill. Since the program’s inception in 2006, Toyota Indiana has collected 693,445 pounds of material from the community, including paints, oils, electronic equipment, fluorescent tubes and batteries.
  • Toyota’s assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, hosted a collection event in May 2017 for team members and local residents in partnership with the city of Georgetown, Scott County and Green Metals, Inc. In addition to household and electronic waste, new this year was the option to have documents shredded and recycled. More than 860 vehicles came to the plant to drop off 113,546 pounds of waste.
  • Toyota’s assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario, hosted their fifth electronic waste drop-off for team members during Earth Month (April) 2017 and collected over 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms). Team members also donated work boots, which were distributed to Habitat for Humanity.
  • Toyota’s head office in Toronto held its 10th annual event in June 2017 and collected 4,400 pounds (1,996 kilograms) of electronic waste and donations.
Toyota’s assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky

Toyota’s assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, hosted SupeRecycling Days in May 2017 for team members and local residents. Over a Friday and Saturday, more than 860 vehicles came to the plant to drop off 113,546 pounds of waste. Since these collections began in 1994, the Kentucky plant has helped recycle or properly dispose of more than one million pounds of waste.

Lexus Eco Challenge

In its 10th year, the annual Lexus Eco Challenge is an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers high school and middle school students to learn about an environmental issue that is important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan and report on the results. The Grand Prize-winning teams earn $30,000. Each winning team divides the grand prize: 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 are awarded $15,000 each.

The 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge had more than 1,700 student participants. Lexus and Scholastic reviewed the finalists’ innovative submissions and selected one middle school team and one high school team as the 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge Grand Prize winners. The Grand Prize winners were “Second Chance Band” from Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco, Texas, and “WMS Coral Keepers” from Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, Michigan.

“WMS Coral Keepers” wanted to bring attention to the issue of plastic straw pollution in lakes and oceans and encourage everyone to “Skip the Straw!” Their research showed that over 500 million plastic drinking straws are used in the United States every single day. They also learned that plastic straws do not biodegrade, but instead, they break into tiny pieces that are eaten by birds, fish and other marine animals. The team eliminated plastic straws in their school and offered the option to purchase reusable or paper straws. They also worked with area restaurants to reduce straw usage and petitioned the National Day Calendar to create National Skip the Straw Day on the fourth Friday in February every year.

The 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge Grand Prize high school team was the “Second Chance Band” from Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco, Texas. To address landfills filling up with trash across the United States and the increase of ocean trash pollution, Second Chance Band developed a unique upcycling project using trash and other discarded objects to create musical instruments. The team discovered the materials needed to build instruments could all be found in a landfill. They collected old instruments and upcycled trash to build and refurbish flutes, violins, guitars, trumpets and drums. Over 75 handmade instruments were made, including a violin from a tin lunch box and discarded violin neck, small drums from a Styrofoam box, old x-ray films and a broken picture frame, and flutes from found metal pipes. Using social media, the team was able to reach the global community and share their how-to videos. The team sent the recycled instruments to areas in need all around the world, from Latin America to the Middle East.

The 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge Grand Prize High School Team

The 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge Grand Prize high school team was the “Second Chance Band” from Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco, Texas. To address landfills filling up with trash across the United States and the increase of ocean trash pollution, Second Chance Band developed a unique upcycling project using trash and other discarded objects to create musical instruments.

Mothers of Invention

The eighth annual Tina Brown Live Media Women in the World Summit, presented and co-hosted by Toyota, featured the Mothers of Invention (MOI) Class of 2017, celebrating pioneers who are driving positive change in the world through innovation and entrepreneurship. Three grants in the amount of $50,000 each were awarded for groundbreaking work in clean water infrastructure, power-generating footwear and science instrument-smartphone technology.

Each year, Toyota collaborates with the Tina Brown Live Media editorial team to identify three women who affect change throughout the world and have tremendous vision. The finalists meet myriad criteria, such as solving large-scale problems, affecting impact and growth, introducing new product categories, finding solutions to societal issues around the globe, and innovating technologies. Since its inception, the Toyota Mothers of Invention program has recognized the ingenuity of 19 women with a total of nearly $1 million in grants.

“We are thrilled to support these remarkable women, who with their optimism, intelligence and grit are writing bright new endings to stories of people the world often forgets or overlooks,” said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Vehicle Marketing & Communications, Toyota Motor North America. “By working together to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, the Toyota Mothers of Invention network can grow larger, stronger, and make a bigger impact on the lives of others.”

In addition to building great cars, Toyota is committed to improving society and the lives of others, championing solutions to issues around food, water, shelter, healthcare, electricity, sanitation and education. As a sponsor of the Women in the World Summit since its inception in 2012, Toyota has cultivated the Toyota Mothers of Invention program by not only awarding MOIs with the Driving Solutions Grant, but also facilitating networking opportunities, building relevant connections, and providing access to intellectual capital to help their organizations and causes go places.

Sarah Evans, Founder, Well Aware (left), Komal Dadlani, Founder, Lab4U (center), Hahna Alexander, CEO & Co-founder SolePower (right)

Sarah Evans, Founder, Well Aware (left)
Sarah Evans’ vision is to enable prosperity in impoverished communities by providing access to lasting clean water. Under her leadership, Well Aware has impacted more than 150,000 people and is on track to more than double their impact in 2017. Since Well Aware’s first project was implemented in 2010, they have doubled their project capacity every year. The organization’s reputation for project success (100 percent) and cost effectiveness (averaging $10 per person for decades) has also promoted numerous collaborations with other NGOs worldwide to guide their water infrastructure projects through Aurora Global (a for-profit organization of which Sarah is also a principal).

Komal Dadlani, Founder, Lab4U (center)
Lab4U develops web and mobile technologies to turn smartphones and tablets into science instruments. The technology uses sensors already in smartphones, for example, to measure acceleration, frequency and movement. It also transforms the phone into a microscope with a one-dollar filter attached to the camera. Lab4Physics, the first product, has been tested with more than 2,000 students in Latin America and California since its launch in May 2016. It provides a low-cost solution for science education for schools in emerging markets or underprivileged students who do not have access to scientific instruments.

Hahna Alexander, CEO & Co-founder SolePower (right)
SolePower creates self-charging wearables that capture energy from human motion. Electronics can be powered solely by footsteps—creating “unplugged” technology that doesn’t need to be charged. Hahna and her co-founder found a way to “harvest" kinetic energy of a heel strike into human footsteps in a capstone engineering class project at Carnegie Mellon University. They embedded the solution into the sole of a work boot to create self-charging SmartBoots. The boots track location and motion, providing workforces with insights to keep workers safe and alert them when they are in danger. The U.S. Army is testing SolePower’s kinetic charger as a lightweight back-up battery for soldiers. Other applications for firefighters and emergency workers that light up as they walk are in development.

National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

In 2017, residents in more than 4,800 cities across the United States took part in the sixth annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, presented by Toyota, by pledging to save over 2.2 billion gallons of water over the next year. The annual month-long campaign to promote drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30 with mayors from 38 states vying 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 included Laguna Beach, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Athens, Georgia; Aurora, Colorado; and Dallas, Texas. Overall, residents around the nation, from Anchorage to the Florida Keys, made 421,891 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams.

The challenge, presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S. EPA, National League of Cities, The Toro Company, Earth Friendly Products (ECOS) and Conserva Irrigation, addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they can conserve water — for example, by swapping out their lawns in favor of drought-resistant native plants, fixing leaks and looking at how we use water for food and manufacturing.

“This year’s challenge took a hard look at things we can all do to reduce our impact on lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands,” said marine life artist Wyland, who founded the Wyland Foundation in 1993. “The more we can do to reduce harmful runoff into our water systems, the more we can provide long-term sustainable benefits to our communities.”

In addition to reducing water, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce the use of 4.7 million single-use plastic water bottles and eliminate 114,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges will also result in potentially 52.5 million fewer pounds of waste going to landfills. Potential savings of 14.6 million gallons of oil, 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 156.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, and $35.5 million in consumer cost savings rounded out the final pledge results.

National Public Lands Day

Toyota encourages all of its team members, dealers and customers to offer a little nurture to nature on National Public Lands Day (NPLD). 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. NPLD is hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation, and Toyota has been the national corporate sponsor since 1999.

In 2016, Toyota made volunteerism possible at 2,600 NPLD sites, including 56 sites where 1,755 Toyota team members volunteered, and gave $637,439 in Public Lands Every Day grants. Here are just a few of the tasks Toyota volunteers tackled in 2016:

  • Toyota’s plant in Mississippi hosted its second NPLD event at Tombigbee State Park as part of a five-year, $250,000 partnership with the park and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks. More than 500 team members and their families contributed over 2,000 volunteer hours to build a regulation size tee-ball field, update playground equipment, install a split-rail fence throughout the park, clear trail heads, and rebuild handrails, benches and bridges, which allowed a nature trail that had been closed for nearly 10 years to reopen.
  • Toyota team members from Bodine Aluminum in Troy, Missouri, partnered with Cuivre River State Park to construct an ADA-accessible (Americans with Disabilities Act) picnic shelter near the ADA fishing dock (which the plant donated funds to help construct in 2014). At Toyota Bodine Aluminum in Jackson, Tennessee, volunteers worked at Liberty Garden Park while team members from the Bodine St. Louis plant helped clean up trails at Vinita Park.
  • Team member volunteers in the Dallas area mulched trails and assisted with other projects to help prepare the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve in Plano for winter.
  • Toyota’s plant in Texas partnered with the San Antonio Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, where team members, their families and local students cleared wildlife areas, trimmed trails and gardened campus grounds. In addition, they presented the facility with a $15,000 check to further efforts to conserve park land.
  • Toyota’s plant in Alabama partnered with the Land Trust of North Alabama on a trail development project at the nearby Wade Mountain Nature Preserve.
  • For the fourth year in a row, Southern California team members showed their stewardship at the White Point Nature Preserve and Education Center in San Pedro. Projects included watering native plants, laying mulch, removing invasive weeds and more. The center recognized team member Ernie Lopez with an Outstanding Volunteer award for his continued commitment.
  • Team members from Toyota’s plant in Kentucky partnered with Salato Wildlife Education Center to build fencing throughout the Frankfort Park, make improvements to the quail exhibit and mulch around fields that house bison and elk to reduce weeds.
For NPLD 2016, Team Members in Indiana Helped

For NPLD 2016, team members in Indiana helped construct a playground, landscape, mulch a walking trail, assemble picnic tables and add grills to a shelter house area at the Hopkins Family Park in Francisco, Indiana. This is phase one for the new park, which opened in October.

Team Members from Toyota's Assembly Plant in Mississippi

Toyota’s assembly plant in Mississippi is investing five years and $250,000 in Tombigbee State Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To date, more than 900 team member volunteers have contributed over 5,500 volunteer hours (that equals $108,748 in manpower value) to numerous projects and upgrades. The improvements our team members have made to the park are enjoyed by visitors of all ages and have had a significant impact: Since Toyota began work at Tombigbee in 2015, the park’s revenue has increased by 30 percent. Toyota has also challenged other area businesses and local residents to make their own commitment to the park. Two companies, Hunter Douglas and American Furniture Manufacturing, have already accepted the challenge and have pledged their support.

Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds

The Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds (TELG) program continues to help Canadian students and teachers transform their school grounds into healthy places to learn, play and connect with nature. In the 2015-2016 school year, the national program led by Evergreen, with support from Toyota Canada and Toyota dealerships, helped 559 schools – through 110 grants totaling CAD$250,000 – with their efforts to green their outdoor spaces, engaging 48,245 students and staff.

The TELG program is at the forefront of the school ground greening movement. Since 2000, the partnership has provided millions of dollars of support through hands-on expertise, training, publications and grants to over 6,000 schools across Canada, reaching close to 1.2 million elementary and secondary school students and 96,000 teachers and school staff. The scope of the TELG's impact inspired Evergreen to cofound the International School Ground Alliance in 2011.

Green school grounds aim to inspire discovery and learning, increase physical activity, motivate teachers and students, and support environmental awareness and stewardship. Each project offers a unique opportunity for schools to engage with the greater community, including the active support role many Toyota dealerships have played in their local service areas. Toyota dealers engage directly with schools in their communities at events such as check presentations, kick off assemblies, work bees and grand openings. Additionally, dealerships often invest their own funds and personal volunteer time in support of school projects.

"Through this innovative long-standing initiative, students and staff each year have access to expert hands-on environmental learning and the unique opportunity to design and create their school's new outdoor space," says Geoff Cape, Evergreen CEO. "Toyota's incredible commitment to this work continues to encourage a life-long passion for play and learning in nature that builds a caring relationship with the natural world – a foundation for building sustainable and flourishing cities."

"Toyota's commitment to enriching communities and establishing a future society in harmony with nature is at the core of our collaboration with Evergreen," says Larry Hutchinson, president and CEO of Toyota Canada Inc. "Toyota Canada is proud of the impact the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program has had over the past 16 years, providing everyday opportunities for students to engage with nature on Canada's school grounds."

In honor of its 25th anniversary, Evergreen launched the Evergreen City Builders Awards and partnered with Toyota to recognize outstanding innovation in children's nature playgrounds with the Toyota Playground Placemaker Award. The award recipient, Sandy Clee, senior planner at the Simcoe County District School Board in Midhurst, Ontario, supported the transformation of 87 early-year schoolyards from barren outdoor expanses to dynamic natural play and learning spaces.

Schools participating in the 2015-2016 TELG program have realized their greening goals with a wide variety of outdoor improvements such as a year-round outdoor classroom in North Vancouver, a food and pollinator garden for kindergarten students in Montreal, and an edible garden in Saskatoon that helps students and families learn about and participate in sustainable food growing practices.

Evergreen Learning Grounds Team
Evergreen Learning Grounds Kids at Work
Evergreen Learning Grounds

At Gosford Public School in North York, Ontario, a grant from the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program brought the whole community together. With hands-on support from Evergreen, excited parents, students, alumni and community members organized a special volunteer day to help build and fill three new raised garden beds last year. Students from Kindergarten to grade five planted vegetable seedlings that they had been nurturing indoors since the winter. Throughout the harvest season, students learned about seed saving, tried many new foods, and prepared fresh salads from the garden. The gardening season ended with another community volunteer day to mulch, harvest and plant late harvest seeds.

Teachers are using the new space to enhance their lessons and students’ learning. The garden provides authentic hands-on learning experiences, weaved into the elementary science curriculum.

Yellowstone Youth Campus

Toyota presented a $1 million donation to Yellowstone Forever (formerly the Yellowstone Park Foundation) to support development of a new Yellowstone Youth Campus. The new campus will be a home for immersive youth programming in the park, creating a place of learning for future generations of conservationists and a pretty cool hang-out to share experiences.

Designed by Hennebery Eddy Architects of Portland, Oregon, the new Yellowstone Youth Campus aims to be the first building in a national park to achieve Living Building Challenge Certification. One of the most rigorous environmental building certifications in the world, the Living Building Challenge integrates ecological relationship, cultural heritage, stewardship, sustainability and leadership into all aspects of design, construction and operation. The result is a “Living Lab” for all who enter.

“The new Yellowstone Youth Campus is an opportunity to support the conservation principles of the National Park Service while reinforcing Toyota’s commitment to the environment,” said Kevin Butt general manager and regional director of Environmental Sustainability at Toyota Motor North America. “We hope this environmental learning center will inspire and empower future leaders in building a more culturally aware, ecologically responsible and regenerative future.”

While the campus expands, the environmental footprint is expected to shrink with pursuit of the Living Building Challenge. The buildings are designed to significantly reduce energy use through high-performance insulation and windows, natural ventilation, and other passive measures. Planned photovoltaic arrays on-site will provide more than 100 percent of campus energy needs, creating excess energy for the grid. One hundred percent of water used on campus will be locally sourced and all wastewater will be treated on-site for reuse. The design prioritizes a healthy indoor environment by using only non-toxic and low VOC building materials and furnishings. Once complete, the campus will serve as a new benchmark for National Park Service projects.

It also will serve as the home of two youth programs, each with a national reach – Expedition Yellowstone and the Youth Conservation Corps. Expedition Yellowstone provides week-long residential experiences for grade school-aged children with a focus on disadvantaged populations, while the Youth Conservation Corps offers a one-month immersive summer program for high-school students. Replacing the existing Youth Conservation Corps campus, the new youth campus will be able to serve twice the current student capacity with the addition of four classrooms, residential buildings and staff housing on-site.

This isn’t Toyota’s first footprint in the park. In 2015, Toyota introduced a unique, renewable distributed energy system at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. By combining solar power with re-used Camry Hybrid battery packs, the system provides reliable, sustainable, quiet, zero emission power to the ranger station and education center for the first time since it was founded in 1907.

And when Yellowstone designed the new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, Toyota engineers shared knowledge gained during construction of its Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certified office complex in Torrance, California. The automaker also provided a $1 million gift to the foundation for construction of the Center, which opened in 2010.

The Yellowstone Youth Campus

The Yellowstone Youth Campus will house immersive youth programing. The new campus aims to be the first building in a national park to achieve Living Building Challenge Certification, one of the most rigorous environmental building certifications in the world.

Great Room Rendering. Image courtesy of Hennebery Eddy Architects


There are approximately 1,850 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the United States, Canada and Mexico, all independently owned franchises. We partner with our dealers on green building projects and community outreach initiatives.

Green Building

We work closely with dealers to promote green building practices, since buildings can have a large environmental footprint. Buildings are responsible for about one-third of the energy consumed in the United States and Canada. Operating green buildings can reduce energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, water use and solid waste, and green buildings have been shown to improve worker health and productivity.

Toyota and Lexus continue to lead the industry with more dealership facilities certified to LEED® standards in North America than any other auto manufacturer. As of July 2017, we had assisted 58 Toyota and Lexus dealerships — 51 in the United States, six in Canada and one in Mexico — with LEED® certification. Additionally, several more dealerships have completed construction and are waiting for their LEED® ratings to be decided. Many more are under construction or in the design and permitting phase and have registered their intent to pursue LEED®.

LEED®, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a point-based system administered by the U.S. and Canadian Green Building Councils promoting 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 emphasize three areas to dealers to get the best return on investment from green building practices: using high-quality materials on the building envelope (particularly the insulation and the roof), using LED lighting in both interior and exterior areas, and right-sizing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. A study performed on LEED®-certified Toyota dealerships shows the average dealer who completes the LEED® process can save about 25 percent on their energy costs per square foot per year (based on a 52,000 square-foot building). 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.

19 / Toyota/Lexus LEED® Dealerships

Toyota Lexus
Platinum 4
Gold 20 4
Silver 14 2
Certified 10 4
Total 48 10

*As of July 2017, 51 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the U.S, 6 in Canada and 1 in Mexico have been certified to LEED®.
Toyota of Corvallis in Oregon

In November 2016, Toyota of Corvallis in Oregon became the fourth Toyota dealership to earn LEED® Platinum certification. The dealership is also on track to becoming the world’s first Certified Net Zero Energy Automotive Dealership. By definition, Net Zero Energy means that at the end of the year, the building has produced more power than it used. Toyota of Corvallis is collecting solar energy through photovoltaic panels and returning any unused energy back to the local power grid. That power will help offset local power demands at peak usage periods. Toyota of Corvallis is setting a positive example and creating a first-of-its-kind template for the auto dealership of the future.

Community Outreach

Toyota also partners with our dealers to support community environmental initiatives. The Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program helps schools create outdoor classrooms to provide students with a healthy place to play, learn and develop a genuine respect for nature. Green school grounds aim to inspire discovery and learning, increase physical activity, motivate teachers and students, and support environmental awareness and stewardship. Each project offers a unique opportunity for schools to engage with the greater community, including the active support role many Toyota dealerships have played in their local service areas. Toyota dealers engage directly with schools in their communities at events such as check presentations, kick-off assemblies, work bees and grand openings. Additionally, dealerships often invest their own funds and personal volunteer time in support of school projects. Since 2000, 218 Toyota dealerships have been directly involved in one or more school ground greening projects in their communities.

Team members from Toyota Canada Inc. joined Stouffville Toyota to host an Earth Day presentation for 40 students from Summitview and James Robinson Public Schools. John-Paul Farag from Toyota Canada Inc. was present to speak about Toyota’s advanced technology vehicles. Dealer Principal Kevin Baxter later toured the students around the LEED® Gold certified facility. Everyone took home goody bags with seedlings to plant.

Students check out Toyota’s Prius Prime

Students check out Toyota’s Prius Prime during an Earth Day event at Stouffville Toyota. Toyota Canada Inc.’s Product Planning Department also brought a model Mirai with a solar panel that produces hydrogen fuel to power the vehicle.


Establishing positive and productive working relationships with local, state, provincial and federal government agencies is vital for sharing ideas and facilitating a common understanding of issues. Sharing information helps us understand the government’s concerns and helps them understand how potential new requirements impact our business. Together, we can seek a balance that protects health and the environment without putting unnecessary burden on our facilities.

For example, we engage and collaborate with state and local government agencies and other companies through state-sponsored environmental programs:

  • Our assembly plant in Indiana has been a member of Partners for Pollution Prevention since 2006. This program is organized by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to provide a forum for local businesses to discuss and share pollution prevention (P2) successes and challenges with each other and to advise IDEM on P2 policies and programs. The sharing of ideas amongst Indiana businesses allows everyone to improve together. Good ideas are yokotened (taken from one place and implemented at another), and bad ideas are also shared so that we all learn from mistakes and challenges.
  • Our assembly plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, has been a Leader in EnHance (Envision Heightened Awareness Nurturing Conservation & Environmental Excellence) since 2013. EnHance is a voluntary environmental stewardship program run by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) that recognizes committed environmental leaders who accomplish goals beyond their legal requirements. In April 2017, the Mississippi plant’s membership was renewed and John Raymer, the plant’s assembly general manager and environmental director, and Rosario Halberstadt, environmental specialist, were on hand to receive the award from MDEQ Executive Director Gary Rikard.

Our assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario, offer tours to Canadian ministries to demonstrate the minimal impacts of our operations. Regulators have told us that these tours helped them see firsthand and understand the controls we already have in place and how risks are managed.

Toyota’s Canadian plants also participate on the Automotive Manufacturing Working Group facilitated by the Facility Environment and Energy Committee of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association. This working group meets regularly with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to discuss upcoming regulatory changes.

Toyota, along with the rest of the working group, recently worked with ECCC to develop Principles to Inform Chemical Management Plan Implementation, as applicable to the Automotive Manufacturing Sector. These nine principles seek to implement Canada’s chemical management plan in a cost-effective way that achieves the desired health and environmental outcomes while being mindful of industry competitiveness issues. The principles also recognize the highly integrated nature of auto manufacturing in North America and call for coordination with other jurisdictions, such as the U.S., on approach and timing of requirements. This collaboration is an example of the win-win that happens when we have an open, honest relationship with regulators.


Toyota recognizes that environmental impacts extend into our supply chain. When considering the full life cycle impacts of manufacturing, distributing and driving vehicles, supply chain impacts outpace our own. That’s why Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 directs us to work with suppliers to achieve three main goals:

  • We will engage with suppliers to eliminate CO2 emissions from the process of manufacturing the parts and materials we purchase to make our vehicles (Challenge 2). Toyota Motor Corp. joined CDP’s Supply Chain Program, which helps us gather information on major supplier initiatives worldwide. We will continue to use this information to prioritize engagement with major suppliers in North America.
  • We will seek to eliminate CO2 emissions from our own operations and third-party logistics (Challenge 3). Below, we discuss the importance of due diligence and working with third-party carriers in helping us meet this challenge.
  • We will collaborate to help establish a recycling-based society (Challenge 5). One of our suppliers developed a way to reuse and recycle obsolete packaging. With their help, an estimated 13 million pounds of waste are kept out of landfills. See the packaging reduction target and story in the Materials chapter for more information.

Meeting these challenges depends on close collaboration with our major suppliers. To enhance our collaboration and leverage on-going sustainability efforts on an industry-wide scale, Toyota became a member of U.S. EPA’s Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP), an innovative partnership between automobile original equipment manufacturers, their suppliers and EPA. SP provides a forum for small, mid-sized and large automotive and vehicle suppliers to work together, learn from each other and share environmental best practices.

We hosted SP’s second quarter meeting in April 2017 at our assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. Attendees had an opportunity to tour the plant – Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility in the world – and hear speakers from Toyota, Johnson Controls, General Motors, U.S. EPA, World Economic Forum, Plastics Industry Association, Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, and Starco Lighting, who shared emerging trends impacting the industry and discussed key opportunities related to items such as advancing a circular economy, working together with public and private partners, and improving environmental performance and competitiveness.

Supplier Engagement

We visit suppliers to understand and learn about their sustainability programs. These activities are an essential component of our strategy for meeting challenge 3 of Challenge 2050 and eliminating CO2 emissions from our operations.

In early 2017, we visited one of SunPower Corp.’s North American manufacturing plants, which produced the solar array that now sits on the rooftop of our new headquarters campus in Plano, Texas. The purpose of the visit was to learn about SunPower’s manufacturing process, see their quality control program in action, and learn about their leading environmental sustainability initiatives. The facility we visited, which produces 1 gigawatt of solar panels annually, is certified LEED® Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council and is verified by NSF Sustainability as landfill-free, which means the facility diverts at least 99 percent of waste, with only 1 percent or less of waste going to landfills.

The facility is also where two of SunPower’s Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver products are manufactured. The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard is a comprehensive product quality standard that evaluates product design, manufacturing, corporate citizenship and ethics principles. Products are assessed according to Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship and Social Fairness.

“SunPower is a business partner we have worked with that can help us meet our absolute GHG reduction target, achieve Challenge 2050 and, perhaps most importantly, advance our journey to creating a net positive impact on society and the planet,” said Mark Yamauchi, environmental sustainability manager at TMNA.

Third-Party Logistics

Toyota’s logistics network is a complex operation that ensures smooth shipping and delivery of vehicles, parts and accessories, from the supplier to the plant, to Toyota’s distribution centers, and ultimately to dealerships and customers. Through the use of returnable shipping containers, packaging reductions, light weighting and densification, our own logistics operation has reduced waste, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and we have helped our third-party logistics carriers do the same.

We set a target with our third-party logistics carriers to reduce the GHG intensity of both owned and third-party logistics by 5 percent by fiscal year 2021, from a 2016 baseline. Fiscal year 2017 results can be found here.

Toyota’s production control logistics operation – which procures the parts and materials used to manufacture our vehicles – has been working with two of their largest carriers on GHG emissions reductions. These carriers are developing plans to help us meet our 2021 target to improve GHG intensity from logistics operations by 5 percent as well as the Challenge 2050 goal to eliminate CO2 emissions from manufacturing and logistics operations. We will have more on this in next year’s report.

See also the story on Toyota’s Project Portal, the zero emission truck proof of concept taking part in a feasibility study to examine the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy-duty applications.

Team Members

We want all of our team members to be environmental ambassadors. We want them all to be educated about and take pride in our environmental activities, participate in projects that improve our environmental performance, and be inspired to share our know-how with others.

We take a variety of approaches to educating our team members about Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 and our North American environmental action plan and activities. We host lunch-and-learns, publish newsletters and include an overview of Toyota’s North American Environmental Report in new hire training. We want to make sure everyone at every level — not just those with the word “environmental” in their job title — is aware of our environmental activities and understands they have a role to play. Some of our sites give team members a chance to test their environmental knowledge through a trivia game and award the high scorers with T-shirts and other prizes. Our assembly plants in Ontario use their internal newsletter to teach team members how to make a pollinator garden and ways they can reduce plastic pollution. These newsletters raise awareness about Toyota’s environmental performance and provide educational material to explain why we spend so much time and effort trying to reduce energy, GHG emissions, waste and water use and protect the plants and animals around us.

Team members play a big part in helping us identify projects that protect nature and save energy, water and everything in between. Some projects require a small group of dedicated team members, and others succeed thanks to help from our suppliers. A number of these projects are described in the Carbon, Water, Materials and Biodiversity sections of this report. During Earth Month, our plants in Ontario encourage team members to submit environmental suggestions for a chance to win a special Earth Month shirt.

Finally, we encourage team members to take all the good things we do at work and share their know-how with others. Earth Day provides an annual opportunity for us to educate and engage team members on environmental topics and empower them to take what they know home and into their communities. Many of our locations host activities for a week or even a whole month that include a chance for team members to give back to their communities.

  • The New York area parts distribution center hosted a combined Earth Day / Bring Your Child to Work Day. The youngsters helped build an insect hotel for the community garden.
  • Toyota Bodine Aluminum in Troy, Missouri, hosted an Earth Day cleanup event at the nearby Cuivre River State Park. The 48 team member volunteers spent the morning cleaning the dining room for Camp Derricotte.
  • Team members from the West Virginia plant worked with fifth-graders from Hometown Elementary School and the Cub Scouts to build birdhouses and bat houses, which were all placed along the site’s nature trail. These activities provided team members with a fun opportunity to teach the youngsters about the different types of pollinators that can be found at the plant’s pollinator garden.
  • Toyota’s assembly plant in Princeton, Indiana, hosted Earth Aware Camps for about 1,000 third-graders at Camp Carson and Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. The children spent a day doing activities and playing games designed to teach them about environmental responsibility. See the photos from the event below.
  • Toyota Canada Inc. executives and team members dedicated their lunch time during Earth Week to cleaning up the outdoor area near the organization’s Head Office in Toronto. In 2017, they collected 50 bags of garbage.
Earth Aware Camp
Earth Aware Camp
Earth Aware Camp

During Earth Week 2017, Toyota’s assembly plant in Indiana hosted Earth Aware Camp at Camp Carson in Princeton and Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve in Evansville. Team members shared their knowledge of all things environmental with third-grade students, who spent a day doing activities and games designed to teach them about environmental responsibility. During the recycle relays, student teams raced through the contents of barrels to separate what could be recycled. At Camp Carson, the students also planted seedlings and met some of the creatures from Mesker Park Zoo, while at Wesselman Woods, wildlife exhibits and a nature hike through the forest helped deliver the message of preservation.