GOING GOING GONECan sugarcane make your car run? Quite possibly. Toyota is committed to exploring alternative sources of automotive fuel including ones made from plant sources such as sugarcane. Biofuels and synthetic fuels are an answer to diminishing natural resources. And this progressive research from Toyota doesn't start and end with energy sources either. It encompasses all aspects of a vehicle including the cockpit. Wouldn't it be great if all car seat foam cushions were made, at least in part, less from petroleum and more from soy? Toyota has already started implementing this concept.
IT'S A WRAP Toyota's US Sales headquarters and the parts and distribution center in Los Angeles, California were winners of California's 2006 Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) of the Year award. Together, the two locations were able to divert more than 4.6 million pounds of material from landfills.
BILLBOARDS GET A SECOND CHANCE In the spirit of absolutely nothing is wasted, Toyota has learned that recycling can extend beyond traditional means. Who knew billboards could be repurposed into wallets and toiletry kits? Toyota did.
LEARN BY DOING What better way to learn than hands-on, right? Toyota's International Program sends 100 US secondary school teachers abroad on a two-week study to expose teachers to the diversity of different cultures, ecosystems worldwide, and to inspire the creative teaching of international, cultural, and environmental themes back in the classroom.
A LEAF BY ANOTHER NAME Formed in 2007 in honor of Toyota's 50th anniversary in North America, Toyota announced the start of Leadership in Environmental Awareness for our Future program (LEAF). Both financial and vehicle donations are made to promote environmental leadership programs at 5 National Parks across North America: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Everglades, and the Great Smokey Mountains.
DO WHAT WE CAN TODAY, FOR A BETTER TOMORROW For the 10th consecutive year, Toyota is the official sponsor of National Public Lands Day. Volunteers help build and refurbish trails, repair bridges, restore historic structures, pick up trash, relocate fish, clean up after hurricanes, monitor endangered species and restore habitats. As official sponsor, Toyota not only offers financial support, but encourages its associates to organize and participate in local site work.
LET IT RAIN Did you know the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky reuses rainwater? The run off from parking lots and rooftops is pumped from a retention pond and then treated by ultra filtration and reverse osmosis in a wastewater treatment plant. The water is then used in boilers and chiller systems. It's estimated about 30 million gallons of rainwater and industrial wastewater is utilized every year, reducing the demand for water from their public utility.
REAL HEROES DON'T HAVE SUPERPOWERS They may not have x-ray vision or the strength of ten men. But while others just talk the talk, these everyday heroes are out there doing it. Building wood duck boxes to replace dwindling habitats. Planting trees and building nesting sites to transform strip mine spoils into natural havens. Cleaning up and restocking rivers with largemouth bass. It's dirty, often backbreaking work, but they're making a difference one river, prairie and wetland at a time. We at Toyota recognize them and proudly support their many extraordinary efforts.
A TUNDRA PLANT TAKES ROOT IN SAN ANTONIO The new Tundra plant in San Antonio is committed to being one of Toyota's most environmentally sensitive yet. From the initial construction through the truck assembly process, our mantra has been reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat. At this facility, vehicle bodies are painted with a waterborne primer and basecoat reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) minimizing Toyota's carbon footprint.
WHERE THE DEER AND THE JAVELINA ROAM It's been the JLC Ranch as far back as anyone can remember. (1794 to be exact) And we've pledged to treat one of the oldest ranches in Texas the same way it was treated by ranching families for many years--with respect. Not just for the land, but its inhabitants. That's why more than a quarter of the 2700 acres site has been set aside for parks and green space. Which just goes to show you a half-ton truck can coexist peacefully with wild turkeys, whitetail deer, javelina, and more than 150 other species of native game and songbirds.
THEY WERE HERE FIRST And they should be treated accordingly During construction of the plant, beehives were cordoned off and left undisturbed, poisonous coral snakes were relocated (very carefully) to the nearby woods, an endangered 3-horned toad was removed from an access road and returned to safety, and an injured owl was rushed to the local veterinary hospital where it was treated and later released back into the wild.
A RIVER STILL RUNS THROUGH IT To commemorate National Public Lands Day, Toyota donated more than 650 acres of land to the city. And plans are already underway to link Mitchell Lake and Medina River Park with ten miles of hiking and biking trails along the scenic river.
WASTE IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE Our goal? Absolutely nothing is wasted. Every plastic shipping bin, rubber band and fastener that comes in is returned to our suppliers to reuse. Again and again until they literally wear out. And anything that can't be reused is recycled, from scrap metal and truck parts that don't make the grade right down to workers' gloves. And tires too. Tires are undergoing new technology, making scraps usable as garden mulch and sports turf. And here in arid San Antonio, where water is one precious commodity, the plant uses only recycled water for truck assembly and irrigation. And even then we make every effort to conserve whenever possible. Toyota's Global Earth Charter is a comprehensive effort to protect the environment in all states of the company's operation.