New lighting systems, adjustments to air conditioning performance and changes to operational hours have helped bring down electricity and gas usage by a considerable margin. The company’s annual Green Month provides an opportunity to assess the advances made and engage all employees in learning more about the importance of environmental best practice. In 2010, Toyota was one of the first vehicle manufacturers in the UKto meet the Carbon Trust Standard, having made a seven per cent reduction in its CO2 emissions.
That has inspired the company to set a more ambitious target: in 2009 the annual combined emissions from Toyota GB’s sites totalled 3,873 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to driving a Toyota Prius 27 million miles; the goal is to reduce this figure by 20 per cent, by 2013. The results show it to be well on course to meet that goal, with emissions already down by 19 per cent at the end of the 2011 financial year.
An example of how innovative measures can make a valuable contribution to reducing emissions can be seen at Toyota’s vehicle import centre at Portbury in Bristol, where LED lighting has been installed in the parking compounds and the workshops, together with a new central lighting control system and a more efficient air conditioning unit. These steps have delivered a 23 per cent cut in CO2 from electricity usage and 17 per cent from gas consumption. Similar changes have also been adopted at Toyota’s Surrey headquarters building, along with lighting sensors in meeting rooms and adjustments to air conditioning temperatures. As a result, CO2 emissions fell by more than 400 tonnes a year in 2011.
Thomas Rosselle, Manager Corporate Planning and CSR, said: “Toyota is world-famous for making cars that are environmentally efficient, but the company has a 360-degree approach to environmental matters that takes in every aspect of its operations. The work we are doing in our offices, workshops and training centres in the UK to achieve big reductions in our carbon emissions demonstrates our commitment to this ethos.”
Staff at Toyota’s head office have been learning more about environmental issues, with a presentation on water matters by representatives from the local provider, East Surrey Water. Three charities tackling water-related good causes have been profiled and employees are voting to decide which will receive a £3,000 donation from the Toyota Fund for a Better Tomorrow, the other two will respectively receive £2,000 and £1,000.