1. Environmental sustainability
  2. 4 r's for a better earth
  3. Reduce
  4. How are we reducing the environmental impact of our business operations?
I want to…
I want to…

How are we reducing the environmental impact of our business operations?

We are a major contributor to manufacturing across Europe, with production facilities making vehicles, engines and transmissions in the UK, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Portugal. We recognise the crucial importance of being a “good neighbour" everywhere we operate. This quality extends from being a good employer to protecting and enhancing the environment and communities around us.

We constantly seek new ways of reducing our use of natural resources and cutting our greenhouse gas emissions. We are using different methods to capture and use solar heating and electricity and are using renewable biomass as an alternative to gas for heating. We also work to achieve the most efficient methods of transporting parts and finished vehicles, using better logistics and transport methods with less environmental impact. Here are some of the initiatives we’re undertaking: 

Solar wall

Toyota Motor Manufacturing France’s factory in Valenciennes, home of the Yaris, uses heat from the sun as a carbon-free way of boosting its central heating system. It has set up a solar wall, a 410m2 sheet of perforated metal placed in front of the south wall of the building. This creates an air cavity which is heated by the sun. Using ventilation and natural convection, the hot air is fed into the system which heats the press shop where car body panels are stamped. 

Solar arrays

Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK has reduced its carbon footprint by using solar energy to help power its factories. It operates one of British industry’s largest solar arrays at its Burnaston factory and a smaller system at its engine factory in North Wales. Together the 17,000 photovoltaic panels can produce almost 7,250mW/h of electricity, enough to make 7,000 cars and 22,500 engines a year. 

 

Capturing rainwater

Water is a precious resource and we have made significant savings in the amount we need to build each vehicle. At Valenciennes, we are also reducing the volume of water we take from the municipal supply by capturing rainwater in two big lagoons within the factory site. Measuring 6,200m2 and 10,380m2, these are helping us reduce our use of public water in our manufacturing processes to zero. The success of this scheme has earned Toyota Motor Manufacturing France a top platinum award in our internal Global Environmental Award programme. 

 

Biomass Boiler

The Valenciennes factory has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by changing one of its gas boilers to one powered by burning biomass pellets. Developed in partnership with the energy specialists EDF Optimal Solutions, the boiler was put into service in March 2015. Capable of generating 1000kW, it is used to maintain a constant temperature in processes used for vehicle surface treatments. 

 

CLEVER PACKAGING SOLUTIONS 

The shipping of parts and vehicles to and from our factories is an area where we can reduce carbon emissions by thinking about how we can transport items efficiently, with the least waste. Teams work together and look closely at the different types and shapes of items we use to come up with packaging that allows as many items as possible to be carried at one time, whether by road or rail. 

The results are better space efficiency, lower CO2 emissions and packaging that is easier to fill, load and unload. We encourage new ideas like this in our annual Global Eco Awards, and our European Parts Depot in Belgium has been among the winners for its innovative solutions in this area. 

EFFICIENT DELIVERY SYSTEMS 

The transport of parts and products provides many opportunities for us to reduce our overall emissions levels, working in partnership with our shipping and supply chain partners. 

We seek to make use of lower emission transport options, using sea and rail as alternatives to long-distance road haulage. It is also important to use energy-efficient vehicles, including those which run on alternative fuels. Drivers are given support to learn eco-driving techniques and we encourage the planning of routes that allow vehicles to run as efficiently as possible. Making the best use of vehicle cargo space is also important, avoiding running empty after deliveries and, where possible delivering directly to customers to avoid journeys to and from warehouses.