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Toyota Motors Europe: Absolute CO2 Emissions Drop 3.4%

Toyota Motor Europe’s absolute CO2 emissions from production decreased by 3.4 percent year-on-year even though production increased by about 1 percent over the same time period, according to the company’s latest sustainability report.

In the 2010 financial year the company’s manufacturing facilities produced 234,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. In the 2011 financial year, which runs from 1st April 2011 to the 31 March 2012, this figure dropped to 226,000 metric tons, the report says. The FY 2011 figure represents the company’s lowest reported emissions and a 33.3 percent decline since 2008, which is the earliest year the report provides data for.

In FY 2011 Toyota Motor’s UK division installed a 4.1 MW solar panel system in partnership with BG New Solar Energy at its Burnaston, England, plant. All the energy energy generated by the 16,800 panels is used onsite. In 2011, the array generated 2154 MHh of electricity, or about 2.4 percent of the facilities total electricity needs.

The company’s overall energy use dropped 2 percent year-on-year, from 794,707 MWh in FY 2010 to 778,782 in FY 2011. Toyota Motors Europe has an in-house group that researches and proposes the best ways to use energy. Energy Service Company, as the body is know, carries out assessments at Toyota facilities. Factory energy consumption is investigated alongside operations and maintenance
behavior, ensuring Toyota best practice is in place, the report says. Since 2009, TME’s optimization of its manufacturing installations has been responsible for a reduction of nearly 6,000 metric tons of CO2, energy savings of nearly21,000 gWh, and annual cost savings of just under €1 million ($1.3 million), the report says.

Specific energy-saving measures include a lighting upgrade at the company’s Bristol, England, vehicle import center. The facility has 11 high mast lights required to be kept lit for the purposes of illuminating the car parks throughout the night. Two of the high masts were replaced by LED’s to improve lighting levels and reduce electricity consumption. The remaining nine high masts were linked up to a central operational board, allowing staff to switch on the lights only if required, which is needed to deal with overnight shipments. Within the main workshops, high bay lighting was replaced by LEDs. In FY 2011, these improvements reduced the the light’s carbon emissions from electricity use by 24 percent and carbon emissions from gas use by 10 percent over FY 2009 levels., the report says.

The amount of waste the company sent to landfill as a result of its manufacturing operations dropped 80 percent year on year, from 0.1 metric tons in FY 2010 to 0.02 metric tons in FY 2011, figures show. (See graph below)

All of Toyota’s parts distribution centers worked toward a zero-waste-to-landfill goal, which meets the target set out in the company’s five year environmental action plan. TME describes optimization projects to increase re-use, sorting and recycling as “crucial in daily activities” and have led to a reduction in mixed waste in all PDCs, the report says.

TME’s water use from manufacturing increased 0.5 percent year-on-year, from 964,000 cubic meters in FY 2010 to 969,000 cubic meters in FY 2011. continues its focus on rainwater collection. This relatively stable result in FY11 is due to changes in the company’s production mix including more engine production compared to vehicles, the report says.

In 2011, the company installed a closed-loop cooling system in its paint quality check system at one of its facilities. The system is used to cool lamps used in the process. Since its implementation in September 2011, the building’s water consumption has dropped 75 percent. In FY2012 the company plans to increase its capacity to collect and use rainwater, further reducing the need to draw on town supplied water.

In September Toyota announced plans to roll out 21 hybrid vehicles by the end of 2015, while scaling back plans for widespread sales of its new all-electric compact in a decision that signaled the company’s growing confidence in its hybrid strategy and its tepid view of battery-powered vehicles.

Toyota predicted its sales of hybrid models will likely surpass 1 million this year – nearly double what it sold in 2011 – and expects to maintain this level of sales through 2015.

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