February 2, 2004

Toyota reports progress toward full slate of environmental goals

Toyota Canada has released its third annual North American Environmental Report. The 2003 report is organized around the life cycle of the automobile, addressing environmental issues as they relate to product design and development; manufacturing; sales, distribution and after-sales service; and end of life recycling and disposal.

"This report outlines our progress against our environmental goals during 2003, and itemizes the many new goals we've set for the future," said company president Ken Tomikawa.

Toyota's global commitment to the environment is set out an Earth Charter, created in 1992 and updated in 2000. Within various jurisdictions, however, the document accords affiliate operations significant autonomy to develop programs and initiatives that best address environmental issues at the continental, national, regional and local levels.

The North American Environmental Report combines the initiatives undertaken by Toyota in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to present a comprehensive overview of the company's activities, successes and future goals to minimize its impacts on the environment in North America.

Environmental targets for the various life cycle stages are set out in Toyota's North American Five-Year Action Plan. A consolidated summary of the plan, in chart form, lists new targets as well as the status of work toward existing targets.

Within the development and design stage, for example, the company reports that in 2003, top levels of fuel efficiency were achieved for all its vehicle classes, surpassing requirements for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Work was on track toward meeting Tier 2 and low-emission vehicle (LEV) II emission reduction requirements.

Manufacturing stage goals are divided into energy, substances of concern, waste disposal, water use and environmental management systems (EMS). Among the targets achieved in 2003 were reductions of body painting emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to less than 30 grams per cubic metre for all paint body shops; and reductions of toxic chemicals emitted to air to 1.0 kilograms per vehicle at all plants. The company is on track to reducing hazardous waste quantities sent for landfill disposal by 95% from the 1999 base year, and has set a new target of reducing all waste sent to landfill by 70% from the same base year.

Distribution and sales stage achievements included: implementing a nationwide waste tracking program and a returnable packaging program at parts distribution centres; establishing an energy usage database; and compiling a greenhouse gas emission inventory. A new target for this life cycle stage calls for a 15% reduction in total energy consumption by fiscal year 2006.

Toyota reports that it is on track to reach end-of-life targets such as developing a North American strategy for managing substances of concern in the years beyond fiscal 2002, and incorporating material and design strategies for increased vehicle recyclability.

The company further notes that in the area of regulatory compliance, it achieved its target of zero violations of applicable regulations pertaining to hazardous materials/dangerous goods for 2003. This marks the fifth consecutive year with no such violations. In facilities operations, the company received three violation notices resulting in a total of $5,000 in penalties, as well as a few minor violations which did not incur penalties. All violations were mainly administrative in nature, with no adverse environmental impacts, and prompt corrective action was taken.

The 2003 North American Environment Report may be viewed on-line at www.toyota.ca. More information is also available from F David Stone at Toyota Canada, 416/431-8333.

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