“Respect for the Planet is our basic philosophy”

“Respect for the Planet is our basic philosophy”

“Respect for the Planet is our basic philosophy”

The FINANCIAL -- Q. Can you describe Toyota’s green initiatives and practices?

A. Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude for showing an interest in Toyota and its environmental goals. The environmental issue is one of our top priorities. The aftermath of disasters taking place throughout the world over the last few years resulting from humans being careless towards the environment has made us think about the consequences we may soon be facing. Environmental issues have become one of the top priorities for Toyota Motor Corporation. “Respect for the Planet” is our basic philosophy, and based on it in 2015 we formulated our Environmental Challenge 2050.

Unfortunately, car manufacturing is related to generating CO2, the cars themselves generate CO2. Therefore, under the 6 challenges that Toyota has set itself, we expect to eliminate CO2 emissions almost completely, by 90%, by the year 2050.

Q. In what ways are you incorporating social and environmental practices into your business?

A. We have several actions for this. The first is very basic but I think the most important. Environmental education and support for environmental programmes is one of our major activities. Considering the importance that forests carry, Toyota Caucasus made the decision to contribute to the latter’s development and last year planted 2,000 trees in Borjomi forest. I believe that Toyota Caucasus will continue to position the maintenance of environmental infrastructure as its core value.

Q. Does Toyota have any specific environmental targets it hopes to achieve?

A. As I mentioned above, we have the environmental challenge 2050 with its main objectives being to reduce CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050. Toyota has set out for itself very specific targets that we aim to achieve before 2050 that include 90% reduction of CO2 emission in cars manufactured and also during the manufacturing process. Toyota has the goal to simplify manufacturing technologies and their complexity so that this reduces CO2 emissions. Vehicles manufactured using solar, wind and hydrogen energy is our direction. The other point is water. As the population is growing, we are doing our best to prevent the depletion of natural resources as water is one of the most significant resources we rely on. Toyota will thoroughly reduce the amount of water used, purify it and return it to the earth.

One more issue is to ensure the appropriate disposal of increasing waste volumes and establish an End-of-Life vehicle system that implies using eco-friendly materials; using auto parts for longer; developing recycling technologies; and manufacturing vehicles from End-of-life vehicles.

Q. As one of the main auto service providers, please evaluate the technical conditions of cars in Georgia. What are the main problems?

A. I’m afraid that that there are some issues in Georgia, especially in Tbilisi. Perhaps the most critical one is vehicle emissions, which are a major source of air pollution. This is of course caused by technical malfunction of the vehicles and import of vehicles that do not support the standards required to maintain sufficient air quality.

To improve air quality Toyota Caucasus has been actively working to promote hybrid technologies, which enhance air purification performance to ensure vehicle exhaust gas emissions are as clean as possible. Globally, Toyota will continue collaborating with Group companies and partners to actively develop new catalyst technologies which use fewer precious metals and achieve cleaner exhaust gas emissions.

Q. What is the main challenge Toyota Caucasus is facing at present in terms of environmental sustainability?

A. First of all, we need to understand what each society expects from us. Maybe we should understand what kind of environmental regulations there are and what we are doing for those regulations. The region Toyota Caucasus is covering at the moment is currently making its first steps towards adopting environmental regulations. And maybe next is hybrid promotion. Prius was the first car to introduce hybrid technology on the market and customers have the opportunity to select vehicles based on their environmental performance. More and more automakers are developing and launching new hybrid vehicles, so a new market segment of “hybrid vehicles” is being established in the mindset of our customers. Now that customers opt for hybrid vehicles, it has made it possible for the automotive industry to reach further environmental sustainability. Having reached the milestone of selling 10 million hybrid vehicles, Toyota is encouraged to keep striving to make ever-better cars for its customers.

Q. You mention hybrid vehicle introduction and promotion as an important contribution to environmental problem-solving. However, from an ecological point of view, electric vehicles should be considered even more eco-friendly tools for achieving environmental sustainability, shouldn’t they?

A. Definitely, from a pure vehicle emissions point of view electric cars are even more eco-friendly, however we need to think about the full picture of energy consumption. Even in Europe, which is actively considering EV promotion, it has been admitted that in the event the full auto park will be switched to electric cars, increased energy consumption will require several new nuclear power plants being built. That on the other hand might create another issue from an environmental point of view. That is why globally Toyota is working on alternative fuel technologies like hydrogen cars that have already started in some countries, but need quite specific infrastructure for further development.

Therefore from a practical point of view, especially for our region, that does not have appropriate infrastructure developed yet, Toyota electric hybrid – self-charged vehicles might be considered the best solution for decreasing air pollution and improving the environmental situation. Our customers have already experienced the benefits of hybrid cars and been reassured by them.

Q. How do the environmental challenges fit into Toyota’s long-term philosophy?

A. It has a very long history. Toyota’s environmental philosophy and policies are based on the Guiding Principles at Toyota established in 1992 (revised in 1997). Policies for environmental initiatives were formulated in 1992 as the Toyota Earth Charter (revised in 2000). This Charter is shared among 661 Toyota affiliates* subject to the Consolidated Environmental Management System (consolidated EMS) around the world. The Toyota Global Vision announced in 2011 emphasizes the importance of “Respect for the Planet.” Based on its philosophy and policies, Toyota formulated the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 in FY2015 as its first long-term vision for environmental initiatives. In FY2016, Toyota started the Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan (FY2016-2020), initiating new programmes for sustainable development in harmony with society toward the year 2050.

Q. How does Toyota Caucasus engage its employees to think and act upon sustainability?

A. We are already taking several actions. Each Toyota representation in the region has a designated Environmental Manager. Environmental managers make sure to keep in line all environmental requirements, whether legislative or internal. For the 4th year already Toyota Caucasus has maintained ISO 140001 certification. We systematically conduct training of staff to keep them updated on environmental.

Definitely, from a pure vehicle emissions point of view electric cars are even more eco-friendly, however we need to think about the full picture of energy consumption. Even in Europe, which is actively considering EV promotion, it has been admitted that in the event the full auto park will be switched to electric cars, increased energy consumption will require several new nuclear power plants being built. That on the other hand might create another issue from an environmental point of view. That is why globally Toyota is working on alternative fuel technologies like hydrogen cars that have already started in some countries, but need quite specific infrastructure for further development.

Therefore from a practical point of view, especially for our region, that does not have appropriate infrastructure developed yet, Toyota electric hybrid – self-charged vehicles might be considered the best solution for decreasing air pollution and improving the environmental situation. Our customers have already experienced the benefits of hybrid cars and been reassured by them.

Q. How do the environmental challenges fit into Toyota’s long-term philosophy?

A. It has a very long history. Toyota’s environmental philosophy and policies are based on the Guiding Principles at Toyota established in 1992 (revised in 1997). Policies for environmental initiatives were formulated in 1992 as the Toyota Earth Charter (revised in 2000). This Charter is shared among 661 Toyota affiliates* subject to the Consolidated Environmental Management System (consolidated EMS) around the world.

The Toyota Global Vision announced in 2011 emphasizes the importance of “Respect for the Planet.” Based on its philosophy and policies, Toyota formulated the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 in FY2015 as its first long-term vision for environmental initiatives. In FY2016, Toyota started the Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan (FY2016-2020), initiating new programmes for sustainable development in harmony with society toward the year 2050.

Q. How does Toyota Caucasus engage its employees to think and act upon sustainability?

A. We are already taking several actions. Each Toyota representation in the region has a designated Environmental Manager. Environmental managers make sure to keep in line all environmental requirements, whether legislative or internal. For the 4th year already Toyota Caucasus has maintained ISO 140001 certification. We systematically conduct training of staff to keep them updated on environmental requirements, keep track of the waste and its proper utilization.