TOYOTA has announced plans for “sustainable plant” activities aimed at increasing the sustainability of its production operations.
The automotive giant’s goals are to reduce CO2 by using renewable energy, including biomass and natural energy sources, such as solar power and wind power, planting trees at the plant, and introducing innovative technology and kaizen (improvement) activities.
The activities are to start at the Tsutsumi Plant in Japan, which makes the Prius hybrid vehicle and which has been positioned as a “model sustainable plant”. In addition to a cogeneration system already in place, the plant is to use a 2,000kW photovoltaic generation system.
Toyota says it intends to paint some of Tsutsumi’s exterior walls and other surfaces with environment-improving photo-catalytic paint, which breaks down air-born nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx). The paint is expected to have the cleansing effect of 2,000 poplar trees.
Toyota has also announced a partnership with the University of California to road test two plug-in hybrid cars, a step toward getting the fuel-efficient vehicles to consumers. The study will be the first time a major automaker puts the experimental cars on US roads.