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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
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Auto Column: Toyota Announces 35 Year Plan For Sustainable Production

On October 14th, the Japanese firm announced that it was committing to six challenges over the next 35 years that aim to lessen its environmental impact on the planet. 
These goals come in the wake of Volkswagen’s emission scandal that shook the automobile world earlier this month. The CEO of the German automaker admitted that his company had used illegal software to falsify emissions test on its diesel engine vehicles. 
Challenge one: The company aims to “reduce vehicle CO₂ emissions by 90 percent in comparison with 2010 levels, by 2050.” 
The company says that their approach to this goal is to have the majority of its vehicles be electric by 2050. It hopes to accomplish this by promoting and developing its electric line of cars, such as the Mirai, a fuel cell vehicle. 
Challenge two and three are one in the same. One tackles slashing emissions during the production stages by using as few parts as possible, while simultaneously choosing ones that are environmentally friendly. 
Later, at the end of the car’s life, more of its parts will be able to be repurposed and recycled, such that Toyota and likely other manufacturers can use them on the next wave of vehicles; thus reducing the number of emissions and extending the life of their materials by a significant margin.
Challenge four focuses on a sustainable approach to Toyota’s water use. 
The company stresses that as a result of climbing global population, which is expected to reach 9.1 billion in 2050, water demand will increase as well. Therefore, Toyota will employ a “comprehensive reduction” that aims to reduce its water usage in production plants. 
So far, the company asserts that since the early 2000’s, the firm has already implemented various changes to its production plants, such as collecting rainwater, repurposing wastewater, and water filtering. 
Regardless, Toyota feels that these changes can be expanded. They plan to keep the momentum forward by employing more towards sustainable water usage. 
In the same vein of Challenges two and three, challenge number five expresses the firm’s concern over its waste production. 
The company states: “With the worldwide increase in population… the consumption of resources is accelerating. If present trends continue, large-scale exploitation of natural resources will result in depletion, and appropriate disposal will be unable to keep pace with the increasing amounts of waste generated by mass consumption, resulting in environmental pollution.” 
To tackle this head on, the company seeks to improve resource efficiency by shifting its use of materials towards recycled ones, a change it says will “improve resource efficiency toward an ideal resource-recycling based society (circular economy),” as well as increasing the lifespan of their parts and developing recycling technologies.
The last of the challenges will focus on social changes that address the ever-growing global deforestation. 
The firm will expand their “eco forests,” trees that are planted by their employees in the surrounding areas of company offices and manufacturing sites. 
The truth of the matter is, that as a global conglomerate, Toyota has the means to achieve these milestones. 
Regardless of whether or not Toyota succeeds in its global efforts to curb its global footprint, we can be sure that this is bound to push automakers towards a more competitive electric vehicle market, along with an environmentally conscious production line that is sustainable.
With that, everyone wins.