The environmental commitment of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. was emphasized on Novermber 19, 1998 when we were certified to the ISO 14001 Standard. ISO 14001 is an Environmental Management System (EMS) developed by the International Organization for Standardization. This program ensures communication and awareness throughout a company which, in turn, allows it to better manage impacts to the environment. The ISO 14001 standard mirrors the Toyota Production System in following the Plan Do Check Action cycle. It also fosters continuous improvement. Given these similarities, ISO 14001 is a natural tool for Toyota to use as a benchmark.
Not all countries where Toyota operates have Plant Environmental Management Systems or Environmental Regulations as progressive as those in the United States and Europe. ISO provides a benchmark for all plants in all countries.
Our environmental efforts begin, of course, with constantly complying with all environmental laws and regulations. But we try to do even better than that for a number of reasons.
The communities near our plants trust us to be good stewards, and we take that responsibility seriously. Going the extra mile in the environmental arena is just one indicator of committed corporate citizenship.
That is why we strive to to go beyond the letter of the law and do more. we have installed the best available control technology, such as thousands of top-quality air filters, to ensure that are emissions are kept well below legal limits at our plants.
Other examples include carbon absorbers, which trap harmful emissions before they get in the air; thermal oxidizers, which destroy harmful paint solvents before they can hurt the environment.
Another example: Our state-of-the-art water "pre-treatment" means that water discharges from our plants meet near-drinking-water standards even before the water gets to a community's treatment plants.
And at our plastics shop, we are using the same pollution control equipment we use for our paint lines. This type of equipment absorbs harmful solvents and extracts them before they end up in the atmosphere.
Besides, reducing the environmental waste from our plants makes good business sense. Recycling efforts at our North American plants have saved us millions of dollars over the years -- we now spend less for materials and waste handling.
Such examples abound. And it all adds up to big savings for Toyota, for our customers and for the environment.