Challenge 4 Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage

Fundamental Approach

According to forecasts, the world's population will grow to 9.1 billion by 2050, water demand will increase 55 percent from current levels, and 40 percent of the world's population is therefore expected to suffer water shortages**1.

Water problems such as increases in water stress in conjunction with rising populations and stricter regulations in response to deterioration of water quality in rivers and other water sources are important issues from the perspective of risks in corporate activities.

Water is used in painting and other car manufacturing processes. This makes it imperative to reduce the impact on the water environment, to whatever degree possible.

There are significant differences in the characteristics of the water environment depending on the region, but we have two main strategies: thoroughly reduce the amount of water usage and purify wastewater thoroughly and return.

Toyota has implemented various initiatives such as collecting rainwater to reduce industrial water usage, cutting water usage in production processes, recycling wastewater to reduce amounts withdrawn from water sources, and returning high-quality water to local environments.

In the future, we will undertake measures that have a positive impact on local water environments, taking into consideration the local requests and water issues.

Through these initiatives, we will contribute to achieving SDG 6.3 (improve water quality) and 6.4 (secure water resources).

**1 According to Toyota data
Related SDGs

Toyota's Water Environment Challenge and Water Risk

The planet Earth, two-thirds of which is covered by water, is often referred to as the "water planet." At a glance, it would appear that there is an abundance of water. However, water is now referred to as a scarce resource, and this water crisis has been consistently recognized as a global crisis by the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum) since 2012.

When it comes to water, businesses face a myriad of challenges, including water shortages, water pollution, and natural disasters such as flooding. Additionally, businesses must manage regulatory risks relating to taxation and effluence regulations.

Water issues are characterized by substantially uneven spatial and temporal distribution, necessitating regionally coordinated risk management.

To identify water risks in each region, Toyota uses regional databases and information and assessment tools provided by the WWF, WRI, WBCSD**2, and other organizations to assess the impact on water environments based on operating data and other plant information.

Toyota continuously gathers data on water so that we can respond flexibly to changes caused by climate change and address regional issues by taking measures to reduce water consumption and improve water quality. We respond to stakeholders (including customers, employees, investors, local communities, and NGOs) with interests in water issues, and consider access to clean water and sanitary facilities a fundamental human right and provide them to all employees.

Toyota also proactively works in collaboration with and discloses information to stakeholders. We are working to enhance interactive communication with local communities by conducting conferences, plant tours, and other programs, and disclose information through CDP Water and other such programs.

World Wide Fund for Nature
Water Risk Filter
World Resources Institute
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Global Water Tool
Toyota's Water Environment Challenge and Water Risk

Measures Undertaken in Accordance with the Toyota Water Environment Policy

Although water-related issues and measures differ depending on the region, Toyota established the Toyota Water Environment Policy and takes action in order to achieve the goals of our water environment Challenge on a global level.

Under the Toyota Water Environment Policy, we are assessing our impact on water environments and working to minimize those impacts from two perspectives: the input side, where we thoroughly reduce the amount of water usage, and the output side, where we purify wastewater thoroughly and return.

We take action from three directions―the pursuit of environmental technologies, community-rooted operations, and cooperation with society―and strive to become the No.1 regional plant leading to prosperity throughout the entire society.

Measures Undertaken in Accordance with the Toyota Water Environment Policy

Reduce Water Usage in Production Activities

To reduce water usage in our production activities, we have been working to introduce innovative technologies alongside planned upgrades to our production lines, and to conduct daily measures to reduce water usage.

In FY2019, total water usage for Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) was 10.1 million m3 (down 2.2 percent year on year), and water usage per unit produced was 4.1 m3 (up 4.4 percent year on year). Globally, total water usage was 33.7 million m3 (up 2.3 percent year on year), and water usage per unit produced was 3.2 m3 (up 0.4 percent year on year).

Reduce Water Usage in Production Activities

Major Initiatives during FY2019

  • TSAM, a South Africa-based affiliate, reduced its municipal water consumption in the Body Paint Plant (an area that uses large volumes of water) by reusing the wastewater generated from the RO process*2
Reverse Osmosis process
A water purification process that utilizes membranes to remove impurities from the water

More Information
Sustainability Data Book 2019 [Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage] Reduce Water Usage in Production Activities (PDF: 10MB)

Learn more about Toyota's environmental activities here