WWF, one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, and Toyota Motor Corporation have entered into a five-year agreement aimed at accelerating the world’s transition to sustainability. They will work together to promote biodiversity conservation, raise environmental awareness and speed up progress towards a “zero carbon” society.
Toyota is the first car manufacturer and the first Japanese company to sign a Global Corporate Partnership agreement with WWF (effective from 1 July).
As part of the partnership, Toyota will support the Living Asian Forest Project, a series of established and planned WWF activities to conserve tropical forests and wildlife in southeast Asia. The project will also focus on increasing the sustainability of natural resources, such as wood, paper and pulp, palm oil and natural rubber. Unsustainable production and use of these commodities are among the main causes of deforestation and increased threats to endangered species in the region.
Toyota will donate $1 million to the Living Asian Forest Project this year and will continue its support for five years in total. This will strengthen the company’s efforts towards achieving the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 goals of reducing Toyota’s environmental footprint to zero, while creating value and producing benefits to society in the face of global-scale environmental issues. The Living Asian Forest Project will specifically help accomplish one of the six challenges: to establish a future society in harmony with nature.
With demand for natural rubber expected to rise – the main resource for manufacturing car tyres – the partnership recognises that sustainable production and use of natural rubber is needed in order to conserve the forest ecosystem. Toyota acknowledges the environmental and social challenges involved and will collaborate with industries and stakeholders to contribute to the setting of international standards, as well as other WWF-promoted activities.
Throughout the partnership, WWF and Toyota will also work together to help realise a zero-carbon society. To meet Toyota’s Zero CO2 Emissions Challenges under the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, the company has already joined the Science Based Targets Initiative (see notes to editors, below) which aims to help companies combat climate change.
Didier Leroy, Executive Vice President of Toyota, said: “We share the same vision as WWF: to achieve a truly sustainable society and leave a living planet for future generations. When we started working on concrete actions to achieve our Environmental Challenge 2050, we decided that joining forces with non-governmental organisations which are experts in their field was essential. Our partnership, and projects like the Living Asian Forest Project, are among the most effective ways for a company like ours to make a positive impact and raise awareness among our employees, suppliers, and customers of the importance of sustainable resource management.”
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said: “WWF is delighted to join forces with Toyota in order to accelerate efforts needed to prevent the dangerous degradation of the natural systems we all depend on. Science has never been clearer and awareness of the problems and solutions to the many environmental challenges that the world is facing has never been greater. We need more private sector organisations like Toyota to step up and find solutions to these challenges. WWF commends Toyota’s vision to help make a safer, healthier more sustainable world a reality for future generations and our living planet.”