As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota operates under a global earth charter that promotes environmental responsibility throughout the entire company, and recognizes the need for comprehensive approaches to the effective use of resources and to the reduction of pollution and global warming.
For more than a decade, Toyota has pursued development of an “ultimate eco-car” that satisfies the needs of a mobile society and is friendly to both people and the earth. Toyota is the recognized leader in hybrid technology, having pioneered the world’s first mass-produced gas/electric hybrid car, the Prius, which launched in Japan in 1997 a full two years before any other manufacturer. While hybrids remain at the forefront of Toyota’s “ultimate eco-car” development, the company is researching and developing many alternative fuel and vehicle powertrains, such as fuel cell hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Beyond the vehicles themselves, Toyota’s environmental commitment extends to every stage of producing and selling vehicles. For example, many of Toyota’s manufacturing plants have achieved zero landfill, their Sales and Marketing headquarters campus in California has one of the largest commercial Gold LEED certified buildings, and their Vehicle Distribution Center in Oregon is not only Gold LEED certified, but has also received a “Salmon Safe” certification.