Toyota wins UNEP environment award

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has elected Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan to the ranks of its Global 500 Roll of Honour, for the company's "outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment".

Toyota Motor Corporation is increasingly trying to meet the challenges facing our planet by developing vehicles that are environment-friendly. Every aspect of their industry, from research, production, distribution, sales and service focuses on sustainable development and the improvement of overall corporate excellence, says UNEP.

In December 1997, Toyota introduced Prius to the market, the world’s first passenger vehicle in production powered by a `hybrid power train system’. Prius offers twice the fuel efficiency compared with conventional vehicles and cuts HC, CO and NOx emissions to about one tenth.

Toyota has been one of the most aggressive companies to develop the Fuel Cell Electric vehicle, which has already achieved the high-level performance that their prototype car has run on the test track. Toyota is also very positive towards ISO14000, and all of their sites, including overseas plants, will be accredited within this century. Since the beginning of 1997, Toyota has had an Eco-project – a public declaration featuring the importance of ecology-oriented business philosophy.

“The often `silent heroes’ of UNEP’s Global 500 Roll of Honour have demonstrated in the most concrete way that we have the knowledge, the power and the technology to solve many of our environmental problems,” says UNEP Director, Klaus Toepfer. “More importantly, they have set an example many of us should follow”.

The award will be presented in Tokyo, Japan, at the World Environment Day ceremonies on 5 June 1999. This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to focus global attention and action on environmental issues.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie