Toyota's Environmental Progress

Toyota released its most recent environmental update this week.

Toyota released its most recent environmental update this week. Among the highlights were:

--California now allows Prius and some other hybrids to drive in High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes, regardless of the number of occupants. The recent passage of the federal comprehensive energy bill paved the way for California to issue special stickers to qualifying hybrids. The vehicles must get at least 45 mpg by EPA estimates and meet the California AT-PZEV emission standard. Florida has a similar program, though under its regulations both Prius and Highlander Hybrid qualify for solo HOV driving.

--For the seventh consecutive year, Toyota sponsored National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the largest hands-on volunteer conservation program in the U.S. More than 80,000 volunteers, including thousands of Toyota Associates, improved trails, built bridges, removed invasive plants, and planted trees in natural areas and parks across the country.

--Toyota also sponsored the California Public Lands Day Tour, in which NPLD Program Director Robb Hampton visited nine participating parks and recreation areas throughout the state. Toyota provided a Prius for Mr. Hampton's transportation, plus $1,000 grants to support NPLD events at tour sites. The tour began in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and visited locations including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Ord, and the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. The tour culminated with an event on National Public Lands Day, September 24, at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge.

--Toyota has announced that it will donate four Prius hybrids to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. The vehicles will be wrapped in colorful graphics to help call attention to the connection between environmentally responsible vehicles and a cleaner environment. Toyota has similar programs in effect at Yellowstone National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

--Irvine, California, has become the first city to operate a Toyota fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV). The zero-emission SUV runs on compressed hydrogen and is built on the Toyota Highlander SUV platform. The city of Irvine acquired the FCHV from Toyota through a sublease from UC Irvine's National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC), which provides support and oversight for the vehicle's use. Toyota also participates with NFCRC and the city of Irvine in an innovative traffic-reducing "shared vehicle" program called ZEV-NET.

--Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) has achieved its goal of zero landfill disposal. Since June 2005, TMMI has not allowed any waste from manufacturing processes to be disposed of in landfills.

Toyota's international 2005 Global Environmental and Social Report is available for download at nmental_rep/05/index.html

Source: CSRwire, Toyota Motor Sales, USA