Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. to Install Large-scale Solar Panel Array
Burnaston, United Kingdom - Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) production affiliate in the United Kingdom, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (TMUK), will work together with British Gas, a leading U.K.-based energy company, to install a large-scale solar panel array at TMUK’s Burnaston plant.
The solar panel array will consist of around 17,000 panels with a total surface area of 30,600 m2—about 4.5 soccer fields—and is scheduled to begin operations by the end of July. With an estimated capacity of 4.6 million kWh of natural energy per year, the array will provide enough energy to build approximately 7,000 vehicles while reducing annual CO2 emissions by approximately 2,000 tons.
This solar panel array is just one part of Toyota’s global “sustainable plant” vision1, begun in 2007. This vision seeks to create manufacturing operations that work in harmony with their local communities and surrounding environments. In 2008, Toyota installed a 15,000 m2 solar panel array at its Tsutsumi Plant in Japan, where it currently generates approximately 2.4 million kWh of natural energy per year.
TMUK, producer of the European-sold “Auris Hybrid”, serves as a model plant for sustainable plant activities carried out in other countries. In addition to an “Eco-point System2” that serves to increase employee environmental awareness, TMUK is continuing efforts to recycle wastewater, increase the use of natural lighting in buildings and achieve zero-waste incineration.
Major past environmental initiatives by Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd.
1996 First European automotive plant awarded ISO 14001 certification
2000 Administration building solar panels installed
2002 Zero-landfill waste achieved
2004 Wastewater recycling begun
2008 Zero-waste incineration; increased natural lighting usage in buildings
2009 Material recycling facility opened
1 An environmental initiative for Toyota plants based on three conceptual pillars: 1) achieving reductions in energy use through the development and introduction of low-carbon production technologies and daily kaizen (continual improvement) activities; 2) shifting to renewable sources of energy such as solar power; and 3) preserving local ecosystems and contributing to local communities through afforestation activities at plant sites. Using its Tsutsumi Plant in Japan as a model, Toyota is carrying out activities to harness renewable energy and utilize natural vegetation at plants in the U.S., Europe (e.g. U.K., France, Belgium), Asia (e.g. Thailand, India), and other places.
2 At TMUK, points are given to employees for participating in events and activities to beautify areas around plants, submitting proposals for improvements related to environmental conservation, etc. Prizes are given based on the number of points accrued.
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