As Toyota President Akio Toyoda recently commented, Toyota’s renewed commitment to society extends from putting customers first to “putting people first” and aiming to serve society as a whole. This mission statement stems from Toyota’s earliest values and explains why the company is closely aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals as inspiration for its long-term global sustainability strategy. At a European-level, the company is following this lead by contributing to society through its social and employment practices, such as its focus on diversity and inclusion.
Putting People First
Supporting its SDG vision and the European Union’s Green Deal sustainability policy initiatives, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has outlined the actions it is taking in three main areas: –
- To promote diversity and inclusion in a three-year plan for transformative change including an initial ambition of achieving a minimum of 25 per cent female representation in the company’s entry-level management roles by 2025.
- The company will ensure employment equity providing long-term, sustainable employment with fairness and opportunities for all its employees across Europe, providing career development opportunities, training and re-skilling.
- To support and nurture sustainable innovation via initiatives such as the Toyota Startup Awards. By putting people first and seeking to serve society as a whole, Toyota wants to show how business and sustainability are mutually compatible goals and activities.
Business and Sustainable Goals
Referring to Toyota’s mission to produce happiness for all at TME’s Kenshiki Forum this week, Yumi Otsuka, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), said: “As we transform from an automotive to mobility company, and to produce mass happiness, we need to make more than cars, vans and trucks. We need to align with the Sustainable Development Goals, Green Deal and a better future”
Otsuka-san explained how Toyota’s experience and achievements provide a sound foundation for its future ambitions: developing technologies which can reduce reliance on fossil fuels, making electrified vehicles that can help contain global warming, using new technology and design to move towards a target of zero traffic fatalities, and working with ambitious and visionary partners to build a Woven City, an example of a connected and sustainable urban community of the future.
Miguel Fonseca, TME Senior Vice President introduced the actions that Toyota Motor Europe is taking to change its business: “These are real, substantial examples of amending the way we conduct business. Each provides practical proof that Toyota is adapting to and leading a changing world, not only introducing new technologies, such as fuel cells and battery innovations, but also by making social contributions. Each of these initiatives represents a step forward in our mission to ‘manufacture human happiness,’ an unusual mission for a global business, but one, we believe, to be proud of.”