Essay Sample: Green Operations Initiatives in the Automotive Industry

Published: 2022-11-03
Essay Sample: Green Operations Initiatives in the Automotive Industry
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Ecology Automotive industry
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1615 words
14 min read

Environmental issues top the list of challenges that the automobile industry faces. Efforts to conserve and protect the environment have resulted in stringent regulations targeting manufacturers of automobiles. Member states of various agencies and organizations that advocate for environmental protection continue to push for strict legislation in the motor industry. Renowned car manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corporation have had to initiate changes to their methods of production to comply with the automotive environmental regulations("Toyota Global Site | Environment", 2018). The multinational company produces millions of automobiles annually. The processes involved in the manufacture of these units have a significant impact on the environment.

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Production and use of the cars built by automobile manufacturers contribute to pollution of the environment. The vehicles result in increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and contamination of the air. Besides, unregulated pollution of the environment negatively impacts the global climate change (Pearson, 2018). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 75 percent of carbon monoxide pollution in the U.S is due to motor vehicle transport. The automobiles contribute to contamination of the environment due to the emissions released into the atmosphere as a result of fuel combustion. Thus, Toyota faces a challenge in building environmentally-conscious cars.

Environmental protection entails the sustainable utilization of available resources for posterity. There is a need to exploit naturally occurring resources in an ecologically-friendly manner to ensure long-term availability. Toyota company relies on water resources to carry out most of the steps involved in the manufacturing process. The corporation has a high rate of water resource utilization ("Toyota Global Site | Environment," 2018). The manufacturer uses water in various stages of production such as painting. Drawing vast volumes of water from its natural sources poses a threat to the environment. Hence, the company has to work towards sustainable exploitation of the available water resources.


The focus of Toyota's action as outlined in the company's "environmental challenge 2050"is to initiate changes to protect the environment. Toyota aims to improve its practices in specific areas of production ("Toyota Global Site," 2018). The primary target is to reduce its adverse effects by cutting CO2 emissions. Other goals include embracing the use of renewable energy sources and achieving optimal use of water resources. The attention on environmental protection indicates the corporation's commitment to outperform set regulations.


As a publicly traded company, Toyota's initiative to adopt environment-friendly methods of production is in line with the interests of its shareholders. The corporation seeks to differentiate itself from its competitors. The stakeholders intend to steer the company towards sustainable production (Epstein, 2018). Achieving the set goals described in the framework will cement Toyota's place as a leading, responsible car manufacturer. The organization hopes to capitalize on the positive feedback associated with the adoption of sustainable practices.


Various governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations influence methodologies used by automobile manufacturers. For instance, in the European market, the European Commission has adopted strict legislation targeting original equipment manufacturers (Frondel, Schmidt, & Vance, 2011). The move aims to curb CO2 emissions by the automotive industry. The European Commission intends to bar cars that emit more than 95g of CO2/km from the European market by 2021 (Pearson, 2018). In compliance with continually changing laws that target manufacturers, Toyota hopes to reduce emissions across all levels of production and utilization of its automobiles.


Toyota Motor Corporation keeps its stakeholders and the public aware of the progress made through regular impact reports. The reports give a current account of actions taken by the organization and projected outcomes. Besides, the public has access to the environmental challenge 2050 index on its Toyota Global Site website ("Toyota Global Site," 2018). Individuals or groups that have an interest in following the activities of the company can use the information available in the database.

Company Strategies

Toyota adopted the "New Vehicle Zero CO2 Challenge," as a fundamental strategy that will facilitate the reduction of CO2emissions. The primary target of the strategy is to cut the average CO2 emissions per vehicle by 90% by 2050. The management of the corporation believes that developing eco-friendly vehicles will have a positive effect on the consumers and society at large ("Toyota Global Site | New Vehicle Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge," 2018). The success of the strategy relies on the use of advanced technology to develop conventional engines and electric cars (Dijk & Yarime, 2010). The effectiveness of the approach is the reduced dependency on fuel as a primary source of power.

The organization's management acknowledges the impending global water shortages due to rapid population increase and demand on existing water resources. In response to the decline in water volumes in natural streams, authorities have implemented strict regulations governing water usage. Toyota has embraced various initiatives to minimize wastage and optimize usage("Toyota Global Site | Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage," 2018). Some of the critical strategies implemented at the company are recycling of wastewater and harvesting of rainwater for use in the factories. The effectiveness of this strategy is that it has contributed to the conservation of immediate water environments near Toyota plants.

Conservation of natural resources and environments is a top concern for the organization. As a multinational, the company has a presence in over 25 countries, and its products sell in over 170 states. Thus, it has a global market reach. The corporation initiated biodiversity conservation projects to enrich the lives of communities around the globe ("Toyota Global Site | Challenge of Establishing a Future Society in Harmony with Nature," 2018). The objective of the projects is to achieve a harmonious co-existence between human beings and nature. The effectiveness of the implemented strategies is that, through collaboration, Toyota has participated in tree planting activities to restore biodiversity in surrounding regions.

Different Strategy Options

The firm has explored diverse options in its bid to develop electrified vehicles that do not rely on petroleum products for energy. It has experimented in the creation of next-generation electric vehicles. Some of the options explored options include hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles ("Toyota Global Site | New Vehicle Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge," 2018). Electric cars are eco-friendly compared to internal combustion engines that emit pollutants into the atmosphere as by-products. Thus, the development of these options to become mainstream choices for consumers is a viable approach(Wang & Kimble, 2010). However, the plan faces a challenge since massive adoption by the market relies on the availability of necessary infrastructural support.

Besides gathering of rainwater and recycling of used water to optimize usage, the manufacturer has adopted other options. Some of the strategic methods implemented by Toyota include a reduction in water volumes required to facilitate various production processes ("Toyota Global Site | Challenge of Minimizing and Optimizing Water Usage," 2018). The move aims to avoid wastage of water resources allocated to the firm's production and assembly sites across the world. Another option is the returning of high-quality water to its natural source. The company has implemented these after taking into consideration the needs of the local populations that surround the firm's factories.

The goal of biodiversity conservation efforts is to expand natural habitats, nurture a sustainable society, improve biodiversity and enhance mutual co-existence. Since 2007, the company has focused on restoring biodiversity in local and regional environments. Through afforestation-oriented activities, the staff has taken part in tree-planting drives on and offsite ("Toyota Global Site | Challenge of Establishing a Future Society in Harmony with Nature," 2018). Apart from direct involvement in the planting of trees, the corporation has worked with other organizations to fund research activities on environmental protection. By exercising corporate social responsibility, the firm has also created awareness of the need for strategic consolidated environmental management practices.


Corporate initiatives that focus on conserving the environment through sustainable resource utilization have a positive impact on the reputation of a company (Hawkins, Singh, MajeauBettez, & Stromman, 2013). Thus, businesses are most likely to experience high-profit margins when they avail environmentally friendly products to the market. Toyota products such as electric cars are a welcome change from the traditional combustion engines vehicles (Nunes & Bennett, 2010). These units have a far lesser negative impact on the environment. Therefore, the company should not shy from investing heavily in research and development activities. It is a risk worth taking since the demand for eco-friendly vehicles is likely to rise significantly.

The standards of production and commitment to environmental protection are relatively high in the main factories that have unlimited resources. Employees at these plants usually have a better understanding of the company policies and engagements. The kind of supervision and dedication to the initiatives at the company headquarters ensures full adherence to set environmental guidelines and standards. Thus, the management of Toyota needs to a strategic model of administration and interaction with its distant factories (Epstein, 2018). Constant contact between the headquarters and other subsidiaries will ensure that the entire organization fulfills its role in the move to protect the environment.


Dijk, M., & Yarime, M. (2010). The emergence of hybrid-electric cars: Innovation path creation through co-evolution of supply and demand. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77(8), 1371-1390.

Epstein, M. J. (2018). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. Routledge.

Frondel, M., Schmidt, C. M., & Vance, C. (2011). A regression on climate policy: The European Commission's legislation to reduce CO2 emissions from automobiles. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 45(10), 1043-1051.

Hawkins, T. R., Singh, B., MajeauBettez, G., & Stromman, A. H. (2013). Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of conventional and electric vehicles. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 17(1), 53-64.

Nunes, B., & Bennett, D. (2010). Green operations initiatives in the automotive industry: An environmental reports analysis and benchmarking study. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 17(3), 396-420.

Pearson, L. (2018). Safety and environmental regulations in the automotive industry. Retrieved from

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