One could say that everyday is Earth Day at Toyota, given how much importance is placed on respect for the planet. In honor of Earth Day 2023, here are a few of the ways Toyota manufacturing locations commemorated the day:
At Toyota Kentucky, employees and their loved ones participated in a local Adopt-A-Highway cleanup project to help beautify Georgetown roads. The project was led by members of TERRA, one of Toyota’s Business Partnering Groups (BPGs), that works to empower others with the knowledge they need to help reduce their overall impact on the environment.
In addition, Toyota Kentucky’s environmental team hosted a community celebration where participants had the opportunity to explore the recently reopened Toyota Kentucky Biodiversity Trail and learn how the area’s environmental leaders are working to improve the planet. The Urban Forestry Initiative, Bluegrass Greensource, Georgetown College, and Kentucky River Watershed Watch were on hand to offer composting workshops and educational trail tours.
“We are thrilled to host our second Earth Day celebration,” said Lisa Chiffolo, Environmental Engineer at Toyota Kentucky. “Our hope is to bring the community together to learn about and celebrate our planet, and to inspire each other to take action to protect it.”
Throughout the afternoon, there were food trucks, cool prizes, trivia and even an epic disc golf-putting challenge hosted by the onsite Toyota Fitness Center. Guests enjoyed live music as the event wrapped up and no one left empty-handed: Each visitor received a native tree sapling to take home and plant for their own personal contribution to a greener planet.
Toyota Mississippi was abuzz for Earth Day, when more than 60 third-graders landed at its Experience Center to celebrate. As part of Toyota’s commitment to setting environmental goals and reaching new benchmarks, Toyota Mississippi is teaching younger generations the importance of protecting the environment.
During the celebration, students toured the Blue Springs plant. Afterwards, the students learned about Toyota’s environmental commitment with the mobility company’s onsite environmental team and participated in some fun, hands-on activities that focused on carbon, water, materials and biodiversity.
“Respect for our planet is a core value of what we do here at Toyota,” said Erik Skaggs, Toyota Mississippi’s vice president of administration. “Our plant supports multiple environmental initiatives, and we hope to share our vision with our local communities.”
Students also spent the day learning about pollinators from Growing Healthy Waves, a local nonprofit focused on encouraging healthy eating for students, and the Lee County Library Bookmobile, whose team fluttered over with Earth-themed books, one of which was read live by the plant’s executive team.
To end the day, each student received a goodie bag with pollinator seeds and do-it-yourself flowerpots to grow their own pollinator plants at home.
It was a day of fun, hands-on experiences for more than 75 fifth-graders and their teachers from a local San Antonio elementary school, Hidden Cove, who spent the day with the Toyota Texas environmental team.
The engagement included some of Toyota Texas’ local environmental partners, the San Antonio Zoo, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, Texas A&M San Antonio, Bracken Cave Preserve, Bexar County Master Gardeners, Alamo Area Master Naturalists, and Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Students learned about pollinators and their importance, how pollinators impact our lives, and what we can do to protect the ecosystem. A special visit from local beekeepers, Adrian and Jeannie Herrera of Circle Beez, gave students an up-close experience of how bees stay busy cleaning and protecting their hives while producing honey.
The Toyota Texas Demonstration Pollinator Garden was established at the plant’s Toyota Experience Center in 2018, which included input from local environmental partners. One of the highlights of the activity was observing the students participate in a scavenger hunt in the Pollinator Garden, focusing on the ecosystem that exists within the garden. Over 25 Toyota Texas employees volunteered to engage with the students and help identify the many bugs and animal species that exist within the garden.
“Environmental stewardship is embedded in everything we do at Toyota, we are thrilled to have hosted this educational initiative,” said Carla Wright, Toyota Texas’ vice president of administration. “Sharing examples of how each of these students can make a difference within our backyard community is just one way we can work together for a better tomorrow.”
These are just a few of the many local efforts that Toyota, its facilities and employees are committed to in order to help meet the biodiversity goals for the Toyota 2050 Environmental Challenge.
Originally published April 28, 2023