For many people in Vietnam, the name of Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) spells out more than the mere values of its popular vehicles, although the Toyota makes are the most sought-after models on the local automobile market. It is the automaker’s environment protection program that speaks louder, as its endeavor to engage different walks of life into keeping the environment green has really paid off.
Going green with Toyota
By Quoc Hung in HCMC
Members of Go Green Club at an introductory event - Photo: Quoc Hung For many people in Vietnam, the name of Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) spells out more than the mere values of its popular vehicles, although the Toyota makes are the most sought-after models on the local automobile market. It is the automaker’s environment protection program that speaks louder, as its endeavor to engage different walks of life into keeping the environment green has really paid off.
>> Honoring green, sustainable values
The foreign-invested leading automaker has made impressive achievements in business, as it holds the largest share in the local auto market. Beyond that, TMV has itself adhered to environment protection norms, and waged several campaigns to call on the people to share its vision. All of them are aimed to reach sustainability in development.
Spreading a vision
By establishing a system of environmental protection standards, using high technologies that are friendly to the environment and raising awareness among staff, in 1999, TMV became the first automaker to receive the ISO 14001 certificate on environmental management after only three years of operation.
TMV has installed a wastewater treatment facility with a capacity of 300 cubic meters a day that meets Vietnamese standards. The automaker focuses on three outstanding issues, namely wastewater processing, solid waste processing, and hazardous waste collection, processing and recycling. All solid waste from company production is always destroyed or recycled according to the ‘Zero Landfill’ target of Toyota.
Along with TMV’s Green Office certificate, there are methods for staff to practice the ‘green – clean – nice’ criteria in office and work areas.
For the automaker, fulfilling its own environment commitment is insufficient. TMV, therefore, has managed to spread the vision to other partners and stakeholders.
The company has cooperated with suppliers and dealers in protecting the environment to achieve a self-contained Green Circle from spare parts production to fitting, sales and services. For instance, TMV supports its dealers with technical and financial resources in order that they obtain ISO 14001 certificates. At the same time it urges suppliers to follow the Green Purchasing Guidelines to ensure that all parts have completely eliminated the use of four substances of concern: lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. So far, all of TMV’s suppliers and eight of its 19 dealers have received ISO 14001 certificates.
Besides environment protection activities, TMV marked a new step on the meaningful green road by launching a big program called Go Green in June, 2008. Under the support of the Vietnam Environment Protection Administration and the Ministry of Education and Training, Go Green is implemented in order to achieve three objectives: raising the awareness of the community towards environment protection and riding on it to make people gradually change their behavior; implementing and supporting other environment activities to minimize and stop damages to the environment in Vietnam; and helping individuals and organizations affected by environmental damages.
The program is implemented with many meaningful activities such as the Eco-bag Campaign, Biogas, An San Eco-Village project, Eco-Forest project, Friendly School, Environment Protection Training Program ENV, Writing Contest on the Environment, Go Green Fashion Contest, Go Green Club Establishment and the Go Green TV series on VTV1.
Akito Tachibana, president of TMV, says each campaign and activity is directed to different objects in order to enhance the awareness of the community about environment protection.
In December 2008, many young people were enthusiastic to join in the style of ‘green fashion’ in the Go Green Fashion Contest. Staff of 30 offices in Hanoi have been eager with the Eco-Bag launched in February 2009, and pupils of Nguyen Ba Ngoc Primary School in Quang Ninh Province were enthusiastic to plant trees and clean their school with Friendly School in March 2009. In the summer, activities for young people and the community were introduced such as a writing contest and the An San Eco-Village in Coc San District, Lao Cai Province.
The Go Green Club was established in August, 2008 with very young members who represent the next generation in Vietnam. With support from TMV, this club has developed strongly, from a few members at the beginning to nearly 1,000 members nationwide at this time, says Tachibana. This club has done a lot of meaningful work and has achieved remarkable success, such as introducing itself to universities and colleges in Hanoi and HCMC through the roadshow program called Hi! My name is Go Green or reaching nearly 30 offices in Hanoi with the campaign Eco Bag. The group builds public awareness on keeping the streets clean via the Green Street Campaign.
The Go Green Club also connects with other environmental clubs in many activities for environment protection such as the Motanai festival, the tree planting day with the Environment Police Department, the No Car Fumes Day and the forum Young and Environmental Problems - From Awareness to Responsibility on VTV6 which has the participation of many volunteer clubs in Hanoi.
“The orientation of environment protection and sustainable development turns into truth and direction by Toyota in all countries where Toyota is. We can say sustainable development is the most valued asset in our achievement,” says Tachibana.
With Go Green, Toyota asserts itself for a green environment and commits to sustainable development in Vietnam.
The Saigon Times Daily