Bangalore, October, 2019:
Over the last one decade, plastic pollution has become a worldwide phenomenon and its ramifications in terms of waste management have become a critical issue that the world is facing today; both from the perspective of resource availability and its impact on our eco-system. Reports on waste management by the World Bank suggest that by 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.40 billion tons of waste annually, increasing drastically from today’s 2.01 billion tons. While the East-Asia and Pacific region are likely to generate close to a quarter (23% approx.) of all the waste and South Asia will more than double its waste stream.
Toyota being a responsible corporate, envisioned the increasing complexities of this crucial issue and globally announced the “Toyota Environment Challenge 2050”, a one-of-its-kind long-term initiative aiming to minimize carbon dioxide emissions and have a positive impact on the environment. As part of the six well-defined challenges to be achieved by 2050, Toyota has taken upon itself to establish a recycling-based society and systems, inspired by its philosophy of Toyota Earth Charter, which encourages pursuing production activities that do not generate waste.
Aligning its activities with the Toyota Environment Challenge 2050, TKM established a robust waste management system at its operating facility at Bidadi, in Karnataka. Its five-year action plan derived from the Toyota Earth Charter is also in place which speaks on “Reduction in Hazardous Waste Generation” and “Continuous Efforts to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill”, giving the reduction targets. With these efforts, TKM is ensuring zero waste directly to landfill and achieved a recyclability of 96% to date, for the wastes which are generated from the manufacturing operations.
Commenting on the initiatives taken by TKM, Mr. Masakazu Yoshimura, Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “Keeping in-line with our global Toyota Environment Challenge 2050 and aligned with honorable Prime Minister’s nationwide campaign to limit the consumption of single-use plastic, we have proactively implemented several initiatives encouraging our stakeholders to reduce, recycle and reuse, as a step towards a better tomorrow.”
He further added, “Environment consciousness is etched into Toyota’s ecosystem, right from our supply chain to our management and employees to the beneficiaries on the ground ensuring a sustainable impact. Through this initiative, we are committed to build a sustainable waste management system to reduce the negative impact of single-use plastic.”
As part of the project, TKM also conducted an extensive study to find the alternative options for waste minimization to utilize biodegradable waste (Non-Hazardous) in an eco-friendly manner. The study involved testing various composting techniques, and the team arrived at ‘vermi-composting’, a process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglers to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing waste. As a result, with the use of this technique, of the 6 MT of bio-sludge generated at the plant, 4 MT was converted to manure (fertilizer). This helped in reducing the landfilling cost up to 28.8 lakh per annum and also curtailed the emissions up to 18 tCO2e/annum.
Understanding the extent of issues of the plastic wastes and global drive for the establishing the circular economy, in 2018, TKM accelerated its efforts towards reducing the plastic waste and started a company-wide drive ‘5R’. With its well-defined strategy for identification of the Kaizen’s (continuous improvement), TKM promoted the reduction activities involving its employees. Various activities taken up as part of the 5R initiative yielded a reduction of 45% in plastic footprint over the period of June 2018 till June 2019.
The company has also implemented elimination of plastic in Service Parts Operation. Thorough studies are being conducted to stop plastic usage and introduce alternate material like paper and cotton bags for primary & secondary packaging, strapping etc. Overall implementation of the campaign to ban plastic usage/ introduction of alternate packaging material across suppliers will start by January 2020.
Further, Ecozone also houses the Value Theme Park dedicated to educate the stakeholders on the importance of waste management, solutions for effective value creation from waste and ways to move towards a Zero Waste Society. The theme park highlights the key issues of waste management in the society and industry, and provides a platform for triggering discussions to evolve solutions.
TKM has been able to prove its eco-commitment with continuous improvements in Environmental Performance year-on-year. It will further continue its various eco-initiatives to bring about a positive change in the attitude towards creating a sustainable, cleaner and a greener tomorrow.