Toyota has published its latest Sustainability Report for 2010. Here's Akio Toyota's message regarding the report and Toyota's contribution towards sustainability themes.
The report can be downloaded here:
Toyota Sustainability Report
Executive Message from Akio Toyoda (from toyota.co.jp)
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for the warm, ongoing support of our stakeholders worldwide.
Looking back on the past year, I am reminded of when I was appointed as president in June 2009; at the time, it felt like we were setting sail in stormy economic conditions. It was an extremely severe operating environment in which we were unable to relax for even one moment all year long.
From our withdrawal from F1 racing to the shutdown of production at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), our former joint venture with GM, there were many hard choices to make. Furthermore, I have been involved in a variety of meetings to explain our ongoing commitment to safety and customer satisfaction. These included public hearings in the United States and explanatory meetings in Japan and other countries with the support of related personnel from across the company. During this time, I received constructive suggestions for improvement as well as words of encouragement and support from many people. I am very grateful to those who took the time to help us through this difficult time.
Fully leveraging the challenging experience of the past year as an asset, I have defined fiscal year 2010 as the year when Toyota makes a fresh start, and I intend to steer the company toward a new growth strategy.
Since its foundation, Toyota’s unchanging mission has been to contribute to society by making safe and reliable vehicles. This will continue to be our priority. In addition, Toyota has always been a dynamic company. As the individual needs of our customers evolve, I consider the response to ever-changing times as growth. I look forward to personal growth for myself and ongoing growth of our company. To this end, it is important that our customers, shareholders, regional communities, dealers, suppliers, employees and all other stakeholders support the idea of Toyota’s continuing growth as being a good thing.
The growth I want to pursue is not simply expansion to achieve a greater market share. Instead, I envision sustainable growth driven by each employee and based on delivering high quality and safety at an affordable price — as demanded by our customers all over the world.
In today’s world, it is imperative that we “develop and promote the next-generation ecocar” to continue to serve people and society over the next 100 years as resources become more constrained.
It is considered inevitable that the day of “peak oil” will come in the not-too-distant distant future as the global oil production curve reaches its peak and turns downward. We must accelerate the development of alternative-fuel cars while ensuring efficient use of precious oil resources.
To meet such challenges, we will not only continue to refine existing hybrid technology but also launch a home rechargeable plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) and an electric vehicle (EV) in 2012 and will push ahead in all possible directions beyond that.
Regarding EV development, in May 2010, we announced a business partnership with Tesla Motors for the development of an electric vehicle.
In the spring of 2010, during a visit to the United States, I had an opportunity to test drive one of Tesla Motors’ electric vehicles, an experience that I can only describe as feeling the wind of the future. Not only was I impressed by Tesla's technological capabilities, but I also sensed the energy that will enable them to produce the vehicle efficiently to meet market demands.
To capitalize on technological transitions that occur once every 100 years, I think the can-do spirit, quick decision-making and flexibility of venture businesses are as necessary as the methods of big corporations like Toyota. Toyota was also born as a venture business and that spirit has contributed to its growth over the years. By working with Tesla, I strongly believe we can reawaken the creative spirit in our own employees and accept the challenges of facing a new future.
Also, as a new move toward achieving a lowcarbon society, Toyota is actively involved in a large-scale PHV pilot project in Strasbourg, France, and in installing and conducting pilot tests of nextgeneration power grids, which are currently called Smart Grids, in Boulder, Colorado, USA, and in Toyota City and Rokkasho Mura village, Aomori Prefecture, Japan.
Respond to society’s changing needs and enrich people’s lives by making safe and reliable vehicles. Never forget to appreciate our customers and all other stakeholders. Embracing these principles, the hearts of all Toyota associates are united in an effort to make better vehicles. I hope Toyota will receive your continued support.
Akio Toyoda, President