An article on the CarAdvice.com.au website titled Toyota’s Tsutsumi Plant – tour a green role model highlights some of the advances Toyota has made at the factory which assembles the Prius hybrid car. Some featured environmental kaizen results include:
A comprehensive water recycling program has led to a 50 per cent reduction in water discharge to the local river system. The water that is discharged from the plant is rigourously filtered so that it is five-times cleaner than the river itself.
Energy saving waste reduction measures as well as the enhancement of Eco-thinking activities and renewable energy systems have also contributed to Tsutsumi’s overall CO2 emissions being cut by more than 50 per cent since 1990, or to think about it another way, some 150,000 tonnes – roughly equivalent to the volume of CO2 absorbed each year by a 5,040-hectare tropical rainforest.
Since Prius production began in 1997, the plant has reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by 82 per cent and has instituted plans to achieve complete elimination of incinerated waste.
My favorite green manufacturing innovation is a NOx absorbing grass planted on the roofs of the buildings named Toyota Mutant 9. It only needs mowing once per year. Other superpowers are rumored but not confirmed.
In addition there are 45 photos from Tsutsumi factory of which the majority are from within the factory and may be of interest to lean manufacturing enthusiasts. Please share this information widely to inspire more lean and green manufacturing.