Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), in line with its commitment towards preserving and regenerating the environment, marked its Silver Jubilee "Environment Month" celebration with a remarkable initiative. Aimed at enhancing the native biodiversity, TKM successfully created a new "Wetland Ecosystem" through plantation drive and restoration of existing natural pond at the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI) Pond, located within its manufacturing facility in Bidadi region (Karnataka State).
The occasion was graced by esteemed dignitaries –Mr. T. Mahesh, Chief Environment Officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Mr. Eshwar Prasad, Secretary of Parisara, The Environmental Protection Organization (NGO), in the presence of Toyota Executives - Mr. B. Padmanabha, Associate Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Mr. Sudeep S. Dalvi, Senior Vice President, Director & Chief Communication Officer. Over 120 participants took part in this important event including school children, teachers, Toyota suppliers, dealers & logistic partners, and other representatives from TKM.
This eco-initiative not only commemorated Toyota’s 25th Environment Month celebration, but also provided an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to deepen their understanding about wetland ecosystems and their pivotal role in promoting environmental sustainability. Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems. They play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance by supporting diverse plant and animal species and helps in mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Thus, wetlands help to moderate global climate conditions. Further, the unique valuable natural characteristics of wetlands helps to protect and improve water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters, and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. Under Toyota’s Global Environmental Challenge 2050’, one of the key focus elements is ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’ which largely constitutes afforestation. Towards this, over 2,550 saplings of varied species were planted.
TKM started its plantation journey way back in 2009 and has created a dense forest with more than 3,28,000 trees within its factory premises. The company has also adopted Miyawaki method of afforestation. and has successfully restored and reconstructed the forests based on the concept of “Potential Natural Vegetation”. This application has helped in creating a ‘Natural Forest’, within TKM’s manufacturing facility, by planting native species to create biodiversity and aid food chain and ecology. Thus far, TKM's plantation drives have continued to evolve and expanded to 112 acres of green cover within the factory premises, out of which 32 acres of afforestation has been developed using Miyawaki method. The resultant outcome has been truly remarkable. From a mere 181 plant species, the count has surged to an impressive 700, while the number of faunal species has risen from 76 to 264. The vibrant ecosystem now encompasses 88 bird varieties, 38 butterfly species, 107 insects, 17 reptiles, 8 mammals, and 6 amphibians, reflecting the successful development of a thriving native forest ecosystem.
Furthermore, TKM has created an experiential environmental learning centre ‘Ecozone’ (spread across 25 acres with 17 theme parks and home to 65,000 trees with 650 native species) for children, teachers, community members and other stakeholders, within its manufacturing facility aimed at creating the environment leaders and change champions for the future, to usher in desired behavioural change in the communities.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. T. Mahesh, Chief Environment Officer of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said “KSPCB applauds Toyota Kirloskar Motor for their consistent commitment to environmental conservation. The creation of the ‘Wetland Ecosystem’ stands as a testament to their responsible corporate practices. We believe this initiative will inspire others to prioritize the conservation of natural resources and promote a greener and healthier environment. We at KSPCB also motivate industries to take up GreenCo certification as this would strengthen their processes to contribute towards environment conservation. Together, we can create a legacy of environmental stewardship, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between nature and human progress. Also, Dr. Shanth A. Thimmaiah, Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, conveyed his best wishes for Toyota’s future endeavours as well appreciated TKM’s green journey”.
Commenting on the celebration of Toyota’s 25th environment month, Mr. B. Padmanabha, Associate Executive Vice President – Manufacturing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said “As we celebrate our 25th Environment Month, we firmly believe that our commitment to protect the environment goes beyond our products, including the manufacturing operations and the entire value chain. With the creation of the ‘Wetland Ecosystem’ at the Toyota Technical Training Institute, we have taken another significant step towards preserving and revitalizing our natural environment.
By connecting and engaging with various stakeholders including government, NGOs, educational institutes, employees, and communities, we strive to create a shared understanding and collective responsibility towards the environment. As we look ahead, we are excited to embark on continued sustainable initiatives to further strengthen our contributions and create a better place to live”.
As a part of this momentous event, an eco-exhibition was set-up namely ‘Hasiru Santhe’ where environment-friendly items were on display such as medicinal plants, homemade beauty products, utensils made up of clay, wooden toys, eco-friendly interior products, and alternatives to plastic, to create awareness and promote best eco practices.
TKM has implemented various distinctive eco initiatives to sensitise all its stakeholders on the importance of environmental sustainability during its environment month celebration. In this regard, recently, the company conducted a reforestation drive under its iCARE (I, Community Action to Reach Everyone) - an employee volunteering program in Ramanagara district (Karnataka) by engaging its employees (about 325 plus volunteers participated) who planted 250 saplings to enhance the greenery in the region.