air pollution, safety hazards and urban sprawl are all signs
that current transportation systems are overloaded and inefficient.
Todays systems are badly strained, and all indications
suggest that there will only be increased demand for mobility
in the future. Automobile manufacturers are being challenged
to meet increased transportation demands while still addressing
environmental concerns. Manufacturers know that todays
consumers often take into consideration the environmental performance
record of vehicles and their producers when making automobile
purchase decisions. After all, catering to consumers environmental
concerns makes good business sense.
Under the sponsorship of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development (WBCSD), General Motors (GM) and 10 other global companies
have undertaken a three-year, $11 million effort to envision future
systems of mobility. The project looks forward over the next 30
As part of this ambitious project, a team of researchers from Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) and Charles River Associates, Boston,
MA, released Mobility 2001a comprehensive assessment
of the sustained ability of the worlds current modes of transportation
at the end of the 20th century. The report reflects nine months
of stakeholder dialogues in which 40 to 50 private and public representatives,
all experts on mobility or transportation issues, met to discuss
global approaches to mobility. The sustainable mobility project
members include GM, Shell, Toyota, BP Amoco, DaimlerChrysler, Ford,
Honda, Michelin, Norsk Hydro, Renault and Volkswagen.
of sustainable development, of which the WBCSD is one of the
worlds chief business advocates, offers a useful framework
for working on worldwide transportation issues. Its concept
is three-part, simultaneously emphasizing economic growth,
environmental improvement and social equality.
Sustainable mobility is the ability to meet the needs of society
to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade and establish relationships
without sacrificing other essential human or ecological values today
or in the future.
The WBCSD addresses questions such as these:
Can the number of automobiles and commercial vehicles keep
Can roads accommodate both the increased volume of passenger
vehicles and the increased number of trucks that seem to be required
to transport ever-growing volumes of freight?
Will enough fuel be available for the increasing number of
How will urban areas cope with growing congestion and emissions?
Has the increased use of private motor vehicles, which offers
greater individual mobility to those who can afford and operate
them, deprived the poor, the elderly and others of access to jobs,
friends, purchasing the goods they need at competitive prices and
needed medical attention?
How will the world bear the economic and environmental costs
of locating, extracting, transporting and processing the petroleum
required by a growing number of vehicles?
Can the planets oceans and atmosphere continue to absorb
the increased pollution generated as a by-product of the transportation
of vastly larger number of people and volume of goods?
While vehicle-related emissions that contribute to adverse impacts
on public health have stabilized and even declined in many developed
countries; emissions that adversely impact global climate change
are increasing in virtually all developed countries, and the ambient
levels of harmful emissions in developing countries often exceed
by several times their levels in developed world cities. One of
the paradoxes of urban development is that the wealthier that people
become, the further and faster they travel. The development characteristics
of mobility are bad news for efforts to combat climate change by
stemming carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. As people travel
further, but spend no more time doing so; they must use faster means
of transport, which leads to more and more motorized vehicles.
Toyota, already an environmental bellwether in the automobile industry,
plans to use its participation in the Sustainable Mobility Project
to further investigate power sources for vehicles, fuel selection
and other issues regarding mobility in the 21st century. Toyota
has also joined the Policy Study Group for Fuel Cell Commercialization,
organized by the Ministry of International Trade and Industrys
Agency of Natural Resources and Energy. Toyota seeks to encourage
cooperation and synergy among these national and global initiatives.
By doing so, Toyota hopes to promote greener cars and a greener
It has become very important to promote global and open discussion
not only among automobile manufacturers under the spirit of competition
and cooperation, but also among industries and administrative
organs, says Toyota managing director Hiroyuki Watanabe.
As part of its environmental commitment, Toyota is challenging its
North American-based suppliers to adopt strict environmental standards.
These green supplier guidelines extend Toyotas commitment
beyond its own industrial processes to the business relationships
and partnerships that it has with its North American suppliers.
Toyota has a unique relationship with its suppliers,
says Teruyuki Minoura, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America,
Inc., (TMMNA), president and CEO. We are known for expecting
them to share our high quality standards. Now we are asking them
to join us in becoming environmental leaders.
As part of the Toyota Supplier Environmental Program, approximately
500 suppliers that provide parts, materials and components directly
or indirectly to Toyota are required to complete one or more of
the following initiatives:
Obtain ISO 14001 certificationToyota is requiring suppliers
to develop and implement an environmental management system that
conforms to the ISO 14001 standard by December 31, 2001. A third-party
auditor will determine certification.
Comply with chemical ban listBased on worldwide evaluation
of toxic chemicals, Toyota has compiled a list of approximately
450 chemicals and substances that suppliers of raw materials must
phase out from new and/or reformulated materials, beginning in August
2000. This list is regularly updated.
Hazardous materials transportation management systemToyota
is committed to safe transportation of hazardous materials. Therefore,
it is requiring all of its suppliers in North America to develop
the appropriate policies and procedures to ensure compliance with
all applicable state, federal and international hazardous materials
While the green supplier guidelines outline specific requirements
that suppliers must meet as part of the Toyota Supplier Environmental
Program, a suppliers eligibility for compliance is based on
criteria established by Toyotas environmental and purchasing
groups and individual Toyota plants.
For our own North American plants, we have defined tough standards
for being environmentally responsible, says Kevin Butt, TMMNA
assistant general manger for environmental affairs. We are
now working with our business partners to join Toyota to continually
improve environmental performance.
Four of Toyotas 2002 car models: Prius, ECHO, Corolla and
Celica; are already ranked in the top 12 for gas mileage. At the
recent International Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota unveiled its newest
environmentally advanced vehicle, the four-seat ES3 concept car.
ES3 is designed to achieve an estimated 87.1 miles-per-gallon (mpg).
The ES3 also features Toyotas Diesel Particulate-NOx Reduction
system catalytic converter technology that significantly reduces
particulate matter and NOx emissions.
Toyota was recently honored with the U.S. Department of Energy and
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2001 Green Power Leadership
Award in recognition of its efforts to protect the environment through
the purchase of green electric power. Toyota was one of the first
large companies in the U.S. to purchase renewable electricity for
its Southern California facilities from 100-percent renewable sources.
For the third straight year, Hondas Insight boasts of being
the most fuel-efficient car in America, according the EPAs
annual report on automotive fuel economy. The Insight was the first
gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the U.S., appearing in
The Insight model that is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission
earned EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 61 city mpg and 68
highway mpg. The Insight model equipped with an advanced, continuously
variable automatic transmission (CVT) was second with a 57 city
mpg- and 56 highway mpg-rating.
Two other Honda models also finished in the top 10. The Honda Civic
HX Coupe with a five-speed transmission earned a 36/44 city/highway
mpg-rating, and the HX equipped with the CVT was rated at 35/40
city/highway mpg. Another model, which is powered by natural gas,
is the Civic GX. It has the cleanest internal-combustion engine
ever tested by CARB. Civic GX hydrocarbon emissions tested at one-tenth
the ultra-low-emission vehicle (ULEV) standard. The 2002 Civic GX
will be CARB-certified as a super-ultra-low-emission vehicle (SULEV).
In highly polluted areas, the air coming out of the GXs exhaust
pipe can actually be cleaner than the air you are breathing. If
driven from California to Washington, DC, the Honda Civic GX natural-gas
vehicle would emit fewer reactive hydrocarbons than that released
by spilling a single teaspoon of gasoline.
All 2002 Honda and Acura models sold in the U.S. will meet or exceed
low-emission vehicle (LEV) levels. Honda was the first automaker
to meet Californias LEV standard in 1995; the first to meet
the ULEV standard in 1997; and the first to sell a car meeting the
SULEV standard in 2000; all with the production of gasoline engines.
General Motors (GM) addresses environmental impact on two fronts:
decreasing the emissions from the vehicles themselves and improving
the manufacturing process. Overall, GM has reduced its emissions
by nearly 60 percent in the 1990s, according to a report it recently
filed with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Whether emissions from human activity will cause climate change,
and what the impact will be, is still uncertain. There is enough
cause for concern to take moderate cost action to reduce global
greenhouse gas emissions and the risk from potential change,
warns Dennis Minano, former GM vice president of environment and
energy and chief environmental officer.
Reductions in emissions from manufacturing sites were the result
of improvements in energy efficiency and conversion to fuels that
emit fewer greenhouse gasessuch as using natural gas instead
In August, GM introduced the worlds first gasoline-powered
fuel cell vehicle at the automotive industrys annual Management
Briefing Seminar in Michigan. Visteon Corp. worked with the automaker
to develop the cars innovative concept interior, which leverages
the electric power available from the fuel cell by illustrating
consumer-focused features. The GM fuel cell vehicle features standard
110V household plug-ins, heated and cooled cup holders and battery-charging
Ford recently issued a Supplier Environmental Requirements guide
requesting suppliers to certify and maintain an ISO 14001 environmental
management system. Additionally, suppliers would meet the requirements
stated in Fords Restricted Substance Management Standard and
provide environmental data on processes used and products or materials
supplied. The guidelines also suggest the use of recycled materials
and the implementation of effective packaging to minimize waste
associated with products and services delivered at Ford facilities.
These guidelines applied to all suppliers and vendors to Ford, Lincoln,
Mercury, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Volvo automotive divisions.
Ford recently announced project funding for a novel carbon dioxide
management research project at Princeton University in conjunction
with BP Amoco. As well as being a member of the WBCSD, BP Amoco
is a member of the high profiled California Fuel Cell Partnership.
This project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing
and operating efficient, clean fuel cell vehicles and fuel distribution
systems under realistic operation conditions. BP Amoco has also
entered into separate partnerships with GM and DaimlerChrysler with
the goal of improved environmental performance in vehicles, especially
in the area of fuel cell innovations.
With 7.9 million daily customers, the United Parcel Service (UPS)
has begun exploring the use of alternative fuels in making UPS fleets
more environmentally safe. As one of the most prominent package
delivery companies today, UPS maintains the largest private fleet
of compressed natural gas vehicles in the U.S.; the fleet is comprised
of 967 package delivery cars. UPS also employs 13 electric vans
and the only liquefied natural gas tractor in the nation (nine more
have been ordered). Soon, the company plans to launch a hybrid electric
vehicle for package transport.
These projects also focus on increasing community awareness of
environmental concerns and solutions involved in the transportation
arena. The WBCSD project contends that while freight mobility is
necessary for cities to exist, freight transportation uses about
43 percent of all transportation energy. For worldwide environmental
health to improve, freight transportation must evolve along with