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Toyota has reached a major environmental milestone throughout its network of Toyota and Lexus dealers – the ultimate step in a nine-year journey – with all 64 dealer stores nationwide now achieving enviro-mark diamond certification.
Enviro-mark diamond certified organisations have a robust environmental management system (ems) in place to identify significant impacts, develop internal plans to prevent or reduce those impacts, and find opportunities for improvement. It exceeds the requirements of ISO 14001, one of the world’s most recognised environmental standards.
Dealers began the enviro-mark programme in 2010 by appointing a dedicated environmental champion to organise and implement environmental initiatives. They progressed through the five levels of bronze, silver and gold, to platinum and finally diamond. Dealers are independently audited at each step every year.
Toyota’s national dealer network can boast of being the first (and only) dealerships in the country to attain enviro-mark certification. This reflects Toyota’s global expectations of high standards of environmental performance and to be a responsible business in the local community.
Toyota New Zealand CEO Alistair Davis says the enviro-mark programme is an important part of Toyota’s commitment to sustainable business practices.
“Our retail team attaining enviro-mark diamond certification is a significant achievement and demonstrates their desire to protect New Zealand’s environment. Their hard work supports Toyota New Zealand’s corporate enviro-mark diamond and ISO 14001 certifications, as well as our brand values,” he says.
“In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, there have also been business efficiencies and new commercial opportunities. For example, a number of the dealers have saved thousands of dollars on their electricity and waste collection costs, while others have won fleet tenders from companies which share similar community or sustainability values and appreciate the efforts their local dealership has made.”
Toyota New Zealand worked closely with enviro-mark solutions senior advisor Chris Bailey to deliver the programme, providing legal advice, specialist guidance and annual training. Dealers followed a bespoke manual and templates to guide them through the requirements at each level.
Key projects included reducing waste, improving recycling, monitoring wastewater, and carefully managing water and energy use. The enviro-mark programme has helped the Toyota dealer network to save more than two million kwh of electricity between 2012 and 2017, through energy efficiencies in their showroom, offices, workshop and forecourt - equivalent to approximately 240 tonnes of co₂ emissions.
Clear expectations were established for the safe and responsible handling, storage, recycling or disposal of a range of service wastes, such as hybrid and lead acid batteries, coolant, oil filters, used oil and air conditioning refrigerants. Emergency procedures, preventative actions and a philosophy of continuous improvement reduced the risk of accidents and incidents.
Toyota environmental officer Tristan Lavender says enviro-mark is an important part of managing the environmental impacts of Toyota’s operations, and for delivering on growing customer expectations.
“It demonstrates that our vehicles, wider organisation and operations must all comply with high standards of environmental stewardship,”he says.
“Toyota New Zealand chose enviro-mark because its five steps are a great way to lift and maintain the environmental performance of the many different elements of our business.”
To achieve enviro-mark diamond certification, dealers must establish strong environmental objectives and targets, monitor their significant impacts, and develop action plans.
Annual auditing ensures each dealer maintains their diamond status, and continue to improve their environmental activity.
The next step in the Toyota and Lexus dealers’ environmental journey is already underway: new dealerships incorporate a number of building design features to deliver further environmental benefits, and a dealer environmental plan for the next decade is in development.