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Toyota focuses on circular economy and environmental innovations with new partner appointment


Toyota New Zealand has taken major steps to prepare itself for an innovative future including the areas of circular economy and environmental innovations for business sustainability.

To accelerate work in these areas of new technology, product stewardship and overall sustainability, Toyota NZ has externally recruited for one new role and shifted an experienced senior executive to an expanded position.

Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Neeraj Lala says Toyota is committed to reducing its impact on the environment while increasing the positive contribution to the local communities it operates in across New Zealand.

"Our corporate goals are focused on being carbon neutral by 2050 and our product stewardship here in New Zealand across all areas of our business and supply chain,” says Neeraj.

“We need to innovate and look at out-of-the box solutions in order to achieve a holistic, circular economy approach to our supply chain.”

After four years as Chief Executive Officer of the Ākina Foundation, Louise Aitken has joined Toyota as Partner of Circular & Climate innovation and Sustainability.

“Louise is a highly regarded leader in the areas of social and environmental impact and is dedicated to driving bold climate action. We are excited to have someone of her calibre join the team to challenge, innovate and accelerate our contribution to a low-emissions society,” says Neeraj.

“She will play an integral role in helping us become carbon neutral by 2050, as well as helping inform innovative business changes to decrease the overall C02 emissions of the transport sector.”

Louise Aitken says she’s ready to hit the ground running with the Toyota team.

“The work I will be leading includes battery and parts recycling, product stewardship, waste, and end-of-life management of vehicles. This is about continuing to try and make a sizeable difference to the impact we have in Aotearoa, New Zealand working with key partners to contribute to a low emission circular transport system.”

Current General Manager for Marketing, Lexus, and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand, Andrew Davis, will add the portfolios of Business Planning and Finance replacing the marketing one. As part of the Business planning division, Andrew will lead a newly formed strategic future focused planning area.

The strategically focused planning area, including a new special tactics team will be working on leading edge technology development.

“Our innovations team is looking at a range of new technologies and how they can be adapted to the New Zealand environment. Hydrogen is just one example. Hydrogen fuel cells can already power passenger cars and boats, such as the Emirates Team New Zealand chase boat. We are looking at a wide range of industrial and commercial applications for hydrogen,” he says.

“One in every four cars on the roads in New Zealand is a Toyota. We recognise and embrace the responsibility this leadership position gives us. We’re taking bold action when it comes to decarbonisation - action that is different from the past, different from perception and different from our competitors,” Neeraj says.