WWF and Toyota Motor Corporation have entered into a five-year agreement aimed at accelerating the globe's transition to sustainability. Through this partnership, the organizations will work together to promote biodiversity conservation, raise environmental awareness and accelerate the move toward a "zero carbon" society.
Toyota is the first car company and the first Japanese company to sign a Global Corporate Partnership agreement with WWF. The agreement went into effect on July 1, 2016.
As part of the partnership, Toyota will support the Living Asian Forest Project, a new series of existing and planned WWF activities to conserve tropical forests and wildlife in Southeast Asia. The project will take place in WWF priority places Borneo (Kalimantan) and Sumatra in Indonesia. In the future, the project will expand to the Greater Mekong region.
The project will also focus on increasing the sustainability of natural resources such as wood, paper and pulp, palm oil and natural rubber. Unsustainable production and use of these commodities are among the main causes of deforestation and increased threats to endangered species in these regions.
Toyota will donate US$1 million to the Living Asian Forest Project in 2016 and will continue its support for a total of five years. The support strengthens efforts toward achieving the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 goals of aiming to reduce Toyota's environmental footprint to zero, while creating value and producing benefit to society in the face of global-scale environmental issues. The Living Asian Forest Project will specifically help accomplish one of the six challenges: to establish a future society in harmony with nature.
With demand expected to rise for natural rubber-the main resource for car tires-the partnership recognizes that the sustainable production and use of natural rubber is required for forest ecosystem conservation. Toyota acknowledges the environmental and social challenges surrounding natural rubber, and will collaborate with industries and stakeholders to contribute to international standard-setting as well as other related activities that WWF promotes.
Throughout the partnership, WWF and Toyota will also work together to help realize a zero carbon society. In order to successfully meet the company's Zero CO2 Emissions Challenges under its Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, Toyota has already joined the Science Based Targets initiative that is aimed at helping companies combat climate change.
Didier Leroy, Executive Vice President of Toyota, said: "We share the same vision as WWF: to achieve a truly sustainable society and leave a living planet for future generations. When we started working on concrete actions to achieve our Environmental Challenge 2050, we decided that joining forces with non-governmental organizations which are experts in their field was essential. Our partnership, and projects like the Living Asian Forest Project, are among the most effective ways for a company like ours to make a positive impact and raise awareness among our employees, suppliers, and customers of the importance of sustainable resource management."
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said: "WWF is delighted to join forces with Toyota in order to accelerate efforts needed to prevent the dangerous degradation of the natural systems we all depend on. Science has never been clearer and awareness of the problems and solutions to the many environmental challenges that the world is facing has never been greater. We need more private sector organizations like Toyota to step up and find solutions to these challenges. WWF commends Toyota's vision to help make a safer, healthier more sustainable world a reality for future generations and our living planet."
Arnold Sitompul, Conservation Director of WWF Indonesia, said: "One of the exciting outcomes of this partnership will be the strengthening of our work to conserve tropical forest ecosystems in Kalimantan and Sumatra. These are important homes for critically endangered species, and essential proving grounds for the sustainable management of natural resources."