Industrial water is used for all production processes in vehicle manufacturing. Next to energy and waste, it is one of the biggest environmental impacts we have in the automotive industry.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF), home of the new generation Yaris and Yaris Hybrid, is one of five Toyota global Sustainable Plants, who has continuously made efforts in reducing the amount of water used to produce each vehicle.
A couple of years ago, through strong collaboration within different shops at the plant, and by looking carefully at water requirements per shop without affecting the quality of the vehicles, TMMF reduced industrial purchased water from an initial point of 3,000 litres/vehicle to 1,689 l/vehicle.
Then, the teams at TMMF started wondering if some of the wastewater could be recycled instead of using fresh industrial water. So they embarked into looking at the quality of the discharge water and seeing how it could be recycled. By changing some processes this led to a further reduction achieving 1,362 l/vehicle.
But in the spirit of continuous improvement, TMMF looked now into using rainwater instead of industrial water for production. Averaging 172 days of rain, they thought it would make sense to capture some of this rain. By investing in a rainwater collector, purchased industrial water has fallen to 789 l/vehicle.
With this, TMMF had already positioned itself as a benchmark for Toyota Manufacturing worldwide with regards to water use. However, TMMF still wanted to pursue their ultimate goal: “Zero Purchased Industrial Water” for vehicle production. Having had excellent experience with the first rainwater collector, TMMF invested in a second water collector, but this was still not enough!
The only way to challenge Zero Purchased Industrial water, however, was to further increase wastewater recycling. However in 2014, recycling
levels went down, due to one of the wastewater quality parameters being constantly above normal.
In true Toyota Way style, a systematic analysis was done to find the root cause of this, the relevant shops worked together to bring the quality parameters back to normal in order to increase the recycling rates.
Proudly, TMMF can now say that in 2014 they had an amazing result of only 12 days of Purchased Industrial water. That is to say that for 94.5% of the total production days no purchased industrial water was necessary.
For this journey and its outstanding achievement for water management in 2014, TMC awarded TMMF 1st place in the Global Eco Award competition, which focuses on Environmental On-site Kaizen activities.