Waste water recycling initiative scoops eco-efficiency award

A waste water recycling initiative at Toyota's Burnaston plant, Derbyshire, which saves over 100,000 tonnes of water per year, has scooped a prestigious environment award.

Representatives from Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) collected a "Big Tick" award from Business in the Community (BITC) at its East Midlands Awards for Excellence celebrations at Kelham Hall, Newark, Nottinghamshire on Thursday 14th June.

As part of its global commitment to resource conservation and energy reduction, Toyota set water usage reduction as just one of many environmental targets. TMUK's Facilities & Environment team analysed all waste water generated during the manufacturing process and identified that water which had been used to wash and rinse vehicles ahead of the painting process had the potential to be reused in on-site boilers for steam generation.

Several months of trials were needed to identify a suitable method to treat and clean this waste water to ensure it would be of sufficient quality for use in the boilers. After investigation, and working in close partnership with suppliers, a cost-effective solution was identified. By installing a reverse osmosis unit — which passes the waste water through a series of cleaning filters and membranes — this previous waste water stream could be cleaned to such a standard that it could be reused in the boilers.

In the first year of full operation the reverse osmosis unit has reduced the company annual water use by over 100,000 tonnes and has also lead to a reduction on the energy used in the boilers as the recycled water is so clean.

Hein Van Gerwen, Managing Director, Toyota Manufacturing UK said: "As a responsible manufacturer and good corporate citizen, we are committed to reducing the impact of our operations on the environment. Across our two UK plants we have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce our use of natural resources and energy. This latest Big Tick award is further recognition of that commitment."

Jim Haywood, BITC Director of Business in the Environment, said: "Toyota demonstrates environmental leadership throughout every aspect of their business, from the efficient use of resources in their operations, to the fuel economy of their vehicles, to their curbing of manufacturing and product waste.

"Their most recent activities to reduce water consumption provide an excellent case study of how innovation and efficiency can cut costs and preserve important natural resources."

In 2004 Toyota Manufacturing UK was awarded a Big Tick from Business in the Community in recognition of its achievement in delivering zero waste to landfill from both its Burnaston and Deeside plants - the first UK car manufacturer to achieve this environmental target..

For more information please contact Steve Carter or Karen Bradley at Toyota Manufacturing UK on 01332 283666

Notes to editors: 

Toyota Manufacturing UK 

Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) produces Avensis and Auris models at its vehicle manufacturing plant at Burnaston, Derbyshire, and petrol engines at its engine manufacturing plant at Deeside, North Wales. In 2006, TMUK produced 282, 215 vehicles, 180,143 fully assembled engines and 258,049 engine sets for export and local assembly at plants across the world. To date Toyota has invested over £1.75 billion into its UK manufacturing operations which currently employs over 4,700 members.

Business in the Community 

Business in the Community is a unique movement of over 750 member companies, with a further 2,000 plus engaged through our programmes and campaigns. We operate through a local network of more than 100 business led partnerships and 60 global partners. Our purpose is to inspire, challenge, engage and support business in continually improving its positive impact on society.

Awards for Excellence

Now in their tenth year, Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence are the UK's leading Awards for responsible business practice. The Awards recognise companies that are integrating responsible business practice into their main operations and are delivering positive impacts on the marketplace, the workplace, the environment or in the community.

Big Tick Awards

The Big Tick is awarded to companies able to demonstrate excellence in the way that they organise and integrate their responsible business practices and who can show a positive impact both on society and on the business. Eco-efficiency Awards recognises companies taking a strategic, comprehensive and innovative approach to reducing waste and natural resource use.