Toyota names environmental activities grant recipients

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) named today 25 organizations that are to receive grants under the Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program for 20081. The total sum for the 2008 program is expected to reach approximately 200 million yen.

Under the Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program, approximately 1.8 billion yen has gone to supporting 165 projects in 45 countries since the year 2000. The program was launched in commemoration of TMC's receipt of the Global 500 Award2 in 1999 from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since then, under the fundamental theme of "Environmental Technology and Human Resource Development Contributing to Environment Revitalization and Conservation", the grant program has supported practical projects conducted by non-profit organizations. Grants are offered in two categories: "general grants", for which the grant sum is flexible, and "small-scale grants", for which there is an upper limit set on the grant sum.

The themes this year are "Global Warming Countermeasures" and "Biodiversity Conservation", both targeted at urgent issues. During the April to June application period, the program received 446 applications for general grants (compared to 373 last year) and 124 applications for small-scale grants (compared to 157 last year), resulting in a total of 570 applications, the largest number to date.

The program's expert, international selection committee, which is chaired by Dr. Keiko Nakamura, director general of the JT Biohistory Research Hall, selected 25 projects (13 general grants, 12 small-scale grants) according to criteria such as appropriateness of objective, continuity and future development, and degree of local-community collaboration. Of the 25 projects selected this year, 17 came under the theme of "Biodiversity Conservation", including a project in Ecuador ("Ensuring Sustainability in Galapagos through Locally Based Education Initiatives"), while eight projects addressed the theme of "Global Warming Countermeasures", including a project in Japan ("The Practical Application of Micro Water-Power Generation in Itoshiro").

1Unless otherwise noted, years mentioned are from April 1 to March 31.

2Global 500 Award (1987-2003): Presented by UNEP to recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals and organizations in protecting and improving the environment. In 1999 TMC became the first Japanese corporation to receive the award in recognition of its various achievements in environmental protection and improvement (such as being the first in the world to mass-produce and sell hybrid vehicles) and its various corporate social contribution activities.