Toyota's North America headquarters in Plano.
TMNA CEO Jim Lentz (right) receives the LEED Platinum plaque from Jonathan Kraatz (left), executive director, Dallas chapter, U.S. Green Building Council, for green building techniques.
Is it possible for a car company to have a positive impact on the environment? It’s unheard of, but that’s exactly the goal Toyota set for itself two years ago with the 2050 Toyota Environmental Challenge.
Now, with its newly-built headquarters in Plano, the auto giant appears to be one step closer to reaching its ambitious goal.
Toyota Motor North America’s new headquarters campus officially earned LEED Platinum status from the US Green Building Council. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The achievement of LEED Platinum recognizes the company’s commitment to sustainability in all aspects of its 100-acre campus. The Toyota campus is the largest commercial LEED Platinum project in the state of Texas.
“At Toyota, we have a longstanding commitment to sustainability and preserving our natural resources,” says Jim Lentz, TMNA president and chief executive officer. “With the installation of greenspaces, thousands of solar panels, a massive rain water capture system, and natural light wells, we have designed our new headquarters to reflect the local habitat and enhance its biodiversity.
“Recognition as a LEED Platinum facility is a testament of our efforts to become a model for energy efficiency and sustainability, and speaks to our challenge to ourselves to create a net positive impact on the planet by 2050.”
What makes Toyota so green it went platinum?
The campus has the largest onsite corporate solar installation among non-utilities companies in Texas. The solar power system fulfills up to 33 percent of daily electric needs for the headquarters, and produces enough electricity to power 1,200 average U.S. homes for a year.
The headquarters also has efficient lighting and building envelopes to minimize electricity usage. Even the roof is specially designed with plant life to help insulate the building and manage rainwater.
Speaking of which, a state-of-the-art rain capture system provides water for irrigation and saves millions of gallons of potable water annually. The landscaping is also designed to be eco-friendly and sustainable for the local climate.
Toyota may still be a long way from creating a positive impact on the environment, but its footprint is certainly shrinking.