Toyota has just announced that their Indian Factory, in Bidadi, Bengaluru, is the greenest factory of the 56 auto manufacturing plants under the brands banner globally. At a time when pollution levels are at an all-time high, and the government is just now putting in measures to battle air and water pollution that has been rampant in the country over the past few years, it's heartening to see corporates leading the way with responsible resource management. The plant, which, consumes 830 lakh units of electricity year derives 560 lakh units or 68% by volume through renewable energy sources. The plant employs the use of Solar and Wind Energy, which is either produced by the plant in-house or purchased from one of Karnataka's many Wind-Energy farms. The plant now is a global poster boy, especially considering that even Toyota’s plant in Paris is a distant second. The French plant only derives 35% of its energy expense through renewable or green sources.
This sets the tone for one of the first times that maybe India isn’t as the global image portrays, considering that Raju B Ketkale Senior VP and Director of Product Design and development, purchases and quality assurance, at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd quoted that there are a number of other manufacturers in India which already employ renewable energy at similar levels as the Toyota’s second greenest plant in France. The Modi government is presently advocating about 40% of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. For officials at Toyota Kirloskar India, the battle has just begun. The plant now targets, to add another 7 megawatts of renewable energy to bring their tally to an 80% from green sources by 2020, almost double of that mandated by the government. The company reports energy costs are down 20% from last year, and plans are to reach zero-CO2 emissions by 2025, a full decade ahead of the 2035 targets.
Toyota Kirloskar is now also looking to optimize water resources and has already begun the process. The plant only looks to an external source for water two months out of the year relying on rainwater harvesting and recycled wastewater for the remaining 10 months. This about 65% of their total water usage, the exponentially decreasing dependence of the plant is evident. In 2014, just four years ago, the plant would need water 10 months in the year. Once again a forward attitude is what sets Toyota India apart with targets of being water surplus by 2020.