At Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) eco-friendly innovation is not just in the new technologies developed for vehicles, but throughout the entire company.

At a paint shop in the TMMC Cambridge facility, water usage was cut by 35 per cent in the last year – great news for the environment, and an example of kaizen, the principle of continuous improvement.

Water is used to rinse vehicles during the painting process at TMMC. In fact, as much as 465 litres of water could be used in one rinse cycle. In the past, this water was sent directly to the drain and discharged. Now, it is recaptured, cleaned and used again. This and other initiatives add up to a lot of water savings: 46.5 million litres of water per year are recycled and more than 16.5 million litres of fresh water has been eliminated completely.

Another paint shop at TMMC’s Cambridge location was also the first Toyota plant in North America to recycle surfactant, a vehicle cleaning compound. The recycling process, which saves more than 12,000 litres of surfactant and more than 400,000 litres of water annually, previously won TMMC a Silver Eco Award.  Toyota Motor Company’s Eco Awards recognize and encourage innovation and conservation efforts in its facilities around the world. TMMC was most recently awarded the Gold ECO Award, making it the only Toyota facility in the world to receive Gold twice.

A little bit goes a long way, and with four of Toyota’s North American plants planning to implement TMMC’s latest innovation, a little bit will add up to significant water conservation.