Toyota Goes Green: Using Heat and CO2 Waste to Grow Strawberries and Tomatoes
As the automotive industry shifts towards producing electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, automakers are also implementing additional initiatives to minimize their environmental footprint. Apart from utilizing renewable energy sources and incorporating recycled materials into their cars, some factories have taken a unique approach by utilizing excess heat and CO2 waste to grow crops. Toyota, a leading automaker, is at the forefront of this green revolution.
Recognizing the adverse environmental impacts of excessive heat and CO2 emissions, Toyota has ventured into the realm of agriculture. In collaboration with farmers, the company has established experimental greenhouses within two of its factories – the Kamigo Plant and the Myochi Plant. The Kamigo Plant, where Toyota manufactures engines for the Toyota Crown and other Lexus models, now houses a greenhouse specially designed for cultivating strawberries. At the Myochi Plant, the automaker focuses on growing cherry tomatoes.
To maximize efficiency in these greenhouses, Toyota has implemented a unique design feature – planters on sliders. This innovative system allows for 1.5 times the yield of a similarly sized open field, minimizing wasted space that would have been occupied by unused rows between the planters. The planters can be effortlessly adjusted, creating aisles as required and optimizing the available space for cultivation.
It is essential to note that Toyota’s foray into agriculture doesn’t aim to compete with professional farmers. Rather, the strawberries and cherry tomatoes grown in its factories are provided for free in its cafeterias. Toyota intends to leverage its expertise to develop efficient agricultural systems and support farmers in their endeavor to yield better results.
In its commitment to sustainability, Toyota has taken an intriguing approach to light up its crops. The automaker utilizes pink LEDs to illuminate the greenhouses. By removing the green hue from the light spectrum, Toyota has created a distinct color that doesn’t hinder the photosynthesis process. This innovative lighting choice highlights Toyota’s dedication to exploring unconventional solutions to environmental challenges.
Toyota is not the only automaker actively seeking ways to reduce emissions and adopt eco-friendly practices. Stellantis, another prominent player in the automotive industry, recently announced a partnership with Vulcan Energy Resources to explore the use of geothermal energy at one of its factories. Aston Martin has also made significant strides towards carbon-neutral manufacturing, achieving this feat in two of its facilities. Furthermore, the company plans to attain net-zero manufacturing operations by the end of the decade, underscoring its commitment to sustainability.
Automakers, in their pursuit of greener practices, are increasingly exploring opportunities beyond vehicle production. By delving into agricultural initiatives and repurposing waste into valuable resources, they are making remarkable strides towards a more sustainable and eco-conscious future. This commitment also extends to incorporating more recycled materials into their vehicles, such as fishing nets and other plastics, which further demonstrates their dedication to environmental responsibility.
In conclusion, Toyota’s endeavors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions go beyond manufacturing electric vehicles. By repurposing excess heat and CO2 waste to grow strawberries and cherry tomatoes, the automaker exemplifies its commitment to environmental sustainability. Through innovative design features and unique farming techniques, Toyota maximizes crop yield while minimizing wasted space. As other automakers follow suit with their own initiatives, the industry is propelling towards a greener future, where waste is transformed into invaluable resources.