Corporate Social Responsibility, also known as corporate citizenship, results from business organizations considering societys interest and taking responsibility for all the impacts, whether negative or positive, of their activities on their employees, customers, communities, shareholders, suppliers and the environment.
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The responsibility in this case extends the legal obligations aimed at compelling organizations to comply with legislation guiding business operations. The organizations take further steps voluntarily to raise the standards of living of the employees, their families, the local community and the society.
Toyota Motor Corporation, world largest manufacturer of automobiles with over 500 subsidiaries, has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to social responsibility aimed at bettering the lives of citizens and taking care of environment in all countries where it operates. Some of the programs that Toyota Corporation has been undertaking includes; Toyota Traffic safety Campaign, Toyota Community Funds and the Green Encounter Campaign
Toyota Social Responsibility
The formation of Toyota Community Care Committee in the 1980s signified a greater commitment by Toyota to consolidate all community social programs in one department with Toyota. The Committee was chaired by the company president and had its base in Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo, Japan. Later, the Community Care principle manifest was established in Toyota Operation Principles all over the world as part of the greater campaign in social responsibility.
Prior to the inception of Toyota Community Care Committee and establishment of community Care Principles, Social Responsibility support activities were carried out by analyzing and making decisions based on funding request made by different organizations. How ever, in 1998, Toyota began forming partnership with organization specializing in specific areas of need like taking care of environment, Education scholarship, Traffic safety etc through which funds were channeled.
Today, Toyota social responsibilities program are deeply woven in communities and societies all over the world. Some of these programs are geared toward environmental care, development of arts, education scholarships and traffic safety in all countries where Toyota operates.
Environment: Green Encounter Campaign
In line with its commitment to protect the environment, Toyota has been taking measures to ensure that all Toyota vehicles are environmental friendly. It is not surprising that Toyota earned top rating in environmental best cars 2007 edition. Toyota vehicles have continued to occupy the number one position in almost all categories than any other brand. Toyota Gasoline powered vehicles are more fuel efficient with low emission thus reducing pollution. This is according to The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which rates cars based on data from Air Resources Board, which take in to account emission of greenhouses gases from automobiles.
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In China, Toyota has established the Toyota Environmental Protection Aid Program for China’s Youth. The program which started in 2005 is geared toward supporting through funding of written proposals for environmental protection activities in China. The program was established in close co-operation from China Based Environmental groups. Through this program, Toyota has invested million of dollars in environmental protection in China. In addition, Toyota is also implementing forestation program aimed at combating desertification all over China.
Toyota Eco Youth Program is a program established in Malaysia in 2001 involving high school students. In this program, students from different high schools across Malaysia team up to implement environmental projects such as waste water treatment and electricity conservation in Schools and home. This program is among the most valued programs in Malaysia receiving government endorsement for the value it adds to education. Not to be left behind, Indonesia Toyota Motor inaugurated Toyota Eco Youth Program, Indonesia edition in 2006, carrying out similar activities like their counterparts in Malaysia.
Education and Human Resource Development
The Primary Philanthropic focus of Toyota is Education. Toyota believes that for today global society to succeed there is needed to support international education and understanding. On an annual basis, Toyota contributes over US $ 40 million to US based Education Programs. The Toyota Tapestry program is a program targeting K-12 science teacher, Toyota Community Scholars provides over 100 high school senior scholarship annually, based on performance and the Toyota International Teacher Program targeting teachers in different displaces. These are the main program in US that benefit directly from Toyota Educational Funds.
Toyota further participates in education scholarships through other established programs such as United Negro College funds, the American Indian College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship funds and Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Youth For Understanding (YFU) is yet another avenue through which Toyota participate in corporate social responsibility. In this exchange program, young student spend their summer holidays abroad sharing and exchanging cultural ideas. So far Toyota has awarded over 600 scholarships to young student to participate in this program.
Traffic and Safety
Toyota is one of the few automobile makers that have positioned itself in effort to minimize negative impacts from traffic congestion and traffic accidents. In regards to safety on the road, there has been concerted effort by Toyota to eliminate traffics injuries and death. This has been possible through initiatives aimed at educating drivers and pedestrians, and also through creation of safe traffic environment.
Toyota Driver Communication (TDC) is a course developed by Toyota aimed at promoting safe driving in the United States. Toyota has opened up many facilities in various States and countries to offer this course and other programs like Traffic Safety Education Program for children. Commitment to enhance safety is further demonstrated through vehicle development based on survey and analyzing actual traffic accidents, this is in a bid to manufactures vehicle that provides Preventive Safety and Collision Safety.
Toyota have been working in close co-operation with relevant governments representatives through Japan Automobiles Manufacturer Association (JAMA) in matters relating to road developments, with the aim of adapting road policies and transportation system that enhance safety of road users. Such initiatives have been a success in developing countries in African and Asia.
Corporate social responsibility is a demonstration by organizations to show commitment to mater of interest to the employees, the community and the environment. Toyota has over the years demonstrated and strived to meet it obligation in matter related to social responsibility by establishing community based programs in every State and country that it operates from. Toyota main programs have been focused on Environmental protection; Education and Safety, all this program can be termed as success.
Toyota Social Responsibility can be termed as a success compared to other automobiles makers. However, there is room for improvement. It is time that Toyota to concentrates more effort in coming up with systems that reduce emission from Toyota automobiles which are already in operation.
Though Toyota Hybrid Automobiles are efficient and environmental friendly, such vehicles are very expensive and majority of people can not afford to buy them. In this regards, Toyota should strive to come up with systems that can be fitted in the existing automobiles that will make them more environmental friendly.
Corporate Social Responsibility: The Key to Global Business Success, Web.
Doing Good Work Where we Work, Web.
Toyota Environmental Policy and the Environmental Action Plan, Web.
Toyota Lead in Green Car Awards, Web.