brand sustainability

Toyota Increases Its Commitment to Water, a Suddenly Sexy Cause

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2013 05:51 PM

Water, water everywhere — yet less and less to drink. That's why more brands are paying specific attention to water conservation in their sustainability platforms, even if water isn't specifically or strongly related to their business.

Take Toyota: The company just announced a continuation of its partnership with the Wyland Foundation to promote preservation of oceans and waterways. Toyota and Wyland will hold what they are calling National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation throughout April — which is Earth Month — asking U.S. residents to sign an online pledge to conserve water and resources.

Prizes for winning residents in cities that have the highest percentage of committers include a Toyota Prius C and water-saving fixtures. Lowe's, Rain Bird and other brands also are involved. Toyota's renewed commitment also includes assistance for a mobile, interactive Wyland exhibit on water resources that will travel across the U.S. beginning in March.

"We hope both the national pledge and the interactive exhibits build awareness around the value of environmental stewardship and the impact individuals can make," said Michael Rouse, vice president of diversity, philanthropy and community affairs, in a Toyota statement.

Many other brands also are stepping up to concerns about water. Richard Branson just tweeted something about Virgin's commitment to the Global Ocean Commission, for instance. And Procter & Gamble is extensively funding a program to create safe drinking water in emerging economies.

Toyota's own sustainability initiatives are part of a Toyota Global Vision announced in 2011 for making better cars and "contributing to the betterment of towns and communities," which also will lead to a "stable business base."

Toyota says it aims to achieve "sustainable growth through a virtuous cycle."

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