Note: This press release is from April 2021. For the most up-to-date assessment of Toyota, the full LobbyMap profile is available here.
Toyota's announcement that it will pursue a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 is an important signal from Japan's largest, and arguably, its most powerful company.
Toyota short release notably states it will "review public policy engagement activities through our company and industry associations to confirm they are consistent with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, and disclose our assessment and actions by the end of this year".
Should this pledge be implemented in full, it would go a long way to reforming a sector that has been a key oppositional force to governments effort to implement Paris-aligned vehicle policy, including measures to promote zero emission and electric vehicles.
Governance on policy engagement is a key priority of the Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) investor engagement process currently underway and targeting over 160 companies deemed by shareholders to be the most important for climate goals.
Toyota's pledge on policy engagement disclosures is the first from a Japanese CA100+ company while over 20 other global industrial companies such as Shell and BHP have issued reports on their industry associations.
Dylan Tanner, Executive Director of InfluenceMap, said: "Toyota's carbon neutrality statement, and in particular its pledge on policy engagement, sends a powerful message to both corporate Japan and the global automotive sector. Clearly the proof will be in the details which InfluenceMap looks forward to assessing when available as part of our remit looking at corporate climate policy engagement.
"Ultimately, real reform of climate-related policy positions and engagement by Toyota and its powerful industry associations will be needed to enable governments to act on climate. This is something that can and should begin immediately and does not need to wait for the company's review."
Toyota scores an 'E+' on InfluenceMap’s A-to-F system of policy engagement against Paris-aligned benchmarks, making it the lowest scoring automaker within an industry that resisted government efforts globally to implement meaningful climate policy.
Toyota's scorecard shows:
● A history of lobbying against Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the United States
● In the UK, Toyota wanted a longer timeline for the phaseout of hybrids than the 2035 date legislated by the UK government.
● In Japan, Toyota is a key influence within the powerful Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) whose positions on thermal coal power, carbon pricing, and other issues appear to be highly misaligned with IPCC science-based policy guidance.
● The company retains high-level positions in several regressive trade associations, including the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (Toyota President Akio Toyoda is chairman), Keidanren (Toyota Vice Chairman Shigeru Hayakawa is vice chairman), and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (Toyota Europe Chairman Didier Leroy is a board member).
● Toyota also retains membership to several other obstructive industry associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers in the US, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in the UK, and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in India.
Automotive sector scores on climate policy engagement
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London) simon.cullen( @ )influencemap.org