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Public Citizen to Toyota: It is Time to Clean Up Your Dirty Supply Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Public Citizen today launched a campaign calling on Toyota Motor Corp. to undertake efforts to prevent environmental and human rights harms throughout the company’s supply chain. 

“Avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis requires major changes not only to the types of cars we drive, but also to how those cars are manufactured,” said Erika Thi Patterson, auto supply chain campaign director with Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “Toyota is a laggard when it comes to ensuring its suppliers are decarbonizing its operations, protecting workers, and upholding Indigenous rights.” 

With only a single battery electric vehicle in its showrooms, Toyota has yet to commit to convert its line-up to be fully electric in the future. Further, the company has failed to establish emissions reduction targets for the steel and aluminum used in its cars and trucks, according to a recently released analysis of 18 auto manufacturers

“Extracting and processing the raw materials used to make aluminum are extraordinarily carbon intensive and most steel is still made in coal-powered blast furnaces that emit pollution linked to cancer and asthma,” said Thi Patterson. “As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota should lead the industry and take action to decarbonize its aluminum and steel supply chains.” 

The Lead the Charge Scorecard further reported that Toyota has no publicly available standalone Indigenous rights policy, and its human rights policy lacks processes to assess, prevent, or mitigate risks to Indigenous rights in its supply chain.

“It’s critical that automakers adopt and enforce policies to protect Indigenous rights,” said Thi Patterson. “Fifty-four percent of transition mineral projects globally are situated on or near Indigenous People’s territories, and in the U.S. alone, many minerals needed to power EVs are found within thirty-five miles of Indigenous lands.” 

Public Citizen’s campaign for a greener supply chain from Toyota comes as the long-serving company president Akio Toyoda prepares to hand the reins of the auto giant over to the current president of Lexus, Koji Sato.