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Toto: A Leader in Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

, 10 min reading time

Toto: A Leader in Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

Sustainability has become increasingly important for companies in recent years, with consumers and stakeholders calling for greater environmental responsibility. 

While many companies have responded by developing and promoting sustainable products, it is equally important for them to focus on sustainable manufacturing practices to ensure that their operations have a minimal environmental impact.

TOTO is a world leader in sustainable manufacturing, firmly committed to reducing its environmental footprint throughout the entire supply chain. TOTO recognizes that sustainability is about more than simply reducing its impact on the environment; it is also about creating value for the global society. 

By integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of its business, TOTO sets an example for companies across industries worldwide, demonstrating that it is possible to prioritize sustainability while still producing high-quality bathroom products.

GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY TARGETS AND RECOGNITION

Globally, the TOTO Group has set ambitious targets for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. The company's global targets are aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative, and it reports its progress through the Global Reporting Initiative. TOTO has also been recognized as one of the top sustainability performers in its industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In addition, in 2020, TOTO was ranked as one of the world's top 100 most sustainably managed corporations by the Wall Street Journal. These accolades are indicators of TOTO’s commitment to achieving sustainability through its products and entire manufacturing process.

CO2 EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS THROUGH SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING

In 2021, the TOTO Group’s CO2 emissions from all its business sites totaled 352,000 tons. Although production activities have increased due to global demand, TOTO has been working to reduce its CO2 emissions by its 2023 target by improving productivity, promoting energy conservation measures, and expanding renewable energy. 

Furthermore, to achieve a carbon-neutral and sustainable society by 2050, TOTO continuously promotes CO2 reductions through increased investments in renewable energy. As a result, despite CO2 emissions rising in certain areas due to business expansion, TOTO strives to reduce its total CO2 emissions to 294,000 tons or less by the end of Fiscal Year 2023. 

One way we reduce CO2 emissions during manufacturing is by switching the casting process of ceramic products in melting facilities in TOTO Nanjing from cupola furnaces to electric ones. This re-equipping has the added benefit of preventing air pollution in the factory's surrounding areas. We also work on electrifying air conditioning systems and cafeteria kitchens in newly constructed plants.

Additionally, to reduce CO2 emissions, we are increasing building insulation (roof insulation, wall insulation, and double-glazing), high-efficiency air conditioners and total heat exchangers, adopting LED lighting, and introducing energy monitoring systems at TOTO manufacturing plants worldwide.

RESOURCE CONSERVATION

TOTO is well-known for its wide range of water and energy-conserving bathroom products like low-flow showerheadsECOPOWER faucets and flush valves, and NEOREST smart bidet toilets. In addition, the TOTO Group uses advanced technologies to minimize waste and reduce energy consumption. 

PROCUREMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

TOTO is accelerating its efforts to realize a carbon-neutral, sustainable global society, and expanding its use of renewable energy is indispensable for reducing its CO2 emissions.

TOTO plans to further expand the procurement of renewable energy sources according to regional characteristics at each global site and install solar power generation equipment at manufacturing plants, when possible, aiming to use 100% renewable energy for electricity in its business activities by 2040. Furthermore, in March 2021, TOTO became a member of RE100, an international initiative that aims to use 100% renewable energy for electricity across all business activities.

Examples of sites that have achieved 100% renewable energy in electricity:

  • TOTO Museum
  • SUNAQUA TOTO LTD.
  • TOTO High Living LTD.’s Koka Plant
  • TOTO U.S.A., INC.’s Morrow Plant (103%)

The amount of renewable energy electricity introduced in fiscal 2021 was over 58 GWh globally.

TOTO USA powers its Morrow manufacturing facility with renewable green energy, helping to achieve Clean Air Act requirements. In 2013, TOTO USA became an EPA Green Power Partner. 

In 2017, TOTO USA won the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award for becoming the first large-volume participant in Georgia Power’s Simple Solar Program. It met 100% of its energy needs by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from certified solar power resources. In 2021, TOTO USA’s Morrow plant used 103% green energy. 

MANUFACTURING WASTE REDUCTION

TOTO has implemented a zero-waste policy at its global manufacturing facilities. This means that the TOTO Group aims to reuse or recycle all the waste generated during manufacturing. For example, TOTO recycles scrap metal, plastics, and glass and composts food waste.

At TOTO USA, imperfect and damaged china is upcycled by grinding it to powder for use in tile manufacture. In 2020, TOTO USA diverted nearly 27 metric tons of commingled waste, 180 metric tons of cardboard, and 84 metric tons of scrap metal to recycling instead of landfills. Further, TOTO USA recycles post-industrial gray water for wash-down during production, reducing potable water waste. While the amount of water saved depends on the number of products manufactured, TOTO USA recycles about 7 million gallons of water a year. 

SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH TRANSPORTATION

Transportation is another area where TOTO USA has made great strides in reducing its environmental impact. For example, the company has implemented procedural standards for outbound operations that manage and mitigate TOTO’s environmental impact. 

To optimize strategies for outbound distribution and delivery, TOTO’s Sales Freight Program works to consolidate allocated orders within a 5-day period to combine small orders into Truckloads (TL) instead of relying on the Less-than-Truckload (LTL) mode. In addition, TOTO USA strives to maximize the containers used during transit to reduce the trucks needed to move its freight. Tracking and monitoring internal KPIs for optimization and mode conversions (Truckload to intermodal/Train) serves simultaneously as a CO2 and cost reduction strategy. 

TOTO USA continually works to align with TOTO’s sustainability goals to reduce CO2 emissions. Additionally, it collaborates closely with its logistics partners to ensure its transportation practices are as sustainable as possible. In fact, TOTO USA only partners with those who share in our CO2 emissions reduction goals, and our two largest partners for outbound deliveries, J.B. Hunt and FedEx, have corporate initiatives to participate in sustainability efforts. 

TOTO USA also maintains certification with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under their SmartWay Program. 

Finding ways to simultaneously lower overhead costs, increase optimization, and reduce resource utilization requires creativity and a commitment to sustainability. But this kind of ambitious commitment is the TOTO Way.

LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATIONS


Understanding the carbon footprint of a product is crucial for assessing its environmental impact. That's why TOTO USA conducts Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and produces Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for its numerous product lines. LCAs evaluate the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from raw material extraction to disposal. At the same time, EPDs provide transparency into the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle, including its manufacturing process. For example, TOTO USA has published numerous EPDs for its bathroom products, including commercial flush valves, toilets, urinals, faucets, and lavatories. In addition, TOTO USA promotes transparency and accountability in its manufacturing process by giving customers the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.  

THIRD-PARTY SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

TOTO USA recognizes that third-party certification programs like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) are critical for ensuring that companies uphold their sustainability commitments by providing standardized frameworks for sustainability performance reporting and setting ambitious targets to reduce their environmental impacts. 

Further, these certifications and programs help to hold companies accountable and demonstrate their commitment to stakeholders. They also assure consumers and customers that companies like TOTO USA are not just greenwashing but are truly committed to sustainable practices

In addition, TOTO USA is proud to be certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard, which provides a framework for the company to continuously improve its environmental performance.


TOTO GROUP'S COMMITMENT TO THE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)

The TOTO Group is committed to contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The company recognizes that sustainability is not just about reducing its environmental impact but also about creating value for the global society. TOTO has identified key SDGs that align with its business objectives and is working to integrate these goals into its global operations.

SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

As a manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and plumbing products, TOTO recognizes the importance of responsible water management. The company is committed to reducing water consumption in its manufacturing process. It has also developed technologies to improve water efficiency in its products. By reducing water usage, TOTO is contributing to SDG 6.

SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

TOTO is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and has set ambitious targets to increase the use of renewable energy in its operations. The company is also working to develop energy-efficient products that help consumers reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact. By prioritizing renewable energy and energy-efficient products, TOTO is contributing to the achievement of SDG 7.

SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

TOTO recognizes the urgent need to address climate change and is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The TOTO Group has set ambitious targets to increase the use of renewable energy in its operations and is working to develop energy-efficient products that help consumers reduce their environmental impact. By prioritizing renewable energy and energy-efficient products, TOTO is contributing to the achievement of SDG 13.

SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

TOTO is committed to responsible sourcing of raw materials and has implemented a rigorous recycling program to reduce waste and minimize its environmental impact. By implementing a circular economy approach to its manufacturing process, TOTO is contributing to the achievement of SDG 15. The company is also committed to using sustainable materials and minimizing its impact on terrestrial ecosystems.

As a company committed to sustainability, TOTO recognizes the importance of creating sustainable products and manufacturing them sustainably. Our sustainable manufacturing process is integral to our mission of reducing our environmental impact, conserving natural resources, and creating a healthier world.

We believe that consumers should care just as much about a company's sustainable manufacturing process and transparency as they do about the quality of the products they buy. By choosing products from companies that prioritize sustainable manufacturing, consumers can ensure that they are supporting environmentally responsible practices from start to finish.

At TOTO, we are constantly innovating and improving our manufacturing processes to reduce waste, conserve energy, and limit our carbon footprint. We use advanced technologies and sustainable materials to create products that not only perform well but also minimize their impact on the environment.

By choosing TOTO products, customers may be confident that they are making a positive choice for the planet and supporting a company committed to sustainability at every step of the way. Together, we can create a brighter, more sustainable future for all.


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