Toyota and Lexus vehicles importer in all three Baltic countries, Toyota Baltic AS, chose EKOenergy for consumption in their headquarters located in Tallinn, Estonia! We interviewed Marek Maide, General Manager of Toyota Baltic AS Marketing Division, to learn more about Toyota’s sustainability goals, how they see their role in the energy transition and about their choice of EKOenergy-labelled 100% renewable electricity.
Congratulations and thanks for choosing EKOenergy-labelled electricity! What was the driving force behind this choice?
Thank you. Environmental agenda is central to our global vision and shapes all affiliated strategic planning documents. For Toyota, environmental consciousness is embedded in the whole process – from sourcing parts from suppliers, to producing vehicles, managing logistics, and within sales, marketing, service and end-of-life activities.
Of course, as a local importer, our hands are somewhat tied when talking about the pre-production and production stages of our vehicles, but from the moment the car lands in our country until it is recycled – this is our opportunity to manage the cycle in an environmentally conscious way.
We are very proud to have already been running a strong environmental agenda in Baltic countries for more than 10 years. We were the first automotive company who adopted the ISO14001 environmental management system for the importer, Toyota Baltic, as well as for the majority of Baltic Toyota retailers. Also, we have been celebrating the Environmental Month of June for more than 10 years, organising activities for our employees as well as for those within our network. We have also been collaborating with the “Let’s Do It” organization for World Cleanup Day for several years.
Taking this into account, the switch to green energy for us was a natural step triggered by the change of our physical office. The new rental office space, which by the way is also an “A” energy class building (one of the very few in Tallinn), already has a thermal and solar heating/ventilation system, recycles rainwater and has numerous other environmental perks. Therefore, choosing green energy was a logical addition to our contribution towards the environment.
Switching to EKOenergy-labelled green electricity helps us do even more. Choosing EKOenergy means we buy energy that takes nature into account, and allows us to support the promotion of renewable energy in other parts of the world too.
Why are sustainability and renewable energy important for Toyota Baltic AS?
Toyota has made a global commitment, which is called Environmental Challenge 2050 (Estonian). This is a guiding principle for all Toyota companies to aim towards the minimisation of our ecological footprint in several different areas of business, reducing it to zero. For Toyota Baltics, the most important challenge from this document is “Establishing a future society in harmony with nature”. There are several ways to contribute to the sustainability of future societies and one of the ways is to use green energy.
We all are aware that Estonia’s carbon footprint is boosted by our shale-oil energy production. I was very positively surprised to read the recent news that, due to the extremely low electricity consumption in Q1 2020, sustainable energy production exceeded the conventional electricity production in Estonia for the first time. I hope that we, as a consumer following a sustainable direction for the future, also played a part in this.
“We have communicated our purchase of EKOenergy-labelled renewable electricity to our staff as another environmental milestone reached. We have also publicly announced it in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian”.
How do you see your sector’s role in the energy transition?
I think that the automotive sector is always under scrutiny when pollution or ecological footprints are discussed. The automotive sector is recognized as having a huge carbon footprint and thus an even bigger social responsibility lies on us to promote all available options that can have an ecologically positive impact. As we are not in direct contact with our end-customers and our own company’s direct footprint is not so large, we see our role more aligned to educating the public about green technologies and the possibilities for more ecological ways of mobility. Secondly, our role is to ensure that our retail network is following Toyota’s aim of reducing the emissions of a vehicle’s life cycle to zero and acting in an environmentally conscious way.
What was the process of buying EKOenergy-labelled electricity for Toyota Baltic in Estonia?
After making the decision to take another step towards environmental sustainability, following the European commitment to have all affiliated Toyota companies using 100% renewable energy, we searched for the local options. Being in a rental space did not make it any easier, as sharing the facility with different tenants made the initial idea of having the whole building using renewable energy impossible. Therefore, we searched for alternative options and discovered Imatra Elekter, who were also very accommodating towards our needs. I am glad that making the contract took a very short time and within less than a month, we were supplied with renewable energy and acquired a certificate for proof.
Are you planning to communicate about this choice of yours with other Toyota dealerships or their supply chain?
Yes, we have done that. Internally we have communicated to our staff about another environmental milestone reached and publicly, we have published articles online in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian – see one of them here (in Estonian).
That’s impressive! Do you see your Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues also starting to use EKOenergy-labelled green electricity?
Absolutely. I am sure that one-by-one our Retail Network will transition to green energy, as to become good corporate citizens and act as a benchmark for other automotive companies, we need to do this. It is just a question of time but hopefully it will happen in the very near future.
We thank Toyota Baltic AS for choosing EKOenergy and Marek Maide for answering our questions. Also, thanks to Imatra Elekter for providing Toyota Baltic AS with EKOenergy-labelled renewable electricity.
The EKOenergy ecolabel and our licensees are happy to help individuals and companies choose the most sustainable renewable energy, speeding up the transition towards a 100% renewable world. We hope that this positive step from the Toyota Baltic dealership in Estonia inspires many others in the Baltics and beyond!
You can find similar articles we have about EKOenergy consumers on our user stories page. If you are looking for ways to show your environmental commitment by switching to environmentally sustainable energy, contact us. To stay updated, follow us on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Xing!
Marek Maide was interviewed by Kristi Ghosh
This interview was published on 1 June 2020