TOYOTA CITY, Japan—Toyota Motor Corp.’s 50-year-old Tsutsumi assembly plant here has been the home of many innovations over the years. For several decades it has been considered to be ground zero for the company’s lean manufacturing efforts. The assembly plant has also has been producing the Prius hybrid since 2003.
Today, the Tsutsumi plant is the benchmark for Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 initiative. The center piece is the new Biotope Tsutsumi, a 9,200-square foot green oasis that contains trees, plants, ponds and a waterfall.
As part of Toyota’s ongoing effort to create plants that coexist with nature and the local community, the Biotope Tsutsumi will also act as an environmental education facility that helsp employees and local residents feel closer to the natural environment.
The parklike setting is designed to help preserve the original local ecosystem. It’s based on the concept of a traditional Japanese satoyama forest, consisting primarily of the konara oak trees found throughout the region.
According to Toyota, the Biotope Tsutsumi environment integrates waterside, grassland, forest and other natural areas. Populated with local fauna and flora, the biotope also preserves endangered plants, birds and fish, and will strive to increase their population.