The Toyota Eco Youth Challenge drew to a close at the Concorde Hotel Shah Alam recently, with students from 14 participating schools experiencing solid waste management which is the theme for this year’s challenge.
At the event, Mr. Akio Takeyama, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor said, “Making environmentally-sound decisions in our everyday lives are the only way we can stop further decline to the planet. Realizing this and recognizing how the business operations are impacting the environment, Toyota Motor Corporation developed its global Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 to tackle 6 key environmental issues – reduction of carbon emissions in new vehicles, life cycle and plant sites; optimizing water usage; and establishing societies that practice recycling and an earth-friendly culture.”
In supporting this, Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor in his speech said, “We have applied environmental best practices in our daily business operations to lessen the impact towards the environment. Among others recycling of hybrid and normal batteries, solid waste management through segregation of scheduled waste and reducing the CO2 emission. Our manufacturing facility is also equipped with alternative energy source with the installation of solar panel system to reduce electrical consumption,” he explained.
Datuk Ismet also added that the company’s environmental initiatives are undertaken as one of the guiding principles to benefit the community in which UMW Toyota Motor operates.
“We seek to educate and instill a sense of love and care for the environment in the nation’s youth as they are dynamic, creative, bold and most importantly, open to new ideas and concepts. This has prompted us to work with our partners in creating Toyota Eco Youth, a sustainable programme with the objective to cultivate environmental awareness among secondary school students,” says Datuk Ismet.
Also present at the ceremony was Pn. Roslina Mohd Roslin, Principal Assistant Director, from the Ministry of Education, who describes the Toyota Eco Youth as a well-developed eco programme. “Although it appears to be a simple environmental project, the programme actually helps in building team spirit, learning how to network, negotiate and practising problem-solving skills,” she notes.
“Waste is a monumental problem that nobody likes to address, but somebody has to do it,” concludes Roslina, who expressed hope that this year’s Toyota Eco Youth participants will become ambassadors for the green movement. “Now that you have taken a sneak peek into the kind of problems faced by municipal councils and governments around the world, do help us convince the young generation that 3R is not an option, but a compulsion if we want a clean and green life.”
The Toyota Eco Youth is one of UMWT’s CSR activities and is a community-level project involving multiple stakeholders including the local councils, governmental agencies, community leaders, local residents and private companies. To date, the programme has impacted over 1,500 students and teachers from 209 schools.
For this year’s programme, the champion school took home RM10,000 of prize money while the second and third place winner brought back RM7,000 and RM5,000 respectively. In addition, the winners for best presentation, best exhibition and best blogsite also received RM1,000 each. A token of RM500 each was also given out to two of the most supportive teachers during the programme.