TME, Toyota European headquarters, developed a CSR policy that had to be implemented across Europe in 28 National and Sales Companies and 8 plants. The challenge was to develop active involvement of affiliates – to make this policy live – while keeping a coherent strategy at European level.
To facilitate the communication and understanding of Toyota’s position on CSR, and to encourage active participation of affiliates in CSR strategy development, Toyota took several actions:
- Setting up a specific structure: Toyota Europe CSR network. The top management of each affiliated company nominated a “CSR Champion” (manager level with cross-divisional access) who received training on the Toyota CSR approach.
- Identifying existing CSR activities and evaluating CSR performance: CSR self-assessment tool. Toyota Motor Europe developed a tool allowing affiliates to evaluate their CSR performance against expectations and business risks in relation to 37 CSR issues, distributed in 6 stakeholder categories. This self-assessment tool is based on identification of gaps between performance and internal and external expectations. To monitor progress, the tool will be rolled out every two years.
- Encouraging good practice sharing and information exchange: CSR Toolbox. TME elaborated a web-based tool offering information on CSR and allowing interactive exchange of experiences.
- Supporting local CSR development: CSR network meeting (twice a year) and consultancy service from TME.
- Sharing best practices: A newsletter, published four times per year, allows Toyota Europe's affiliated companies to share best practices and case studies.
- In the selection of the CSR Champion, it was not always easy to identify the right person that had cross-divisional access and was ready to take on the function of CSR champion.
- A lack of consolidated Key Performance Indicators in certain CSR areas does not allow in-depth internal benchmarking.
- Direct involvement of affiliated companies and close collaboration on CSR development enhance the development of CSR activities at European level.
- Establishing a clear structure and quantitative measurement system right from the beginning ensured endorsement and committment from top management.
- Providing individual consulting services supports mainstreaming of the Toyota CSR approach and the understanding of the reality that each affiliate faces.