Social Innovation: Toyota Sponsors the Environmental Media Association Awards

Toyota and Lexus celebrated the entertainment industry’s social innovation environmental efforts by sponsoring the  Environmental Media Association’s (EMA) Awards , which is now in its 22nd year. This annual event honours film and television productions that communicate environmental messages in creative and influential ways. 2012 marks Lexus and Toyota’s 11th year as the presenting sponsors. Bob Carter, senior Vice President, Automotive Operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., says, “More than a decade ago, Hollywood made driving a hybrid stylish and cool.  By embracing hybrid technology, the Hollywood community helped Toyota and Lexus reach significant volumes and create a positive impact. We thank you for continuing to convey environmental messages and actions in creative and influential ways.”

Sustainability is at the heart of Toyota’s vision for the future. The company is committed to designing advanced social innovation technology vehicles with a low carbon footprint and producing vehicles with as little impact to the environment as possible. EMA is a pioneer in linking the power of celebrity to environmental awareness, which is why sponsoring events like the EMA is important to Toyota. EMA invented the ‘green carpet,’ launching the concept of celebrities’ taking a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle to events, not a limo.

A good example of Toyota’s green commitment goes back to the Galápagos Islands’ oil spill in January 2000 which resulted in approximately 240,000 gallons of oil and bunker fuel being dumped into the ocean near San Cristóbal. The World Wildlife Fund® asked Toyota to help evaluate the overall impact of fossil fuels on the islands, such as the risks of using and transporting them, as well as ways to avoid future oil spills. This marked the beginning of a unique social innovation partnership. Within seven months, that partnership produced the Galápagos Energy Blueprint, aimed at transforming the islands’ energy systems from traditional fossil fuel-based systems to a system based on sustainable energy sources and clean technologies.

Back to EMA: it’s a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to harnessing the power of the entertainment industry and the media to educate the global public on environmental issues and motivate sustainable lifestyles. This year’s lineup of honourees included environmentalist and activist Kelly Meyer, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, actress Jessica Alba; and actor Ian Somerhalder.  The nominees include films such as Big Miracle, Disneynature Chimpanzee and 21 Jump Street, and TV programs such as Harry’s Law, Happy Endings, Rizzoli & Isles, Real Time with Bill Maher and Dallas. EMA believes by linking the power of celebrity to environmental awareness through social innovation mediums like television, film and music, the entertainment community can create change in a positive way.

EMA’s work ranges from subtle messaging on the screen to promoting sustainable lifestyle choices and educating influential people on the power of “green.” Its overarching goal is inspiring the path to a healthier planet. Toyota wants the world to be green and is working toward a future where a wide range of social innovation vehicles and fuel technologies converge to create an economically vibrant, mobile society in harmony with the environment.

Photo Credit: greenpacks.org

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