The annual Toyota Eco Youth (TEY) programme, one of the three key CSR pillars of UMW Toyota Motor targeted at the environment, came to a close today at the Everly Hotel Putrajaya. The programme, which enters its 13th edition this year, was officially closed by Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud, Director General of Education, Ministry of Education, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor Datuk Takashi Hibi and President of UMW Toyota Motor Datuk Ismet Suki were also present at the Closing Ceremony and Exhibition as a strong show of support.
In his welcome speech, Datuk Ismet Suki thanked the Ministry of Education for being the programme partner of the Toyota Eco Youth, which is in its 13 of implementation. The programme has since reached close to 200 schools nationwide, involving approximately 2,000 students and teachers. “The programme has even earned a reputation for being a sustainable eco-project,” says Datuk Ismet, revealing that many schools are still conducting the projects that were initiated many years ago. Examples include SMK Sri Muda, Penang and SMK (Agama) Maahad Hamidiah, Kajang, who participated in 2007, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The Toyota Eco Youth programme was first launched in 2001 as an environmental competition among schools. Starting off with 8 schools in the Klang Valley, the TEY programme this year is conducted in 15 schools nationwide. Initially meant as an internal school project where participating students had to find an environmental problem in the school and create solutions, the programme was extended to include the local community in 2011. Students not only had to engage the local community in their selected projects but also rope in relevant parties such as NGOs, local authorities or academicians.
To top it up, students also had to maintain a blog chronicling their activities, and prepare a good presentation at the Closing Ceremony in order to emerge winners. Extra points were given to students who went the extra mile to get publicity for their projects through the local media or online forums. “We’re pleased to see rising standards and creativity over the years,” said Datuk Ismet Suki. “From simpler projects such as used cooking oil disposal, recycling and energy-saving initiatives, we now see more advanced projects on waste to energy, river rehabilitation and the use of bacteria for garbage odour control.”
The ministry of Education commended UMW Toyota Motor for setting the educational groundwork in environmental protection more than a decade ago, acknowledging that the knowledge and skills shared are in line with the Ministry’s vision of creating a generation of world-ready youths, who will be able to contribute to nation-building and generate global impact.
Earlier this year, participating students and teachers were sent for a course on the Toyota 8-Step Problem-Solving Methodology (an approach where all UMW Toyota Motor’s employees practices it to identify and investigate issues or problems of concern to them), which can be implemented in any circumstances including environmental problems. “The proprietary problem-solving technique is one of the many strategies used by the leading car manufacturer around the world to drive innovation, including its most recent directive in hybrid vehicles as an effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and carbon emissions” explained by Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud, Director General of Education, Ministry of Education.
“May all our Toyota Eco Youths continue to be eco warriors now and forever, becoming our legacy of love on planet Earth,” Datuk Ismet Suki concluded. For more information, log on to www.toyotaecoyouth.com.my or view the blog at www.ecoyouthblog.toyota.com.my.
Text & images courtesy of UMW Toyota