What do carbon emission reduction and the LGBTQ+ community have in common? More than you think.
LGBTQ

What do carbon emission reduction and the LGBTQ+ community have in common? More than you think.

The Toyota Sequoia’s iForce MAX represents the latest in the brand’s portfolio of hybrid powertrains.

The Toyota Sequoia’s iForce MAX represents the latest in the brand’s portfolio of hybrid powertrains. Photo by David Zimmerman for LGBTQ Nation.

Most Americans rely on their cars, whether behind the wheel for a daily commute, running weekend errands, or hitting the pavement for the ultimate road trip. There are over 283 million registered vehicles in the U.S. — all the more reason to consider the auto industry’s environmental impact. Toyota’s “Beyond Zero” vision captures Toyota’s goal of achieving a carbon-neutral future, and it’s no surprise that queer consumers are in the driver’s seat.

With a staggering spending power of $1.4 trillion (and the fastest-growing minority segment in the U.S.), the LGBTQ+ community knows what it wants. And that includes an easy transition from internal combustion engines toward more environmentally conscious alternatives. A recent Nielsen survey indicates 62% of the queer community is more likely to buy a more sustainable product. 

Toyota’s ambitious approach, part of the company’s Environmental Challenge 2050, is realistic about consumers’ diverse needs and lifestyles. Its global goals go beyond working toward minimizing the negative environmental impacts of products, services, and operations with a proactive strategy that includes water stewardship and protecting biodiversity. The company has set mid-term goals, including 70% electrified new vehicle sales (excluding performance vehicles) by 2030. 

Toyota offers more zero- and low-emission vehicles combined than any other automaker.

However, to achieve that goal, consumers need options and inventory. Ranked the number-one brand owned by LGBTQ+ car purchasers and earning a perfect score on HRC’s 2023-24 Corporate Equality Index, Toyota has long seen the connection between social and environmental responsibility. The industry’s narrow focus on battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) has left many consumers in the dust, with too few options. Toyota has been at the forefront for over 25 years, leveraging its expertise to achieve a carbon-neutral future. 

Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager David Christ says, “We were one of the first automakers to come out with a BEV with the RAV4 EV in 1997. Then, we brought hybrid technology to the mainstream with the Prius. And then we broke new ground on the hydrogen fuel cell front with the Mirai. Regarding alternative electric powertrains, we have always tried to offer our customers a range of options to fit their needs. And that’s still true today.”

For Toyota and LGBTQ+ small businesses, the future is now

Sports Bra owner Jenny Nguyen stands before Toyota’s Bz4X all-electric powertrain.
Sports Bra owner Jenny Nguyen stands before Toyota’s Bz4X all-electric powertrain. Photo by David Zimmerman for LGBTQ Nation.

Toyota’s diversified portfolio approach offers customers several choices to reduce carbon emissions, including hybrid EVs, plug-in hybrid EVs, fuel cell EVs, and battery EVs. The wider selection gives customers more options to reduce carbon emissions while addressing their current needs.   

According to the experts at Toyota, given the current scarcity of resources, “the same amount of battery materials required to make a battery big enough to power a small BEV SUV could, instead, be used to make the batteries for six similar-sized plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or more than 90 similar-sized hybrid electric vehicles which can potentially provide 35 times more carbon emission reduction over their lifetime than the one BEV SUV.” 

Toyota EV and hybrid vehicles.
Toyota’s “Beyond Zero” vision captures Toyota’s approach to carbon reduction by offering consumers a
wide range of options. Photo provided by Toyota.

Toyota’s “Beyond Zero” vision captures Toyota’s approach to carbon reduction by offering consumers a wide range of options. 

Like every vehicle can make a difference, so can the people driving them. Jenny Nguyen, owner of The Sports Bra in Portland, Oregon, saw an opportunity to change the channel on the typical sports bar by creating a space that celebrates and amplifies women’s sports. The bar and restaurant also partner with women-owned businesses to create an ecosystem to support under-represented entrepreneurs.  

“People carry power.”

Jenny Nguyen, owner of The Sports Bra

“A person carries a lot of power,” Nguyen tells LGBTQ Nation. “With the technology out there, we can make more responsible decisions. If I could give anyone a little advice on impacting their community, it would just be those tiny changes. Because those tiny changes — they do add up.

“The reason I bought an electric car to begin with fully aligns with Toyota’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and move toward its Beyond Zero vision of a carbon-neutral future.”

LGBTQ Nation’s multi-year “On the Road” series showcases a range of LGBTQ+ stories, including Toyota’s innovative approach to reducing carbon emissions and its contributions toward a carbon-neutral future. 

This season’s first video features Jenny Nguyen. Stay tuned for new episodes.

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Originally Published Here.

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