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transaidSLOUGH, UK: Toyota Material Handling Europe has been awarded a "gold level" for its sustainability performance by EcoVadis, a benchmarking platform that monitors the sustainability profile of suppliers across 150 sectors and 95 countries.

EcoVadis ranked Toyota in a material handling sector relating to the environment, labour and fair business practices, and suppliers.

Tom Schalenbourg, director of sustainable development for the company said, "The EcoVadis gold level ranking reflects the commitment of Toyota sustainable development and its ambition to contribute to societies and the environment it operates in. This external seal of approval ... shows our customers that we are taking the issue as seriously as they are."

Toyota published its first Environmental Action Plan in 1993 followed by its first Environmental Report in 1994.

Meanwhile the company's UK subsidiary has donated a second forklift truck to the charity Transaid to support their Professional Driver Training Project (PDTP) in Africa.

Transaid is an international development charity founded in 1998 by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport. The NGO identifies, implements and shares local transport solutions to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity.

Toyota donated its first forklift truck in 2009 as part of a joint venture with Norbert Dentressangle Logistics who provided personnel for on-site training in Zambia.

Neil Rettie, project manager for Road Safety at Transaid commented: "I was part of the original team implementing PDTP in Zambia and will be implementing the [new] forklift training in Tanzania. I know the great impact this donation of a truck will have. When I visited Industrial Training Centre (ITC) back in August I found the forklift in full use. One company wanted as many as 50 operators trained. The value of the donated forklift truck is huge and is having a massive impact on safe loading and transportation of goods in Zambia.

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