Episode 123 - Innovating with the Planet in Mind

Replenishing the environment for future generations through the power of collaboration. This is the belief that drives sustainability practices at Toyota Motor North America.

From recycling water to improving biodiversity, Toyota is balancing a passion for performance with a love for the planet. Leading this charge is 30-year company veteran in sustainability practices, Kevin Butt, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability.

With full responsibility for Toyota Motor’s North American Environmental Action Plan, Kevin is passionate about educating team members and sharing the company’s environmental know-how with suppliers, partners, communities, and even competitors. As evidence of the company’s superior commitment to sustainability, Toyota’s North American manufacturing facilities totaled 713.8 million pounds of waste in 2020—and they recycled, reused or composted 93.2% of it.

We sat down with Kevin to discuss environmental strategy, including the importance of water conservation and its impact on food supply. It’s an inspiring conversation that shows why Kevin gets up every day feeling good about what he does.

Meet Our Guest

Senior Director, Environmental Sustainability, Sustainability & Regulatory Affairs,
Toyota Motor North America

Kevin Butt is the Regional Environmental Sustainability director of Toyota’s North American Environmental Sustainability Programs.  He is responsible for the development of Environmental Sustainability Programs and Regulatory/Legislative development for all of Toyota’s North American operations.

Prior to Butt’s current assignment, he was the general manager/chief environmental and safety officer for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing for all of Toyota’s Manufacturing operations. Prior to that assignment, Butt served as the assistant general manager of Body Production Engineering for Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., (TMMNA).  He was responsible for Body Engineering for all Toyota’s North American manufacturing operations.  Body Engineering consists of Welding, Stamping, and Painting Operations.

Butt serves on several boards including the National Wildlife Habitat Council, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund National Council, North American Great Plains Advisory Board and the Yellowstone Park Foundation Board.

He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science from Georgetown College.

Our Host


Innovation Strategist & Co-Founder, Brulte & Company

Grayson Brulte is an autonomous mobility advisor and consultant who provides strategic counsel and political insights to help clients navigate what’s next.

As an SAE strategic partner since 2017, Grayson brings his in-depth industry knowledge to host SAE Tomorrow Today. His unique perspective factors in economics, politics and technology into one-of-kind weekly conversations with innovators changing mobility and its impact on society.

Grayson is a thought-leader who regularly provides insights to publications including Bloomberg, Reuters, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Forbes. His written opinions and insights have been featured by organizations including the Consumer Technology Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

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