Sustainability at Toro Ag

Our Commitment

At The Toro Company (TTC), sustainability is deeply rooted in our purpose of enriching the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land. It is the foundation of our strategic priorities and affects every facet of our business. Our innovative lineup of products and solutions helps customers meet the demands of their jobs, while providing the power, productivity, and precision they expect.

In 1914, TTC was founded in Minnesota, USA, focusing on providing engines for the Bull Tractor Company. After resounding success, TTC expanded into include turf and landscape maintenance equipment. By the mid-20th century, TTC ventured into turf irrigation for golf courses and green spaces. After finding success in the turf irrigation industry and as water conservation became a growing concern to our stakeholders inside and outside of the company, TTC made the strategic acquisition of James Hardie Irrigation in 1996 to expand our role in sustainable irrigation to the world of agriculture.

Now known as Toro Ag (a division of TTC), we are recognized as an industry leader in sustainable and efficient irrigation as well as water and fertilizer management. Our comprehensive solutions to water stress have gained recognition internationally, and we continue to provide a broad network of farmers with the resources to meet the growing demands in production while improving the efficiency of their systems. To this day, Toro Ag exemplifies TTC’s commitment by providing our growers with solutions that increase agricultural systems’ productivity and long-term viability. 

Sustainability plays a vital role in determining and executing our strategic priorities. We are deeply committed to our purpose of helping our customers enhance the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land. Sustainability is at the core of our innovation and is embedded in our culture of investing in our people, serving our customers, and giving back to local communities. Our persistent dedication to quality, innovation, and relationships is key to our leading market success. We are devoted to developing new solutions and improving the performance, efficiency, and sustainability of our existing product portfolio.

Toro Ag Initiatives

Manufacturing with Post-Ag Resin (PAR)

Drip tape lives in the soil for months at a time and is at the constant mercy of all adverse weather conditions. While Toro tape efficiently irrigates your field without clogging, it is also getting dirty. Therefore, when the tape is collected from the field, dirt, and soil residuals can make up nearly 20-40% of the used tape’s total weight. To recycle and reuse the drip tape material, about 99% of these dirt and soil particles need to be cleaned off the product or the contaminants can cause defects to the new product.

Toro Ag is committed to the integrity of our products, but we also feel responsible for ensuring our tape products are responsibly managed at the end of their life. To accomplish this goal, in partnership with several different drip tape recycling facilities across the United States, we at Toro Ag are exhaustively working to clean and recycle drip tape to put the material (known as PAR) back into new Toro Ag products. We saw resounding success in fiscal year 2023 and used around ~1 million pounds of PAR material across our three manufacturing facilities. In fiscal year 2024, we aim to double our use of PAR. We aim to accomplish this goal through innovative recycling partners working to create the cleanest and highest quality material coupled with cutting-edge engineering processes to get the material back into production at the highest possible concentration.

Drip Tape Collection Options

Reusing the material is only one part of the complicated drip tape recycling equation, so beyond just putting the material back into a new product, we look forward to extending our product stewardship to offering collection options for the material once it is pulled from the field. In partnership with six different collection companies on the West Coast, you may be able to divert your drip tape from the landfill and provide the material with a second life. We can certify that your drip tape material was diverted from conventional waste streams for all those eligible.

Dirty drip tape from field

While we work to enhance our closed-loop drip tape program, your material can still support Toro Ag and other industries looking to reduce their environmental footprint by using recycled plastic instead of crude oil-derived virgin plastic. If you have any questions about our pilot collection program and live on the West Coast of the United States, please get in touch with your local Toro Ag Sales Manager or email the Recycling Team at RecyclingAg@toro.com.

Closed Loop Production

Toro Ag manufactures tape and hose products in El Paso, TX; El Cajon, CA; and Sanford, FL. In all manufacturing facilities, scrap material is inevitable for various reasons. However, we are committed to using the materials that come through our doors in one way or another, so at all three of our facilities, we have high-tech shredding and re-pelletizing machines to turn our production scrap into a reusable pellet. We estimate that through our internal scrap recycling efforts, we divert around 90% of scrap material from the landfill and put it back into new drip tape, dripline, and hose products. Further, most of the material that is too wet, dirty, or damaged to be internally recycled is sent to an external recycler in partnership with our waste management provider. Only a fraction of our production scrap is sent to a landfill. Our lean management team continuously iterates on manufacturing design and factory operations to further minimize the scrap material at all facilities, aiming to achieve an even more significant reduction in scrap. 

           

Waste Diversion and Composting 

No matter how big, small, efficient, or messy you are, waste is an inevitability in life. At Toro Ag, we are no exception. As a large company with hundreds of employees in the Toro Ag division alone, we produce loads of weekly waste across our facilities. Therefore, at our manufacturing facility and office in El Cajon, CA, we have implemented a comprehensive mixed recycling and organic composting program to reduce our overall waste creation and make a positive environmental impact. In cooperation with our waste management provider, we have increased our recycling rate by ~43% since the end of fiscal year 2023. As the new fiscal year progresses, we are actively working to expand these programs to our manufacturing facilities and distribution centers all over the United States. By the end of fiscal year 2024 we plan to have recycling and composting programs in place everywhere at Toro Ag, while we work to achieve a >75% waste diversion rate across Toro Ag facilities.

Recycling graphic

United Nations Sustainability Development Goals

In accordance with Toro Ag’s parent company, The Toro Company, we have a shared commitment to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). TTC has reviewed the UN SDGs and identified six categories where TTC is positioned to make a significant contribution. See for the six UN SDGs, with a summary of some of our corporate programs and impacts to date.

  • Innovative irrigation products increase efficiency and sustainable water use.
  • Operations promote water recycling.
  • Land. Water. Thrive. in collaboration with iDE and Opportunity International, educates smallholder farmers on water management best practices.
  • Outreach on water management issues, strategies and challenges.
  • Employment that includes generous pay, benefits, training, and ongoing education.
  • Land. Water. Thrive. supports small farmers with income-generating opportunities and technologies to boost economic growth.
  • Operational improvements increase efficiency and decrease environmental degradation.
  • Focus on building and maintaining a diverse, equitable, inclusive culture.
  • Innovative production processes improve efficiency and decrease emissions.
  • Construction products improve resource and infrastructure sustainability.
  • Our Center for Technology, Research & Innovation (CTRI) conducts scientific research and development focused on global solutions.
  • Dedicated to providing the products and tools required to develop and manage safe, inclusive and accessible green public spaces.
  • Employee volunteerism focused on greenspace re-building and beautification that increases equitable access to public green spaces.
  • Operational focus on lean management to improve efficiency, waste reduction and recycling and circular economy practices.
  • Annual reporting of sustainability information, KPIs, and metrics in this report.
  • Focus on developing a supply chain approach that includes sustainable sourcing protocols.
  • Annual reporting of climate related actions, goals, commitments and metrics including greenhouse gas emissions to help educate and raise awareness on opportunities and risks in and out of our industry.
  • Developing internal processes that address climate-related risks, increase resilience and build adaptive capacity.
  • Environmental, Social and Governance Metrics at TTC

    Environmental Data from TTC

    While Toro Ag does not report individually on its greenhouse-gas emissions and water consumption, our parent company reports on these metrics for the entire enterprise, including Toro Ag, in accordance with legislation and industry standards. Although these reports are not specific to Toro Ag, we take responsibility for helping the enterprise meet their ambitious Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals and KPIs.

    The Toro Company aims to reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by at least 15% compared to fiscal year 2019 by 2025. From 2019 to 2022, we reduced our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 6.3%. Scope 1 and 2 emissions are those emissions that are Toro assets and the energy used to operate those assets; for example, the El Cajon office is under Scope 1, while the energy purchased to operate falls under Scope 2. 

    Additionally, while there is no material goal, TTC is acutely aware of our water consumption, and we have actively decreased our company’s water intensity by 8.5% between 2019 and 2022. We recognize the opportunity to support water-reduction efforts on a massive scale through our processes and product solutions.

    Environmental, Health and Safety at TTC

    At Toro Ag and our parent company TTC, ensuring our global workforce and contractors return home safely each day is a top priority, and we strive for zero incidents in the workplace. We embed safety, health, and wellness in our day-to-day work streams through dedicated teams, engagement activities, trainings, and programs as we continually enhance our standards and work to eliminate incidents. Our dedicated health and safety teams and leaders implement our annual training, standards development, and performance monitoring. This allows us to continually improve our health and safety culture and identify areas for opportunity to strengthen our commitment to a safe workplace. 

    Site EHS leaders manage EHS programs at each facility and establish EHS operation protocols. They ensure that manufacturing and warehousing employees adhere to our EHS policy and are ultimately responsible for EHS matters in their respective facilities. In fiscal year 2022 our Total Lost Working Days Rate (LWDR) at all TTC facilities (beyond just Toro Ag) was 0.56, down 0.36 points from fiscal year 2021. LWDR is the number of lost workdays for all recordable lost workday cases. For TTC, rates are calculated as (statistic count x 200,000)/hours worked and include all full-time plus contract employees. Also, in fiscal year 2022 our Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) at all TTC facilities (beyond just Toro Ag) was 1.78 down 0.38 points from fiscal year 2021. TRIR is the total number of OSHA recordable incidents and for TTC rates are calculated as (statistic count x 200,000)/hours worked and include all full-time plus contract employees.

    Community Giving and Involvement

    Core to our Toro Ag and TTC values is our commitment to our people, and we believe in the importance of contributing to and engaging with the communities where our employees live and work. Through employee volunteerism and donations, corporate giving and in-kind donations, we enhance and beautify outdoor spaces while also supporting the shared values of our partner communities and organizations. In 2022, TTC employees logged 7,710 hours (about 10 and a half months) of volunteering and raised more than $1 million through employee pledge donations and TTC Foundation matching contributions to sustain our “Million Dollar Partner” status with United Way. TTC’s Land Water Thrive initiative cultivates, conserves, and restores global outdoor environments to improve the lives of local community members. Through this initiative and in partnership with iDE and Opportunity International, TTC offers an immersive experience that pairs TTC employees with farmers in developing countries to improve land productivity and agricultural water practices through the use of TTC products and creative problem-solving to drive long-term change. Recently, nine TTC employees from around the world, in partnership with iDE, brought their skills and expertise to Zambia for one week to address water challenges faced by local smallholder farmers. The group worked with farmers and local schools to educate students and farmers on the benefits of drip irrigation equipment to help the farmers increase their yields. TTC conducted product demonstrations and engaged with people in the community to understand their challenges as part of a human-centered design process. The employees helped farmers obtain life-changing technology to address water challenges.

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Respect and trust are enduring values of Toro Ag and our parent company TTC, and we respect the unique backgrounds and perspectives we all bring to work. We believe that a diverse workforce, an employee experience that values inclusion and robust and equitable people practices and offerings, is integral to our continued success. We are demonstrating our commitment through pursuit of our goals in this area to increase representation of women and racial and ethnic minorities in leadership positions by 20% by 2025, as compared to our 2021 baseline. We are actively working to align resources and build infrastructure to make meaningful progress as we work to deliver on our DEI commitments, including our goals to increase diversity in leadership positions. We invest in the diversity of our workforce in numerous other ways, including generational diversity, geographic/national diversity, military/veteran status, and more.

    Supporting Veterans

    Veterans are a valued and recognized identity within our company. Though our daily actions celebrate these employees, our sites host special featured events throughout the year.

    Beyond recognized celebration days, we prioritize ongoing efforts to support our veterans. We leverage our recruitment efforts and relationships with veteran organizations across the country to engage more veterans in our talent pipeline. We also seek to bring active troops into our workforce through programs in our divisions.

    More Information

    Click here for TTC’s 2022 Sustainability Report

    Click here for TTC’s Code of Conduct

    Click here for TTC’s Governance Structure 

    Click here for TTC’s Cybersecurity and Data Policy 

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