Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) today inaugurated a solar installation on the wall of its facility in Valenciennes, France which produces the Yaris (Vitz) for Europe.

"This innovative technology will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by the plant," the automaker said in a statement. TMMF is one of five plants designated by Toyota worldwide to develop pioneering initiatives towards sustainable manufacturing.

At 12m high by 33m long, spanning an area of ??400m2, the solar wall is incorporated into the south wall of the press shop. When sunlight strikes the wall, the panels absorb heat, allowing warm air to heat the building’s interior.

The solar wall will raise the temperature of the air entering the building by up to 9°C during the coldest months of the year. TMMF estimates that the installation will result in annual energy savings of up to 25% over conventional heating methods with CO2 emissions reduced by about 20 tonnes a year.

This is also SolarWall Europe's first installation on an industrial site in France.

TMMF installed a photovoltaic membrane on the roof of its logistics building in 2008. Other initiatives include a system for wastewater recycling, preservation of biodiversity within the site, and environmental education activities for children in nearby communities.