Toyota says one of the keys to reducing energy consumption is to make its employees work as close together as possible.

In an effort to cut back on its energy consumption, Toyota constructed its assembly facility in Tupelo, MS in such a way that its aisles are narrower, its assembly lines are significantly shorter and its work stations are positioned in close proximity. Toyota says ideas such as this smaller-scale assembly site have helped the automaker reduce its overall energy consumption in North America by 14 percent since 2002, despite opening more facilities.

The Tupelo factory, which will manufacture the Toyota Corolla, consumes less power for heating and cooling needs because, Toyota says, the plant is one-fourth smaller than your typical automotive facility. By downsizing, less electricity is needed to move conveyors inside the facility and that the various on-site vehicles rack up less miles than they would otherwise. Looks like downsizing is no longer a word reserved for engines and "excess" workers.

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