A host of new activities at Honda of America during the past year are contributing to a reduction in the company’s CO2 emissions, elimination of waste to local landfills, the conservation of natural resources and promotion of land stewardship, as documented in Honda’s recently released 2010 North American Environmental Report.
“Honda associates throughout our Ohio operations are continuing to find new ways to reduce the amount of energy needed to manufacture our products and run our operations,” said Karen Heyob, leader of Honda’s “Green Factory” activities in North America. “These efforts are helping us preserve the environment while building products that provide society with mobility.”
Honda is continuing to reduce the environmental impact of its operations in Ohio. This includes the startup of an on-site parts consolidation center at the Marysville Auto Plant earlier this year that has significantly reduced supplier parts shipments, resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions by an estimated 1,200 metric tons annually. Other major energy-saving projects include the replacement of central steam at the Marysville plant with more efficient systems; improving use of compressed air and replacing it with efficient blowers where possible, and expanding real-time power metering at the East Liberty Auto Plant to identify where equipment can be turned off when not needed.
Honda’s two Ohio auto plants this year earned Energy Star awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the fourth year in a row. The EPA bases the award on the amount of energy needed to produce an automobile, taking into account factors such as vehicle size and production volume.
Eliminating Solid Waste To Local Landfills
The recycling and reuse of materials entered a new phase at Honda’s four Ohio plants, as they close in on the goal to eliminate nearly all waste sent to local landfills. The two auto plants and engine and transmission plants already have found ways to eliminate nearly all solid waste from their manufacturing processes.
Once totaling more than 500 metric tons each year, waste from cafeterias has become one of the final frontiers for waste reduction at Honda facilities. The use of washable dishware, along with separating waste for composting, recycling and energy recovery, will eliminate all waste from cafeterias going into local landfills by early 2011.
“With a view that solid waste generated from its factories represents inefficient use of raw materials, Honda strives to go beyond energy recovery and recycling,” Heyob said. “This approach is driving us to continue increasing the reuse of materials, and to ultimately produce no waste from our manufacturing processes.”
Rather than using it beneficially as landfill cover, Honda’s engine plant in Anna, Ohio, as well as its engine plants in Alabama and Canada, found ways to reuse all sand left over from aluminum and ferrous casting operations. In the fiscal year ended March 2010, Honda sent 9,300 tons of sand for use as mulch and topsoil in gardens, and as an ingredient for concrete.
For years, Honda has recycled steel scrap from its auto stamping operations at the Anna Engine Plant and at steel recycling facilities. To minimize the generation of steel scrap, the Marysville plant has started a new initiative to reduce the size of the steel sheets to form the body parts. This reduces the environmental impact of recycling scrap steel and moves the stamping process closer to zero waste. The project is so successful that Honda is implementing it throughout North America and other plants around the world.
Conserving Natural Resources
Honda also has implemented projects at its Ohio facilities to conserve use of groundwater and other natural resources. Rainwater reclamation at our Marysville Auto Plant reduces groundwater usage by approximately 40 million gallons per year.
This goes hand-in-hand with our partnership with The Nature Conservancy to protect the nearby Big Darby Creek, a unique watercourse with headwaters flowing from Honda property. Honda is supporting conservancy efforts to restore the Big Darby’s natural flow, and has installed wetlands and other controls on its property to help manage silt flowing into the creek.
In addition, Honda manages thousands of acres of wetlands, forests and farmland to provide a rich habitat for diverse native plants and animals.
About Honda Manufacturing in Ohio
Since starting auto production in 1982, Honda’s two Ohio auto plants have manufactured more than 14 million vehicles. Honda’s largest auto engine plant in the world in Anna, Ohio manufactures four-cylinder and V-6 engines for automobile production in Ohio, Indiana and Canada. Honda also operates a large plant in Russells Point, Ohio for the production of automatic transmissions and four-wheel drive systems.
In addition to manufacturing, Honda has established substantial R&D and engineering operations in Ohio, along with a large regional parts distribution center and other operations that support product development, manufacturing and sales in North America. Among all its operations, Honda directly employs 13,500 Ohioans and tens of thousands more through its suppliers and other business partners.