Honda’s four Ohio manufacturing plants are making substantial advancements in their environmental performance as a result of the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce waste to landfills, decrease electricity and natural gas consumption, and minimize the use of groundwater and other precious natural resources.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has released the 2009 North American Environmental Report, its fifth annual report on the company’s environmental performance in the North American region. The report covers the company’s operations during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 (FY2009) and covers a broad spectrum of activities as it details the company’s initiatives to minimize its environmental impact in every stage of the product life cycle – from product development to end-of-life disposal, with a particular emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions that contribute to global warming.
As part of Honda’s North American and global direction, Honda’s four plants in Ohio – the Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant, Anna Engine Plant, and Honda Transmission Mfg.’s automobile transmission plant in Russells Point – are continuing their efforts to minimize energy use. Over the past two fiscal years ending March 31, 2009, these plants have implemented ways to cut electricity use by 62.5 million kilowatt-hours per year – enough electricity to supply more than 5,500 typical households. In addition, the plants have reduced natural gas consumption by more than 417 million cubic feet per year.
“Honda plants throughout North America are reducing energy use through a wide range of activities, including installation of highly efficient lighting, chiller systems, motors, metering, heating, compressed air and air conditioning,” said Honda of America Mfg. associate Karen Heyob, who coordinates Honda’s “Green Factory” efforts in North America.
“Associates at the East Liberty Auto Plant, for example, monitor electricity use in real time and turn off equipment when not needed,” said Heyob. “Many people are involved every day in our energy reduction efforts.”
As a result of their energy management efforts, Honda’s two Ohio auto plants received Energy Star recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the 2008 calendar year. The EPA bases the award on the amount of energy used to produce an automobile, adjusted for factors such as vehicle size and production volume.
Honda’s plants in Ohio and throughout North America also are making substantial progress at reducing, and in some instances completely eliminating, the disposal of waste into landfills. In the past two years, the four Ohio plants reduced non-mineral landfill waste disposal by 34 percent – a reduction of more than 3 million pounds from the previous fiscal year. Extensive recycling activities, including the use of a dedicated building for handling recycled materials at the Russells Point transmission plant, involve associate at all levels of the organization in efforts to reduce waste.
One activity at the East Liberty Auto Plant involves the use of a spinning operation to remove oil and solvents from rags and other absorbent materials. This process allows reuse of both the solvents and more than 27,000 pounds of used rags annually, which are recycled into plastic products, rather than handled as waste to landfills.
In another example of conserving natural resources and reducing waste, the Anna Engine Plant in FY2009 recycled nearly 8 million pounds of sand from its casting operations for use in soil amendment and mulch products. The Anna plant also sends molding sands to a cement kiln for use as a core ingredient in cement.
The plants also have made significant progress at reducing use of water – by more than 42 million gallons per year due to water conservation activities over the previous two fiscal years. In addition, the construction of a seven-acre pond system to capture rainwater at the Marysville Auto Plant has allowed Honda to eliminate the use of more than 95 million gallons of groundwater over the past two fiscal years.
To conserve water, the Marysville Auto Plant has installed a system allowing wastewater generated from reverse osmosis systems to be recycled into the body painting pre-treatment process. “This saves about 6.5 million gallons of water per year for automotive painting operations,” Heyob said, adding that treated industrial wastewater rather than fresh water at the East Liberty Auto Plant is recycled for use in toilets and other operations.
For its North American operations in FY2009, Honda experienced an increase in CO2 emissions, energy consumption and water use per product produced, due in large measure to the global economic downturn, which led to reduced capacity utilization and production efficiency.
About Honda Manufacturing in Ohio
Over the past 30 years, Honda plants in Ohio have produced more than 13 million automobiles1, 17 million engines, 1 million motorcycles, 2 million all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and nearly 13 million automatic transmissions. Today, the Marysville Auto Plant, Honda’s first automobile plant in North America, manufactures the Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe, along with the Acura TL performance-luxury sedan and Acura RDX crossover vehicle. The East Liberty Auto Plant manufacturers the Honda CR-V and Honda Element sport-utility vehicles and will soon begin producing the Accord Crosstour, an all-new Honda crossover vehicle launching later this year.
To view or download Honda’s 2009 North American Environmental Report, go to http://corporate.honda.com/environment/2009-report/ or journalists can go to Honda’s online media newsroom at http://www.hondanews.com/
1Honda and Acura automobiles are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts