Honda NA Sustainability Report: CO2 Intensity Down 4.5%
CO2 emissions intensity from Honda’s automobile production in North America in financial year 2012, at 695 kg/unit, was down 2.0 percent versus the FY 2001 baseline and reduced 4.5 percent compared to FY 2011 levels, according to the company’s 2012 North American Environmental Report.
The company says the reduction in intensity comes primarily as a result of less carbon-intensive electricity supplies.
Honda reduced its overall CO2 emissions from production activity in North America by 10 percent year-on-year, from 0.98 million metric tons of CO2 in FY 2011 to 0.88 million metric tons in FY 2012, according to the report.
The energy intensity of Honda’s North American automobile production – from electricity and natural gas consumption, representing about 96 percent of total energy use – was down 4.4 percent from the FY 2001 baseline but was up 2.7 percent versus the previous fiscal year. Reduced production levels from the Japan earthquake and flooding in Thailand continued to affect the energy efficiency of operations in FY 2012, the report says, in part because the natural disasters caused severe damage to many plants supplying Honda with parts.
Production levels also remained below levels prior to the economic crisis of late 2008 and 2009. But much of the loss of efficiency from ongoing reduced production volumes was offset by Honda’s efforts to ensure it shut down equipment when plants were not operational, the report says.
Honda has progressed towards goals set last year for a 30 percent emissions reduction, by 2020 against 2000 levels, for the in-use stage of its motorcycles and power equipment. In FY 2012 emissions were 24.1 percent below the baseline for motorcycles and 13.5 percent below for power equipment. But for automobiles, which have the same goal, Honda has so far found only a 9.5 percent reduction, up from 12.4 percent the previous year.
This was due in part to increased sales of larger SUVs in North America, and reduced global sales of smaller vehicles as a result of the Japan earthquake and Thai flooding.
But the CO2-adjusted fleet-average fuel economy of Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the US in model year 2011 rose 0.8 mpg, or 3.2 percent, to 25.7 mpg, versus the previous model year. This compares to an increase of 0.2 mpg, or 0.4 percent, to 22.8 mpg for the total US light-duty vehicle fleet during the same period, the report says.
Honda reduced its waste sent to landfills from manufacturing operations by 96.5 percent from the FY 2001 baseline and 57 percent from year-ago results to a total of just 1,000 metric tons. Landfill waste per unit of automobile production fell 96.8 percent from FY 2001 baseline levels and 48 percent from the previous year’s results to just 0.8 kilograms per automobile.
Honda set a target in FY 2009 to achieve virtually zero waste-to-landfill — defined as less than 1 percent of all operating waste, including mineral waste, sent to landfills — at all 14 of its North American manufacturing facilities by April 1, 2011. The target was achieved in FY 2011, with 10 of 14 plants achieving absolute zero waste to landfill and total waste to landfill for all 14 plants being reduced to less than 0.5 percent of all manufacturing waste. Honda says it will continue to eliminate remaining waste to landfill where feasible.
Environmental Leader will reveal more details of how Honda achieved its waste reduction goals in the next issue of EL Insights, to be published next week.
Honda’s water intensity in North American facilities increased 21.4 percent over FY 2001 levels and 3.7 percent over FY 2011 levels. Honda’s total water use increased 37.8 percent over FY 2001 levels, but was down 2.7 percent over 2011 levels. The company blames the jump in water intensity on much-reduced production levels.
For Environmental Leader’s coverage of last year’s report, click here.
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