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Honda NA Environmental Report: Cuts Waste to Landfill 65%

Honda has cut its waste to landfill in manufacturing by 87 percent from the FY2001 baseline and 65 percent from the previous fiscal year, according to the company’s 2010 North American Environmental report. Eight North American plants achieved zero waste to landfill, as the automaker moved closer to its goal of meeting zero waste to landfill for all 14 of its North American plants by April 1, 2011.

Honda eliminated 4,500 wood pallets, reduced wood waste sent to landfills by 6.5 million pounds, and eliminated 513,800 pounds of corrugated material.

The report looks at the environmental performance of the company’s automobile, powersports, and power equipment products, at its 14 major manufacturing plants and 15 Honda group companies in North America in FY2010.

Here are the environmental highlights:

American Honda’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) for model year 2009 (MY2009) rose 1 mpg to 31.3 mpg, a 3.3 percent increase from MY2008 and a 7.2 percent rise from MY2005, outpacing the company’s voluntary goal (set in May 2006) to achieve a 5 percent increase over MY2005 CAFE levels by MY2010.

Honda also reduced its total energy used in manufacturing by 8 percent from the previous fiscal year, which the company attributes to lower production volume and energy-saving initiatives, while energy use per automobile produced rose 2.4 percent, also due to lower production volumes. However, total energy consumed in all production activity rose 7.9 percent from FY2001 baseline.

CO2 emissions from electricity and natural gas consumed at Honda’s North American manufacturing operations totaled 0.90 million metric tons in FY2010, a decrease of 12.0 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Honda also cut its total water used for manufacturing in FY2010 by12.2 percent, or 128 million gallons, from the previous fiscal year, to 925 million gallons. Average water use per unit of automobile production was reduced 2.5 percent, or 20 gallons, to 780 gallons.

Average CO2 emissions per automobile produced rose only 1 percent despite an 8 percent decrease in the volume of automobile production. (CO2 emissions are from the consumption of electricity and natural gas, representing about 96 percent of total direct CO2 emissions from Honda’s North American manufacturing operations.)

CO2 emissions intensity of powersports product production rose 64.8 percent from the previous fiscal year, as Honda completed the phase-out of motorcycle production in the U.S., which negatively impacted per-unit energy efficiency, according to the report.

The CO2 emissions intensity of power equipment production fell 12.9 percent from the previous fiscal year.

The automaker also implemented “intelligent” paint booth technology on all automobile paint lines in North America, reducing energy used in auto body painting by as much as 25 percents. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from auto body painting also were reduced 9.8 percent from FY2008 levels to 13.8 grams/m2, exceeding Honda’s target of 20 grams/m2.

Honda also has retained its “Greenest Automaker” title for the fifth consecutive year in the latest automaker rankings from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), edging out Toyota and Hyundai, which tied for second place.

Honda’s two new on-site parts consolidation centers — at the Marysville, Ohio, auto plant and Timmonsville, SC, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) plant — are estimated to reduce CO2 emissions from supplier parts shipments by nearly 1,300 metric tons annually.

Honda’s North American Purchasing Division launched a Supply Chain Sustainability Initiative to reduce CO2 emissions from the supply chain. A new port facility in Richmond, Calif., Honda’s third west coast port facility, is expected to reduce truck travel by 2.7 million miles annually, cutting CO2 emissions from product distribution by an estimated 4,500 metric tons.

To reduce energy consumption from administrative functions, Honda replaced single-purpose printer, copier and fax machines with more energy-efficient multifunction printers, and implemented automatic shutdown and/or hibernation of PCs and PC monitors when not in use, eliminated 140 physical computer servers in the U.S., and introduced energy-use-awareness activities at Honda Canada’s sales headquarters.

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