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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.

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