Honda has announced new initiatives as part of its “Green Path” approach to reducing the total life-cycle environmental impact of its products and operations in North America, including a $210 million investment in a new, more environmentally responsible auto-body painting facility at its Marysville, Ohio auto plant.
The Marysville facility is the largest of Honda’s eight auto plants in North America.
Honda says in 2006 it was the first auto company to voluntarily and publicly announce carbon reduction targets for its products and operations globally. The automaker has pledged to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2000 levels.
In 2012 Honda became the world’s first “mobility company” to disclose estimates of all GHGs related to the firm, stating total Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions of 225.06 million tons CO2e for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2012.
The company’s new initiatives come as fellow carmaker Volkswagen is under fire for using software to cheat air emissions rules in the US.
Honda’s Green Path approach seeks to reduce or eliminate the use of substances of concern (SOCs) and scarce natural resources in the design of its vehicles, significantly reduce the CO2 intensity and water use of its manufacturing operations, continue to decrease CO2 emissions from the transportation of vehicles from its plants to dealers, and expand the involvement of US Honda and Acura dealers in its Green Dealer program.
New Green Path initiatives in North America include:
The Marysville Auto Plant will invest $210 million in a paint facility that will reduce the environmental impact of the auto-body painting process. When complete, the new paint shop will be one of the most advanced automobile painting facilities in the world.
Use of a higher efficiency paint-curing process, a new waterborne two component primer material and “dry-booth” paint over spray technology, will eliminate water used to capture paint particulates, which is one of the few remaining landfill waste streams in the manufacturing process. The new paint line will cut CO2 emissions in the painting process by 18 percent (12,000 metric tons annually) and reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) by 66 percent.
Honda has installed a 1-megawatt rooftop solar array at its 400,000 square foot parts distribution center in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. When operational, the array of nearly 5,000 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels, generating 1.4 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, is anticipated to meet more than half of the site’s total electricity needs and offset an estimated 576 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
The project is an early result of an ongoing companywide evaluation aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy to meet its power needs. Another example of this effort is Honda’s Russells Point, Ohio, transmission plant, which is the first auto plant in America to utilize on-site wind power for a substantial portion of its energy use.
The most recent data shows that the turbines are not only consistently reaching their targets, but in nine of the 12 months have outperformed projections. In the last calendar year, the turbines out-produced initial estimates by more than 60 percent, while generating more than 10,000 MWh of power.
After a successful rollout in 2012 of the Honda and Acura Environmental Leadership Green Dealer Program to more than 1,300 Honda and Acura automobile dealers in the US, the program is now being expanded to include Honda’s extensive network of powersports and power equipment dealers throughout the US. The program rewards dealers who measurably reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
Honda has also issued a Green Dealer guide that provides a roadmap for dealers and other businesses interested in going green to quantifiably reduce their energy and water consumption while cutting operating costs. Honda’s Green Dealer guide is viewable and available for download at greendealer.honda.com.