Measuring Honda’s Environmental Impact
Honda takes great care to consider the environmental impact of everything we do, and everything we make. As the largest manufacturer of engines in the world, we strive to ensure those engines – as well as the products powered by them – are clean and fuel efficient with the least possible emissions. This commitment drove Honda to be one of the first companies to declare its own Environmental Statement in 1992. In 2011, we went one step further with our commitment to the planet when we issued our Environmental and Safety Vision.
Since 2005, we have reported our environmental performance data as well as our future plans in the North American Environmental Report (NAER). The 12th annual report, released in October 2016, can be downloaded or read here. The NAER shares our environmental processes along with the data that shows how our efforts are impacting the planet.
On this page, we will take you deeper into the Honda Environmental Vision, highlight key upcoming targets, and show what we are doing to ensure ‘Blue Skies For Our Children’, a commitment that has served as the foundation of Honda’s environmental efforts for 40 years.
Honda’s Environmental Goals
In 2011, Honda established a target to reduce fleet-average CO2 emissions from its products by 30 percent by the year 2020, compared to fiscal year 2001 (FY01) levels. The reductions are measured in the fleet average emissions of our automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment products.
Activities to achieve this target:
- Increasing efficiency of internal combustion engines;
- Introducing environmentally innovative technologies and increasing energy diversity; and
- Eliminating emissions through the use of renewable energy and total energy management.
Progress as of FY2016:
- Automobiles: Emissions reduced 22.4% from FY01 baseline
- Motorcycles: Emissions reduced 33.2% from FY01 baseline
- Power Products: Emissions reduced 27.8% from FY01 baseline
In 2016, Honda announced that it will aim to grow sales of electrified vehicles, including hybrids, to two-thirds of its global sales by 2030.
In 2015, Honda announced a goal to halve its total company CO2 emissions levels as measured against a FY2000 baseline.
Honda has established an internal framework to ensure it follows the principles set forth in the Environmental Statement. Our six regional operations, including North America, are given broad authority to minimize the environmental impact of their activities.
A hallmark of Honda environmental initiatives is that planning and execution are not delegated to specialists; rather, they are taken up directly by associates in all departments, who are engaged with environmental issues as part of their duties.
World Environmental Strategy and Safety Committee
The World Environmental Strategy and Safety Committee determines annual plans for implementing global conservation activities based on the company’s business plans determined by the Executive Council. The company’s president and CEO currently chairs the committee.
North American Environmental Committee (NAEC)
Regional environmental committees for each of Honda’s six regions, including the NAEC, discuss and evaluate annual achievements and then, based on the results, create new targets and plans. The NAEC is chaired by the company’s North American president and CEO and includes members of the regional operating board representing the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a critical tool for understanding the impact of our products and operations on the environment.
The NAER breaks the product life cycle into six distinct areas for means of identifying opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of operations – Development, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Sales & Service, In-Use and End-of-Life.
What follows is a breakdown of our environmental results from 2016 across Honda facilities throughout North America.
Environmental factors are considered in every phase of the design and development of all Honda and Acura products. Honda engineers account for such factors as dismantling complexity, component remanufacturing and the minimization of substances of concern.
We are committed to maintaining a minimum 90-percent level of design recyclability for all Honda and Acura automobiles, and a 95-percent level of design recyclability for all powersports and power equipment products sold in North America. Honda and Acura have met the 90-percent target in all new products since 2004.
Reducing Substances of Concern (SOCs)
Honda’s efforts to reduce SOCs have been consistent with evolving government regulations. The company tracks the presence of SOCs in its products and does so by using the following tools:
- International Material Data System (IMDS) – Honda tracks the use of chemicals on a corporate-wide basis, and all suppliers providing products, parts and materials to any Honda manufacturing entity are required to enter data into the IMDS.
- Honda Chemical Substances Management Standard (HCSMS) – The HCSMS is used to identify chemicals that should no longer be used, those for which a phase-out period has been identified and those that Honda is monitoring for potential elimination. In FY15, the HCSMS was revised to cover packaging of all parts and products.
- Supplier SOC Management Manual – Honda’s Supplier SOC Management Manual is updated annually to reflect the latest reporting requirements, Honda’s policies regarding SOCs, and regional expectations. All suppliers are expected to reference the manual for information regarding Honda’s chemical management policies.
Reducing PVC in Honda and Acura Automobiles
Our goal is to have a PVC-free material construction for the interiors on all Honda and Acura vehicles. We continue to investigate high-quality and cost-effective alternatives to PVC in an effort to minimize its use. In FY16, 11 of the 15 Honda and Acura car and light truck models sold in the U.S. or Canada had PVC-free interiors.
Our purchasing departments engage with suppliers as well as the logistics companies that transport parts and materials to Honda entities throughout the world. We created ‘Green Purchasing’ guidelines to help improve the environmental impact throughout Honda’s extended supply chain. Currently nearly 300 of our suppliers report CO2 emissions data to Honda. These companies represented 95 percent of our total North American parts purchasing expenditures in FY2016.
Parts Logistics Initiatives
We believe one of the best ways to reduce CO2 emissions in our supply chain is to eliminate unnecessary travel miles. We accomplished this in 2016 via the following measures:
- Daily Load Planning ensured on-time delivery while making sure trucks are fully loaded before departure. This saved 1,024,189 miles of travel, reducing CO2 emissions by 1,595 metric tons.
- Putting smaller orders onto any available trailer space to make sure trucks were fully loaded avoided 118,126 miles of driving, reducing CO2 emissions by 184 metric tons.
- Combining routes and collaborating with suppliers on freight saved 453,347 miles of travel, reducing CO2 emissions by 705 metric tons.
We established our first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations on or near Honda properties along our supplier and logistical network, supporting the use of CNG as a fuel among our logistics partners. The use of CNG-powered tractors in 2016 replaced 931,914 gallons of diesel fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 1,447 metric tons.
Honda recognizes that approximately 97 percent of the CO2e emissions from our manufacturing operations in North America fall into two categories: (1) indirect emissions from the production of electricity purchased and consumed by factories; and (2) direct emissions from consumption of natural gas. In 2016, total emissions from these two categories were reduced 4.1 percent despite all-time record levels of auto production and the addition of two new manufacturing facilities.
CO2e emissions intensity (average emissions for each vehicle produced) was reduced from the previous year in all three areas of production in 2016. Levels in all three areas were the lowest in the last eight years:
- Automobile manufacturing emissions decreased 10%;
- Powersports (Motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides) manufacturing emissions decreased 4%; and
- Power Equipment (Generators, lawn mowers, etc.) manufacturing emissions decreased 8%
We see waste generation as an inefficient use of raw materials and rank waste management methods based on environmental preference. Better use of raw materials eliminates waste at the source and we strive to implement reuse, recycling and energy recovery to avoid sending waste to landfill. Honda achieved virtually zero waste to landfill for its manufacturing operations in North America in FY2016. In addition:
- Solid waste per automobile produced decreased 4.9% from the previous year;
- Total landfill waste decreased 92% from its baseline year of 2001; and
- Landfill waste per auto has decreased 96% from its baseline year of 2001.
We are working to reduce CO2 emissions from the shipment of finished products from our manufacturing plants to Honda and Acura dealers throughout North America as well. We have worked with other companies to develop more efficient modes of transportation and have continued to adopt cleaner methods of transport.
Most of the Honda and Acura automobiles produced in North America are moved by train to railheads, where they are delivered to dealers by trucks. Rail shipments offer significant gains in energy efficiency and reduced emissions compared to truck transport. Honda helped develop and uses the tri-level AutoMax rail cars, which increases the number of automobiles that a train can safely carry, reducing the number of train trips needed to move the products.
In FY2016, 78.9 percent of all Honda and Acura automobiles manufactured in the U.S. or arriving at U.S. ports were transported by train, resulting in a 10% decrease in emissions from the baseline year of 2009.
We operate nine parts distribution centers and three hub facilities in the U.S. to move parts and materials to plants. Efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle waste shipping material resulted in more than 16,000 tons of material being diverted from landfills and 99.5% of total waste from distribution centers was kept out of landfill in FY2016.
Green Dealer Program
American Honda launched its Green Dealer program in 2012 to help Honda and Acura dealers in the U.S. reduce their environmental impact. The program was expanded two years later to motorcycle and power equipment dealers. Professional engineers evaluate the dealers’ environmental performance and recommend strategies for reducing their impact.
At the end of FY2016, more than 400 dealers across all product lines were enrolled in the program and 106 of them had received an award showing that they had reduced their energy usage by at least 10%. Some dealers have reduced their energy usage by more than 50%. and the program has resulted in a total annual reduction of 12,500 tons of CO2.
In addition, two dealerships – Rossi Honda in Vineland, NJ and Brandfon Honda in Branford, CT – achieved electric grid-neutral status, using as much or more renewable power generated on site at the dealership than is consumed from the public utility grid. To learn more, visit Honda’s Green Dealer page
According to the latest research, 73% of the GHG emissions produced by a vehicle over its lifecycle occurs during in-use operation. We have identified increases in fuel economy and reductions in tailpipe emissions as two of the best ways to reduce those emissions.
Fuel Efficiency and Emissions
A vehicle emits approximately 19.6 pounds of CO2 with every gallon of fuel that it burns. Therefore, increasing the distance traveled per gallon burned will reduce CO2. Honda and Acura vehicles are consistently among the industry leaders in fuel efficiency, as shown by these results:
- Honda and Acura automobiles had a fleet-average unadjusted fuel economy of 37.1 mpg in model year 2015, which was an increase of 6.9% from the previous year and 18.9% better than the industry average;
- Honda’s motorcycle fleet had an average fuel economy of 83.2 mpg, an 11.5% increase from the previous year and a 66.4% increase from its Model Year 2000 baseline; and
- CO2 emissions from the use of Honda and Acura automobiles decreased (improved) 6.6% from the previous year and was 15.8% better than the industry average.
Recycling programs for many service parts of our automobiles are a key component of our zero-waste-to-landfill strategy in North America. More than 630,000 parts and 39,230,000 pounds of recyclable material were diverted from landfills in FY2016 including:
- 69,958 wheels, including 44,668 aluminum and 25,290 steel wheels;
- 4,388 engines;
- 539,375 catalytic converters; and
- 17,125 nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.