Measuring Honda’s Environmental Impact
At Honda, we take 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 when we issued our Environmental and Safety Vision.
Since 2005, we have reported our environmental performance data and our upcoming plans in the North American Environmental Report (NAER). The 15th annual report, released September 2019, can be downloaded or read here.
On this page, we will take a deeper look at Honda’s Environmental Vision, highlight key upcoming targets, and explain what we are doing to ensure ‘Blue Skies For Our Children,’ a commitment that has served the company for nearly 50 years.
Honda’s Environmental Goals
In 2011, Honda established targets for a 30-percent reduction of CO2 emissions from its products by the year 2020. The reductions are measured in the fleet average emissions of our automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment products, as compared with FY2001 levels.
Progress as of 2018:
- Automobiles: Emissions reduced 25.9% from FY01 baseline;
- Motorcycles: Emissions reduced 32.2% from FY01 baseline; and
- Power Products: Emissions reduced 26.7% from FY01 baseline.
In 2016, Honda announced it would rapidly advance the deployment of electrified vehicle technology throughout its product lineup.
In 2015, Honda announced a goal to halve its total company CO2 emissions levels as measured against a FY2000 baseline.
Activities to achieve these targets:
- Reducing emissions through increasing the efficiency of internal combustion engines;
- Reducing emissions by introducing environmentally innovative technologies; and
- Eliminating emissions through renewable energy and total energy management.
Honda’s internal framework ensures that it follows the principles set forth in the Environmental Statement. Our regional operations, including North America, have broad authority to minimize the environmental impact of their activities.
A hallmark of Honda environmental initiatives is that planning and execution comes from associates in all departments who are engaged with environmental issues as part of their duties.
Sustainability Strategy Committee.
The Sustainability Strategy Committee determines annual plans for implementing sustainability programs on a global level based on the company’s medium-term business plans. The Executive Council, which is chaired by the company’s president and CEO, determines the path forward.
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 company’s North American president and CEO chairs the committee that includes members of the regional operating boards.
Life Cycle Assessment
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a critical tool for understanding the impact of our products and operations on the environment.
The NAER breaks the LCA process 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 2019 across Honda’s North American facilities.
Every phase of the design and development of each Honda and Acura product takes into account environmental factors. 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 PVC in Honda and Acura Automobiles
Our goal is to have a PVC-free material construction for all vehicle interiors. We continue to investigate high quality and cost-effective alternatives to PVC. In FY19, 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 and the logistics companies that transport parts and materials to Honda entities throughout the world. To improve the environmental impact throughout Honda’s extended supply chain, we created ‘Green Purchasing’ guidelines. Currently, nearly 300 of our suppliers report CO2 emissions data. These companies represent 95 percent of our total North American parts purchasing expenditures.
Approximately 97 percent of the CO2e emissions from our manufacturing operations in North America fall into two categories:
- Indirect emissions from the production of electricity purchased and consumed by factories; and
- Direct emissions from consumption of natural gas.
In FY2019, the CO2e emissions decreased 1.5 percent in part because the East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio increased its usage of zero CO2 electricity sources and increased implementation of energy-efficient processes.
CO2e emissions intensity (total emissions divided by products manufactured) related to automobile production decreased in FY19, remained flat in respect to power equipment manufacturing and increased in powersports production.
- Automobile manufacturing emissions decreased 5.3%.
- Powersports (motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides) manufacturing emissions increased 8.1%.
- Power Equipment (generators, lawn mowers, etc.) manufacturing emissions remained at FY18 levels, which were the lowest mark in the last decade.
We see waste generation as an inefficient use of raw materials. Better use of raw materials eliminates waste at the source. Honda strives to implement reuse, recycling and energy recovery to avoid sending waste to landfill. Honda achieved virtually zero waste to landfill (defined as less than 1 percent of all operating waste) for its manufacturing operations in North America in 2019. In addition:
- Total waste was down 4.2% to its lowest levels in five years, while solid waste per auto decreased 0.4% from one year ago;
- Total landfill waste was unchanged from a year ago; and
- Landfill waste per auto increased 6% from FY18.
Honda strives not only to use as little water as possible in its manufacturing efforts, but also implements programs to treat all wastewater prior to its return to municipal treatment plants. In FY19, Honda reduced its total water use by 3.9% and decreased its use per auto by 1.9%, both of which are the lowest amounts of water used in Honda manufacturing in the last four years.
Sales and Service
Honda also endeavors to reduce CO2 emissions associated with the distribution of service parts from its supplier factories to its warehouses and, ultimately, to dealerships. These efforts include the use of more fuel-efficient trucks, the shift from truck to rail for cargo shipment, more efficient tractor-trailer packing and the reengineering of drive routes for improved efficiency. As a result, Honda reduced the CO2 emissions intensity of North American service parts shipments by 2.6 percent from a year ago and 47.5 percent from FY2009 levels, both marking the lowest levels in the last decade.
Green Dealer Program
American Honda launched its Green Dealer program in FY2012 to help Honda and Acura dealers in the U.S. reduce their environmental impact. Two years later, the program was expanded to include motorcycle and power equipment dealers. Professional engineers evaluate the dealers’ environmental performance and recommend strategies for reducing their impact.
To date, more than 800 dealers across all product lines have taken part in the program and more than 250 awards have been given to participating dealers. Some have reduced their energy usage by more than 50% and the program resulted in a reduction of 28,400 tons of CO2 in FY19.
In addition, three dealerships have achieved grid-neutral status through the program. By using alternative-energy generation, these dealerships return more power to the grid than they consume. 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 FY2019 results including:
- Honda and Acura automobiles had a fleet-average unadjusted fuel economy of 38.6 mpg, which is 18% better than the industry average;
- Honda’s motorcycle fleet posted an average fuel economy of 88.5 mpg, a 4.2% increase from one year ago; and
- The CO2 emissions resulting from the use of Honda and Acura automobiles decreased by 1.3% and was 15.1% better than the industry average.
Recycling programs for many parts of our automobiles are key components of our zero-waste-to-landfill strategy in North America. Honda diverted more than 49,200,000 pounds of recyclable material from landfills in FY2019.
A key component of Honda’s emission-reduction strategy is in the use of cleaner energy. To that end, Honda has increased its use of electricity generated by nuclear, solar and wind facilities in FY19
Honda implemented a solar energy system on the campus of its U.S. sales headquarters in Torrance, Calif. The solar array is one of the largest on a commercial building in Southern California, and at 2.0 megawatts (MW) direct current, is one of Honda’s largest on-site renewable energy installations anywhere in the world.
Honda also has introduced solar arrays to its parts centers in Chino and French Camp, California, which produce a significant amount of power to those facilities.
Honda Transmission of America Mfg. in Russells Point, Ohio, has been generating electricity on site via the use of two 1.7MW wind turbines since 2015, producing more than 10 percent of the annual power used by the plant, which manufactures more than 1,000,000 transmissions and hybrid power units for Honda products each year.