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 while emitting 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 had reported our environmental performance data in the North American Environmental Report (NAER). This year, we have revamped our reporting structure and are providing a look at our annual performance in this document. Additionally, Honda is providing all of its current environmental data as it pertains to manufacturing in this spreadsheet. All of the in-use data for Honda’s auto, powersports and power equipment products, including fuel mileage and emissions, can be found 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 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, including but not limited to electrification; 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 Fiscal Year 2020 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.
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, more than 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 FY2020, the CO2e emissions decreased 4.5 percent. Reasons for this decrease included:
- Overall ‘greening’ of the grid
- Decrease in production at the plants
- The auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio began purchasing zero CO2 power in 2019
CO2e emissions intensity (total emissions divided by products manufactured) related to automobile production and power equipment manufacturing decreased in FY20, and increased in powersports production.
- Automobile manufacturing emissions decreased 1.6%.
- Powersports (motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides) manufacturing emissions increased more than 25 percent. This was due to a new reallocation method being used at Honda’s plant in Guadalajara, Mexico after the stoppage of auto production there.
- Power Equipment (generators, lawn mowers, etc.) manufacturing emissions decreased 3.9%, to 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:
- Total waste was down 6.2% to its lowest levels in six years, while solid waste per auto decreased 3.6% from one year ago;
- Total landfill waste increased from a year ago; and
- Landfill waste per auto increased 3.2% from FY19.
- The rise in total landfill waste is attributed to having to landfill mixed refractory sand from its engine plant, due to recycling concerns.
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 FY20, Honda reduced its total water use by 3.3% and increased its use per auto by 0.4%. Honda’s total water use is its lowest amount used in manufacturing in the last five 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 4.2 percent from a year ago and 49.7 percent from FY2009 levels, both marking the lowest levels in the last decade.
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 FY2020 results including:
- Honda and Acura automobiles had a fleet-average unadjusted fuel economy of 37.5 mpg, which is 14% better than the industry average;
- Honda’s motorcycle fleet posted an average fuel economy of 98 mpg, a 10.7% increase from one year ago; and
- The CO2 emissions resulting from the use of Honda and Acura automobiles is 11.9% better than the industry average.
Recycling programs for many parts of our automobiles are key components of our waste-to-landfill strategy in North America. Honda diverted more than 46,700,000 pounds of recyclable material from landfills in FY2020.