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 14th annual report, released in September 2018, can be downloaded or read here.
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 the company 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 FY2017:
- Automobiles: Emissions reduced 22.8% from FY01 baseline
- Motorcycles: Emissions reduced 34.2% from FY01 baseline
- Power Products: Emissions reduced 28.9% 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 and Safety Strategy Committee
The World Environmental and Safety Strtegy Committee determines annual plans for implementing medium- and long-term 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.
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 2017 across Honda facilities throughout North America.
Environmental factors are considered in every phase of the design and development of each Honda and Acura product. 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 FY17, 12 of the 15 Honda and Acura car and light truck models sold in the U.S. or Canada had PVC-free interiors, up from 11 of 15 in FY16.
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 FY2017.
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 2017 via the following measures:
- Daily Load Planning ensured on-time delivery while making sure trucks are fully loaded before departure. This saved 1,601,195 miles of travel, reducing 2,322 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
- Putting smaller orders onto any available trailer space to make sure trucks were fully loaded avoided 126,180 miles of driving, reducing CO2 emissions by 183 metric tons.
- Combining routes and collaborating with suppliers on freight saved 1,188,195 miles of travel, reducing CO2 emissions by 1,719 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 2017 replaced 797,873 gallons of diesel fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 1,154 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 2017, total emissions from these two categories increased just three percent despite all-time record levels of auto production in North America.
CO2e emissions intensity (total emissions divided by products manufactured) increased slightly in two of the three areas of production in 2017.
- Automobile manufacturing emissions increased 2% but was the second-lowest per-auto results in the last eight years;
- Powersports (Motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides) manufacturing emissions increased 4.9%; and
- Power Equipment (Generators, lawn mowers, etc.) manufacturing emissions decreased 8.4%
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 (defined as less than 1 percent of all operating waste) for its manufacturing operations in North America in 2017. In addition:
- Solid waste per automobile produced increased 0.1% from the previous year;
- Total landfill waste decreased 87% from its baseline year of 2001; and
- Landfill waste per auto has decreased 93% 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 FY2017, 81 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 3.6% 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 14,000 tons of material being diverted from landfills and 99.5% of total waste from distribution centers was kept out of landfill in FY2017.
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. 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 FY2017, more than 400 dealers across all product lines were enrolled in the program and more than 150 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 19,000 tons of CO2.
In addition, three dealerships have achieved electric grid-neutral status. To qualify for this, a dealership must return more power through the use of alternative-energy generation to the grid than it consumes. 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 36.9 mpg, which is 13.5% better than the industry average;
- Honda’s motorcycle fleet had an average fuel economy of 73.4 mpg, a 46.8% increase from its Model Year 2000 baseline; and
- CO2 emissions from the use of Honda and Acura automobiles was 11.7% 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 43,900,000 pounds of recyclable material were diverted from landfills in FY2017, which is a 10.5% increase from a year ago. These materials include:
- 90,714 wheels, including 59,684 aluminum and 30,850 steel wheels (a 22.9% increase from FY2016);
- 7,099 engines (a 61.8% increase from FY16);
- 766,113 catalytic converters (a 42% increase from the previous year); and
- 9,181 nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries – which prevents the need to mine for more rare-earth minerals.