Saving Energy, Honda Plants Earn 2011 ENERGY STAR

12/8/2011 1:20:00 PM

Two Honda auto plants in Ohio have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 ENERGY STAR due to the company's ongoing efforts to operate energy-efficient facilities. This marks the fifth consecutive year that both Honda auto plants in Ohio, in Marysville and East Liberty, have earned this recognition.

The EPA bases the award on the amount of energy needed to produce an automobile, taking into account factors such as vehicle size and production volume. Electricity and natural gas represent 95 percent of total energy consumption in the production of automobiles. Honda has ongoing conservation initiatives to minimize the environmental impact from the use of fossil fuels, including a reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

"Improving the energy efficiency of Honda factories is the single biggest focus of the company's efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our operations," said Karen Heyob, leader of Honda's environmental initiatives at Honda of America Mfg. "Virtually every Honda associate is involved in conserving energy use in our plants."

Established in 1982, the Marysville Auto Plant employs more than 4,000 associates who produce* all the Honda Accord sedans and coupes sold in America, as well as the Acura TL and Acura RDX models. With 2,500 associates, the East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP) pioneered the use of waterborne auto painting and returnable parts containers when it started production in 1989. Today, ELP is the primary production site for the Honda CR-V and Honda Crosstour.

Honda's energy-reduction efforts range from real-time monitoring of electricity use to advanced compressed air management programs. For example, the company mounted aggressive programs to eliminate air leaks in compressed air systems, and to optimize the use of compressed air by reducing pressure. In addition, real-time monitoring helps identify equipment that can be turned off when production isn't taking place during breaks, between shifts and on weekends.

At the Marysville Auto Plant, Honda's highest volume auto plant in North America, centralized steam used for heat and humidification was replaced with more efficient localized systems. A new "fog" humidification system for the plant's painting operations is 80 percent energy efficient and automatically shuts off when not needed.

A major paint renovation at the East Liberty plant has reduced the size of automobile painting booths by 43 percent and streamlined operations by reducing the number of painting robots. With completion of this four-year project in 2012, the resulting savings in heating and electrical power consumption will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 10,000 tons annually.

The East Liberty plant also recently completed installation of a new instrument panel paint line that utilizes benchmark coating and energy conservation technologies. The new line doubles paint transfer efficiency compared with the old system and additional energy savings comes from recycling 90 percent of the conditioned paint booth air.

A Building Management System at the Marysville facility is programmed to automatically shut off building functions when not needed, including pumps, chillers, air compressors, lights and air-handling systems. In addition, the plant has disconnected 1,071 high-bay lights in areas where illumination no longer is needed, reducing CO2 emissions by 611,000 kilograms annually.

Honda Environmental Leadership

Honda announced earlier this year that it has achieved one of the most important targets in the company's longstanding "Green Factory" initiative in North America: zero-waste-to-landfill. Ten of 14 Honda manufacturing plants in North America are now operating with zero waste to landfill, while the remaining four plants are functioning with "virtually zero" waste to landfill.

In addition, Honda Engineering North America, Inc.'s Powertrain Division in Anna, Ohio, and Honda Canada, Inc.'s new head office in Markham, Ontario, each earned LEED "greenbuilding" certification, bringing to 11 the number of LEED-certified Honda facilities in North America, the most LEED-certified buildings of any automaker.

Honda has been steadily expanding its portfolio of LEED-certified green buildings in North America since 1999, when the company's Gresham, Oregon, parts warehouse and service training facility became the first mixed-use industrial building in America to achieve LEED-Gold EB (Existing Building) certification.

Honda also is a leader in the development of leading-edge technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including vehicles powered by advanced gasoline engines and natural gas-powered engines, as well as gasoline-electric hybrid, battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-electric vehicles.

In 2006, Honda became the first automaker to announce voluntary CO2 emissions reduction targets for its global fleet of automobile, powersports and power equipment products. Honda exceeded those 2010 targets by reducing CO2 emissions in each category by more than 10 percent.

Today, the company is striving for even greater reductions in CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change. Honda this year announced new global goals for 2020 that include a targeted 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from its automobile, motorcycle and power equipment products, as compared to 2000 levels.

About Honda in North America

Honda opened its first auto plant in the U.S. in 1982, in Marysville, Ohio, and today has the capacity to build 1.63 million automobiles at its seven auto plants in North America. In 2010, more than 87 percent of the Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. were built in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Last year, Honda purchased more than $17.5 billion in parts and materials from more than 600 North American suppliers.

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*From domestic and globally sourced parts.