APRIL 2009

Honda’s Ohio and Alabama plants earn ‘Energy Star’

Honda’s auto plants in Ohio and Alabama have received Energy Star awards from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for curbing energy use.

For the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2008, Honda of America Mfg., Inc.’s average CO2 emissions per vehicle produced in North America were at their lowest levels since the company began measuring results in 2001. The EPA bases the award points on the amount of energy needed to produce an automobile, and includes factors such as vehicle size and production volume.

In the Marysville, Ohio plant, associates reduced electricity use by reprogramming plastic injection molding machines to run only during the production cycle. This reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 pounds per year. At the East Liberty plant, Honda replaced chiller pumps with more efficient units, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 508,000 pounds per year.

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, which produces the Odyssey minivan, Pilot sport utility vehicle and now the Ridgeline truck, also earned the Energy Star award. The plant implemented an initiative to monitor the use of equipment between shifts, during breaks and on weekends. The monitoring program helped reduce electricity use on the paint line by 10 million kilowatt hours, representing about 15 million pounds of CO2.

In addition, these auto plants are implementing a unique “intelligent paint booth” technology that reduces energy consumption and related CO2 emissions from painting operations by as much as 25 percent. Automobile body painting consumes large amounts of energy because automakers need to condition the temperature and the relative humidity of the air to achieve the desired product appearance and finish quality. Developed by Honda in Ohio and Ohio State University, the system uses a predictive control mechanism to keep the temperature and humidity within specifications, even as weather conditions change.