Honda: Environmental Technology

10/27/2011 7:48:00 PM

Honda has long been recognized as a global leader in reducing the environmental impact of internal combustion engines through improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, and Honda Power Equipment is proud to contribute to that legacy. Powered exclusively by four-stroke engines, Honda Power Equipment products are quiet and fuel efficient.

Corporate Leadership

Honda recognizes that the preservation of natural resources is not only a corporate responsibility but also an important company fundamental. Reducing the burden on the environment at every stage in a product's life cycle - from research and development through manufacture, sale, usage, and disposal - is at the core of Honda's corporate culture and philosophy.

Beyond its desire to develop cleaner products, Honda also seeks to reduce the environmental impact of all of its activities. Launched in 1998, Honda's Green Factory planning concept is the foundation of the company's environmentally forward-thinking manufacturing practices, which seek to minimize factory emissions and waste throughout the manufacturing process. Further, Honda's environmental commitment is reflected in its portfolio of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications. The company's facilities throughout Japan and its major manufacturing facilities around the world have obtained ISO 14001 certification - an internationally recognized set of standards for environmental management systems.

Environmental Technology Milestones

Developing cleaner products is not a new mandate for Honda. Coupled with world-class quality and technology, Honda has routinely incorporated environmentally-focused features into its products for more than 40 years. A few examples include:

  • Since 1964 Honda has manufactured only four-stroke outboard motors. Cleaner, more fuel-efficient and quieter than traditional two-stroke outboards, four-stroke motors also do not release oil directly into the water;
  • In 1972 Honda introduced the Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine. The CVCC was the first automobile engine capable of meeting the 1970 Clean Air Act without the weight, cost, and complexity of a catalytic converter;
  • In 1997 Honda entered the handheld power-equipment market with a noticeably quiet and fuel-efficient trimmer/brush cutter powered by the world's first 360-degree inclinable mini-four-stroke engine;
  • In 1998 Honda became the first company to introduce an entire line of high-performance outboard motors that met the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) year 2006 emission standards;
  • In 2000 Honda became the first auto company to receive the EPA's Climate Protection Award for development of the Honda Insight, the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the United States;
  • In 2002 Honda became the first automaker in the world to market a fuel cell vehicle certified by the U.S. EPA and the state of California. The 2005 Honda FCX also features its own fuel cell stack capable of cold weather operation;
  • In 2003 Honda introduced the HRX lawn mower, the first to enable simultaneous distribution of grass clippings to both the bag and the ground with no additional equipment. Whether the user chooses to mulch, compost or dispose of the bagged clippings, all of the options provided by the HRX are better for the environment than conventional clipping disposal;
  • In 2005 Honda introduced the iGX engine, a revolutionary, intelligent, computer-controlled general purpose engine. Representing a first in the power equipment industry, the iGX features an integrated electronic control unit (ECU) that delivers complete drive-by-wire remote control capability and controls key aspects of engine operation.

  • In 2007 the Union of Concerned Scientists names Honda the ‘greenest automaker ' for the fourth consecutive time in its biennial report on automakers ' environmental performance.

  • In 2009 the 2010 Honda Insight is launched in the U.S. and Canada as North America 's most affordable mass-produced gas electric hybrid automobile.

  • In 2011 Honda embarked on the largest solar-cell project in the U.S. at Honda Performance Development headquarters (HPD), the company's advanced motorsports engineering facility in Santa Clarita, CA. A 100-kilowatt, 800-cell array of thin-film CIGS solar panels, manufactured by Honda Soltec Co., Ltd., is installed on the roof, carport, and loading dock canopy at HPD.  Energy produced from the installation provides power to several R&D areas of the HPD campus, while reducing energy loads and CO2 emissions by approximately 64 metric tons annually.

Honda's Global CO2 Emissions Reduction Target

Honda has established 2020 CO2 emissions reduction targets to address the most important business management issues of climate change and energy issues.

Honda has been pursuing its own environmental targets and is committed to proactive environmental conservation activities. In 2006, Honda set a goal to reduce global CO2 emissions from use of its motorcycles, automobiles and power products by 10 percent by the end of 2010 compared to year 2000 levels. In 2010, the goal was attained by all products.

Honda now has set a target to reduce CO2 emissions from its global products by 30 percent by the end of 2020 compared to year 2000 levels. Furthermore, in addition to reducing CO2 emissions during production and supply chain, Honda will strengthen its efforts to realize reductions in CO2 emissions through its entire corporate activities. Honda also will strengthen its efforts in advancing technologies in the area of total energy management - to reduce CO2 emissions through mobility and people's everyday lives.

Blue Skies for Our Children

Honda engineers, who took on the challenge to meet the stringent new emissions standards of the 1970s U.S. Clean Air Act, used the phrase "blue skies for our children" as a passionate rallying cry to devote themselves to this effort. Honda wants to pass on the "joy and freedom of mobility to the next generation (for our children), therefore, we want to realize a sustainable society where people can enjoy life (blue skies)." This slogan continues to represent Honda's passion toward its environmental commitment which has not wavered and will remain resolute in the future.

Global Environmental Symbol

The circular graphic represents the earth and sun with blue skies (clean air), clean water, and lush green land expressing the bounty of nature that is necessary (for us) to realize a sustainable society where people can enjoy life. The white line through the middle represents a road where freedom of mobility is realized, while the heart represents Honda's thinking and passion toward (our) environmental commitment.

The Honda Environment Statement

As a responsible member of society determined to help preserve the global environment, Honda makes concerted efforts to contribute to human health and preservation of the global environment in each phase of its corporate activities and to stay at the forefront of such endeavors.

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Editor's Note:

Honda Power Equipment, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., markets a complete range of outdoor power equipment, including outboard marine engines, general purpose engines, generators, lawn mowers, pumps, snowblowers, tillers and trimmers for commercial, rental and residential applications. Its comprehensive product line is powered exclusively by four-stroke engines.

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Updated October 2012