Every now and then, we like to get our hands on some case studies that illustrate the great strides companies have made in an effort to cut down on energy use and pave the way for fellow members of the industry. Recently, we discovered a few things that Honda Canada has done over the past few years in order to lessen their carbon footprint and cut down on energy-costs in the workplace. Here’s what we uncovered, at a glance.

Energy-efficient through changing technology

When it comes to energy efficiency, identifying existing problems is the first, and often the hardest, step.

Honda Canada’s manufacturing facility is located in Alliston, Ontario and is made up of two separate plants which produce almost 300,000 vehicles on an annual basis. During the production process, after welding is complete, the unit (unfinished car) passes through a series of sprays and dip tanks in order to remove grease and other contaminants prior to the application of primer, finish and sealer coats.

Using  a Kemco Thermefficient direct-contact water heater to replace an older boiler, Honda Canada was able to cut energy costs per car by nearly 50%, raising energy efficiency levels from 55-60% to more than 98% and reduce the company’s water consumption by about one million gallons annually. The old boiler, equipped with an “On/Off” control, would produce an immediate high demand, which, according to Wayne Shipman of Honda’s Advanced Technical Staff, caused the boiler to over-fire, wasting steam, energy and water.

Retrofitting the existing machine was an option (not a cheap one) but the team decided that investing in a new, more efficient machine would be most cost-effective in the long-term. The project, which included a large reduction in natural gas consumption also qualified for a $30,000 grant from the Enbridge Gas Distribution Energy Efficiency Program which made the transition to an energy-efficient alternative that much easier.

From waste reduction to LEED certification, Honda Canada is on a roll

If you hop on the Honda website, you will find that the company has done more to invest in lessening their carbon footprint than simply investing in one energy-efficient piece of equipment.

For example, as part of Honda’s Green Factory Program, Honda’s facility in Alliston became ISO14001 certified. The plant now recycles 99% of its production waste; the first Honda plant in North America to do so.

Another interesting “green” fact is that since 1972, the company has manufactured only four-stroke outboard motors, which, according to Honda, are 90% cleaner, 50% more fuel-efficient and 50% quieter than typical two-stroke outboard motors that may release oil into the water.

Last but not least is the Honda Campus in Markham, Ontario. The campus consists of three huge building; a four-storey, 138,000-square-foot head office building; a 71,000-square-foot technical centre for R&D, engineering and training; and a 224,000-square-foot parts distribution centre, all of which have been designed to meet LEED standards.

Questions or comments about Honda Canada? Leave them below!

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