7,040 square meters of photovoltaic cells were mounted on the 30,000-square- meter roof of the Honda Belgium Factory NV generating “green” electricity. The “solar field” provides for a peak energy supply of 880 kW(p) and is sufficient to meet the factory’s electricity requirements. In addition, the building has an energy efficient and environmentally responsible design. To avoid waste of the green electricity, for example, the walls have an additional four centimetres of insulation; light sensors identify sufficient light intensity and automatically switch off the lights when they are not needed; and the building is heated using energy-efficient condensation gas burners.
Other environmental initiatives introduced at Honda Belgium NV include the process for disposing of the protective plastic around bumpers, which is now recycled.
At Honda’s European Headquarters in Slough, England, the facilities team has introduced many energy-saving and environmental initiatives including timers on individual heaters and machines, allowing their use only when required, and low-energy light bulbs in the offices and walkways and throughout the external car parking areas. In addition, all office paper, cardboard and plastic is disposed of in recycling bins in all office areas.
In order to reduce its environmental footprint related to its painting line, Honda France Manufacturing changed chemical products used on its pre-treatment line for anti-corrosion protection. The change reduces the water temperature of the line without impacting quality, resulting in a reduction in water consumption by 19%, while also reducing use of chemical products in the process by 21% and the gas consumption by 21%.
The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) re-tested Honda Civic, Accord, Jazz and, most recently, the Insight under their new rating scheme and each was awarded the maximum 5-star rating. The Insight achieved the second highest score of any new vehicle tested in 2009, making it the safest hybrid on the market in Europe. Euro NCAP’s new rating system focuses on vehicles’ overall safety performance and considers occupant protection in frontal, side, pole and rear impacts, child protection, pedestrian protection and the availability of driver aids. The results reflect Honda’s commitment to overall vehicle safety, complimenting Honda’s long standing in-house safety testing and technology development, which seeks to improve real-world safety.
In keeping with its commitment to build its products close to the customer, Honda began production of the Jazz at the HUM plant in Swindon, England in
HUM also produces the CR-V and Civic for Europe. Historically, Jazz has been supplied to Europe by factories in Japan and China. Producing the Jazz at HUM will help the Suzuka factory in Japan to meet demand for the Insight which is produced there.
Motorcycle production in the region will be centralized in Atessa, Italy. This will improve the plant’s production efficiency. Honda’s factory in Montesa, Spain, will supply high quality parts.