Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson today recognized Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) with the Agency’s platinum level environmental stewardship award. The company earned the top award for its emphasis on waste reduction, community service and outreach.
“Through its waste-reduction efforts and recycling initiatives, HRA is well on its way to becoming a zero-waste facility,” Director Stevenson said. “I am pleased to honor HRA with this award for environmental stewardship.”
Honda R&D Americas — Honda’s second-largest R&D center in the world, located just outside Columbus in Raymond — is responsible for creating advanced technologies and automobile and powersports products for Honda and Acura customers in North America and global markets.
Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program recognizes businesses and other organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and serves as an incentive for organizations to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. To earn the platinum award, a business or organization must expand their environmental program beyond their facilities and demonstrate how their environmental stewardship efforts benefit the local community, region, or larger geographic area.
“Our associates at Honda R&D Americas care deeply about improving our environment, both through our products and our service to the community,” said Jim Fusco, HRA’s senior vice president. “Receiving this top platinum award would not have been possible without support from Ohio EPA, our community partnerships and our associates, whose ideas, hard work and passion are what make Honda R&D Americas a leader in environmental sustainability.”
In the past year, HRA installed solar arrays on several campus buildings to reduce their energy usage by 40 percent annually; sent 90,000 pounds of discarded food, paper, and wood to local farmers for soil amendments and composting; and built a 6,600-square-foot, onsite recycling center to increase its waste material sorting by an additional 20 percent.
In addition, last year HRA associates used their annual 40 paid hours of volunteer time to advance environmental education and cleanups in their local communities, which included helping students build birdhouses at the Hardy Center Summer Camp in Columbus and supporting beautification activities at Wayne National Forest and Highbanks Metro Park. HRA also donated hundreds of tables and chairs to InReturn, which will reuse those items by selling them to fund their support of individuals who have suffered a neurological injury, disease, or disorder.
HRA’s outreach also extended to nearby universities. In 2018, associates installed an onsite algal farm in which CO2 from HRA’s facility is captured and used to grow algae that can be converted into new energy and other valuable products. Last year, associates continued their partnership with Ohio University to research the algae’s potential uses and worked with students from The Ohio State University on how algae byproduct can be applied to soil for better carbon capture and plant growth.
To obtain similar recognition for stewardship from Ohio EPA, an organization can work through four levels of recognition. In addition to the top platinum level, these include achievement at the base level; silver level recognizing outstanding accomplishments in environmental stewardship; and gold level recognizing comprehensive environmental stewardship programs. All levels require a commitment to meet or exceed environmental regulatory requirements.