Although it is one of the largest manufacturers in Union County, Honda's Marysville Auto Plant has managed to reduce its carbon footprint over the past two years.

Although it is one of the largest manufacturers in Union County, Honda's Marysville Auto Plant has managed to reduce its carbon footprint over the past two years.

According to American Honda Motor Co.'s recently released 2009 North American environmental report, Honda's Ohio plants have reduced their energy use in recent years.

Over the past two fiscal years ending March 31, 2009, Honda's four Ohio plants have cut electricity use by 62.5-million kilowatt hours per year, along with reducing natural gas consumption by more than 417-million cubic feet per year.

That's enough electricity to supply more than 5,500 typical households, according to Marysville Auto Plant spokesman Ron Lietzke.

Many of the company's energy reduction initiatives revolve around modifying the company's building facilities, according to associate Karen Heyob, coordinator of Honda's Green Factory efforts in North America.

"Honda plants throughout North America are reducing energy use through a wide range of activities, including installation of highly efficient lighting, chiller systems, motors, metering, heating, compressed air and air conditioning," Heyob said. "Associates at the East Liberty Auto Plant, for example, monitor electricity use in real time and turn off equipment when not needed. Many people are involved every day in our energy reduction efforts."

Honda's environmental report has been published annually for the past five years, and documents efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, along with other factors, according to Lietzke.

In addition to the reductions in natural gas and electricity consumption, the four Ohio plants also reduced non-mineral landfill waste disposal by 34 percent in the last two years, equaling to a reduction of more than 3-million pounds from the previous fiscal year.

Marysville's largest progress over the two-year period, according to Lietzke, has been in the area of wastewater.

"The construction of a 7-acre pond system to capture rainwater at the Marysville Auto Plant has allowed Honda to eliminate the use of more than 95-million gallons of groundwater over the past two fiscal years," Lietzke said.

To conserve water, the Marysville Auto Plant installed a system allowing wastewater generated from reverse osmosis systems to be recycled into the body painting pre-treatment process, Lietzke said.