Two of Honda’s European logistics sites have been awarded United Nations ‘SDG Pioneer’ status for their ongoing commitment to sustainability, wellbeing and CSR.
The two sites, in Aalst and Gent, Belgium, were awarded the title following a rigorous evaluation process in which they had to demonstrate their contribution over the last three years towards each of the 17 ‘SDGs’ (Sustainable Development Goals) set out by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
Part of a worldwide initiative led by the United Nations Global Compact, the SDGs lay out a clear vision for a sustainable future against ten principles covering human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption; aiming to address key societal issues including poverty and hunger, inequality and climate change by 2030.
The Honda Motor Europe Logistics (HMEL) sites in Aalst and Gent were awarded SDG Pioneer status having successfully demonstrated an understanding of the SDGs and the business case for working towards them, taken a holistic approach to achieving these goals, and implemented a clear action plan with S.M.A.R.T objectives. Each site’s participation in the initiative was supported by Voka, Flanders’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and CIFAL Flanders, the local hub of UNITAR.
Yoshiaki Nisa, Director of HMEL comments: “We are fully committed to the highest standards of sustainability in our logistics operations, working towards a clean and safe society through many ongoing initiatives focussing on energy, CO2 and waste reduction, employee wellbeing and being a good corporate citizen. The SDG Pioneer award is testament to the hard work and dedication of many of our Associates, and I thank each and every one of them for their ongoing commitment to working towards these goals. To be recognised by the United Nations is a significant accolade and one which we can all be very proud of.”
Recent examples of the many initiatives which have contributed to the two sites achieving SDG Pioneer status includes a move from truck to barge transport for the 1,400 containers of products and parts which HMEL receives each year into the port of Antwerp, which are then transported to the Aalst or Gent facility. Implemented in June 2019, the move has saved more than 14 tons of CO2 to date, with a positive effect on traffic levels and road safety, while further contributing towards HMEL’s ongoing commitment to achieving optimum transport efficiency in its operations.
Both sites also continue to focus upon reducing energy consumption, with ongoing large-scale initiatives including the installation of low-energy LED light bulbs and more efficient heating and cooling systems, and a recent project to cover the entire warehouse and office building roofs at the Gent facility with 1,800m2 of advanced insulation material.
Other initiatives undertaken by HMEL include a ‘Youth Start’ project training 16-20 year olds to develop their talents to get into work, and several projects to support employees’ wellbeing, safety and personal development in the workplace.
The SDG Pioneer award follows HMEL becoming one of just four companies to be named ‘Local Hero for Sustainability’ by the city of Aalst in 2019, as a result of its continuous support of the SDGs over the last 17 years. The city recognised HMEL’s ongoing commitment to reaching its sustainability goals while still achieving its commercial objectives.