Why Honda is planting 85,000 trees

Honda says it’s part of a company-wide effort to achieve carbon-neutrality

Automaker Honda said Wednesday it’s planting tens of thousands of hazelnut, hickory, maple, oak and sycamore trees in central Ohio to boost biodiversity and “reduce its environmental footprint.”

The 85,000 trees planted on 100 acres of company-owned land in Union County will be near the Flat Branch Creek, not far from the company’s Marysville and East Liberty auto assembly plants.

The trees will boost the company’s carbon sequestration efforts and serve as home for a group of insects, animals, birds and plants, Honda said.

The company is calling it the “Honda Power of Dreams Forest.”

Honda said it is working with a local farmer to implement conservation practices that will help strengthen water quality in the nearby creek. And some of the trees will be set aside for maple syrup production, the company also said.

“These trees represent the power of dreams of our Honda associates who identified a beneficial way to capture carbon and support Ohio’s water quality goals,” Larry Geise, executive vice president of Honda Development and Manufacturing of America, said in an announcement. “Initiatives like this will not only help Honda reach our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 but will also help enhance the local ecosystem and support local farms.”

“This project advances Gov. DeWine’s commitment to enhance Ohio’s most abundant natural resource,” said Anne Vogel, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. “These trees will act as a natural filtration system, ensuring the water in the streams remains clean and healthy.”

The trees are all native to Ohio.

This is a project Honda has tackled in New Zealand and elsewhere. Since 2004, the Honda TreeFund has funded the planting of more than 750,000 trees throughout New Zealand.

Honda in recent months has also announced the creation of electric vehicle assembly plants in Ohio and, most recently, an EV “value chain” in Canada.

“We expect to maintain employment stability and announced plans to add 300 jobs across the Honda EV Hub in Ohio, during these key next steps in this transition,” Honda spokesman Chris Chris Abbruzzese said when asked about the impact of the Canadian chain on Ohio jobs.

The Ohio Honda EV Hub “will play a key role in developing our knowledge and expertise in EV production that will be shared across Honda’s entire North American auto production network in the coming years,” Abbruzzese said.

Honda has said that even as it prepares for EV production in Ohio next year, it will continue making internal combustion and hybrid-electric vehicles.

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