AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Blue Skies for Tomorrow

Blue Skies for Tomorrow image

Text: / Photos: Inigo S. Roces | posted October 27, 2010 15:46

Honda forms Blue Skies Alliance in environment forum

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Honda upholds its longtime pledge way back in 1966 to leave blue skies for our children as initiated by Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda. As a testament to its commitment to preserve the environment, HCPI partners with both private and government sectors to embark on an environment forum that covers various approaches in attaining sustainable mobility called the Blue Skies Alliance.

The forum aims to provide awareness on the country's environmental state as well as the government's and various non-government organization's efficiency programs to encourage wider participation from both private and public sectors. With an escalating volume of motor vehicles on the road, collaborative measures from the different members of society are essential to realize sustainable mobility.

Present at the forum is Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Environment and Safety Planning General Manager, Mr. Michio Shinohara to share Honda's environmentally sound technological advancements, global efforts and challenges. Apart from developing clean and fuel efficient engine technologies, Honda's commitment to the environment is also reflected in its manufacturing and dealership operations. Mr. Hiroshi Shimizu, President and General Manager of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. imparts details of its green operations in the local setting.

Presenting the inconvenient truth about the actual state of the Philippines' natural environment is Haribon Foundation's Chief Operating Officer Mr. Blas Tabaranza, Jr.

In addressing climate change, Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy covers the country's direction and efforts to achieve energy efficiency and conservation.

Meanwhile, the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI), the Philippine Business for the Environment (PBE) and the Partnership for Clean Air (PCA) are promoting the United Nations Environment Programme and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles toolkit for clean fleet management. Ms. Glynda Bathan, Policy and Partnership Manager of CAI shares some insights on how to measure and reduce carbon footprints of fleet vehicles. PBE and CAI initially collaborated with Honda when these organizations joined its fuel efficiency driving competition program called the Honda Challenge Cup. The Honda Challenge Cup, established in 1996, promotes fuel economy under normal, day-to-day driving conditions.

Mr. Jose Noda, Senior Technical Consultant of Green Philippines Islands of Sustainability (GPIoS) is also at the forum to advocate environment-friendly operations that can translate into profit. GPIoS is an initiative funded by the European Union's SWITCH-Asia Programme to help improve green and sustainable industrial development in Metro Manila and in CALABARZON region.

Apart from environment preservation, Honda is also at the forefront of promoting safety as part of its social responsibility. Honda has invited Assistant Secretary Dante M. Lantin of the Department of Transportation and Communication to discuss the status of road safety in the Philippines as well as the agency's intended direction and programs. Complementing this subject is Honda Safety Driving Center's (HSDC) exhibit at the forum. HSDC is a world-class driving facility that offers both automobile and motorcycle riding courses within a safe and controlled environment.

Honda also takes the opportunity to launch its upcoming eco-alliance with government agencies and Haribon Foundation. "The Honda group of companies, consisting of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc., Honda Philippines, Inc., Honda Parts Manufacturing Corporation and Honda Trading Philippines, through the Honda Foundation, signs a Memorandum of Agreement to share with government fleet our technical expertise and facilities for fuel efficient and safe driving training. Also, we are signifying our full support to Haribon Foundation's Road to 2020 project. Road to 2020 aims to restore one million hectares of Philippine rainforests using native tree species by year 2020 in order to recover biodiversity. The Honda Foundation has pledged to support 20 hectares." said Mr. Hiroshi Shimizu, president and general manager of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc.

The forum's panel of reactors is composed of Mr. Vicente Mills Jr., president of Philippine Automotive Federation, Inc., Governor Oliver Butalid of the Board of Investments, Ms. Grace Favila, NGO Adviser of Philippine Business for the Environment, Professor Benjamin Bagadion of the Asian Institute of Management and Dr. Jose Regin Regidor, director of U.P. National Center for Transportation Studies. Other sectors also present to show support are members of the largest student-run organization AIESEC, Honda Challenge Cup Fleet Partners and Honda's dealership and supplier network.

"The welfare of the environment is everybody's concern. The only way of achieving sustainable mobility is by working together as one. Through the Blue Skies Alliance, Honda hopes to give the environment due care and attention for the benefit of generations to come.

To take part of this cause, the forum can also be viewed by visiting www.hondaphil.com through live web streaming for the benefit of almost 18,000 Honda Facebook fans supporting the 'Blue Skies for our Children' movement since we launched the campaign online less than three months ago." said Mr. Voltaire Gonzales, Vehicle Sales and Corporate Communications head of HCPI.