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Honda has the most 'green buildings' of any car company in North America

In the race for green, Honda leads the pack in at least one category.

The Japanese automaker, whose U.S. headquarters is in Torrance, has 11 certified “green buildings,” in North America, more than any other car company, Honda said Wednesday.

Honda Engineering North America Inc.’s Powertrain Division in Anna, Ohio, earned “green-building” certification from the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, the carmaker said.

Also, Honda Canada Inc.’s new head office in Markham, Ontario, earned the certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

The nonprofits give LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certifications for buildings that are designed to minimize energy use and the carbon footprint.

LEED certification has become an increasingly popular badge of good corporate citizenship, with companies seeking the designation for their facilities around the world.

The growth of LEED certifications coincides with a general trend in the auto industry to market vehicles based on their decreasing effect on the environment.

Honda sells low-emissions vehicles that run on compressed natural gas or use a hybrid system of gasoline and electricity. Honda is also developing a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

“Honda is focused on reducing the environmental impact of all its operations, not just its products,” Honda spokesman Marcos Frommer said in an email. “With our LEED announcement we’re highlighting our leadership in an area of growing concern, which is the sustainability of corporate facilities. Not only is this type of activity the right thing to do, but we also believe consumers are looking for companies that are taking a wholistic approach to reducing their environmental impact.”

Honda R&D Americas Inc.’s Acura Design Studio in Torrance is on the company’s list of LEED-certified facilities.

In August, Boeing’s new headquarters for its satellite business received LEED certification.

In Torrance, Toyota Motor Sales USA, the automaker’s U.S. sales and marketing headquarters, has one of the nation’s largest “green” commercial buildings.

Honda’s first LEED-certified building in North America is the company’s Gresham, Ore., parts warehouse and service training facility, which earned the designation in 1999.

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