The facility will not maintain its LEED certification, however, due to associated costs.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - The Honda Regional Distribution & Training FacilityHonda Motor Company's worldwide motto guides their business practices to keep operations sustainable — "Blue skies for our children."

That philosophy has led to the Honda Regional Distribution & Training Facility in Gresham to become a showcase for green practices. The facility leads the way in innovative approaches to reducing waste.

"We absolutely follow green practices, that's how we work and live," said James Smith, the Gresham facility manager.

Honda played host to the monthly Gresham Resource Efficiency Assistance To (GREAT) Business program, giving a tour of the facility, at 16800 N.E. Sandy Blvd., to likeminded community members and business owners.

The Gresham Honda facility, which was built in 2001, was the first LEED Gold Building of its size in the Pacific Northwest, and the fourth to achieve that distinction in the country. The facility will not maintain its LEED certification, however, due to associated costs.

"For us to maintain the certification, it was more than $100,000 a year," Smith said. "But we still want to be green and follow the same principles."

All of the stormwater is managed onsite, feeding the low-flow toilets and sinks after being treated in a reclamation center. A 90,000-gallon cistern collects the water, with runoff flowing into a stormwater pond.

The facility has passive air circulation with micro climate controls, allowing for the same room to be heated differently based on each individual's needs. An LED light retrofit is in process, with the majority finished.

All of the rooms operate on motion sensors as well.

The warehouse, which sends parts to 89 auto dealerships across seven states and other Honda centers, utilizes reusable shipping boxes called "boomerang boxes." The containers are able to be broken down and easily returned for use three or four more times. The facility shreds excess cardboard, turning it into packing material and avoiding the need for foam peanuts.

"It's important for everyone at the facility to be sustainable," Smith said. "It follows the practices of our company and what we individually want to be doing."

GREAT helps conserve natural resources, protect the local environment and supports the bottom lines of businesses who have committed to the cause. They offer consultations and free resources.

Honda Regional Distribution & Training Facility

• 16800 N.E. Sandy Blvd., Gresham

• 135,168-square-foot parts center

• 32,000-square-foot mezzanine

• 63,250 items stocked

• 1,688,748 annual part numbers shipped

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