Philanthropic Initiatives in
Every year since 1998, in cooperation with the Thai Department of Vocational Education, A.P. Honda has held the Econopower Race, in which participants vie to construct and operate the most fuel-efficient vehicle. The young competitors learn not only to value energy resources but also to approach environmental problems in a creative way. From September 2008 to February 2009, over 500 teams representing vocational schools and colleges from across Thailand competed, entering vehicles they had constructed with funds and powerplants provided by Honda. Adding an extra dimension of interest to the competition, for the first time the motorcycle engines for use in the vehicles included advanced, fuel-efficient PGM-FI (Programmed Fuel Injection). The winning team was Nontri Esan of Kasetsart University, which set a record of 999.7469 km/L and received a trophy from Her Royal Highness Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn.
For 20 years, A.P. Honda has offered training in safe motorcycle riding. In 1989, the company opened Thailand's first safe riding training center to educate persons both in government and in the private sector. In 2008, A.P. Honda managed eight training centers nationwide and trained more than 1.5 million persons. Since 1989, Honda's training centers have provided training to more than 12 million people in Thailand.
Honda started the Children's Idea Contest in Japan in 2002 to help elementary school children experience the joy of dreaming and the delight of creating. Entrants draw a picture of something they would like to see invented in the future, and those whose ideas pass the initial screening are invited to create models of their ideas. On the day of the final review, they present the results of their hard work before a large audience. Based on this contest, Asian Honda Motor and the Honda Group Companies in Thailand initiated the Honda ASIMO Super Idea Contest in 2005. ASIMO participates as Honda's goodwill ambassador, symbolizing dreams for the future. The event enjoys widespread support, with over 50,000 entries each year. In 2009, Asian Honda Motor and the Honda Group Companies in Thailand held the fifth annual Honda ASIMO Super Idea Contest. The winners will earn the opportunity to participate in the Honda Motor Children's Idea Contest in a special exchange program.
In 1999, the Honda Group of Companies in Thailand worked with leading environmental NGOs and government ministries to initiate the Honda School Environment Project, in which all Thai elementary and secondary schools are invited to submit an environmental conservation and sustainable development project plan. Honda funds the best projects, and the winning team receives the prestigious King's Cup. In 2008, to celebrate the 81st birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, Honda selected 81 schools from over 700 applicants, funding their projects and inviting representative students to attend a special environmental camp, where experts mentored them in best conservation practices. As in previous years, the fifth two-year project cycle is focused on the sustainable management of wastewater, garbage and energy. Since 1999, Honda has funded the green initiatives of 681 schools from across Thailand.
Since 2004, the Honda Group of Companies in Thailand has sponsored the ABU Robot Contest Thailand Championship, which encourages the study of technology and the development of advanced robotic technologies. Every year, MCOT, the local Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) affiliate coordinates with the Ministry of Science and Technology and Honda and other sponsors to hold the Thailand Championship in June. On average, more than 100,000 spectators visit to watch the numerous rounds, in which over 400 teams from universities and vocational school across Thailand engage their robot gladiators in spectacular duels. The winner goes on to the International Championship, held in a different Asia-Pacific country each August. To add to the festivities, Honda brings its own robotic technology to the venue in for the form of ASIMO, who encourages both participants and attendees to dream of new technological possibilities.
On March 26, 2009, Honda Automobile Thailand launched the Bon Voyage safety campaign, which encourages safe driving practices during two festive times of the year in which the incidence of traffic accidents increases greatly: the Songkran Festival (April 10-16) and the New Year Festival (December 29-January 4). To kick off the campaign, a safety caravan featuring the Safety Kid mascot and film stars passed through a busy Bangkok business district, distributing booklets of safe driving tips to drivers and pedestrians. Afterward, the campaign continued at Honda showrooms, where the booklets were also made available. In this initiative, Honda Automobile Thailand works closely with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in the Ministry of Interior, the Department of Land Transport in the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Highway Police Division of the Royal Thai Police.
On Sep. 07, 2008, Honda Leasing Thailand launched an initiative to release crabs in Pranburi Forest Park, located at the mouth of the Pranburi River in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. Some 80 associates set 1,000 crabs free in the river, seeking to help the local population thrive and grow. Going forward, the company plans to expand the initiative with a focus on endangered crab species.