HONOLULU, HAWAII – Six companies, the State Senate, and the East-West Center received this year’s Hawai‘i Green Business and Green Government Awards on Wednesday, April 20.  The awards recognize organizations for their outstanding efforts in greening their business practices.  The awards ceremony was part of a “Hawaii Clean Energy Day at the Capitol” public event and coordinated by the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s Energy Office.

“It’ just makes sense to save energy, water, and waste,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie, who presented the awards.  “Businesses and government offices are among the largest consumers of energy.  When the Senate cuts 80 percent of its paper use, office buildings like the Central Pacific Plaza and the East-West Center cut 20 to 40 percent in electricity, and a store like Whole Foods Maui diverts 34 tons of trash from landfills in a month, we’re freeing up money and resources that can be used to improve services and preserve jobs.”

“The State has set a goal to achieve 70 percent clean energy by 2030.  We commend the efforts of our awardees who are helping us reach this goal by going beyond compliance to implementing environmental practices and encouraging their employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle,” said Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator, State Energy Office.

Businesses and government agencies sign up to participate in the Hawai‘i Green Business Program by agreeing to monitor and post rates of water and energy use and waste generation; provide employee incentives or training; inform customers about their green business standards and efforts; and assist at least one other business in learning about the program.

This year’s DBEDT’s Hawai‘i Green Business and Green Government awardees are:

Central Pacific Plaza. The downtown office building has earned the Energy Star building designation for the last seven years, the longest of any building in Hawai‘i. Last year, the building saved 1,397,600 kWh, or approximately 25 percent less than their 2003 baseline, and 397,000 gallons of water, over 50 percent off their 2003 baseline.  It also uses green cleaning products.

East-West Center. Electricity use dropped 37.5 percent (27,160 kWh) at Lincoln Hall and 22.5 percent (474,600 kWh) at Burns Hall via new CFL lighting, LED exit signs, motion detectors, timers, and less air conditioning use. The Center’s Sustainable EWC Initiative attracts more than 100 student volunteers, representing over 30 countries, who have contributed a combined 2,400 hours to lessening EWC environmental impact.  Student-led sustainability activities include hands-on organic farming experience at Ma’o Farms; a monthly discussion group; a weekly film series, and a Sustainable EWC newsletter.

Hawai‘i State Senate. The Senate’s Paperless Initiative reduced paper use by 80%.  A Green Office Working Group implements energy conservation and recycling measures and participates in ongoing conservation initiatives at the State Capitol.

Honeywell Utility Solutions. The company, which assists in the fulfillment of energy efficient rebates offered by Hawaii Energy, uses only recycled paper products and printer toners; implements a workplace recycling program; permits only washable (no plastic) utensils; and subsidizes bus passes to cut employee transportation energy use.

PBR Hawaii and Associates.  The landscape architecture company conserves with lower refrigerator temperatures, low-flow faucet aerators, recycling or donation of electronic equipment, and using only recycled paper products made up of 30 to 100% post-consumer waste.

Sustainable Island Products. This Hilo-based supplier of eco-friendly paper goods, office supplies, and cleaning materials buys carbon offset credits for company vehicles; offers free packaging reclamation; and uses 100 percent recycled office paper. It also funded the planting of a Koa tree on the Hamakua Coast to offset its carbon footprint.

WATG Architects. The firm reduced paper use by one third through double-sided printing, uses shredded paper for packing, and saved 80% on plastic and paper products costs through conservation measures. It also uses natural or low emission building materials, carpets, and furniture.

Whole Foods Maui. Part of the first major retail chain to offset 100 percent of its energy use with wind energy credits, the grocery store diverts 58 percent of the 20,000 pounds of trash generated on average per month through efforts like donating spoiled produce and biodegradable waste to Freebird Farm, where it is turned to compost; and donating all HI 5 containers to the Community Work Day Program.  Last month, the Maui store diverted 34 tons of trash.

The Hawai’i Green Business Awards Program is a partnership between the State Departments of Health, Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, the City and County’s Department of Environmental Services Recycling Office and Board of Water Supply, as well as the Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce.  The program encourages businesses and organizations to share information and support one another in operating in an environmentally sustainable manner.  Participants benefit from onsite compliance assistance, green business promotions as well as public recognition for their efforts in building a green business.

Participation is open to all offices, retail establishments and government entities.

For more information visit the program website at: http://www.hawaii.gov/greenbusiness or contact Gail Suzuki-Jones or Jonathan Chin, program coordinators, DBEDT at gsuzuki@dbedt.hawaii.gov (808) 587-3802 or jonathan.r.chin at (808) 587-2676.

 

Submitted by DBEDT

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