Maui Business

Hawaiian Electric Highlights Decarbonization, Volunteerism on Earth Day

April 22, 2021, 4:10 PM HST
* Updated April 22, 4:16 PM
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Image courtesy of Hawaiian Electric.

Hawaiian Electric reaffirmed its commitment to help build more resilient communities and decarbonize energy systems across its five-island service territory in celebration of Earth Day. The company highlighted its sustainability goals and achievements in its 2020-21 Sustainability Report.

Since 2010, Hawaiian Electric has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 24 percent. The company also used 107 million fewer gallons of oil in 2020 compared to 2008. The company also reports that it achieved a 35 percent consolidated renewable portfolio standard last year, exceeding the state mandate of 30 percent – more than triple the 9 percent RPS reported in 2010.

To support decarbonization, 3.7 million solar panels are in use across Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Maui County. Several more solar-plus-storage projects are expected to come online over the next few years. Hawaiian Electric continues to offer ways to make it quicker and simpler for customers to install and interconnect rooftop solar. 

In partnership with Maui Electric Company and Kenyon Energy, Maui is receiving renewable energy from the large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar project that came online on May 5, 2018 in South Maui. PC: Maui Electric Company.

Hawaiian Electric employees also are committed to improving the environment through safe pandemic and family-friendly community service projects. On Oʻahu, many employees are participating in family pod beach cleanups, recycling and tree planting. 

Here are some other ways Hawaiian Electric and its employees are celebrating Earth Month  and continuing efforts to support sustainability:

  • Among many proud sponsors of Kanu Hawaiʻi’s Volunteer Week Hawaiʻi, April 18-24,  which aims to build more resilient communities and encourage individuals and groups to  care for the ‘aina (land), keiki (children) and kūpuna (seniors) through volunteerism.
  • Corporate grants totaling $60,000 awarded to four environmental nonprofit organizations  – Blue Planet Foundation, Coral Reef Alliance, Hawaiʻi Environmental Restoration and The Nature Conservancy in Hawaiʻi – which are working to protect and preserve  Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources. For example, Hawaiian Electric supports Coral  Reef Alliance’s efforts to implement restoration projects reducing sediment in West Mauiʻs nearshore marine environment, and transition the Puakō community from cesspools to improved wastewater treatment on Hawai‘i Island.
  • Support of nonprofits East Maui Watershed Partnership, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Molokaʻi Land Trust, SHARKastics, Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter, The Maui Farm and Waiwai Ola Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands for their environmental  sustainability efforts in commemoration of the company’s 100th year serving Maui County. 
  • Sponsored and participated in the County of Hawai‘i’s recent virtual Sustainability Summit. Leaders from diverse sectors came together to start conversations on topics  including climate change/resilience, economy, energy, environment, food security,  mobility, sustainable agriculture and sustainable tourism.
  • Employees invited to join the “Meatless Monday” movement, a global initiative to cut out  meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. For meatless recipe  ideas, check out Hawaiian Electric video cooking demos with Chef Paul Onishi and he “veganized” recipes from The  Electric Kitchen and started his meatless journey.
PC: Hawaiian Electric Sustainability report.

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