A hotel that uses seawater for its cooling system, a theme restaurant that uses recycled construction materials in its flooring and a Big Island brewery that gets nearly half of its electricity from solar panels are among 15 companies and government agencies recognized by Governor Neil Abercrombie at the annual Hawai'i Green Business Awards ceremony.
This year's awardees include a broad collection of local businesses and local government agencies, including hotels, architecture and engineering firms, Maui's water utility and a company that makes gourmet gelato. Here are the winners and some of their initiatives.
Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki: The theme restaurant, which is pursuing a prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, uses recycled tile and bottle glass in its flooring and employs ultra-efficient, Energy Star-certified kitchen equipment, and LED lighting.
The Kahala Hotel and Resort: The Kahala Hotel and Resort cuts its energy costs by using seawater pumped from deep-water wells to cool its chillers. The hotel also uses Energy Star-rated equipment, light sensors, low ceiling fans, and low-flow showers and faucets to further cut energy and water usage.
Ferraro Choi and Associates: Ferraro Choi and Associates' Ala Moana headquarters is one of the few offices in Hawai'i to obtain the prestigious LEED Platinum designation. A state-of-the-art energy management system helped the company to operate 25 percent below a code compliant baseline and allows the firm to calculate its own carbon footprint on a daily basis.
Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation: Another LEED Platinum designee, the Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation's downtown office uses translucent partitions and light reflective shelves to reduce energy usage. The foundation cut water use by 43 percent by installing low-flow fixtures and by implementing green cleaning practices.
Kona Brewing Co.'s Kona Pub & Brewery: The Big Island brewery uses a solar photovoltaic system for 48 percent of its energy needs. The company also recycles the water that collects as condensation in its air conditioning system to irrigate plants, and saves over 53,000 gallons a year.
Kilauea Lakeside Estate: The Kilauea Lakeside Estate on Kaua'i gets almost all of its electricity from a solar photovoltaic system and produces nearly zero waste. The resort's green waste is composted into mulch for botanical gardens, fruit orchards, and vegetable and herb gardens.
Marriott's Maui Ocean Club: Marriott's Maui Ocean Club recycles most of its construction and electronic waste and donates all HI-5 recyclables to local high schools. Motion sensor light switches, and low-flow water fixtures and toilets sharply reduce the resort's water and energy usage.
Il Gelato Hawai'i: The local gelato maker reuses its large tubs used to deliver its products, sparing O'ahu's landfills over 12,000 containers each year. The fast-growing company was able to control its gasoline costs by improving the scheduling of its delivery and pick-up routes.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa: As part of a $13 million facelift to the third floor level of the Energy Star labeled Waikiki hotel, Hyatt Regency opted to use recycled glass planters and drought tolerant plants to help save more than 4.7 million gallons of water a year.
Central Pacific Plaza: The downtown high-rise, which has earned the Energy Star designation for the past eight years, has reduced its energy usage by an average of 25 percent a year. The building's water retrofits have saved over 2.7 million gallons since 2003.
Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel: As an Energy Star-rated building, the Wakiki Beachcomber installed variable speed chillers and other energy efficiency measures, reducing energy use by over 20 percent, equivalent to 4,000kWh per day. An upgraded cooling tower saves more than 624,000 gallons of water each year.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Maui Resort and Luxury Hotel: By investing in computerized moisture sensing devices with its irrigation system and modifying irrigation schedules, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua sharply reduced its water usage. The hotel also installed LED lighting in public areas and adjusted hot water heater settings to cut energy use.
Honeywell Utility Solutions: Through the Hawai'i Energy "Go Green" program, Honeywell helps Hawai'i consumers qualify for incentives for installing solar water heaters or make other energy efficiency measures. At its own local offices, the company provided subsidized bus passes to employees, eliminated the use of all plastic utensils, and buys only recycled paper products.
County of Maui Water Resource and Planning Division: Water conservation awareness is a cornerstone of the utility's marketing campaigns. By installing more efficient toilet fixtures and flow restrictors at its faucets, Maui's Water Resources and Planning Division is leading by example. Since the retrofits were implemented, the division has cut water usage by 56 percent, or roughly 133 gallons a day.
The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism and the Department of Accounting and General Services: As the state pursues LEED certification for the State Office Tower building downtown, high-efficiency lighting, lighting sensors, low-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets were installed. The savings were 36,270 gallons of water a year and 100,000 kWh of electricity.
The Hawai'i Green Business Awards Program is a partnership between the Hawai'i State Department of Health, DBEDT, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, the City and County of Honolulu's Environmental Services Recycling Office, and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai'i. The program encourages businesses and organizations to implement efficiency measures and share information and support each other in operating in an environmentally sustainable manner.