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State honors Maui organizations for energy-efficient practices

The Maui News

Three Maui businesses and organizations have been honored for their energy-efficient and sustainable practices, the Hawaii State Energy Office announced Friday.

The University of Hawaii Maui College, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas and the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions were among the 14 winners of the annual Hawaii Green Business Awards recognized on Friday during a ceremony that was held virtually for the second time due to the pandemic.

“It is an honor to present these awards that recognize the commitment and hard work done by businesses and organizations to make Hawaii more sustainable,” Gov. David Ige said. “Not only do their achievements keep utility costs down and create a more sustainable environment for them individually as businesses, they also are collectively contributing to Hawaii’s clean energy goals.”

The businesses and events undertook a wide array of green initiatives that included planting native and endemic plants to reduce the need for excessive irrigation, using low-flow faucets and shower heads to reduce water consumption, installing LED lights and solar panels, recycling paper and food scraps and implementing initiatives to encourage employees to commute by bike.

Created in 2002 by the Hawaii State Energy Office and the state Department of Health, the Hawaii Green Business Program provides technical assistance to businesses, government agencies and nonprofits seeking to operate in a more environmentally and socially responsible manner, according to a news release.

“As we enter into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain acutely aware of how vulnerable Hawaii is to things like volatile fuel and electricity prices, energy supply disruptions, rising sea levels and threats to our fragile ecosystem,” said Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn. “The Hawaii Green Business Program helps address these issues by creating a profitable public-private partnership between business, government and a concerned public.”

For more information on the program, visit greenbusiness.hawaii.gov/.

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