Windward Coast Oahu

Green Initiatives

From day one, even before its opening in 1998, the Hawaii Convention Center has integrated sustainability, conservation and respect for the environment in all aspects of its planning and operations.

In 2018, the Hawai‘i Convention Center attained the  Po’okela Level (excellence in Leadership) for the Hawai‘i Green Business Program for venues. The state’s Hawaii Green Business Program (HGBP) assists and recognizes businesses that strive to operate in an environmentally, culturally and socially responsible manner.

Use the links below to jump further down the page for specific information.


Air Quality Initiatives 

  • Maintaining a building-wide no-smoking policy to maintain optimum air quality and limiting smoking designated smoking areas to parts of the building that will have minimal impact on the public air quality
  • Using self-pedal bicycles, electric carts and propane-powered lifts that reduce the need for petroleum products and allow for cleaner air quality 

  • Providing designated parking areas with a charging station for guest and staff for electric vehicles
  • HCC encourages our convention attendees to take alternative modes of transportation such as Honolulu’s new bikeshare program called Biki which has a station at HCC. This new transportation service offers residents and conference goers a green and clean means to move about Honolulu and Waikiki.

AEG 1EARTH Participation

As a proud participant in AEG’s corporate environmental sustainability program, AEG 1EARTH , The Hawaii Convention Center contributes to AEG’s progress towards its 2020 Environmental Goals by:

  • Exchanging environmental best practices with other venues 

  • Tracking environmental performance monthly, measuring energy use, water use and waste diversion 
  • The HCC is one of 18 venues worldwide that attained 75% of waste diverted from landfills. The AEG 2020 Environmental Goal is that 50% of their venues attain this diversion rate.

Energy Conservation & Efficiency

  • Using rooftop “sails” to send trade winds throughout the building, helping to vent off heat and reducing the need for electric air conditioning
  • Controlling lighting and air conditioning with software that ensures guest comfort while optimizing energy use, e.g. timing lights to meeting times, keying lights to motion detection and pre-cooling rooms

  • Using a jockey chiller as an alternative to the 
larger, original chillers, reducing energy used for 
air conditioning
  • Replacing lighting in the ballroom, exhibition halls, parking, back-of-house offices and 
hallways with efficient florescent lighting
  • Programming back-of-house lights and air conditioning to shut off when there is no activity in the building
  • Managing energy use by large equipment using VFDs (variable frequency drives) to 
adjust motor speed to output requirements

Event Practices 

  • Repurposing event-generated waste, such as foam core boards, displays and furniture, for donation to local charitable organizations 

  • Repurposing unused convention trade show giveaways for donation to local schools and service organizations
  • Working with event planners on environmentally conscious activities, e.g. tracking waste from specific activities, clearing the Center’s landscaping of harmful invasive plants and engaging guests in community service 

Food & Beverage Practices 

  • Buying from local food suppliers and creating menus dedicated to featuring local tastes and products
  • Serving only locally grown and produced coffee at the 808 Coffees Café coffee kiosk on the meeting room level
  • Offering disposable, biodegradable and compostable service ware
  • Donating unused prepared food to Aloha Harvest, which then distributes it to charitable organizations
  • Using food waste for local animal feed
  • Recycling oil used in deep frying through a third-party contractor
  • HCC is a proud participant of the EPA Food Recovery Challenge where organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results.

Purchasing Practices 

  • Maintaining a “buy local” procurement policy where possible, including Hawaii-sourced food products and items created and produced in Hawaii, to reduce shipping and packaging needs
  • Purchasing ecologically friendly chemicals for housekeeping, landscaping, engineering and food and beverage 

  • Considering Energy Star ratings and other industry certifications when purchasing new equipment and appliances

  • Including sustainable properties of building materials in the selection process for all purchases for capital improvement projects 

Staff Activities 

  • Encouraging all staff to make a commitment to activism and change through projects and initiatives put forward by HCC and AEG 1Earth program
  • Identifying how our everyday activities can contribute to sustainability in the spirit of kuleana (responsibility) and the culture of aloha (kindness)
  • Staff engage in annual Earth Day, Earth Hour, and America Recycles Day activities

Water Conservation 

  • Automatic dispensers for faucets as well as hand soap, sanitizer and in all restrooms to save on water and supplies 

  • Using low-flush toilets and urinals and low-flow aerators in sinks and showers throughout the building 

  • Xeriscaping and drip irrigation for lower water-use landscapes 

  • Using a recycled water process in kitchen dishwashing to filter solid materials and pre-rinse dishes, providing a 50% dishwashing water savings 

Waste Reduction & Recycling

  • HCC attained a 75% diversion rate from landfills in 2015 and diverted a total of 40% of all waste generated from events and building operations from the waste stream since 2013
  • Providing recycling receptacles for attendee and client use in meeting rooms, public areas, convention offices and food and beverage events

  • Collecting green waste for composting and recycling into mulch
  • Donating older computers, monitors and keyboards to a local service that repurposes equipment for local communities and recycles machine waste 

  • Offering unneeded equipment and materials to State of Hawaii agencies and community organizations
  • Requiring that contractors include recycling and repurposing of materials in their waste management plan for construction projects
  • In 2017, HCC was able to divert 93% of our total waste from landfills, with 40% diverted to recycling and 53% diverted to the Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery (H-POWER), Honolulu’s waste-to-energy plant.

Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

Through the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, a nonprofit organization that has led the permanent reforestation of more than 400,000 endemic trees on Hawaii Island, the Hawaii Convention Center has committed to planting 1 million native trees across the state. Join us as we support these vital reforestation efforts. With a few clicks, you can sponsor a Legacy Tree, track its development, and help Hawaii grow a brighter future.