We'd love to help you plan and execute greener events. Please visit our Sustainability Toolkit for more details!
When we meet, we accomplish more. At the Hawai‘i Convention Center, our guests, planners, staff and communities have come together for more than two decades to preserve, protect and enhance the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Our Hoʻomaluo program celebrates that commitment with a multi-faceted approach to environmental conservation that inspires everything we do and touches everyone we serve.
Our guests experience a state-of-the-art LEED Gold facility designed around their needs and goals, in an atmosphere that reflects the rich history, culture, environment and aloha of Hawai‘i.
Our planners have greater access to exclusive turnkey environmental programs, creating award-winning authentic experiences unlike any other in the world.
Our staff provides an experienced and streamlined approach to each meeting or event. Less waste = less impact, hassle and expense.
Our communities benefit from educational resources, world-class environmental gatherings, and conservation programs designed to strengthen Hawai‘i for generations to come.
What Hoʻomaluō Means to Us
Conservation is an important part of our kuleana (responsibility) to everyone we serve. From the very foundation of our building design to the corporate guidance of ASM Global, we work throughout our operations to be responsible stewards of our islands.
LEED Gold Certification (Re-certified in 2021)
The U.S Green Building Council was established in 1993 with the mission to promote sustainability in the building and construction industry. In 2000 the Council developed the now internationally recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system.
This system provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
In 2018, after a thorough review process of these criteria, the Center was awarded LEED v.4 O+M: Existing Buildings Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Center is the first and only “public assembly, convention center” to earn LEED v.4 O+M Gold Certification in the U.S., and is the only LEED v.4 O+M Gold project in Hawai‘i. The Center has been re-certified Gold in 2021.
Gold is the third-highest rating out of four total levels, including “Certified,” “Silver,” “Gold” and “Platinum.” Importantly, LEED provides a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Version 4 is an enhanced measurement of sustainability standards as it:
1. Is a performance-based approach that calls for measurable results through a building’s life cycle.
2. Identifies demand response programs
3. Expands focus on materials, analyze impact to human health and environment, not just total used
4. Evaluates total building water use
One Million Trees
Through the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, a nonprofit organization that has led the reforestation of more than 500,000 native and endemic trees on O‘ahu and the Island of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Convention Center has committed to planting 1 million Legacy Trees across the state.
Fewer than 10 percent of Hawai‘i’s old-growth native and endemic forests remain. The Center offers meeting planners and guests the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture, history and environment of Hawai‘i during their event by supporting these vital reforestation efforts. With a few clicks, guests can sponsor and dedicate a Legacy Tree, track its development, and help Hawai‘i grow a brighter future. Recently, groups such as the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) have worked with the Center to enhance their meetings through program participation.
Planted in the original Legacy Forest on the Island of Hawai‘i’s Hāmākua Coast, sponsored koa trees will grow to more than 50 feet in their natural environment, offsetting the carbon footprint of a typical vacation to the islands for a family of four. This beautiful tree, prized throughout Hawaiian history, provides a habitat for numerous rare and endangered species.
Guests are invited to visit onemillion.legacytrees.org to sponsor and dedicate an individual koa Legacy Tree or group of trees at a special price. Each sponsor will receive a high-quality certificate with the RFID tracking information and dedication details. They can then watch their Legacy Tree as it grows with a regularly updated, high-quality aerial map supported by TreeTracker technology.
The Center is pleased to present the world’s first and only program to reforest native and endemic trees in Hawai‘i for certified carbon offsets. This new initiative is an expansion of our One Million Trees program and provides meeting organizers with the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their meeting, as well as offer individual attendees the ability to select and plant endemic and native trees virtually or in-person.
The Center partners with Hawai‘i-based Legacy Carbon, which is dedicated to providing the highest-quality certified carbon offsets in the world, to provide locally focused, cost-effective carbon credits. The program has been certified by the prestigious Switzerland-based Gold Standard Foundation and is the first forestry project in North America to issue Gold Standard Credits. Carbon offsets are generated through the planting of more than 500,000 trees to date in Hawai‘i.
The Hawai‘i Convention Center’s carbon footprint was calculated by Greenview in partnership with Legacy Carbon. Greenview is a sustainability firm that provides hospitality organizations with consulting and advisory services, the leading online sustainability data platform, and industry research studies.
As of June 2023, participating events and conferences have contributed a total of $11,334.88 in carbon offset which equates to the planting of 133 trees! We will continue to update this number monthly.
Other efforts and initiatives include:
Energy Conservation & Efficiency
The design of the Center includes a canvas-type sail on the rooftop, allowing Hawai‘i’s trade winds to circulate throughout the building. This helps to vent off heat and reduces the need for air conditioning and the use of electricity for cooling.
A computer-based building management system controls lighting and air conditioning, ensuring guest satisfaction while properly managing the use of energy. Electricity use is closely monitored through accurate programming of meetings start/end times and incorporates pre-cooling. Lights are programmed to turn off when there is no activity in meeting rooms.
A jockey chiller is installed as an alternative to the original larger chillers, further reducing the amount of energy used for air conditioning.
Lighting in the ballroom, exhibition halls, parking areas and back-of-the-house offices and hallways was retrofitted to florescent and more efficient configurations.
Lights and air conditioning in the back-of-the-house areas are programmed to be off during weekends and holidays, when there is no activity in the building. Motion sensors in intermittent-use areas also help with energy conservation.
Energy use on large equipment is managed using variable frequency drives (VFDs) to adjust motor speed to output requirements.
Automatic dispensers for sink faucets, hand towels, hand soap and hand sanitizer in all restrooms save on water, towels and cleansing product.
Low-flush toilets and urinals and low-flow aerators in sinks and showers are used throughout the building to reduce water use.
Xeriscaping and drip irrigation in the landscaping minimize water use.
Recycled water from barrels are used to tie down tents for our rooftop events.
Recycled water is used to water plants and for cleaning facility.
Installed artificial turf on 25% of lawn space to reduce need for watering.
The Center established a building-wide no-smoking policy to maintain optimum air quality. Designated smoking areas are located to have minimal impact on public air quality.
Staff members use self-pedal bicycles, electric carts and propane-powered lifts, reducing need for petroleum products, thereby improving air quality.
The Center provides for electric vehicles with a designated parking area and charging station for guest and staff use.
The Center encourages our convention attendees to take alternative modes of transportation such as Honolulu’s new bikeshare program called Biki which has a station at the Center. This new transportation service offers residents and conference goers a green and clean means to move about Honolulu and Waikīkī.
Waste Reduction & Recycling
The center recycles glass, plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard from events and all administrative offices. Center staff manages the collection and sorting of recycled products.
Recycle receptacles for attendee and client use are placed in meeting rooms, public areas, convention offices and at food and beverage events.
Green waste collected from landscaping areas is composted and recycled into mulch.
Used computers, monitors and keyboards are recycled through a local service that repurposes current equipment for local communities and recycles older equipment.
Equipment and materials no longer necessary at the Center are offered to other State of Hawai‘i agencies or community organizations.
Contractors include recycling and repurposing of materials in their waste management plans for construction projects.
To date, we have diverted 45% our total waste to recycling.
Event-generated waste, such as foam core boards, displays and furniture, are repurposed and donated to local organizations that service those in need.
Convention tradeshow giveaways are repurposed and donated to local schools and service organizations.
Center staff members work with event planners to plan and execute environmentally conscious events. Examples include tracking and documenting waste generated from specific activities, working to clear the Center’s landscaping of invasive plants detrimental to Hawai‘i’s landscape and planning sustainability-focused community service activities.
The Center encourages a “buy local” procurement policy whenever possible. This extends to Hawai‘i-sourced food products and items created and produced in Hawai‘i, thereby reducing the shipping and packaging needs for products delivered to the Center.
Chemicals purchased by housekeeping, landscaping, engineering and food and beverage departments are ecologically friendly.
Energy Star ratings and other industry certifications are considered when purchasing new equipment and appliances.
Sustainable properties of building materials are included in the selection process for all capital improvement project purchases.
Food & Beverage Sustainable Practices
Food and Beverage buys from local suppliers and producers, menus featuring local tastes and products are customized for events and 808 Coffees Café, a coffee kiosk on the meeting room level, serves only locally grown and produced coffee.
Disposable food and beverage service ware is biodegradable and compostable
Food that is prepared but not served is donated to Aloha Harvest, which then distributes it to charitable organizations.
Food waste is used for animal feed locally. Oil used in deep fry preparation is recycled through a third-party contractor.
The kitchen uses a recycled water process that filters solid materials and pre-rinses, providing an estimated 50% savings on dishwashing water use.
The Center is a proud participant of the EPA Food Recovery Challenge where organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results
Awards & Accolades
The Center has received multiple Green Event Awards from the State of Hawai‘i and the City and County of Honolulu for its commitment to environmental responsibility in planning and working with convention clients.
2022 - The Hawai‘i Green Business Program (HGBP) recognized the Center on June 29, 2023, for its energy efficiency and sustainable business practices. Thirty-seven awardees representing five islands were honored. The program is a partnership between Hawai‘i’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Health; Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i; and the Board of Water Supply.
2021 - The Hawai‘i Convention Center was recognized among 14 venues and events with the Hawai‘i Green Business Program (HGBP) Award by the State of Hawai‘i for its energy efficiency and sustainable business practices.
2020 - The Hawai‘i Convention Center was among the 20 businesses, venues and events to receive the Hawaiʻi Green Business Program (HGBP)’s Hawaiʻi Green Business Program award for undertaking energy efficiency and sustainable business practices that will help their bottom line while advancing Hawaiʻi’s clean energy and sustainability goals. A partnership between Hawaiʻi’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Health; Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi; and the Board of Water Supply, this program highlights businesses that are dedicated to creating a sustainable Hawaiʻi.
2018 - The Center attained the Po’okela Level (Excellence in Leadership) for the Hawai‘i Green Business Program for venues. The state’s Hawai‘i Green Business Program (HGBP) assists and recognizes businesses that strive to operate in an environmentally, culturally and socially responsible manner.
2016 - The Center was recognized for environmental stewardship by the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, the Hawai‘i Department of Health and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i. The Center achieved the highest level of Ma’o Hau Hele, venues leading the way in sustainability
2015-2016 – State of Hawai‘i Green Event Award: Hawai‘i Tourism Conference from the Hawai‘i Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, the Hawai‘i Department of Health and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i
2012– 2013, 2013– 2014– State of Hawai‘i Green Event Award: Hawai‘i Build & Buy Green Conference from the Hawai‘i Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, the Hawai i Department of Health and the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i
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