Sustainability at HPU

Sustainibility at HPU

Welcome to HPU's Commitment to Sustainability

HPU GreenRide

In order to support and encourage our students and employees to carpool, we’re pleased to launch a new dedicated ridesharing solution designed to help you find commuting partners who work or study at Hawai`i Pacific University. HPU GreenRide is a ridesharing system for use only by Hawai`i Pacific University employees and students. Register today using your HPU e-mail account to find a carpool partner or a walking, biking or transit buddy. Fully secure, it will help you find ridesharing partners who work or study at HPU.

With HPU GreenRide you can:

  • Find partners for carpooling, biking, bussing, and walking to any of HPU’s campuses.
  • Find carpool partners for single trips (Live in Waikiki and want to go to the North Shore?).
  • Log all of your commutes to realize emissions savings, cost savings, and health benefits of your transportation decisions.

To sign up, simply go to the HPU GreenRide website at, and use your HPU email address ( or to register.

HPU Green Office Program

HPU's Sustainability Coordinator has recently developed the HPU Green Office Program, with plans to launch across the University in the fall of 2013. The HPU Green Office Program was developed to help departments across the university implement more sustainable practices in the daily operations of their offices.The president’s office has kicked off the program and achieved a Green Office Bronze certification for its practices, and is trying to identify other ways to be even more sustainable. All departments will be recognized for their participation and achievements, and the three highest rated departments will be announced and awarded prizes at faculty convocation. HPU’s Sustainability Coordinator will contact your department during the fall, 2013 semester to ask for your participation and provide you with all of the information needed. While this is presented as a score card to get departments interested and willing to participate, the primary purpose is not the level achieved, but rather developing campus and individual awareness and conserving resources when we are able.

Double-Sided Printing Policy Brings Big Savings

It has now been twelve months since Hawai`i Pacific University has changed all university printer settings to automatic double-sided print. This policy was put in place to begin practicing a more sustainable use of HPU resources, and facilitate smarter paper practices across the university.

Paper usage from January, 2013 to January, 2014 across the entire university was 7,197 reams of paper (500 sheets/ream), which equated to a cost of $32,458.55. This is a significant reduction from the previous 12-month paper usage of 12,303 reams, which equated to a cost of $54,267.86. Though the student and employee populations have not been factored, the total annual reduction of paper used across the university has been 5,106 reams, and $21,809.31 in annual savings.

HPU Holds Another Successful Student Energy Competition

The 2013 HPU Kukui Cup interactive, online energy competition among Hawaii Loa Campus residence halls ended last week. The grand prize winner with the most overall points was Marine Biology student Rachel Partoza, who won a new Kindle Fire. Lehua Hall led the residence halls in energy reduction, achieving seven of their daily goals with an average daily energy reduction of 5.6 percent! Lehua Hall also led the competition with an 84 percent participation rate. Congratulations to everyone who participated! To learn more, click here.

HPU Receives Hawai`i Green Business Award


In April, 2013, Hawai`i Pacific University received the Hawai`i Green Business award. The Hawai`i Green Business awards — sponsored by the state Department of Health; the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii — were presented by Gov. Neil Abercrombie during a ceremony at the state capital. HPU was recognized for initiatives focusing on its Hawaii Loa Campus, which include defaulting all University printers to double-sided print, the use of Energy Star rated appliances and equipment, an online ride-share program (HPU GreenRide), the use of EPEAT Gold desktop computers, numerous recycling practices, and reducing campus energy use by 28% by installing a new chiller plant among others. For more information click here.

HPU Joins EPA's Food Recovery Challenge

As part of the EPA’s expanding efforts to reduce food waste across the state of Hawai‘i, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently recognized Hawai‘i Pacific University as the newest participant in the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge program. HPU's dining hall has a number of programs in place to minimize and recycle food waste when possible. Debbie Day, Sodexo Dining Operations Manager for HPU, has implemented Weigh the Waste Wednesdays to track the amount of food waste created in the cafeteria, and encourage students to reduce that number each week. Debbie also works with local pig farmers to divert hundreds of pounds of food waste from the landfills every semester.

Other sustainability initiatives in HPU's dining hall include Lights Off Lunch, Meatless Mondays, 100% recycled content napkins, vegan options at every meal, 100% trans fat-free food, and an electric powered golf cart.

Listen to HPU's Sustainability Coordinator, Josh Prigge, discuss HPU's participation in the Food Recovery Challenge, and the issue of food waste, on Hawai`i Public Radio's Town Square:

Food Recovery

New Cooling System Realizes High Energy and Cost Savings

HPU's Hawaii Loa Campus has now been using a new chilled-water cooling system for more than twelve months, and HPU is realizing huge energy and cost savings from this air-conditioning upgrade. Energy data was collected over a period of twelve months before, and twelve months after, the addition of the new cooling system. Energy use has been reduced by 28% leading to an annual savings of $113,565. The 12-month energy use of the entire Hawaii Loa Campus before the new cooling system was 2,409,896 kilowatt hours, and 1,737,317 kilowatt hours over a 12-month period afterwards.

The new chilled water cooling system uses a magnetically levitated centrifugal compressor, which is much less energy intensive than traditional scroll compressors due to a decrease in friction. The new system also uses variable speed air handlers, digital thermometers, and desktop monitoring and control systems allowing the Hawaii Loa Campus Academic Center to be cooled at different levels throughout sixteen different zones of the building.

HPU Participates in 1st Annual Hawai`i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit

Sust Summit1

HPU's Sustainability Coordinator has worked together with faculty, staff, and students from higher education institutions across the State of Hawai`i to co-found, develop, and facilitate the 1st Annual Hawai`i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit. The Summit took place on April 11th and 12th, 2013, at the University of Hawai`i West Oahu campus, and was attended by HPU, BYUH, Chaminade University, and all ten of the University of Hawai`i system colleges and universities.

The two-day summit included sustainability policy development sessions, program sharing, a student forum, and keynote presentations from Leith Sharp (Chair of the Sustainable Futures Academy and Harvard Sustainability Instructor), Matthew St. Clair (University of California Office of the President Sustainability Manager), and Kamuela Enos (MA‘O Organic Farms Director of Social Enterprise). Participants and presenters from HPU included faculty members Dr. Art Whatley, Dr. Regina Ostergaard-Klem, and Dr. Stephen Allen; HPU students Nathan Albritton (MA GLSD), Adrienne Kleid (MA GLSD), and Amy Schwab (MA GLSD); and HPU staff Josh Prigge.

Sust Summit2

New University-Wide Printing Policy

In February, 2013, HPU implemented a new policy to drastically reduce paper use across campus by changing the default settings on all HPU network printers and copiers to double-sided print. An organization of HPU's size goes through very large quantities of paper (6,151,500 sheets of paper over twelve months), and any efforts to reduce these quantities will lead to cost savings for all departments and the protection and preservation of our natural resources. It is estimated that the average office employee in the United States creates approximately 350 pounds of wastepaper a year. By carefully managing our resources and making wise decisions for our future, we can reduce that amount significantly.

This is an important effort for the university, not just because it saves money, but because it makes an impactful contribution to the environment. The production of paper contributes to numerous environmental problems including the significant reduction of trees and forests which are essential to biodiversity and carbon sequestration, the emitting of toxic pollution into the air from production processes, the burning of fossil fuels for transportation, and the contribution of large amounts of paper products in our landfills. By reducing our own contribution to these environmental problems, we can become better global citizens and take pride in being stewards of the earth. HPU also now has a standard of purchasing 30% post-consumer recycled content office paper across the University.

It is our hope that as we implement this plan we will be able to foster a long-term commitment to smarter paper practices, and that we will continue to look for solutions that benefit both the HPU community and the environment.

HPU Releases 2012 Sustainability ReportSustainability Report

Guided by the results of the recent sustainability assessment, HPU's Sustainability Coordinator has released the 2012 HPU Sustainability Report. The report documents sustainability initiatives across the University, as well as provides opportunities for future improvements in sustainability. To view the 2012 HPU Sustainability Report, click here.

HPU Achieves STARS Bronze Rating from AASHE

After a nine month sustainability assessment was performed at Hawai`i Pacific University using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) framework developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), HPU has been rated as a STARS Bronze institution. The STARS process assesses the level of sustainability throughout all sectors of the University including research and education, operations, and planning, administration and engagement. To view the entire STARS report developed by HPU's Sustainability Coordinator, click here.

2012 HPU Kukui Cup Competition

Residents at Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Hawai‘i Loa Campus kicked off the inaugural  HPU Kukui Cup challenge on Sept. 17, 2012. The energy and sustainability competition was developed in collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.


This three-week challenge rewarded students with points for learning about energy and sustainability-related issues, attending sustainability workshops and events, and reducing energy use in their residence halls. These points are then used to win various prizes during the competition. Residence halls meeting the most energy reduction goals during the week won a pizza party for their hall every Wednesday. The individual with the most points at the end of the three-week competition received a brand new Kindle Fire. For more on the 2012 HPU Kukui Cup, click here.


LED Lighting Retrofit at HPU

In July, 2012 all six Hawaii Loa Campus residence halls received an LED lighting retrofit, which included the replacement of 260 T-12 fluorescent lamps with highly energy efficient T-8 LED lamps. This lighting retrofit is estimated to reduce total energy use of HPU’s residence halls by 17,305 kilowatt hours per year, resulting in estimated cost savings of approximately $5,500 per year. Energy efficient lighting has been installed throughout the Hawai'i Loa Campus over the past several years including compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and T-8 fluorescent bulbs to replace incandescent and T-12 fluorescent bulbs.

Virtual Cloud Technology Reduces Energy Across HPU

Over the past two years, HPU has been switching over to more effective and efficient computer systems for HPU students, staff, and faculty. Previously, HPU had approximately 1,200 desktop computers throughout campus. Now, over 900 of those desktops have been replaced with thin client Samsung monitors, which operate on a virtual cloud instead of a PC. These new thin client systems each use about 10-15% of the energy used by a single PC. As of spring, 2012, all of the computers in HPU’s libraries, classrooms, and computer centers have been switched over to this new, energy efficient technology. HPU has also relocated its data center from on campus to a co-location site off campus. Data centers are highly energy-intensive, so this contributed to large reductions in energy use as well.

HPU's Hawai`i Loa Campus gets PermaBlitzed

More than 80 community volunteers and HPU students showed up at HPU's Hawai`i Loa Campus on April 28th, 2012 to participate in the revitalization and expansion of HPU's agricultural projects. The community members included volunteers and organizers of PermaBlitz Hawai`i, an organization that brings together individuals and resources to transform urban areas into productive gardens rooted in permaculture design principles. The HPU PermaBlitz focused on the expansion of three agricultural areas of the Hawai`i Loa Campus including an organic student garden, a taro patch, and a banana and papaya tree grove. Please visit the following links for videos and write-ups of this wonderful event at HPU:

10-minute Documentary on the HPU PermaBlitz


Sub-meters Installed at Hawaii Loa Campus

Seven buildings at the Hawaii Loa Campus, including all six residence halls and the cafeteria building, have each received eGuage sub-meters to track real-time energy use throughout the buildings. The eGuage meters allow users to go online and view the actual energy use of the buildings, as well as energy use of individual applications such as outdoor lighting, vending machines, and plug loads. The sub-meter equipment and installation were entirely funded by Hawai`i Energy, and are planned on being used to educate HPU student, staff, and faculty on the importance of tracking and managing energy use in buildings.

Richard Heinberg Speaks at HPU


On November 9th, 2011, Richard Heinberg visited Hawai`i Pacific University to speak about the end of economic growth, peak oil, and sustainability. Richard Heinberg is one of the leading experts around the world in the field of sustainability, peak oil, and the need to transition to a society without fossil fuels. Watch Richard's presentation at the Hawai`i Loa Campus at the following link:

Hawai`i Pacific University Joins STARS

Sustainability and efforts to ‘go green’ have not only captured the efforts of corporations and businesses around the world, it also has caught the attention of higher education institutions. Here at Hawai`i Pacific University, we recognize the importance of sustainability and have chosen to become a participant of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

Established by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS is an innovative, voluntary self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge progress toward sustainability and be acknowledged for sustainability leadership. Created by the higher education community, STARS will help HPU set and meet our sustainability goals while promoting information-sharing among our campus community.By participating in STARS, HPU will earn positive recognition for our sustainability efforts while helping to generate new ideas for moving forward.

STARS integrates sustainable activities and efforts across all campus sectors from curriculum and research to operations and administration, thereby constructing a comprehensive view of our sustainability efforts.Over 240 institutions across the United States and Canada have registered as STARS Participants. We invite you to visit the STARS website to learn more.

Hard Work Keeps Materials Out of Landfills

During the summer and fall of 2011 HPU saw many changes take place on the downtown and Hawaii Loa campuses. Department relocations, new classrooms, new offices, and residence hall renovations brought new technology and new furniture to HPU. HPU’s sustainability coordinator worked with the project managers of these renovations and HPU facilities manager, Rap Craig, to minimize waste by donating as much of the old furniture and equipment as possible.

HPU reached out to numerous non-profits, schools, churches, hospitals and clinics to offer all of our discarded items to those who could put them to good use and keep them out of the landfills. The number of items HPU has salvaged and kept out of the landfills during the downtown and Hawaii Loa Campus renovations from June, 2011 to September, 2011 include:

  • 205 mattresses, 175 wood bed frames, 30 metal bed frames, and 30 box springs
  • 200 residence hall desk chairs
  • 87 classroom student desks
  • 45 office chairs
  • 29 file cabinets
  • 22 computer lab tables
  • 17 office desks
  • 10 dressers and 15 nightstands
  • 10 office partitions
  • 7 hospital beds

HPU has also implemented an online program called "HPU Swap Meet." HPU Swap Meet allows employees to post pictures online of furniture or equipment items that they no longer need, and allows other employees to search for items that they could use. This is an efficient way to reuse HPU's resources within the University before purchasing new items.