Hawaii Convention Center Adds to Its Environmental Sustainability Efforts

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The Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu has launched a program called Ho'omaluo -- a Hawaiian word meaning "to conserve; to use or manage wisely" -- to mark its comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability and celebrate 20 years of operations.

The Ho'omaluo Program works to reduce waste and conserve and reuse resources in each stage of the event process. The approach also includes the One Million Trees effort, which supports the reforestation of endemic legacy trees in Hawaii. Launched in 2016, One Million Trees allows convention center attendees to sponsor native and endemic trees for reforestation in the state. 

In addition, the convention center, which is operated by AEG Facilities,  participates in AEG's corporate sustainability program AEG1EARTH, which helps it track monthly environmental performance metrics and exchange best practices with other AEG venues.

"We work every day to be mindful stewards of Hawaii's resources and are sensitive to the impact of our operations," said Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center. "For example, we buy locally whenever possible; we use biodegradable and recycled products; and we divert more than 90 percent of our total waste from landfills. Conservation is also in our design, with our sail on the rooftop allowing the trade winds to circulate throughout the building, reducing the need for air conditioning."

Ho'omaluo is launching in conjunction with the 2018 American Dental Association America's (ADA) Dental Meeting being held October 18-22. The event will draw over 15,000 registrants from 46 countries, while generating an estimated $70.8 million in statewide visitor spending. It is ADA's third annual conference at the Center, including the building's largest-ever gathering of 30,000 attendees in 1999. 

This year, the ADA has committed to reforesting 100 Legacy Trees. 

"The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative and Hawaii Convention Center offer a unique opportunity to offset our carbon footprint in traveling here and to help keep the islands that we love pristine and picturesque for years to come," said ADA President-Elect Jeffrey M. Cole.  

The 1.1 million-square-foot Hawaii Convention Center, the recipient of a recent LEED Existing Buildings Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council award, is the first and only "public assembly, convention center" to earn the certification in the U.S. and is the only LEED Gold project in Hawaii. 

"This LEED certification nationally recognizes the dedicated work of our staff to make our Ho'omaluo Program a reality," said Orton. "Since our opening 20 years ago, the Hawaii Convention Center has been deeply committed to a multifaceted approach to environmental conservation that inspires everything we do and touches everyone we serve."