Hawaii Convention Center Brings More Mahalo to Mother Earth

Image of people planting a small tree.

Event planners and marketers looking to produce engaging experiences while reducing their overall carbon footprint can now do so in the heart of paradise: Hawaii.

Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) is launching a first-of-its-kind program that ties restoring native trees to the island during meetings—for both in-person and virtual attendees. The program enables individual attendees to select and plant endemic and native trees as part of the center’s conservation program, Hoomalo—which translates to “to conserve or manage wisely.”

The Hoomaluo conservation program was made possible through a partnership with the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, which has led the way in reforesting efforts by replenishing 400,000 endemic and native trees on the islands of Oahu and the Island of Hawaii. However, much work remains to be done as less than 10% of Hawaii’s indigenous forests remain. The convention center has committed to planting more than one million trees across the state.

“The Hawaii Convention Center’s industry-leading environmental practices help reduce the impact of our meetings and events, and provide organizers and attendees with customized, turnkey options to protect our natural resources right here in Hawaii,” says Teri Orton, general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center.

Read More: Bottom Line: A Lighter Footprint and the Environmental Impact of Meetings

Putting Sustainability in Action

While the convention center offers event planners ample room to design events centered around the needs and goals of its guests in the state-of-the-art LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold facility, the new sustainability program also creates the opportunity for companies to engage in activities that embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) by benefiting the local community and the Hawaiian Islands as a whole.

The convention center’s new sustainability program is aligned with the goals set forth by the Hawaii Tourism Authority of generating environmental restoration to the state while elevating Hawaiian culture and giving local residents a greater voice in the state’s future tourism.

Event planners have several options for creating a meaningful and memorable experience in the form of planting their very own legacy tree in a small group setting with guidance from a staff dedicated to providing personalized service that cater to small group events.

Planners can select from various plans including a horseback planter’s tour taking attendees through Hawaii’s historic Gunstock Ranch or take an off-road tour at Gunstock, exploring historic sites dating back to WWII, hidden caves and beautiful views.

Read More: How IMEX Frankfurt Answered Critical Questions for a Sustainable Event

Attendees can also choose to plant their Hawaiian Legacy Tree during a hike through Gunstock Ranch while enjoying the pristine surroundings of Oahu, a more family-friendly option.

In addition, the convention center offers several guides to assist planners and guests with maintaining efforts of sustainability to create and carry out greener events through zero waste, water conservation and limiting power consumption. Event planners are also given access to exclusive turnkey environmental programs to enhance the experience of their attendees while bringing them closer to the local community.

The Hoomaluo conservation program also includes a recycling guide to help planners execute best practices for selecting items that can be recycled or reused following an event, including items used for food packaging to informational materials such as flyers and brochures.

A Legacy Partnership

Located in the heart of Honolulu’s business district on Kalakaua Avenue, 1.1 million-square-foot Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) is just a stone’s throw from and Oahu’s 30,000 hotel rooms fronted by one of the state’s beautiful beaches. It is also a direct connection to a sustainable event.

HCC has partnered with Legacy Carbon, a carbon offset project geared towards helping businesses in Hawaii achieve carbon neutrality. Legacy Carbon has planted over 500,000 tress in Hawaii to date, earning certification from the Switzerland-based Gold Standard Foundation, which has set the most rigorous standards for carbon offsets in the world.

Read More: Green Meeting Resource Guide

And when it’s all over, event planners and attendees can say goodbye knowing that what they leave behind will benefit the local community. Different types of event displays, such as furniture and foam core boards are repurposed and donated to local organizations to aid those in need, along with tradeshow giveaways that are donated to various service organizations and local schools.

HCC is a recognized leader in the state for advancing energy efficient and sustainable practices and was among 20 businesses in Hawaii to receive the Hawaii Green Business Program award in 2020 for advancing the state’s sustainability goals.

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