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Legacy Carbon Celebrates Anniversary with New Offset Partners

May 16, 2016, 1:57 PM HST
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UH photo.

UH photo.

Legacy Carbon is ringing in its one-year anniversary with the announcement of Carbon offset partnerships.

The program is the first in the world to produce Gold Standard certified carbon credits for the reforestation of endemic koa trees.

Offset partnerships have been announced with Paradise Helicopters, Hagadone Printing Company, and Kanile’a ‘Ukulele.

“The combined efforts of these companies will offset 8.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year – enough CO2 to fill 750 Olympic-size swimming pools annually,” said Jeffrey Dunster, Legacy Carbon president. “Looking at it another way, that would equal the total weight of more than 53,000 people — exceeding the capacity of Aloha Stadium.”

In 2015, the Legacy Carbon program was launched by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods LLC, a sustainable forestry company on the Big Island.

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The company was the only certified carbon-credit program of any kind in the Hawai’i with credits certified by the Gold Standard Foundation in Switzerland.

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“Legacy Carbon represents an important shift in our thinking about carbon offsets and carbon-neutral practices, allowing companies and organizations across a variety of industries to offset their environmental impact right here in Hawaii through the reforestation of rare native trees,” said Darrell Fox, a co-founder of Legacy Carbon.

Paradise Helicopters offers flights to the 1,000-acre Hawaiian Legacy Forest on the slopes of Mauna Kea where the trees are planted for permanent reforestation. The company provides all guests the option to offset their tours through Legacy Carbon, while also making carbon offsets standard on a special circle-island tour from the Four Seasons Hualalai.

“The ability to offer carbon-neutral flights provides us a means to bring awareness to environmental concerns and can help guests recognize the impact of civilization on our native forests,” said Calvin Dorn, chief executive officer of Paradise Helicopters. “Legacy Carbon allows us to be a positive tool in forest tours, education and rehabilitation, especially in remote areas, while also offsetting the environmental impact of those operations.”

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Hagadone Printing Company recently pledged to become entirely carbon neutral as part of its ongoing environmental sustainability efforts, which include a longstanding public recycling program, the use of environmentally friendly materials and efficient state-of-the-art technologies, and a 1,408-panel photovoltaic array installed at the company’s headquarters in 2011.

“We recognize that we all have a social responsibility to our communities, and going carbon neutral is a major part of that mission for us,” said Clint Schroeder, president and chief operating officer of Hagadone Hawai’i, which oversees Hagadone Printing Company. “Our legacy in Hawai’i dates back more than 100 years, and we are working to make Hawai’i a better place to live for generations to come.”

Kaneohe-based Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele has offset all of its operations since the start of the year, which includes its transportation fleet, air travel, employee commutes, and shipping.

“Because Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele ‘exhales’ about 102,000 pounds of carbon a year, we jumped at the opportunity to offset that locally through Legacy Carbon,” said Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele founder and master luthier Joseph Souza.

Legacy Carbon uses proprietary radio-frequency identification geo-tagging technology that accurately verifies ongoing growth, maintenance, genealogy, and carbon-sequestration data so purchasers of carbon credits can track the quantifiable impact of their purchases. This technology has allowed HLH to create the most intricately mapped forest in the world.

Legacy Carbon, HLH, and the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative are working together to reforest more than 1.3 million endemic trees in Hawai’i.

Over 325,000 indigenous trees and understory, including koa, ‘ōhi‘a, māmane, naio, ko‘oko‘olau, kūkaenēnē and ‘iliahi, have been planted in the Hawaiian Legacy Forest. In the past 6 years, HLRI has re-established an entire native ecosystem on pastureland that was once blanketed with trees, understory, and wildlife.

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