Business

$1 Million Raised for Local Nonprofits

March 15, 2021, 4:00 PM HST
* Updated March 15, 1:01 PM
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Blue Planet Foundation has announced the successful completion of its WEfficiency program, an online crowdfunding tool that helped Hawaiiʻs nonprofits raise funds to implement energy-saving projects. Since the program’s launch in 2014, WEfficiency crowdfunded over $400,000 in donations and loans that will provide over $1 million in energy savings for the participating nonprofits over ten years, and avoid the use of nearly 12,000 gallons of oil and the emission of over 251,000 pounds of carbon annually.

“We’re so excited that the energy efficiency projects crowdfunded through the WEfficiency program unlocked such big savings for our local nonprofits while helping our climate,” said David Aquino, creative director at Blue Planet Foundation and WEfficiency project lead. “These organizations have been providing critical services for our communities, especially throughout the COVID pandemic, so we’re happy to see fewer dollars spent on energy bills and more dollars spent on impact.”

To date, WEfficiency has enabled substantial energy efficiency upgrades for six projects on two islands. Local nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, Damien Memorial School, the YWCA of Oahu, and others were able to install LED lighting in their facilities, saving them thousands each year. For the YWCA, the lighting upgrades at its flagship Laniakea building in downtown Honolulu saved the organization nearly $8,500 annually on electricity costs—dollars that can now go directly towards YWCA’s mission to empower women.

“Maintaining a historic building while running programs in it is not an easy proposition for a nonprofit,” said Noriko Namiki, executive director of the YWCA of Oahu. “That task became even harder last year as COVID affected every segment of our operations. It has been a few years since we closed on the clean energy project with WEfficiency but we continue to enjoy the benefits of the project since we spend less on electricity. Those savings are even more critical at a time like this, as we provide much-needed services to women in need.”

Besides individual supporters, other large donors formed a WEfficiency Hui to help projects reach their target goals. These donors included Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, the Weissman Family Foundation, ABC Stores, and Randy Ching.

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“The community involvement of the WEfficiency program highlights the best attributes of Hawaii’s people –generosity, heart, and understanding that it takes all of us working together to succeed,” said Aquino.

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To learn more about Blue Planet’s WEfficiency program and the projects it funded, please visit wefficiency.org.

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