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Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy Commits to Becoming Carbon Net-Zero by 2030

October 23, 2021, 12:13 PM HST
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Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy (HPA) Board of Trustees is announcing the school’s commitment to becoming carbon net-zero by 2030.

Courtesy of HPA

Inspired by United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Hawaiʻi state government sustainability goals, the school is committing to eliminating its carbon emissions in nine years, school officials stated in a press release.

“Our Sustainability Plan set HPA on the path to be one of the greenest schools in the world and a resource or model for others who endeavor to adopt whole-school sustainability,” said Fred Wawner, HPA’s Interim Head of School. “The new carbon net-zero commitment adds another essential dimension to our pursuit of excellence in environmental sustainability.”

HPA adopted its Sustainability Plan in the spring of 2019 to establish a construct that guides the school’s decisions for generations to come.

The plan created a framework — Mālama Kaiāulu — rooted in “four essential practices of Hawaiian wisdom and life”:

  • Haʻina, sharing our story
  • Kuleana, responsibility
  • Lōkahi, creating harmony
  • Pilina, connectedness
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“These four practices ground the school with principles of stewardship that reflect our gratefulness for our island home and ancestors,” the release stated. “Through the Mālama Kaiāulu lens, we educate our students to become thinkers and advocates for a healthy planet. We expect all students, faculty, staff, and board members to live by the values of Mālama Kaiāulu and regenerative sustainability.”

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Since implementing the Sustainability Plan in 2019, school officials say HPA has reduced its energy purchases by 12% through efficiency upgrades around campus, awareness campaigns, student-led initiatives, and additional capital investments in solar energy systems.

In order to reach carbon net-zero, HPA is committing to self-sufficiency by installing more solar panels and a new energy storage facility, electrifying its transportation fleet and equipment, and adopting other efficient operational practices. We continue to partner with generous leaders in this work at HPA and look forward to more transformational engagement.

“Using a combination of strategic emission reductions and policies, we will be able to eliminate or offset all carbon emissions from the school. Through this work, we align ourselves with the Hawaiʻi Aloha+ Challenge, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and we will reach the target set by the Paris Agreement two decades before their 2050 goal,” said Greg McKenna, HPA’s Sustainability Resource Director. “Most importantly, our students will be part of a process to reduce the global impacts of climate change and be equipped with the mindset to be the next generation of sustainability ambassadors and advocates.”

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Using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol established following the Paris Agreement in 2015 as the primary accounting tool, HPA will collect data on its emissions and regularly report on its progress.

Offsets may be employed where carbon emissions elimination is not achievable. These offsets will be selected on the basis of quality criteria and verification of carbon reduction impact and will also support local economic and environmental solutions.

HPA walks with many other organizations across the world committed to a sustainable journey by inspiring and challenging the behaviors of the next generations. HPA is unique in our fusion of program and place, and our sustainability initiative is just one way that HPA works every day to fulfill our mission — to provide exceptional learning opportunities in a diverse community honoring the traditions of Hawaiʻi.

For more information about our CO2 commitment and sustainability at HPA, visit www.hpa.edu/sustainabilty or contact Greg McKenna at [email protected].

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