Sustainability: We’re Up to the Challenge

The Aloha+ Challenge as a place-based model in Hawaii can help us achieve greener communities.
Photo: Thinkstock

Hawaii’s Aloha+ Challenge is led by partners from across public and private sectors, and serves as a localized framework for action to achieve global sustainability development goals across environmental, social and economic priorities. 

The Aloha+ Challenge has received international recognition as a place-based model that can be implemented as part of the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. The six sustainability goals of the Aloha+ Challenge build on Hawaii values and priorities to address clean energy, local food, natural resource management, waste reduction, smart sustainable communities and green workforce and education. 

“Hawaii is at the cutting edge of sustainability,” says Celeste Connors, executive director of Hawaii Green Growth. “Hawaii is contributing positively toward this global solution and, at the same time, sharing with the world holistic and island-based values to resource management.”

The Dashboard features state- and county-level data across environmental, social and economic priorities such as renewable energy, recycling, freshwater security, affordable housing, invasive species, land-based education programs and economic diversity. In addition, the Dashboard provides a platform to track greenhouse gas mitigation tied to Hawaii’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

Hawaii Green Growth is a network of diverse public and private partners working toward these sustainability goals. Progress on Hawaii’s sustainability goals is being monitored and measured, and is available for all to see on the Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard. 

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are making great progress toward the clean energy goal, and are focused on achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2045. In 2017 Hawaiian Electric achieved a consolidated 27 percent renewable energy portfolio standard. By island in 2017, Oahu reached 21 percent renewable energy, Maui reached 34 percent and Big Island reached 57 percent. 

“These are achievements that all of us in Hawaii can be proud of,” says Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “We are fully committed to Hawaii’s Aloha+ Challenge
sustainability goals, and to reaching our state’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Working together, we’ll get there.” Oshima is a member of the Sustainability Business Forum convened by Hawaii Green Growth, which brings together business executives for candid dialogue and concrete initiatives that advance triple bottom line values: social, environmental and economic.

Among its partnership priorities for the next three years, the Hawaii Green Growth network is working to engage individuals, communities and students on the Aloha+ Challenge through an open-data dashboard in an effort to empower and accelerate action.


Aloha+ Challenge Sustainability Goals 

Clean Energy: 
70 percent clean energy – 40 percent from renewables and 30 percent from efficiency, with a view toward 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

Local Food: 
At least double local food production – 20-30 percent of food consumed will be grown locally.

Waste Reduction: 
Reduce the solid waste stream prior to disposal by 70 percent through source reduction, recycling, bioconversion and landfill diversion methods.

Natural Resource Management: 
Reverse the trend of natural resource loss mauka to makai by increasing freshwater security, watershed protection, community-based marine management, invasive species control and restoration of native species.

Smart Sustainable Communities: 
Increase livability and resilience in the built environment through planning and implementation at the state and county levels.

Green Workforce and Education: 
Increase local green jobs and education to implement these targets.

Source: Hawaii Green Growth

View the state’s progress on each of the sustainability goals at

Categories: Green Hawaii