By IMCOM Pacific PAOJanuary 2, 2018
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- The Waikiki Improvement Association has presented Hale Koa Hotel Armed Forces Recreation Center the 2017 Pili Honua Award which recognizes projects, initiatives and operations that embody the goals and aspirations of "living green in Hawaii."
The Waikiki Improvement Association announced its selections for the Pili Honua Award in late 2017 after a review and assessment of the various green initiatives the Hale Koa had undertaken during the previous year. This is one category of the WIA's Ho'owehiwehi Awards.
"The Ho'owehiwehi award calls honor to organizations which embrace its meaning to adorn, decorate or beautify," said Richard E. LeBrun, Hale Koa general manager. "As such, it really is an honor to receive this award on behalf of Hale Koa Hotel, as we are relentlessly seeking ways to better care for, protect and preserve the beauty of the natural resources and various cultural elements of these beautiful islands; to receive an award of this magnitude and visibility is a truly humbling recognition of those efforts."
The Hale Koa Team earned the prestigious award because of the extensive efforts the hotel has made towards energy use reduction, sustainable initiatives and practices as well as employee well-being.
Among the many energy and cost-saving steps the world-famous hotel took included upgraded 75 High Mast (high intensity discharge) lights in park areas, house lights and some guest room lighting to energy-saving light-emitting diode, or LED, lights, replaced laundry equipment with more energy efficient equipment for in-house laundry operations, and replaced some fitness center equipment with cost and energy efficient equipment.
The Hale Koa also designed and implemented various sustainable and culturally appropriate horticultural practices that have both enhanced the property and minimized maintenance requirements. They also introduced a variety of native and culturally significant plants around the facility in places like the hotel's Luau Garden.
Hale Koa Team had previously earned the 'Blue Zone Certification," for its efforts in employee well-being, becoming the first hotel property and federal organization in Hawaii to be recognized as a Blue Zone worksite in conjunction with the Blue Zone Project. The Blue Zones Project is "designed to make it easier for people to live healthier lifestyles through changes to diet, environment, policies and social networks," stated the Waikiki Improvement Association.
"We recognize that we are stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to us and take that responsibility very seriously, not only as a responsibility in deference to the present, but also as an inherent obligation to those in the future." LeBrun said. "Honestly, it is such an honor for us to be recognized by leaders within our community here in Waikiki and across the state of Hawaii. We don't draw attention to ourselves, but are steadfast in our commitment to doing what's right."