By Kim Westerman, Senior Conributor
February 8, 2022
One of the trends we’re seeing during the pandemic is travelers’ deeper consideration of the impact our choices have on each other and on the earth. An increasing number of visitors to Hawaii are seeking out experiences at sustainable hotels, from programs to reduce carbon emissions to hyper-local food-sourcing. Oahu’s ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach announced today that it has committed to becoming the state of Hawaii’s first fully carbon-neutral hotel property.
The resort’s carbon neutral certification will be verified by DEKRA, an international testing, inspection, and certification body, in accordance with PAS 2060, which is the only recognized international standard for carbon neutrality. In 2022, the resort will be carbon neutral for Scope 1, Scope 2, and a portion of Scope 3 emissions. According to the GHG Protocol, Scope 1 includes all direct carbon emissions from sources such as propane, gasoline, diesel, and refrigerants. Scope 2 covers electricity consumption. The resort is currently working toward having complete data needed to achieve carbon neutrality for all relevant Scope 3 categories, including emissions from its supply chain.
Hospitality investment and management company Highgate oversees ‘Alohilani Resort, one of more than 200 of its properties now powered by 100% renewable electricity that have committed to third-party verification for 2022 through Green-e®, the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy.
“Renewable energy utilization is a critical part of Highgate’s decarbonization strategy. Procuring renewable electricity was an essential move for ‘Alohilani to reduce its carbon emissions, given Hawai’i’s current heavy reliance on imported oil for electricity production,” said Marianne Balfe, Highgate’s Vice President of Sustainability. “We look forward to Hawaii’s transition to a 100% renewable electric grid by 2045, per the state’s declaration.”
‘Alohilani Resort participates in the ongoing Mālama Hawaii program, an initiative across all the islands designed to help visitors care for the communities they are visiting in various ways, including tree-planting. Guests can participate in conservation efforts by visiting ‘Alohilani’s Legacy Forest, where they can learn about the importance of reforestation and plant their own indigenous tree. Through the planting of more than 550,000 native and endemic trees, the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative has produced some of the highest-quality carbon offsets in the world. This is the only Gold Standard-certified carbon project in the State of Hawaii, with more than 1,200 acres of endemic forest already planted. Each tree in the Hawaiian Legacy Forest is RFID geo-tagged and can be individually tracked throughout its lifetime by the tree sponsor.
‘Alohilani has partnered with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) and Legacy Carbon LLC to help offset the carbon footprint of the resort, continuing upon the resort’s existing sustainability initiatives, including its commitment to plant 100,000 indigenous trees in its Legacy Forest, and its use of renewable electricity throughout the hotel.
This luxury resort is setting a new standard for sustainable travel in the Hawaiian Islands and beyond, and the news of its commitment to carbon neutrality bodes well for travelers looking to participate in this forward-thinking and groundbreaking decision. Look for other luxury hotels to follow suit.
ʻAlohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
REM Public Relations