The environment is a top priority for A&B.
We are the fourth largest private landowner in Hawaii, and take our land stewardship responsibilities and commitment to the environment very seriously. We are protective of our pristine watershed lands, and in recent years, have formalized conservation management programs for several unique and fragile areas, in partnership with other private entities, government and skilled environmental organizations.
With agriculture a predominant use of our lands, we ensure that sustainable and energy-efficient operating practices are fundamental foundations to our businesses. Conserving soil and water are bedrock principles, evidenced by millions of dollars of investments in drip irrigation, and farming and factory practices that maximize re-use and strive for zero-waste.
Watersheds & Conservation
A&B was a founding member of the East Maui Watershed Partnership, Hawaii’s first private-public sector partnership to preserve the states’ valuable watersheds. Established in 1991, it served as the model for what is today nine watershed partnerships that exist across the Hawaiian island chain. A&B is an active member in three of these partnerships, commensurate with our land ownerships. The mission of these partnerships is to protect essential watersheds that support essential sources of water, native biota, and recreational and aesthetic uses for the people of Hawaii.
On Kauai, we have partnered with the Nature Conservancy to protect two important parcels on the island with renowned conservation value, containing flora and fauna unique in all of the world: the Wainiha Preserve and the Kanaele Bog.
Through the former A&B Foundation, more than a half million dollars was donated in the last two decades to support watershed and other land conservation efforts.
Energy: HC&S and McBryde Resources are energy self-sufficient, and also serve as sources of renewable energy for their communities, generating electricity from hydropower and the residual plant materials from agricultural operations. In 2006, McBryde’s Wainiha hydroelectric plant marked a century of producing clean renewable power and, in 2012, HC&S’s Paia hydroelectric plant also reached its centennial.
At HC&S, we rely primarily on remnant fiber from the sugar extraction process (bagasse) as a fuel source for power generation. HC&S’ factory design (multiple effect evaporation) makes its sugar refining process one of the most energy-efficient in the world, and the excess power is sold to the local electric utility.
We are actively pursuing other means of increasing our role as an energy producer and, in 2012, completed construction on a 6 MW solar PV facility on Kauai, in the Port Allen area.
At Grace, we remain committed to working together with government agencies and non-profit groups to support recycling programs that help preserve Hawaii’s limited natural resources and reduce deposits in community landfills. Since 2003, we have recycled reclaimed asphalt pavement and concrete rubble to produce construction grade aggregate for use in the construction and road building industry. By recycling over 100,000 tons of concrete and asphalt annually, we are able to reuse materials that would otherwise add to the growing burden on Oahu’s landfills. We are constantly seeking ways to improve our processes, reduce waste, and protect our island home.
Warm Mix Asphalt
Grace has been a pioneer in the use of Warm Mix Asphalt in Hawaii. Warm Mix Asphalt technologies allow us to lower the temperatures at which the asphalt materials are mixed and placed on the road. The temperature reductions have the benefits of lower fuel consumption and decreasing the production of greenhouse gases. In addition, the end-product benefits include better compaction on the road and the ability to haul paving mix for longer distances.