Climate Change: A Vision for Success with Chris Benjamin (Moderator)

May 1, 2022 in Sustainability

A&B President and CEO, Chris Benjamin, moderated a panel discussion on “Climate Change: A Vision for Success,” a presentation organized by CIFAL Honolulu at Chaminade University and the Hawaii Executive Collaborative.

Panelists included Aimee Barnes (Founder & CEO, Hua Nani Partners), Charles “Chip” Fletcher, PhD (Dean, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UH Manoa), Scott Glenn (Chief Energy Officer, State of Hawaii), and Josh Stanbro Policy Fellow, Elemental Excelerator.

The panel of climate experts discussed topics including opportunities for climate change adaptation and mitigation, the barriers and challenges to making progress, the importance of collaboration among all Hawaii stakeholders and actions that individuals could take to combat climate change.



New Mural Honors Kailua’s Rich Heritage

April 19, 2022 in Sustainability


The vibrant, new mural that graces the newly renovated HIC building was designed by Native Hawaiian artist Sara Saffery. Saffery, born and raised in Kailua, was inspired by her heritage and her family’s work on restoring Kawainui marsh. “Being from Kailua, I realized the kuleana of this mural and wanted to paint a picture that honors Kailua’s history and culture from the perspective of the Hawaiian community,” she explained. The majestic Ko‘olau Mountains, the Kawainui fishpond, native flora and fauna, a kalo lo‘i, the Mokulua islets, and a double-hulled voyaging canoe are among the mural’s symbolic depictions of life in the Windward community.

“Kailua is a beautiful town, but much of our Native Hawaiian presence is gone,” said Alani Apio, a noted Hawaiian playwright, artist, and community advocate who advised A&B on the project. “Bringing Kanaka ‘Ōiwi, Native Hawaiian, art to the local landscape is a wonderful opportunity to excite and interest people about our cultural legacy. Sara’s joyous mural is a wonderful example of visual storytelling; there’s a history many people will now discover as a result of this new artwork.”

Dana Harvey Gusman, A&B’s liaison for the mural, says it is one of the most meaningful projects she has been involved in and showcases A&B’s commitment to “walking the talk.” “The mural is the result of meetings with, and listening to, the Native Hawaiian descendants of this culturally significant place,” she explained. “As a company, A&B has forged a partnership with the descendent community and is committed to amplifying their voices and allowing them to tell their own beautiful stories through art. This project has been an absolute privilege to be a part of.”

A&B’s Partners for Equality and Women’s Leadership Teams Host Fireside Chat with Krystal Ka’ai

April 9, 2022 in Education, Social

A&B’s Partners for Equality and the Women’s Leadership Initiative co-hosted a Fireside Chat with Krystal Ka’ai, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI).

Ms. Ka’ai, who is a Kamehameha Schools graduate, is the first Native Hawaiian leader of WHIAANHPI.  Ms, Ka’ai shared her background, her path to WHIAANHPI, several issues they are tackling, as well as how we at A&B can help.

Nareit Hawaii Donates $130K For Affordable Housing – Kauai Now

March 7, 2022 in Sustainability

Mayor Derek Kawakami, A&B representatives Trinette Kaui and Dan Sargent, A&B retiree Tom Shigemoto and members of the Hawaii REIT community gathered at the site of an under-construction home in Lihue. “On behalf of A&B and personally, I have been involved with Kauai affordable housing efforts for over 30 years. It’s our privilege to underwrite this project, knowing that this home will go to a local family,” said Kaui.

Article originally published on

The nonprofit Kaua‘i Housing Development Corporation was awarded a $130,000 grant from the Nareit Hawai‘i Community Giving Initiative to support the building of a new affordable home for a family on Kaua‘i.

Located at 3310 Kanakolu Street in Līhu‘e, the new four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is under construction and will provide a family with a living space of 1,465 square feet on a lot measuring 3,414 square feet. The home is located next to Isenberg Park and the Līhu‘e Neighborhood Center, offering the family convenient access to sports fields, a playground, open spaces, and community activities.

“The Kaua‘i Housing Development Corporation is truly fortunate and blessed with a most generous donation from the Nareit Foundation,” said Tom Shigemoto, president of the KHDC board of directors, in a news release on the contribution. “This gift will go a long way in assisting KHDC to provide a home for a deserving Kaua‘i family. We cannot begin to express how appreciative we are for benefactors like Nareit, who share our vision of providing affordable housing.”

A video of the presentation is here.

The grant was made possible by donations from REITs in Hawai‘i to the Nareit Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) organization.

Shigemoto noted that, along with the Nareit Foundation, providing a new, affordable single-family home was a collaborative effort supported by Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, which offered a discount on the land sale, and the County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency, which granted an affordable housing designation resulting in lower fee waivers and exemptions.

Nareit Hawai‘i Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone presented the $130,000 grant to KHDC on behalf of the Nareit Foundation and REITs in Hawai‘i.

“Supporting workforce housing for families is vital to the future of our communities and a priority for our charitable giving program to nonprofits,” said Marrone. “We appreciate the tremendous effort put forth by the Kaua‘i Housing Development Corporation to establish these partnerships that make a new home in Lihue affordable for a family that will ultimately make the community stronger overall.”

Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, a strong advocate for affordable, workforce housing on Kaua‘i participated in the grant award presentation.

“Without question, the need for affordable housing on Kaua‘i remains a high priority for us all,” said Mayor Kawakami. “We are grateful to the Nareit Foundation and REITs in Hawai‘i for supporting nonprofit affordable housing initiatives that will benefit our families in need. This incredible effort towards building our affordable housing inventory shows the importance of public-private partnerships in our community, and we thank everyone involved for making this dream a reality here on Kaua‘i.”

Alexander & Baldwin, a REIT whose contribution to the Nareit Foundation helped fund the grant for KHDC, also participated in the grant award presentation.

Kokua for Keiki 2021

January 4, 2022 in Education, Social

Alexander & Baldwin is excited to once again partner with local elementary schools for its Kokua for Keiki program. This year, the program has been expanded to 17 local schools near A&B-owned and operated centers – Aikahi Park Shopping Center, Gateway at Mililani Mauka and Gateway at Mililani Mauka South, Kunia Shopping Center, Lanihau Center, Manoa Marketplace, Queens’ Marketplace, Pearl Highlands Center and Waipio Shopping Center – were invited to participate as a means to replace annual fundraising activities canceled due to the pandemic.

From December 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022, Kokua for Keiki will raise up to $20,000 to support participating schools. A true community-driven effort, patrons of the shops, restaurants and service providers at the eight A&B shopping centers can register and designate the school of their choice online and then submit shopping receipts throughout the campaign.

Below is a list of participating A&B shopping centers and local elementary schools. Click on the shopping center name to be directed to each individual Kokua for Keiki webpage:

Aikahi Park Shopping Center
Aikahi Elementary School

Manoa Marketplace
Hokulani Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School
Manoa Elementary School
Noelani Elementary School

Gateway at Mililani Mauka and Gateway at Mililani Mauka South
Mililani ‘Ike Elementary School
Mililani Mauka Elementary School

Kunia Shopping Center
Kaleiopuu Elementary School
Honowai Elementary School
Waipahu Elementary School

Lanihau Center
Kahakai Elementary School

Queens’ Marketplace
Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School

Pearl Highlands Center
Pearl City Elementary School
Manana Elementary School
Lehua Elementary School

Waipio Shopping Center
Kanoelani Elementary School

Chris Benjamin Joins ICC’s Make Climate Action Everyone’s Business Forum

November 16, 2021 in Sustainability

A&B President and CEO, Chris Benjamin, spoke in the International Chamber of Commerce’s Make Climate Action Everyone’s Business Forum, on Friday, November 5th. He joined Hawaiian Electric Industries incoming CEO, Scott Seu, and AHL CEO, Bettina Mehnert, on a “Local Action, Global Goals” panel, discussing how Hawaii’s private sector is making progress in Hawaii and more broadly on sustainable development goals.

Nareit’s REITworks Virtual Conference

October 16, 2021 in Sustainability

A&B President & CEO, Chris Benjamin, spoke at Nareit’s REITworks virtual conference, held on September 20-23, 2021.  In a “Fireside Chat: CEOs’ Perspective and Vision for ESG,” he commented on matters including A&B’s vision and the ways that ESG fits into that vision, ESG topics being discussed in the boardroom, and how ESG can be integrated at every level of the workforce.


2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

September 3, 2021 in Education, Social, Sustainability

A&B is excited to share its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report, which highlights our environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts and progress made during the year. While we began 2020 with optimism to celebrate our 150th anniversary and to continue to advance our ESG program, we learned, along with everyone, that the arrival of COVID-19 would dampen our efforts. However, the pandemic provided an opportunity for us to demonstrate our long-time commitment to providing support to the communities we serve throughout Hawaii.

Alyson Nakamura, VP, Governance & Sustainability, shared “The year 2020 provided us a unique opportunity to demonstrate our core values and commitment as “Partners for Hawaii.”

Click here to see the full report.

Alexander & Baldwin’s 2020 Review of Giving

August 3, 2021 in Social

Alexander & Baldwin has a longstanding philanthropic tradition, which is as deeply rooted in our company culture as our 150 years of business in Hawaii.

In 2020, community investments by A&B’s Kokua Giving Program made a broad impact with $950,000 in contributions to 230 organizations across the state of Hawaii.

These investments in the community extended across Hawaii and fell into five main categories:

  1. Health, affordable housing and human services
  2. Education
  3. Community/civic
  4. Culture and the arts
  5. Environmental and land stewardship

The generosity of A&B’s employees bolstered monetary and in-kind support. They helped build vibrant communities with gifts of time, skills, leadership guidance and personal resources. A&B employees can be found picking up trash on beaches, organizing food drives, pitching in at community events, leading youth activities and walking miles for a variety of charitable causes.

To see the 2020 Review of Giving, click here.


Alexander & Baldwin Donated $950,000 To Support 230 Nonprofits during 2020

May 6, 2021 in Social

Article originally published on

Alexander & Baldwin, a publicly traded real estate investment fund, donated $950,000 to support 230 nonprofit organizations across Hawaiʻi during its 2020 Kōkua Giving charitable program, according to the trust’s news release.

Nearly half of its donations were directed to housing and health & human service programs, many focused on addressing emergency food and housing needs created by COVID-19. In its 150th anniversary year, A&B said it was proud to navigate and respond to the changing needs of its communities, employees and long-standing non-profit partners, while working together to sustain healthy communities during this unprecedented year.

“This was a challenging year for all Hawai’i nonprofits, both those serving on the frontlines of COVID relief and those working to sustain the other safety nets in our communities,” said Meredith Ching, A&B executive vice president. “It was equally as challenging for funders as COVID restrictions made it difficult to remain connected with our communities and their needs.

“A&B’s charitable investments in 2020 reflect a year of intensified outreach and efforts to stay in lockstep and ahead of unanticipated and evolving needs. Partnerships are the cornerstone of our charitable giving and community programs, and we were happy to nurture long-standing relationships while building new ones, with first-time grants provided to nearly 50 local nonprofits, many ‘introduced’ to us through employees.”

In commemoration of A&B’s 150th anniversary in 2020, the company launched the “Kōkua150” program and invited employees to each identify a local nonprofit to receive a $150 grant funded by the company in the employee’s name. A&B employees directed a total of $25,500 to 86 Hawai’i nonprofits.

Nearly 40 percent of the “Kōkua150” designations were for COVID relief efforts such as food banks and safety net programs. The balance funded employees’ favored organizations and initiatives including public school PTAs, social justice programs, animal shelters and environmental causes across the islands.

“The Kōkua 150 program was a way to build and share A&B’s philanthropy with its employees as well as to follow their lead to the causes that mean the most to them,” Ching said.

Unprecedented challenges to the public education sector prompted an increased focus on the schools in A&B’s “neighborhoods”, where the company’s retail centers operate. A&B delivered $50,000 in unrestricted grants to 20 Hawai’i public schools across the state as the institutions incurred expenses related to new campus safety protocols and the shift to virtual learning due to COVID.

“We have long believed in supporting our neighbors, in good times and bad,” Ching said. “Our partner schools have exemplified a commitment to educating our keiki while providing critical socio-emotional learning tools during a time of financial and overall uncertainty.”