A&B celebrates 20th year of Sports Spotlight

June 6, 2019 in Sustainability

More than 1,600 Maui County student-athletes have been recognized

An honoree of Alexander & Baldwin’s Sports Spotlight program — which currently is in its 20th year and has recognized more than 1,600 high school athletes, including Major League Baseball All-Star Kurt Suzuki — said that the program is “great for the kids” in how it recognizes student-athletes’ growth on and off the field.

Every year, 84 students are selected by their coaches and school administrators for demonstrating what the Maui Interscholastic League Sports Spotlight program stands for — leadership, teamwork, responsibility and determination.

“I think, from experience, the best thing that (sports) teaches is just discipline, self-discipline and accountability,” said Jordan Helle, Baldwin High School alumnus and 2007 Sports Spotlight honoree.

“Everything that goes into being a student athlete, of course, starts with making sure you’re getting the job done,” he said.

Athletes learn to compete, be part of a team, represent themselves, their schools their communities “and putting in the work to make yourself as successful as possible,” said Helle, who was a star quarterback for the Bears.

“I think that’s the greatest thing that I learned,” he said.

Sports Spotlight was founded in 1999 by A&B in partnership with the MIL and The Maui News. The program recognizes Maui County public and private high school student athletes for their athletic performance as well as their efforts in the classroom.

Athletes get their pictures and profiles published in The Maui News and the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation donates $200 in honor of each awardee, which goes to their high school’s athletic fund. At the end of each academic year, all of the Maui County honorees, along with their families and coaches, get together for the Sports Spotlight dinner reception.

Sports Spotlight has honored more than 1,600 young men and women since its inception. Donations to the MIL athletic programs have totaled more than $250,000.

Helle was honored during his senior year of high school for his work ethic as a football and basketball star, and as a student. He has continued his passion for sports through coaching, officiating and commentating for ESPN Maui AM 900 radio station and on Spectrum OC16 Sports television broadcasts.

“From what I remember, it was just really cool to get a chance to showcase and not only feature what you did athletically, but it featured some of your academic accomplishments,”he said. “From our standpoint, it was just nice to be in the spotlight and get a chance to share a little bit of how sports impacted us.”

“Sports are still a very big part, and I think it’s still fun to stay in that community and see the next generation of kids coming up and seeing all the hard work that they are putting in,” he added. “The kids just keep getting better and better.”

Tessa Munekiyo Ng, a 2002 graduate and swimmer for Baldwin, said that sports was a big part of her life growing up and being recognized by Sports Spotlight was a “nice surprise.”

The mother of two added that the lessons she learned from her sport, as well as the team experience, are something she will pass down to her children.

“They are still very young. … I’ve started to introduce sports to them just for fun,” she said.

“It’s been really important for us to make sure” the children are active, not so much about how they are doing in sport, she said. The important things are “having fun, being a part of a team and making friends,” she said.

Other past Sports Spotlight winners, who have extended their athletic careers beyond high school to the professional and college ranks, include:

• Suzuki, Baldwin class of 2001, who played high school and college baseball before entering the major leagues and becoming an All-Star in 2014 with the Minnesota Twins. A catcher, he is currently with the Washington Nationals.

• Keahi Rawlins, Molokai class of 2001, played baseball and volleyball in high school and baseball for the University of Hawaii before being drafted in 2002 by the Philadelphia Phillies.

• Kaimana Lee, Seabury Hall class of 2003, played volleyball in high school before continuing her career at George Washington University.

Balancing athletics and academics in high school played an important role in the lives of all Sports Spotlight winners.

“Swimming taught me a lot in terms of hard work and discipline, and time management,”Munekiyo Ng said. “I made lifelong friends in swimming, my friends today are people I spent hours and hours with in the pool.

“I really appreciate everything that swimming has allowed me to have.”

Originally posted in The Maui News

A&B Employees Raise the Torch for a Good Cause

May 25, 2019 in Sustainability

On Friday, May 24, fourteen members of Team A&B (including employees from A&B and Grace Pacific with their family members) participated in the 34th annual “Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run.” The Torch Run is the largest annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Hawaii, and participants help to “carry the flame of hope” in support of over 3,400 athletes with intellectual or physical disabilities.

Team A&B joined more than 2,500 law enforcement officers in either running 3.2 miles from Fort DeRussy or walking one mile from the Kapahulu First Hawaiian Bank location to the Les Murakami Stadium at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Law enforcement personnel from federal, military, state, county and local agencies participate statewide, including on Kauai, Maui, Big Island and Oahu. On the final leg of the run, the torch is carried into stadium to light the flame of the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Hawaii’s State Summer Games.

A&B employee Cathy Bray has spearheaded Team A&B’s participation in the Torch Run for the past two years. A&B subsidized the cost of the commemorative dri-fit t-shirts for A&B event participants. “This is a fun event that supports a great cause and I’m so grateful for A&B’s support for a second year,” Cathy said.

Mahalo nui to Cathy and the A&B Torch Run team for supporting such a great community cause!

A&B Featured in NYSE’s “Companies Doing Great Things”

May 24, 2019 in Sustainability

A&B was showcased in the New York Stock Exchange’s list of “NYSE-Listed Companies Doing Great Things.” This information was part of NYSE’s celebration of Earth Day, featuring companies that work throughout the year to promote sustainability.

Alexander & Baldwin (NYSE: ALEX) Alexander & Baldwin is a different kind of REIT, with sustainability built into our DNA. Not only are we committed to environmentally sustainable operations, but we are an active producer of clean energy since 1906, with our first hydroelectric facility on Kauai. Last year, A&B’s hydro and solar facilities produced 40,000+ megawatt hours of renewable energy – more than half the amount of energy used by our entire commercial real estate (CRE) operations. With the addition of clean energy produced by A&B-related entities, clean energy production offset over 90% of the energy used by our CRE portfolio.

Hawai‘i Nature Center awards inaugural Kūpaʻa Award to Alexander & Baldwin for 30 years of partnership

May 22, 2019 in Sustainability

(HONOLULU, HAWAIʻIMAY 22, 2019) Hawaii Nature Center (HNC) announced it will present its inaugural Kūpaʻa Award to Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) in recognition of over thirty years of partnership and financial support. The award will be presented at HNC’s annual “Green Gala” fundraiser to be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at The Pacific Club.

HNC created the Kūpaʻa Award to recognize community partners that have embodied the Hawaiian value of kūpaʻa, which means to stand firm and steadfast. A&B has been a committed partner to HNC for over thirty years through capital grants, program partnerships, annual fundraisers and volunteer leadership service on its board of directors over the last three decades. During that time, A&B contributed nearly $600,000 to support HNC and its programs.

Most recently, HNC was awarded a $30,000 grant from Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) for its ʻĪao Valley Education Center and keiki programs on Maui. The facility in Wailuku, Maui was significantly damaged following the September 2016 flooding of the Wailuku River, one of the largest floods in Maui County’s history. A&B’s contribution will support critical capital improvements to the facility to help keep HNC’s educational programs running on Maui.

We reached out to A&B and they responded, as they have for decades. We are deeply grateful to A&B for their dedicated support throughout the years, and for their commitment to Hawaiʻi’s keiki,” said Piia Aarma, HNC board president. “A&B’s generous support will allow us to continue our programs and facility improvements for years to come. We couldn’t ask for more committed community partners.”

Meredith Ching, A&B executive vice president and former HNC board president and director, said, “Hawaii Nature Center’s educational programs are so well-loved and teach our keiki to cherish and respect the world around them through hands-on learning. HNC continues to touch the lives of so many families in our communities, and we even have employees who grew up attending the programs or whose children look forward to attending every year.


A Taste of May Day Comes to Poipu

May 20, 2019 in Sustainability

When the Koloa School Ukulele Band and its second-grade students hit the stage Wednesday afternoon, it was just a preview of the school’s May Day program set for Wednesday, May 22, at the school’s outdoor stage area.

“Everyone is invited to come see and enjoy the students’ performances,” said Leila Kobayashi, principal.

Members of the diverse range of people in the audience clapped, cameras clicked, and video rolled as the select students in third through fifth grade worked through numbers like “Bamboo,” “Fish and Poi,” and a version of “Maui, The Hawaiian Superman” that had several of the students doing a behind-the-head rendering of a segment on ukulele.

Following the band’s showcase, they adjourned to the side, where they accompanied the second-grade students who performed a hula extolling the beauty of Kauai.

“Community partners like The Shops at Kukuiula make it possible for many of the Koloa School programs like the ukulele band under kumu Rachel,” Kobayashi said.

Stacie Chiba-Miguel and Pillare Mukai of The Shops at Kukuiula management team presented the school with an award of $1,660, an amount that drew silent awe from some of the parents.

“This amount reflects the contributions received from the distribution of holiday bags,” Chiba-Miguel said. “In addition to the donations for the students’ hand-made custom gift bags, The Shops at Kukuiula is adding a $1,000 award.”

Under the program, students from Koloa School create handcrafted gift bags which are delivered to The Shops at Kukuiula for holiday shopping. The bags are distributed to stores and are available to shoppers for a nominal donation.

Originally published in The Garden Island

TGIF: Lanihau Center Fourth Friday celebration a new monthly fixture in Kona

May 2, 2019 in Sustainability

KAILUA-KONA — As the sun set Friday, the normally bustling Lanihau Center assumed a new sort of vitality.

Music filled the air and vendor tents lined the parking lot as the center celebrated its second Fourth Friday-Malama Honua event. The themed, gratis gathering is staged on the fourth Friday of every month, replete each time with entertainment, pop-up shops, food offerings, a keiki center and a beer garden supporting a local nonprofit organization.

“We saw a need in this community where there is no (regular) night market, there’s nothing for families to do for free where they can come chill out on a Friday night,” said Emily Tall, a representative of real estate company Alexander &Baldwin located on Oahu, which owns the Lanihau Center. “So we wanted to bring that all together — local vendors, local music, local food, plus we have so many great tenants as well. We wanted to bring everybody together.”

Around 600 visitors dropped by the self-branded “Heart of Kona” between 6-10 p.m. to eat, drink, dance and shop, said Fourth Friday coordinator Aesha Shapiro.

The evening’s theme, which will change every month, was general environmentalism and taking care of the planet. Organizers designated booths for nonprofits like Legacy Reef Foundation, the Dry Forest Initiative and Recycle Hawaii on the south end of the center’s lot to offer educational information on their organizations and how to get involved.

“The whole focus was on protecting our islands,” Shapiro said. “We live in a place where it’s hard to throw things away because we’re on an island, so I just wanted to make it more about Hawaii.”

The beer garden, sponsored by Ola Brew Company, donated proceeds to the nonprofit Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens. Its stated goals are numerous, but among them are educating the community on organic and sustainable agriculture, renewable energy options, widespread conservation efforts and zero waste technology by way of, in part, its radio station — Kona LPFM 100.5.

The organization also collaborates on events like the annual Avocado and Mango Festivals and Feed the Children Christmas Holiday, among others.

“(Ours) is a faith-based organization. The faith that it is based on is our interconnectedness with nature,” said Randyl Rupar, a founder of Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens. “The farther away humanity gets from nature, the more ill the human being becomes and the more devastated our environment becomes.”

Fourth Fridays aren’t just about education and encouraging the community to give back. They’re also about family fun and entertainment. The Kealakehe Intermediate School performing arts program kicked off the night on the center stage with an hour-long showcase featuring ukulele and singing sets, as well as choreographed dance.

The main event came next and featured Grammy-nominated LT Smooth and a 10-piece band that played mostly covers of classic favorites, which brought several spectators out of their seats and onto the dance floor.

“It’s just a wonderful time,” said Terry Carter, who attended Friday’s event. “The music is great. So is the food. And it’s just nice to have a place that offers something for everyone.”

Fun to Jump Kona Party Center supplied a bouncy house and a climbing wall for kids, who were also offered face painting sessions and given the chance to have their pictures taken with Maui from the Disney film Moana after purchasing an all-night, $10 bracelet.

Nearby, enticing aromas arose from Lanihau Center food vendor tents set up by the likes of Loko Wraps, Wicked Chirashi and Royal Jade Chinese Restaurant, as well as others.

The shopping area was situated on the north end of the lot where local businesses paid $65 per tent to offer items from apparel to artwork.

Sisters Sara Forsberg, of Soul Creative Design and Press, and Rachel Forsberg, of Honey and Wild Design, shared a booth on the edge of the action.

“Meeting the clients and customers is awesome” Rachel said. “They can kind of chat with us and talk about art and what I do, so it’s a really nice way to connect.”

Sara, who is social media-free, said events like Fourth Friday allow her to reach out sans the digital realm.

“This is my Facebook,” she said. “It’s a way to create community.”

The next Fourth Friday is May 24.

For more information on Fourth Friday events, including how to become a vendor, email Shapiro at [email protected]

Originally posted in West Hawaii Today

Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle Presents A&B with Beautification Award

April 29, 2019 in Sustainability

A&B was honored to receive a Beautification Award from the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle in appreciation for the landscaping at the Davis Building at the entrance to Kailua.

In citing the award, LKOC said, “It is wonderful to enter Kailua, cross the bridge, and be treated to the bright landscaping at the Davis Building. We enjoy the varied foundation plantings and the colorful flowers that are periodically renewed. Together with the mature trees and taller plantings, this landscaped entrance to our community sets the tone for a town that enjoys the gracious trees and plants that make Kailua our home.”

This was one of three Beautification Awards presented by LKOC at this year’s “I Love Kailua” Town Party in April. Beautification projects by Central Union Windward and Kailua United Methodist Church also were recognized.

A&B Earth Day Message 2019

April 22, 2019 in Sustainability

At Alexander & Baldwin, prioritizing sustainability is about fulfilling our mission to improve Hawaii’s communities and create value for all stakeholders. We strive to operate our businesses with integrity, in ways that are environmentally and socially responsible—all part of our commitment to building a better Hawaii today and for the future.

In celebration of Earth Day, we wanted to let you know about some of the things that your company is doing to support sustainability.  Did you know…

  • A&B has been committed to clean energy for over 110 years, with its first hydro facility on Kauai established in 1906.


  • Last year we generated over 40,000 megawatt hours of clean energy from our solar and hydro facilities – enough to power over 50% of our real estate and corporate operations. Adding the energy generated from our solar investments, that figure increases to over 90%.


  • Through our partnership with Carbon Lighthouse, we are on track to eliminate 9,700+ tons of carbon dioxide over a ten-year period, equal to conserving over 22,600 barrels of oil. Last year alone, through performance upgrades to lighting, heating and cooling systems, we saved over 680,000 kilowatt hours of energy, or the carbon generated by over 54,000 gallons of gasoline.


  • At Grace Pacific, we recycle over 100,000 tons of concrete and asphalt each year through the use of recycled aggregate – preserving Hawaii’s limited natural resources and lessening the burden on Oahu’s landfills.


  • We have partnered with The Nature Conservancy to protect thousands of acres of critical conservation lands on Maui and Kauai. The Wainiha Preserve, Kanaele Bog and Waikamoi Preserve contain important habitats for native flora and fauna that are being preserved for future generations.


  • A&B is a member of the Sustainability Business Forum, a group of Hawaii executives that is committed to concrete actions to advance Hawaii’s sustainability goals. Through the SBF, we are participating in a carbon offset pilot project in Kona with The Nature Conservancy and Hawaii Green Growth that is intended to help establish a pipeline of carbon offset projects and assist Hawaii in achieving its statewide goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.
  • We have developed Corporate Sustainability Values to complement our A&B core values:

Core Values

Sustainability Values


Do everything we do with respect for others and an unwavering commitment to preserving and enhancing the caring legacy of our founders

Always act in ways that demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and our respect for the communities in which we operate.


Seek to find new and better approaches, be willing to question and abandon past practices when they have become ineffective

Accept the challenge of adapting to sustainable practices and encourage people to act and think differently to find sustainable solutions.


Recognize that the best solutions and implementation come when people share information and ideas and work together

Partner with responsible parties and engage our communities to build a common vision for a more sustainable Hawaii.


Leverage that collaboration into clear and timely decision-making and communicate those decisions to the organization

Develop clear and actionable sustainability plans and act boldly to meet sustainability objectives.


We will be most successful if our leaders and our employees are held accountable and are recognized for results

Align sustainability with performance goals and share both successes and failures on the path to a more sustainable future.

Thank you for your support of sustainability at A&B – Happy Earth Day!

Solar-Powered Trash Cans Helping Hawaii’s Environment

March 27, 2019 in Sustainability

Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather – KITV Channel 4

These trashcans are more than meets the eye.

“Instead of having just normal trash cans here we thought let’s put something in it that really speaks to sustainability and conservation,” Alexander and Baldwin spokesperson Darren Pai said.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside because it’s what happens on the inside that counts.

“As the trash builds up, there’s a sensor inside the trash can and when it detects the trash has reached a certain level, there’s a compactor that runs. And that compactor is using power that was provided by the solar panels that charges the battery on the inside,” Pai said.

Pai says Alexander & Baldwin, a Honolulu based real estate company said the company’s commitment toward environmental sustainability is a big reason behind the solar powered bins.

“There’s a lot less waste that gets loaded onto a truck. We really reduce the amount of plastic bag use, it really helps keep the area stay clean, helps make it a much more comfortable environment for the people to come here,” Pai said.

Everyday Jordan Ungvarsky, a Kailua resident, hits the gym at the shopping center, he said the recently added smart cans are hard to miss.

“I work with electrical engineers on the island here in some civil environmental engineering companies and they’re always looking for bigger ways to do things and I think some of the smaller are actually more important,” Ungvarsky said. “The trash is always a huge problem on the island and the island has limited resources, it’s very small. So it’s important for them to take care of their items and put it in the right place,” Ungvarsky said.

Depending how the pilot project goes, more may be popping up on A&B properties.

“It’s more efficient, you can use fewer bags that you end up sending into the stream, that means less waste in our landfill, less waste that’s going to be wasted energy. It’s better for the environment all around it,” Pai said.

According to Pai, it’s one way the company is working toward a cleaner and ‘greener’ Kailua.

Story by Lei Ui Kaholokula of KITV News

Alexander & Baldwin – Helping one of Hawaii’s largest and long-standing companies turn Efficiency Reserves into guaranteed revenue

March 22, 2019 in Sustainability

Originally published on CarbonLighthouse.com

At the intersection of Hawaii’s outstanding businesses and sustainability thought leaders you’ll find Alexander & Baldwin (A&B), a publicly-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) with a 149-year history of sustainable operations in Hawaii.

As one of Hawaii’s largest private landowners and the state’s largest grocery and drug-anchored retail operator with 3.5 million square feet under management, A&B has long-played a prominent role in promoting sustainability in the islands. It has been producing renewable energy since 1906, with its first hydroelectric facility on Kauai. The company has continued its extensive involvement of driving environmental and financial value from clean energy and efficiency.

Due to a heavy dependence on imported petroleum, Hawaii has some of the highest energy prices in the nation — hovering around 30 cents a kilowatt-hour, or twice the national average. This makes commercial buildings, which alone accounts for nearly 20 percent of all energy usage in the United States, prime candidates for Efficiency Production, our process of converting energy waste into guaranteed financial revenue.

Like Hawaii itself — which was the first state to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy goal for electricity generation by 2045 — A&B has never been afraid to think big and be on the forefront of innovative and efficient sustainable technology. The company was curious to see if it could go even further to improve the efficiency of its buildings to generate positive environmental impact, financial value and increase shareholder returns.

Carbon Lighthouse partnered with A&B to reduce energy consumption at several well-known Oahu retail centers, including the Sam’s Club-anchored Pearl Highlands Center, Kaka’ako Commerce Center and the Safeway-anchored Manoa Marketplace, as well as a Maui office building. In aggregate, we have helped A&B increase energy efficiency at four properties totaling nearly 805,000 square feet or approximately 23 percent of their commercial real estate portfolio.

The project involved performance upgrades to the lighting, heating and cooling systems, with Carbon Lighthouse engineers implementing advanced controls and ongoing monitoring of the properties for variances so they can work with A&B to take any necessary corrective action.


The Technicals

A&B has been active in modernizing and retrofitting its assets with progressive amenities and technology, including ensuring its HVAC equipment is updated. While the company had considered investments into upgraded HVAC control systems and technology like Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s), the financial returns were hard to predict — a common challenge. Using our unique data-driven approach, Carbon Lighthouse finds Efficiency Reserves that have not yet been utilized and guarantees the financial value.

Below are some of the significant efficiency measures we implemented at the A&B sites:

  • Optimized condenser water supply temperature control and cooling tower fan operation through installation of new VFDs and optimization of programming logic.
  • Re-programmed chiller controls to use most efficient chiller at all times without impacting lifetime or warranties.
  • Programmed optimal start logic into the controls system. Central plant and air handlers will dynamically start operations each day to use the least amount of energy to have the tenant spaces comfortable for occupancy.
  • Fixed damper control and algorithms to bring in as much or as little outside air as space temperatures, occupancy, outdoor temperatures, and humidity allow.
  • Enabled optimized duct static pressure control for the office space Air Handler Unit (AHU) supply fan.


The Impact

  • Across all sites, carbon elimination of 9,700+ tons of carbon dioxide over a ten-year period, which is the same as conserving over 22,600 barrels of oil — enough to power 1,162 homes for a year.
  • Total first-year savings: 680,160 kWh, or the carbon generated by 54,121 gallons of gasoline.


The road ahead

With implementation completed, Carbon Lighthouse is guaranteeing the financial value of the energy savings for ten years. Our results assurance team will continue to deliver the energy savings performance of these sites to make sure that A&B is receiving the financial and environmental benefits initially predicted using our powerful CLUES® software. If the savings fall short due to an issue with our scope, we take corrective action by either cutting a check or fixing the problem on our own dime.

Our engineering team also constantly searches for new energy savings technologies we can incorporate in our CLUES® software and we are in frequent communication with A&B stakeholders to propose ways of increasing the financial value and environmental impact at these sites with more guaranteed savings. As is our standard, there is no cost to A&B for these ongoing services.

“As part of a broader strategy to enhance value, we expect this could save up to seven figures over 10 years, depending on the property. No insignificant number,” said A&B’s SVP of Asset Management Kit Millan. “Moreover, operating our businesses in ways that are sustainable and benefit the community is an important part of our commitment to being “Partners for Hawaii.” We view Carbon Lighthouse as a valuable partner in that effort.”

A&B has been impressed by the results and progress thus far of Energy Production and will be looking to expand our partnership to include additional properties from their commercial real estate portfolio.